Foreign citizens of Greek background are interested in acquiring Greek citizenship and procuring a Greek passport. The Greek passport allows the holder to reside and work in all the countries of the European Union. A Greek passport can be issued only for a Greek citizen who is registered with a Greek Municipality. Therefore, it is necessary that the person interested in acquiring Greek citizenship proceeds first with the recognition of his/her Greek citizenship and his /her registration with a Greek Municipality. Then he/she can also proceed with the issuance of a Greek passport and/or an identity card (“taftotita”).
According to Greek Law, the child of a Greek male or female obtains the Greek nationality at birth. By virtue of this article, every person can be registered as a Greek citizen, if his/her ancestors or one of them was a Greek citizen, provided that the person requesting the Greek citizenship follows the procedure required by Greek Law in order to prove the Greek citizenship of his/her ancestors and the sequence of Greek origin (ius sanguinis).
The first step for the recognition of the Greek nationality is to locate the registration of one of the ancestors with the Greek Municipal Rolls or the Greek Male Rolls. When the person locates the registration of one of his/her ancestors, he/she should procure a relevant certificate and proceed with the application for the recognition of his nationality. All the certificates of marriages and births that took place abroad and have not been registered in Greece should be registered with the Greek Special Registry. For this purpose, original certificates are required that should be Apostilled according to the Hague Convention or in the event that the country of their issuance is not a party to the Convention, they should be authenticated by the competent Greek Consulate. In case that there is a Divorce, the relevant judgment should be recognised as valid in Greece through the relevant Greek Court procedure.
The application for the recognition of Greek nationality as well as the certificates issued by the Special Registry should be submitted to the Municipality with which the ancestor of the applicant is registered. The competent Authority for the recognition of Greek nationality is the Decentralized Administration. They issue the decision recognising the Greek nationality of the applicant and order his/her registration with the Greek Municipal Rolls. Men must be first registered with the Greek Male Rolls. This registration is completed after the issuance of a relevant Decision of the competent authority and after the submission of additional certificates issued by the Consulate of his place of residence.
The registration with the Greek Municipal Rolls and the Greek Male Rolls concludes the procedure of the recognition of Greek nationality: the person is a Greek citizen registered with a Greek Municipality. The Municipality issues a certificate, which certifies that the person is a Greek citizen. This certificate is necessary for the issuance of a Greek identity card and/or a Greek passport.
After the registration with a Greek Municipality and the issuance of a Greek passport, the person obtains officially the Greek citizenship and all the rights of a Greek citizen. That means that the person has all the rights of a citizen of the European Union and he/she can enter, reside and work in all the countries of the European Union.
The procedure for the recognition of Greek nationality includes many different stages and may require different documentation and actions depending on the specific case’s particulars. For the prompt and successful completion of the case, a thorough knowledge of the required procedure as well as a frequent communication and follow up with the competent Greek Authorities is required.
All the above procedures for the recognition of the Greek citizenship and the issuance of a Greek passport, can be accomplished through a limited Power of Attorney to specialised Greek lawyers, like our Greek Law Office.