Acquisition of Greek Citizenship for children of non-Greeks based on their birth in Greece and attendance of Greek schools

Pursuant to Law 4332/2015, certain statutes of the Greek Citizenship Code were amended. Of interest here is the amendment of Article 1A paragraph 1 of the Citizenship Code. Article 1 of Law 4332/2015 now provides the opportunity to children of non-Greek parents to acquire Greek citizenship, provided they have been born in Greece and have been enrolled and attending a Greek School. The aforementioned Article attempts to address the very real issue of the assimilation of these children to the Greek society; children that, despite the fact that they have been born and raised in Greece, speak Greek and often have little to none ties to the country of origin of their parents, yet are not being granted the same rights as Greek children that are raised under the same circumstances.

Pursuant to the amended statute, the conditions that must be satisfied for the acquisition of Greek citizenship by these children are the following: 1) The child must have been born in Greece (either after Law 4332/2015 came into force or before then if the child was still a minor at the time the Law came into force and remains a minor at the time of filing the relevant petition), 2) the child is enrolled at the first grade of a Greek elementary school and continues to attend a Greek school without interruption at the time of the filing of the petition, 3) at least one of its parents had been a lawful resident of Greece for five consecutive years at the time the child was born or at least ten years of teh child was born prior to the completion of a five-year lawful residency and the ten-year residency has started at least a day before the child’s birth and is completed after the child’s birth; 4) at the time of filing the petition, both parents have lawful residency or one of the parents has one of the residency permits exclusively enumerated in the law.

The Declaration-Petition must be filed by both parents jointly to the Decentralized Administration Office that is competent for the Municipality where the parents reside. The Petition must be accompanied by the following supporting documentation: a) a copy of the child’s birth certificate, b) a copy of the parents’ marriage certificate, c) copies of the parents’ lawful residency documents (which must still be valid), d) a certification of the lawful residency period for the parents, e) copies of the parents’ passports or travel documents (translated in Greek), f) a certification of the child’s enrollment and attendance of a Greek school and g) a fee of 100 euro.

It must be noted that all interested parents must be particularly careful¬†in ensuring their child’s continuous attendance of a Greek school (as the interruption of Greek schooling, even for one year, may result to the rejection of the petition).