About Greek Citizenship
If you have a permanent residence in Greece, such as the Golden Visa, and you reside in Greece full time for seven years, you can apply for Greek citizenship.
When you get Greek citizenship, you will receive a Greek identity card, and you will benefit from the rights as Greek and European Union (EU) citizens do. You will directly bear the status of an EU citizen after you obtain Greek citizenship. So, this will allow you to live in any EU country. Greek citizenship also grants you the right to vote in elections in Greece.
Application criteria for Greek citizenship
After you obtain your residence permit, you have to live in Greece legally and continuously for seven years. However, those who are
- Nationals of EU, or
- Married to a Greek citizen and have a child with that person, or
- Those who have parental responsibility (custody) of a Greek citizen, or
- Political refugees,
need to reside in Greece for only three consecutive years. Then you need to prove it.
Besides that, you must:
- Be older than 18 years of age,
- Have a clean criminal record,
- Not be in a deportation process,
- Prove that you have a basic knowledge of the Greek language,
- Show that you have harmonized with the Greek community.
After you have submitted the necessary documentation to the related authorities and taking the written exam, they will call you for an interview with the Naturalization Committee. This committee will decide on the status of your application. They will observe various aspects, including if you fit any of the below:
- You are able to speak Greek to some extent,
- You harmonize with the Greek community,
- You have familiarity with the history of Greece and Greek culture and political history,
- You join in professional activities,
- You join social activities with other Greek citizens,
- You attend a school in Greece,
- You pay your contributions and taxes,
- You own any property in Greece,
- You have Greek relatives.
To prepare for the interview, it is advisable to read a book called “Greece: the Second Country.”
The waiting time for the result of the application depends on your location and other documentation processes. However, the average waiting time is around three years. he Ministry of the Interior makes the final decision and the Government Gazette publishes it.
The exam required for citizenship is a written one called “Panhellenic.” They hold the test twice a year. Additionally, the test basically evaluates your command of the Greek language and your knowledge of its geography and history. The minimum rate to pass the exam is 80% of the maximum score. If the individual has a score like this, they will get the “Certificate of Adequacy of Knowledge for Naturalization.” They can apply for citizenship after obtaining this certificate.
How much does the exam cost?
The applicants have to pay a fee of €250 to take the exam.
Does everyone have to take the exam?
If the applicant is over 67 years old or has difficulty writing, they can take oral exams instead of paper ones.
What will happen after the written exam?
There will be an interview between the applicant and two officials from the ministry’s General Secretariat for Citizenship. You will pay a fee of €550 for the interview. After the interview, they will have a final decision about the citizenship application of the individual.