Greece citizenship for indian

  • Author :
  • TATA AIG Team
  • Published on :
  • 09/05/2024

Have you ever dreamt of living in Greece, the birthplace of democracy and philosophy? Or maybe you just want the freedom to travel visa-free throughout Europe. For Indians, obtaining Greek citizenship might seem like a far-off possibility, but it is actually more achievable than you think.

This article will explore the path to Greece citizenship for Indian citizens, outlining the different routes available and the requirements you will need to meet. We will also get into the benefits of becoming a Greek citizen, from visa-free travel to access to European education and healthcare.

So, whether you are seeking a permanent change of scenery or simply want to expand your horizons, keep this guide handy to discover how Greece could become your new home.

Greek PR Vs Greek Citizenship for Indian Citizens — What is the Difference?

While both Greek Permanent Residency (PR) and Greek citizenship offer a path to living in Greece, they come with distinct advantages and limitations. While both offer residency rights, there are significant differences to consider.

Greek Permanent Residency (PR), often obtained through the Golden Visa program by investing €250,000 or more in property, allows you to live and work in Greece. You can travel freely within the Schengen zone (26 European countries) for up to 90 days in every 180-day period.

However, PR requires renewal every five years, and extended absences from Greece can jeopardise your status.

Greek citizenship, on the other hand, grants you the full privileges of a Greek national. You can live and work freely in Greece without restrictions, enjoy visa-free travel throughout the EU, and participate in elections.

You will also have access to Greek education and healthcare systems on an equal footing with Greek citizens.

Obtaining citizenship is a longer process, typically requiring seven years of legal residency in Greece, but the benefits are substantial.

Simply put, a PR offers a quicker path to residency with some limitations, while citizenship provides a more permanent and integrated status within Greece and the EU. The choice ultimately depends on your goals and long-term plans for living in Greece.

Greece Citizenship Requirements — Eligibility Criteria for Greek Citizenship for Indians

So, you have set your sights on becoming a Greek citizen. You will have different ways to apply for citizenship in Greece for Indian applicants. But before that, there are a few important requirements that you need to follow in order to make the process smooth and easy:

Residency: This is the big one. In most cases, you will need to have lived legally in Greece for at least seven consecutive years. Exceptions exist for spouses of Greek citizens and individuals of Greek descent.

Clean Criminal Record: A spotless background check is a must. Any criminal convictions could significantly hinder your application.

Financial Stability: You will need to demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support yourself and any dependents in Greece. This could involve proof of income, property ownership, or a combination of both.

Language Proficiency: While fluency is not always mandatory, showcasing your ability to communicate in Greek demonstrates your integration into Greek society. Language exams might be required.

Knowledge of Greek Culture and History: Understanding Greece's rich heritage is valued. In some cases, you may need to take exams or provide documentation demonstrating your knowledge.

Integration: Greek authorities assess your ties to the country. This could involve factors like property ownership, business interests, or active participation in the community.

Ways to Apply for Citizenship in Greece for Indian Citizens

Acquiring Greek citizenship can happen through various avenues, each with its own set of requirements and procedures.

Here are the different paths to get a citizenship in Greece:

Greek Citizenship by Birth

  • Being born on Greek soil automatically grants you Greek citizenship, regardless of your parents' nationality. This principle, known as jus soli or "right of the soil," highlights Greece's commitment to inclusivity and ties to its land.

  • Being born a Greek citizen carries significant privileges and responsibilities, offering access to Greece's comprehensive social welfare, healthcare, and education systems. It provides the chance to fully engage in Greek society, participate in democratic processes, and contribute to its cultural heritage.

Greek Citizenship by Descent

You may be eligible for Greek citizenship if you can prove direct lineage to at least one Greek parent or grandparent. This pathway allows individuals to reconnect with their ancestral roots and honour their connection to Greece's culture and legacy.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Proof of direct lineage to a Greek parent or grandparent.

  • Required documentation, including birth and marriage certificates and other supporting evidence.

  • Compliance with additional criteria as per Greek citizenship laws.

Requirements:

  • Conduct thorough research and gather all necessary documents to establish ancestral connections.

  • Ensure documents meet Greek authorities' requirements and standards.

  • Authenticate documents through official channels.

  • Arrange translations of non-Greek documents by certified translators.

Greek Citizenship by Naturalisation

For those who have chosen Greece as their new home, Greek citizenship by naturalisation offers a way to integrate into Greek society. It involves meeting certain criteria and following a step-by-step process to become a citizen, embracing the language, culture, and values of Greece along the way.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • A continuous residency period in Greece, typically five to ten years.

  • Demonstrating integration into Greek society, including knowledge of language, culture, and history.

  • No criminal record or involvement in activities compromising national security.

Requirements:

  • Documentation showing duration and continuity of residency.

  • Evidence of Greek language proficiency, often through language exams.

  • Certificates or documentation demonstrating understanding of Greek culture, history, and civic duties.

  • Obtaining a certificate of good conduct.

  • Meeting any requirement outlined in Greek citizenship laws.

Greece Citizenship by Marriage

Entering into a union with a Greek citizen can lead to eligibility for Greek citizenship. This pathway recognises the importance of matrimonial bonds in fostering connections across cultures and integrating diverse backgrounds into Greek society. Like other paths, it requires meeting specific criteria and following necessary steps.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Marriage to a Greek citizen.

  • Meeting a minimum marriage period, typically three to five years.

  • Establishing residency in Greece for a minimum period, often three years.

Requirements:

  • Marriage Certificate.

  • Proof of Residency.

  • Language Proficiency.

  • Compliance with Additional Requirements.

Greek Citizenship by Investment

  • Greece citizenship by investment, commonly known as the Greece Golden Visa, provides a route for individuals interested in investing in Greece to acquire the benefits of Greek citizenship.

  • This program not only strengthens the country's economy but also offers investors an enticing opportunity to establish themselves in the European Union.

  • However, to obtain Greek citizenship through investment, applicants must satisfy specific eligibility requirements and adhere to a defined set of procedures.

Eligibility Criteria:

  • Meeting the minimum investment threshold set by the Greek government, typically involving real estate acquisition or business development.

  • Ensuring adherence to Greek investment regulations and any additional requirements specified in the citizenship by investment program.

Step-by-step Greece Citizenship Process

The process of acquiring Greek citizenship involves several pathways, each with its own set of requirements and steps. Understanding the process is crucial, whether it is is by descent, naturalisation, marriage, or investment.

Here is a detailed guide to navigating the steps involved in obtaining Greek citizenship through various means.

Greek Citizenship by Descent:

  • Collect birth certificates, marriage certificates, and any other documents proving your lineage to a Greek parent or grandparent. All documents must be apostilled and translated into Greek by a certified translator.

  • Identify the appropriate Greek authority to submit your application. This could be a Greek consulate abroad or a municipal authority in Greece. Consult the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for specific details.

  • Expect to undergo a background check to ensure you meet eligibility criteria.

  • You might be called for an interview to discuss your connection to Greece and your understanding of Greek culture.

  • Once approved, you will receive a certificate confirming your Greek citizenship. You may need to register with the local municipality in Greece.

Greek Citizenship by Naturalisation:

  • Generally, you must have legally resided in Greece for at least seven consecutive years. Exceptions exist for spouses of Greek citizens, which is 3 years, and individuals of Greek descent, who also have a reduced residency time.

  • Compile documents proving your residency, financial stability, income statements, property ownership documents, clean criminal record from your home country and Greece, and proof of health insurance.

  • While not always mandatory, demonstrating Greek language proficiency strengthens your application.

  • Authorities might evaluate your ties to Greece, such as property ownership, business interests, or community involvement.

  • Submit your application with required documents to the Directorate of Citizenship of the Ministry of Interior.

  • Be prepared for an interview and, upon approval, an oath ceremony where you pledge allegiance to Greece.

Greek Citizenship by Marriage:

  • You must be married to a Greek citizen for at least three years, or one year if you have a child together.

  • Compile documents proving your marriage like, marriage certificate, proof of residency in Greece, financial stability, and clean criminal records of both yours and your spouse's.

  • File a declaration of intent to acquire Greek citizenship with the local municipal authority in Greece.

  • Authorities will review your application and might call you for an interview.

  • Following approval, you will take an oath of allegiance and become a Greek citizen.

Greek Citizenship by Investment

  • Research and select a suitable investment option that aligns with the criteria set by the Greek government for the citizenship by investment program.

  • Prepare the necessary investment documentation, such as property purchase agreements, business plans, and financial statements.

  • Execute the investment transaction while ensuring compliance with all legal and financial obligations.

  • Submit the application for Greek citizenship by investment to the relevant Greek government agency, along with the supporting investment documentation.

  • Await the review and processing of your application, which may involve background checks and due diligence procedures.

  • Upon approval, fulfil any remaining procedures, such as taking the Oath of Greek Citizenship.

Documents Required for Immigration to Greece from India

The documents you will need for immigration to Greece from India depend on your chosen path - citizenship type.

Here is a list of all the essential documents for the most common routes:

Greek Citizenship by Birth:

Since you automatically become a Greek citizen if born in Greece, no documents are required for the child. However, if you were born abroad to Greek parents, you might need to follow the document list under the "Citizenship by Descent" process.

Greek Citizenship by Descent:

Lineage Proof: This is crucial. Collect birth certificates, marriage certificates, and any official documents establishing your direct lineage to a Greek parent or grandparent.

Apostille and Translation: All documents issued outside Greece must be apostilled by the Indian Ministry of External Affairs and then translated into Greek by a certified translator in Greece.

Greek Citizenship by Naturalisation:

Passport: A valid Indian passport with at least two blank pages for visa stamps and a validity exceeding your intended stay in Greece.

Residence Permit: Proof of your legal residency in Greece for the required period of at least 7 years. This could be a residence permit or long-term visa.

Financial Documentation: Provide documents demonstrating your financial stability in Greece. This might include income tax returns, bank statements, or proof of property ownership.

Clean Criminal Record Certificates: Obtain police clearance certificates (PCCs) from both India and Greece, proving you have no criminal convictions.

Language Test (Optional): While not always mandatory, a certificate demonstrating your proficiency in Greek can strengthen your application.

Greek Citizenship by Marriage:

Marriage Certificate: An official marriage certificate issued by the Indian government, apostilled and translated into Greek.

Proof of Cohabitation: Documents like rental agreements, utility bills, or joint bank statements demonstrating you have resided together in Greece for the required period of at least 3 years.

Clean Criminal Record Certificates: PCCs from both India and Greece for you and your spouse.

Greek Citizenship by Investment (Golden Visa Program):

Passport: A valid Indian passport with at least two blank pages for visa stamps.

Investment Proof: Documents proving your investment of at least €250,000 in Greek real estate. This could include a purchase agreement, title deed, or bank statements reflecting the transfer of funds.

Financial Resources: Documentation demonstrating your ability to support yourself and any dependents in Greece financially. This could include income statements, bank account details, or proof of other assets.

Clean Criminal Record Certificate: A PCC from India to show you have no criminal convictions.

Health Insurance: Proof of valid health insurance coverage in Greece. [Note: While the aforementioned list provides a foundational guide, the specific requirements for immigration to Greece may be subject to change. Therefore, prospective immigrants should regularly check the Greek embassy website for the latest updates and details regarding required documentation and procedures.]

Benefits of Having Greek Nationality

A Greek passport is not just a piece of paper; it is a key that unlocks a treasure trove of benefits. Here is a glimpse of what awaits you as a Greek citizen:

EU Freedom of Movement: You can travel freely and live in any of the 27 European Union countries without visa restrictions. This opens doors to exciting work, study, and business opportunities across Europe.

Visa-Free Travel: You can enjoy visa-free travel to over 180 countries worldwide, including popular destinations like the United States, Canada, and Japan. Explore the globe with ease and convenience.

Live, Work, and Study in Greece: You can live permanently in Greece and pursue your career aspirations without work permit limitations. You can also access Greece's high-quality education system for yourself or your children.

Top-Tier Healthcare: You can benefit from Greece's well-established public healthcare system, offering comprehensive medical care at affordable costs.

Safe and Stable Environment: Greece boasts a high standard of living with a strong emphasis on safety and security. Enjoy a peaceful and relaxed lifestyle.

Cultural Tapestry: Immerse yourself in Greece's rich culture steeped in history, philosophy, and artistic expression. Experience vibrant traditions, delicious cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes.

Business Advantages: Owning a Greek passport allows you to establish and operate a business anywhere in the EU. This opens doors for entrepreneurs and investors seeking new markets.

Pass it On: Share the benefits with future generations. Greek citizenship can be passed down to your children, ensuring they, too, can enjoy these privileges.

Greek Citizenship Fees and Processing Time

Acquiring Greek citizenship involves various expenses that applicants need to be aware of. Here are all the costs involved: ** Application Fees:**

For first-time applicants 700
For subsequent applications 200
Stateless individuals and refugees €100 for each application

Additionally, applicants may incur fees for consultation, notarisation, and other services to facilitate the citizenship process.

Naturalisation under the Golden Visa Program:

Property investment 250000
Financial investments (e.g., Greek bank deposits, government bonds, shares, or investment funds) Totalling at least €400,000
Special Greek exam fee (if required) 150

Passport Fees:

Once citizenship is granted, obtaining a Greek passport incurs further expenses:

For applicants over 14 years old 84.4
For applicants under 14 years old 73.6

[Note: It is important to note that all fees must be paid in US dollars and in cash. If a passport application is rejected, a portion of the fee is refundable, with a deduction of €5 in USD from the total amount paid. Also, the fee amounts are dynamic. Check the Embassy websites for the latest information]

Greek Embassy/ Consulate in India

Name Embassy in New Delhi
Address EP-32, Dr S. Radhakrishnan Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110021
Phone (009111) 26880700-4
Fax (009111) 26888010, 24675231
Email gremb.del@mfa.gr  
(for all other queries except for consular and visa queries) 
grcon.del@mfa.gr  
(exclusively for consular and visa queries)
Working Hours Monday to Friday - 09:00 a.m. - 04:00 p.m.

Indian Embassy/ Consulate in Greece

Name Embassy in of India, Athens, Greece
Address 3, Kleanthous Str., Athens 10674
Phone 00 30 210 7216227 & 30 210 7216481
Fax 00 30 210 7211252, 00 30 210 7235458 & 00 30 210 7245129
Email amb.athens@mea.gov.in  
(ambassador)
hoc.athens@mea.gov.in  
(general queries)
cons.athens@mea.gov.in  
(visa services)
Working Hours Monday to Friday - 08:30 a.m. - 05:00 p.m.

How to Check Greek Citizenship Application Status

To monitor the progress of your citizenship application, please follow these steps:

Visit this website and locate the 'Citizenship File Tracker' icon.

Fill out the provided form and navigate to the Search field.

Enter the following details:

Service: Your designation

File Number: Enter your file number

Last Name: Using capital Greek characters

Name: Using capital Greek characters

Type the characters in Greek for confirmation: Input the characters exactly as shown on the screen in front of you, without spaces, and in either capital or lowercase letters

Common Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Greek Citizenship from India

Emigrating to Greece and securing citizenship can be an exciting yet complex process. Here are some key mistakes to avoid for a smoother path:

Incomplete or Inaccurate Documentation: Ensure all documents are originals or certified copies, translated by certified professionals if needed, and apostilled for those issued outside Greece. Missing or flawed documents can significantly delay your application.

Underestimating Processing Times: The citizenship time frame varies depending on your chosen route. Do not get discouraged by waiting periods; plan accordingly and be patient. Consulting an immigration lawyer can provide a more accurate timeline based on your situation.

Overlooking Financial Requirements: Demonstrate sufficient financial resources to support yourself and any dependents in Greece. Gather documents like income statements, bank records, or proof of property ownership to fulfil this crucial criterion.

Neglecting Integration Efforts: For paths like naturalisation, showcase your connection to Greece. While not mandatory, learning the language, owning property, or participating in the community can strengthen your application.

Ignoring Legal Counsel: Immigration laws can be intricate. Consulting an experienced lawyer specialising in Greek citizenship can guide you through the process, ensuring you meet all the requirements and avoid costly missteps.

Other Tips to Increase Your Chances of Getting Greek Citizenship

Here are some bonus pointers to strengthen your Greek citizenship application:

Maintain a Clean Criminal Record: Criminal convictions in any country can seriously jeopardise your chances. Ensure you have a clear criminal background before applying.

Patience is Key: The process can take time. Stay patient, trust the process, and avoid getting discouraged by waiting periods.

Learn Some Greek: While fluency might not be mandatory, demonstrating an effort to learn the language showcases your respect for the culture and can positively impact your application.

Gather Strong References: If possible, obtain character references from individuals in Greece who can vouch for your good standing and integration efforts.

Stay Informed: Immigration laws can change. Stay updated by checking the official Greek government websites or consulting with your immigration lawyer for the latest information.

Interesting Facts About Greece

  • Greece is home to the birthplace of democracy, developed in Athens over 2,500 years ago. This legacy of democratic ideals continues to influence governments around the world.

  • Athens boasts iconic landmarks like the Parthenon, a stunning temple dedicated to the goddess Athena. Greece is an archaeological treasure trove, with countless ruins, statues, and artefacts waiting to be explored.

  • Beyond history, Greece is blessed with natural beauty. Imagine crystal-clear waters lapping at over 6,000 islands!

  • Mykonos and Santorini are world-famous for their whitewashed houses and vibrant nightlife, while other islands offer hidden coves and pristine beaches for relaxation.

  • Greece is not just about history and beaches. The country boasts a rich culinary tradition featuring fresh, local ingredients like olives, seafood, and flavourful cheeses. Foodies will be delighted in experiencing the delicious and healthy Mediterranean diet.

Do’s and Don’ts in Greece

While in Greece, you must make sure that you follow a few do’s and don’ts to make your stay pleasant and comfortable:

Do’s:

Dress modestly when visiting religious sites: Opt for clothing that covers your shoulders and knees when exploring churches and monasteries.

Embrace the siesta: Many shops and businesses close for a midday break, typically between 1 and 5 pm. Plan your errands accordingly.

Learn some basic Greek phrases: A few kind words in Greek go a long way in showing respect for the culture. "Yassas" (hello), "Efharisto" (thank you), and "Parakalo" (you're welcome) are great ones to start.

Don'ts:

Being loud or disrespectful in religious places: Maintain a quiet and respectful demeanour when visiting churches and monasteries.

Publicly display of excessive affection: Compared to some other cultures, public displays of affection are generally more reserved in Greece.

Forgetting sunscreen and a hat: The Greek sun is strong, especially during the summer months. Protect yourself with sunscreen and a hat.

How Can Tata AIG Help?

Are you planning a short trip to Greece? While you are busy mapping out your itinerary and dreaming of delicious meals by the Aegean Sea, do not forget to consider travel insurance. Unexpected events can disrupt even the most meticulously planned vacations, and Tata AIG can help you navigate these situations with confidence.

Tata AIG offers international travel insurance plans specifically designed for international travel, including trips to Greece. These plans provide valuable coverage for a variety of scenarios that could impact your short stay.

Imagine missing your flight due to unforeseen circumstances. Tata AIG travel insurance can reimburse you for prepaid and non-refundable trip expenses if your trip is cancelled or interrupted due to covered reasons like illness, bad weather, or travel disruptions.

Falling ill abroad can be stressful and expensive. Our medical coverage helps you manage medical emergencies during your trip to Greece. Our Tata AIG travel insurance plans include hospitalisation costs, doctor consultations, and even medication expenses.

With Tata AIG travel insurance online, you can explore Greece with peace of mind, knowing you are financially protected against unforeseen events. So, pack your bags, book your flights, and let Tata AIG take care of the unexpected, ensuring a smooth and enjoyable Greek adventure.

Conclusion

Greece awaits you with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm culture. This guide has unpacked the various paths to acquiring Greek citizenship, empowering you to choose the route that best suits your goals.

Becoming a Greek citizen opens doors to a world of possibilities – freedom of movement across Europe, a top-tier healthcare system, and the chance to live, work, and thrive in this beautiful nation.

So, embark on your Greek odyssey and unlock a world of opportunity.

FAQS

Does Greece Allow Dual Citizenship?

Yes, Greece permits dual citizenship. This implies that individuals are allowed to possess foreign citizenship alongside their Greek citizenship.

Can I Obtain Greek Citizenship through a Greece Golden Visa?

While the Greece Golden Visa does not offer an immediate route to Greek citizenship, it serves as a preferred option for investors seeking a backup plan. You may become eligible for citizenship after residing in Greece for seven years through the Golden Visa program.

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