What do you need for greek dual citizenship?

The Greek nationality ranks among the top 20 countries, according to the Quality of Nationality Index. Greek citizens enjoy high levels of travel freedom, security and human development. Getting Greek dual citizenship is popular with many foreigners. After you acquire a Greek ID, you will have the same rights as other European Union citizens. You will also be able to vote in Greek and European elections. To apply for citizenship, you need various documents depending on your ethnic status and country of origin.

Types of Greek dual citizenship 

Most people looking for citizenship are ethnic Greeks and their family members. Greece is also a popular retirement destination for foreigners. They enjoy a warm climate, affordable property and great healthcare. Additionally, some refugees from the war-torn Middle East also come to Greece.

There are five ways to become a Greek citizen:

  • by descent, if one of your parents is a Greek citizen,

  • by declaration, if you have Greek heritage or a Greek adoptive parent,

  • by marriage to a Greek citizen,

  • through investment,

  • by naturalization.

Requirements for becoming a Greek citizen

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Greece is a great country to live and work in. But, whereas getting even a long-term visa is rather easy, becoming a citizen can be tiring, time-consuming and complicated. Greek authorities are trying their best to simplify the application process. Still, the Hellenic Republic is not the easiest EU country for naturalization.

Basic application requirements include:

  • being 18 and older,

  • not convicted of crimes in Greece or other countries,

  • not facing deportation,

  • living and working in Greece for at least 7 years,

  • having a legal residence permit,

  • being able to speak Greek,

  • being involved in the economical and social life of the country. It includes working, studying, paying taxes and owning real estate. Having family relationships with other citizens also helps.

There are certain conditions that speed up the application process. Greece does its best to attract ethnic Greeks and their family members. It also abides by the EU norms, making naturalization faster for other Europeans.

Length of the legal residence is reduced to 3 years if you are:

  • a citizen of another European Union country,

  • married to a Greek citizen and raising a child with them,

  • have parental custody of a Greek citizen,

  • a political refugee or a stateless person, recognized by the Greek authorities.

Greek dual citizenship for minors

Children under 18 become Greek citizens if:

  • their legal parents are Greek citizens,

  • their mother is Greek (for children born out of wedlock),

  • their father is Greek, as proven by a paternity test,

  • their parents have been living in Greece for 5 years,

  • they have completed 9 years of elementary and secondary education or 6 years of secondary school in Greece.

How to apply for Greek citizenship

First, you have to find out if the laws of your country prohibit you from becoming a dual citizen. You should check with the country's embassy or consulate if you are staying abroad. Then it is recommended to check other eligibility requirements. Afterwards, it is necessary to prepare the Greek dual citizenship application form and other documents.

Documents for naturalization include:

  • your application,

  • a legal residence permit,

  • recent personal tax statements,

  • a passport,

  • a marriage certificate,

  • a birth certificate.

Make sure to translate the documents into Greek and authenticate them. You will have to pay to apply. The fee for first-time applicants from non-EU countries is €700. The fee for the second and following applications is €200.

If you are a non-Greek from the UK, this is the only way to get British and Greek dual citizenship after Brexit.

EU nationals enjoy special privileges. For example, Greek and Albanian dual citizenship requires 3 years of living in Greece and a low fee of €100. Ethnic Greeks from South Albania can become citizens in one year after applying.

Greek dual citizenship for US citizens

During the pandemic, the idea of dual citizenship has attracted many Americans. Most of them have Greek heritage. American and Greek dual citizenship is also popular with celebrities. For instance, Tom Hanks has become a Greek citizen in 2020.

A Greek passport allows its holders to travel across 186 countries without a visa. That's a big advantage over having only a US passport. Americans with Greek citizenship can enter Greece even during lockdowns. They and their families can live and work in most of Europe as well.

Americans of Greek origin can enjoy faster citizenship approval. Besides naturalization documents, they need proof of relation to a Greek ancestor. They can apply at the Greek embassy or consulate in their home state. It costs €120 plus consular fees.

If you have a Greek parent, you need to provide a birth record from your parent's home municipality in Greece. Your male ancestors may also have records in the Greek Army registry going as far back as the 19th century.

For other foreigners, residency for investment can be a good option. The Greek Golden Visa program is the most affordable in Europe. It requires an investment of €250,000 in real estate. This way, you get a residence permit which allows you to legally reside in Greece and apply for Greek citizenship after 7 years.

Residence-Greece introduces investors to a large real estate database, helps with the registration of purchase, consulting services and legal support at all stages when obtaining Greek residency.

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