Greek Citizenship by Descent

Greek citizenship by descent, also known as citizenship by origin or jus sanguinis, is the principle by which individuals can acquire Greek citizenship based on their descent or lineage from a Greek parent or ancestor. This means that if you have Greek parents or grandparents, you may be eligible to acquire Greek citizenship by descent.

Key Points to Consider

  • Parent or Grandparent of Greek Descent: To be eligible for Greek citizenship by descent, you must have at least one Greek citizen parent or grandparent at the time of your birth. Individuals of Greek origin can claim citizenship because citizenship is carried down through generations.
  • Documentation and Proof: To establish your Greek ancestry, you will need to acquire and provide several papers, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, and passports of your Greek parent(s) or grandparent(s). These documents will prove your ancestry and connection to Greece.
  • Greek Consulate or Embassy: The application for Greek citizenship through descent is normally handled by the Greek consulate or embassy in your home country. They will guide you through the application’s unique criteria, paperwork, and documents.
  • Translation and Apostille: Birth certificates and marriage certificates, for example, may need to be translated into Greek by an authorized translator. Furthermore, certain papers may need an apostille, which is a type of verification or certification, to prove their legitimacy.
  • Greek Nationality Code Amendments: Significant changes to the Greek Nationality Code were introduced in 2010, changing eligibility standards for citizenship through descent. It is essential to become acquainted with these developments and to seek precise advice unique to your case from Greek authorities or legal counsel.
  • Greek Language Proficiency: While Greek language fluency is not normally required for descent citizenship, it may be required if you intend to seek certain rights or advantages connected with Greek citizenship, such as voting in Greek elections.

The Process

To obtain Greek citizenship by descent, you generally need to follow a specific process. Here are the general steps involved:

Gather Required Documents: Gather all of the documentation required to verify your Greek ancestry. Birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, and other necessary documentation of your Greek parent(s) or grandparent(s) may be included. If necessary, get these documents formally translated into Greek by an authorized translator.

Research and Contact the Greek Consulate or Embassy: Find the Greek consulate or embassy in your own country and enquire about the exact requirements and processes for getting Greek citizenship by descent. They will provide you with all of the relevant information as well as application paperwork.

Prepare and Submit the Application: Fill out the form supplied by the Greek consulate or embassy. Please include all relevant documentation, including confirmation of Greek origin. Make certain that the information you submit is correct and precise.

Pay the Application Fee: There is usually an application fee for Greek citizenship by descent. Ensure you pay the required fee as instructed by the consulate or embassy.

Await Processing and Decision: After you submit your application, the consulate or embassy will analyze it and determine if you are eligible for Greek citizenship by descent. Because processing times might vary, it is critical to remain patient. You may be needed to supply extra information or attend an interview in some situations.

Certificate of Greek Citizenship: If your application is approved, you will receive a certificate of Greek citizenship. This certificate confirms your Greek citizenship status and serves as an official proof of your citizenship.

Registering in Greece (optional): You can choose to register your Greek citizenship with the Greek municipality of your family’s ancestral region once you have gained Greek citizenship by descent. This stage is optional, although it can give further benefits and ties to Greece.


Can I obtain Greek citizenship by descent if my grandparents are Greek?

Yes, Greek citizenship by descent is possible if at least one of your parents or grandparents is a Greek citizen at the time of your birth. You will need to provide the necessary documentation to prove your Greek ancestry.

What documents do I need to provide to prove my Greek descent?

You will typically need to provide birth certificates, marriage certificates, passports, or other relevant documents of your Greek parent(s) or grandparent(s). These documents should demonstrate their Greek citizenship and your relationship to them.

Do I need to speak Greek to apply for Greek citizenship by descent?

Greek language proficiency is not typically required for Greek citizenship by descent. However, it may be necessary if you plan to apply for certain rights or privileges associated with Greek citizenship, such as voting in Greek elections.

How long does it take to obtain Greek citizenship by descent?

The processing time can vary depending on various factors, including the workload of the consulate or embassy and the completeness of your application. It is advisable to contact the consulate or embassy to inquire about the expected processing time.

Can I hold dual citizenship with Greek citizenship by descent?

Greece generally allows dual citizenship, so you can typically retain your original citizenship alongside Greek citizenship. However, it is essential to check the laws of your current country of citizenship to ensure they allow dual citizenship.


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