How to get Greek citizenship, for Greeks living abroad

Those with Greek lineage can get Greek citizenship very easily

By Anastasia C. Miliou, Court of Appeals Lawyer

The roots of the Greek family are deep and transcend time. Second and third generation Greeks born abroad keep the customs and tradition of Greece and even speak the Greek language, but this doesn’t mean that Greek citizenship is a matter of course.

The way in which someone can get Greek citizenship isn’t easy, but neither is it widely known.

We can begin by finding the last ancestor born anywhere in Greece whose birth certificate can be traced. If the ancestor is a father or a mother, then the process is very easy. If the ancestor is a grandfather or great-grandfather, then the search can go as far back as the Boys Records (Mitroon Arenon) that covered archives as far back as the final decades of 1800.

If we have a birth certificate or documentation from the Boys Records, then we can proceed to gather the rest of the paperwork needed. For instance, if the grandfather was the ancestor born in Greece then it is necessary to find the marriage certificate of that relative, regardless as to whether the marriage took place in Greece or abroad, followed by the birth certificate and marriage certificate of the parent whose lineage is Greek followed by the citizenship applicant’s own birth certificate.

The documents need to be in their original forms, translated to Greek either by an embassy or lawyer who knows the language in which they are written. The applicants need to sign a series of documents required for Greek citizenship at the embassy of their place of residence. All the documents are then gathered and sent to the region where the Greek ancestor lived. From there, an act certifying Greek nationality status is sent with a file to the relevant municipality for enrolment. As soon as the applicant is enrolled at the Municipality,  Greek citizenship and a passport become a matter of course.

Minors automatically receive citizenship parallel to the parent who has a write to it. If they become of age they need to submit a different application.

Anastasia C. Miliou is an Attorney at Law at the Court of Appeals with experience in international law and a large clientele in both Greece and abroad. Her telephone number is 6945028153. If you would like questions answered as part of her articles in English online Proto Thema, you can e-mail her at natmil@otenet.gr or visit www.legalaction.gr



  • Mary Stamatiou

    It is pathetic that the law/s governing the acquisition of Greek citizenship by people of Greek descent are so absurd, and, the amount of red tape involved. It seems that for some reason, the Greek government considers Greeks born abroad as foreigners. Yet, the Greek government hands out Greek citizenship to migrants and refugees, who have had nothing to offer to Greece, with the greatest of ease. Our fathers and grandfathers served this country (Greece) in two major wars, with a lot of them making the ultimate sacrifice. There was, and is, no consideration or respect for this fact. The Greek government has the nerve though to approach Greeks abroad to “help” with the current crisis in Greece by asking Greeks abroad to invest in Greece. When it suits them we are considered “Greeks”, all other times we are considered “allodapoi ellines”. (alien Greeks) !!! However they may look at it we are GREEK…PERIOD!!!
    Most of us speak the Greek language, have attended Greek schools abroad, follow the Greek traditions and culture, are Greek Orthodox by faith, have been true supporters of Greece and thus ambassadors to Greece in our own way, and, HAVE SUPPORTED GREECE BY COMING ON VACATION AS OFTEN AS WE CAN!!! aswell as many of us have purchased properties in Greece.
    The Greek government needs to take a a close look at this matter and adjust the current laws accordingly. It should be a right to ALL people of Greek descent to automatically obtain Greek citizenship without the current red tape and absurdity that is currently in place.