Immigration law in Greece: legal options and Immigration services

The Greek immigration policy is quite lenient compared to most countries in Europe and the United States, and the actual application procedures are pretty straightforward in most cases. This is why many people choose Greece as a channel to the EU. Before we explain different ways to obtain a permanent resident status in Greece and highlight the advantages of professional immigration services, let us have a look at some basic figures first.

Migration Statistics

According to the latest surveys, over 7% of the Greek population are foreigners, occupying about 11% of the national employment market and accounting for a quarter of the total income tax revenue. These figures suggest that most immigrants in Greece select employment as a legal path to permanent residency, and they also explain why the Greek government is so keen on attracting more aliens to the country.

This legal route seems most favoured by the immigrants from the Middle East, Central and South Asia, and especially by Albanians, who make up more than half of the entire foreign labour force in Greece. Another option is to invest in the Greek economy, especially its real estate sector, which seems particularly popular among Turkish, Russian and Chinese people, as well as expats from other Western countries. 

Legal Immigration Options

You will most likely need legal advice on the best path for your particular circumstances. In this section, we will only mention the most common and hassle-free options. But we will start with the least convenient and effective path, despite the widespread illusion, in order to eliminate it from the list. 

Political Asylum

Greece has done so much to help refugees that it has even earned a special award from the UNHCR. However, its hospitality has been abused too many times lately, with the result that the actual implementation of the corresponding immigration policy is now very complicated and difficult.

Note: a Greek refugee status does not entitle you to any public support, including free medical services, in this or any other EU member state. Moreover, you will only get a visa if you can confirm sufficient funds to support yourself for its duration and return to your home country upon its expiry. 

By Investment

This is by far the easiest option of all: you only need to purchase a private property for €250,000, and consider yourself settled in three months at most. And you can apply for citizenship in seven years. Plus, the required documentation is minimal, and the application process will be very quick and easy too.

Note: your Golden visa allows your family to stay in Europe too, even in your absence, and you will only have to spend one day per year in Greece. 

By Descent and Family Reunion

If any of your direct ancestors down to your great-great-grandparents was a Greek citizen, or if you were born in this country, you can apply for citizenship by descent. The qualifying conditions are pretty complex, though, and you certainly need an expert to help you make sense of them all. But if you do meet the conditions, the process will be very easy and quick.

Note: this option becomes considerably more difficult if the ancestor in question is past the third generation.

In addition, you become eligible for permanent residency and, in some cases, citizenship if you have close relatives or family members in Greece. 

By Employment

This option is especially suitable if you can prove that you have some exceptional professional experience and skills in designated fields. You can consult your legal agent or browse the Immigration Department's official website (all in Greek, though) to find out what the currently required professions are.

Note: prepare to submit your qualifications, translated into Greek and notarised, to the relevant government departments and professional licensing authorities for inspection and approval. 

Alternatively, you can apply for the status as a self-employed or remote worker, which significantly increases your chances and simplifies the legalisation process. All you need for the purpose is to confirm a monthly income of €3,500 for yourself, plus €700 for your unemployed spouse and €525 per child, and agree to seek no employment in Greece. 

Immigration Services

You will greatly facilitate your immigration process, as well as save significant amounts of money and time, if you outsource the work to a legal agent, who will offer you professional support and guidance at all stages, from the initial consideration of your circumstances to the eventual registration procedures with the Greek Home Affairs.

More specifically, immigration services will:

  • Work out the best legalisation route for your case

  • Collect, translate, notarise and submit all the necessary documents

  • Prepare you for the standard naturalisation procedures and accompany you to the relevant government departments

  • In the case of immigration by investment, help you with the selection of a private property that best suits your needs and budget, and complete all the required property transfer and registration procedures as well

Conclusion

It may be quite tricky to decide which migration option suits you best, and the process is made more difficult by the fact that most government officials in this country speak Greek only. Therefore, we strongly suggest that you apply for professional immigration services to assist you from square one to the final oath of allegiance.

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