Attorney at the Supreme Court of Greece
Master Of Laws, International and European Law
105, Alexandras Ave., Athens, 114 75, HELLAS
Phone: +30 - 210-6400282, mobile +30 - 6932-775920. Facsimile: +30
OF GREEK CITIZENSHIP (PART 2)
1. Persons of Greek origin who reside in countries of the former Soviet
Union can obtain the Greek citizenship after an application to the
Greek Consular Authority of the place of their residence, provided:
a) They are of age [above 18], b) Their Greek citizenship cannot be
recognized according to the Conventions of Ankara and of Lausanne.
2. The Greek citizenship is acquired by the person of Greek origin
provided the negative preconditions of par. 1b of article 5 of this
Law are not applicable, with a decision by the General Secretary of
the Region, which is published at the Government Gazette. About the
Greek origin of the applicant an opinion is given by a three-member
committee, which consists of the Greek Consul, as chairman, and two
members. With a decision by the Ministers of Finance and of Foreign
Affaires the members of each committee and their remuneration are
decided. Those appointed as members of the committee must be Greek
citizens. In order to determine the Greek origin of the applicant
the above committee calls the applicant to an interview and takes
into consideration any proof provided by the applicant, from which
his Greek origin can be deduced.
3. The application along with the submitted proof and the report of
the Committee of the previous paragraph about the Greek origin of
the applicant are sent from the responsible Consular Authority to
the Region, in order a decision to be made by the General Secretary
of the Region. Before the issue of the decision of the General Secretary
of the Region about the granting of the Greek citizenship, special
committees give their opinion. These committees are formed with a
joint decision of the Ministers of Finance, of the Interior, Public
Administration and Decentralization, of Foreign Affaires and of Public
Order, which is published at the Government Gazette. With the same
joint ministerial decision it is decided the number of the committees,
the remuneration of their members and of their secretary, their local
jurisdiction and how they will function. With a decision by the Minister
of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization, after
a proposal of the co-responsible Ministers, the members of these special
committees are decided. One of the members for each special committee
it is obligatory to come from the most representative organization
of persons of Greek origin of the Region. In case it is not possible
to find the most representative organization, member of the committee
is appointed the representative who is proposed from the chairman
of the Council of Hellenes Abroad (S.A.E.). The object of these special
committees is, according to the information sent from the Consular
Authority, to prepare an additional opinion on the Greek origin of
those who are claiming the Greek citizenship. For formulating their
opinion the said committees take into consideration the interview
that was given to the three-member committee of the previous paragraph.
4. The Greek citizenship is acquired with the giving of the oath by
the person of Greek origin. The oath is given within one year from
the publication to the government gazette of the decision of the General
Secretary of the Region, before the Greek Consul or the General Secretary
of the Region. The oath text is as follows: “I swear to hold
faith to my Country, to obey the Constitution and the laws and to
adequately observe my duties as a Greek citizen”. After the
oath is given, a public record is made. After the oath is given by
the person of Greek origin, his under age or unmarried children become
Greek from the same point of time and along with their parent are
registered to the male registries and to the municipal records of
the parent’s choice, according to the information included to
the above mentioned decision by the General Secretary of the Region.
Data that is not verified by the above mentioned decision is completed
with any additional proof.
Chapter B’. Loss of citizenship.
I. Due to acquisition of a foreign citizenship. 1. A person is stripped
of his Greek citizenship, after permission from the Minister of the
Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization, when: a) Willingly
obtained a foreign citizenship, or b) Undertook public service in
a foreign country, provided that such an undertaking of public service
confers the citizenship of the said country. The permission can be
granted for exceptional reasons and after the acquisition of the foreign
citizenship, in which case the Greek citizenship is lost from the
time such permission is granted.2. A person is also stripped of his
Greek citizenship if he has obtained a foreign citizenship as well,
provided that the Minister has accepted the application for the riddance
of the Greek citizenship. In this case the stripping of the Greek
citizenship is effective from the acceptance of the application. 3.
The permission of par. 1 and the acceptance of the application of
par. 2 take place after an opinion of the Citizenship Council. It
is not possible to grant the permission, or to accept the application
if the applicant must do his military service or is charged of a felony
or a criminal offence.
[Comments by the author, not part of the law: A person who was born
Greek, does not lose his/her Greek citizenship by simply obtaining
the citizenship of another country].
II. Due to failure. 1. One can loose the Greek citizenship: a) if
he undertook public service in a foreign country and after an invitation
of the Minister of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization
to him to refrain within a set time limit from this service, as contrary
to the interests of the country, he insists in this service, and b)
if during his residence outside of Greece he performed in favor of
a foreign country acts that are incompatible with the Greek citizenship
and opposite to the interests of Greece. 2. The failure of the citizenship
according to the previous paragraph is proclaimed with a decision
of the Minister of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization,
after a reasoned opinion of the Citizenship Council, and the loss
of citizenship is effective from the publication of this decision
to the Government Gazette. 3. The loss of citizenship according to
this article acts only individually and it does not influence the
citizenship of the spouse, and of the children, whether below or above
18 years old.
III. Due to declaration of renouncement. It is allowed someone to
renounce his Greek citizenship, provided that the person is of age
[above 18 years old], he declares that a true link with the Country
has stopped existing and he resides abroad. For the renouncement a
declaration is submitted before the Greek Consul of the place of residence
of the interested person, as well as an application to the Minister
of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization. The approval
of the application is effective after the consent of the Citizenship
Council, with a decision of the Minister of the Interior, Public Administration
and Decentralization and it is published at the Government Gazette.
The citizenship is considered that it is lost at the time that the
application has been approved.
IV. Loss of Greek citizenship for the children of naturalized Greeks.
1. The children of naturalized Greeks, who became Greek according
to article 11, can willingly loose the Greek citizenship, if: a) They
are not of Greek origin, b) They retain the citizenship that they
had at the time of naturalization of their parent and c) They declare
their will for loss of the Greek citizenship to the Mayor or the President
of the Community or to the Greek Consular Authority of the place of
their residence, within one year from the time they come of age. A
copy of the declaration is submitted immediately from the above authorities
to the Ministry of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization.
2. For the loss of the Greek citizenship a decision is issued by the
Minister of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization,
which is published to the Government Gazette.
V. Due to adoption by a foreign person. A Greek who has been adopted
before he came of age as a child of a foreign person, can, after an
application of the person who adopted, if the child obtains his adopted
father’s citizenship, lose the Greek citizenship with a decision
of the Minister of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization,
who takes into consideration the special circumstances, after an opinion
of the Citizenship Council. The application cannot be approved, if
the adopted is due to serve his military service or is charged of
a felony or of a criminal offence.
VI. Loss with a declaration due to marriage to a Greek. A foreign
woman who obtained the Greek citizenship due to her marriage to a
Greek and also retains her foreign citizenship, looses the Greek citizenship,
if she declares her will to do so to the General Secretary of the
Region or to the Greek Consular Authority of the place of her residence.
For the loss of the Greek citizenship a decision is issued by the
General Secretary of the Region in question.
CHAPTER C. Reclamation of the Greek citizenship. A Greek woman who
lost the Greek citizenship due to her marriage to a foreign person
reclaims the citizenship, if she declares her will to do so to the
General Secretary of the Region or to the Greek Consular Authority
of the place of her residence.
A child born to a Greek mother but who lost the Greek citizenship,
due to recognition or legalization by a foreign father, reclaims the
Greek citizenship, if the child declares his will to do so to the
General Secretary of the Region or to the Greek Consular Authority
of his place of residence. The children of those who obtain the Greek
citizenship according to this article, become Greek, if at the date
of the declaration are under age or unmarried.
The reclamation of the Greek citizenship in the cases of the previous
articles is certified with a decision of the General Secretary of
the Region in question.
CHAPTER D’. Jurisdiction over issues of citizenship and of proof
of the Greek citizenship. 1. All issues of citizenship fall under
the jurisdiction of the Ministry of the Interior, Public Administration
and Decentralization. 2. With a decision by the General Secretary
of the Region in question it is certified the acquisition or not of
the Greek citizenship of persons who ask that their citizenship is
certified, according to the rules of this Code, as well as according
to the preexisting rules and the international conventions and treaties.
The Minister of the Interior, Public Administration and Decentralization
has sole jurisdiction to decide on any contention over the citizenship,
after a justified consent of the Citizenship Council. The decision
is published in brief at the Government Gazette and notified to the
1. The Mayor and the President of the Community issue certificates
of Greek citizenship of the citizens, according to the municipal record,
in which it is mentioned the legal basis for the acquisition of the
citizenship. 2. The above certificates are proof for the Greek citizenship
until the opposite is proven.
1. The Citizenship Council gives opinions on citizenship issues according
to existing laws. 2. The Citizenship Council consists of: a) The General
Secretary of the Ministry of the Interior, Public Administration and
Decentralization, as chairman, b) One legal counselor for the state,
c) One professor of private international law, of a Greek university,
d) the responsible Director General of the Ministry of the Interior,
Public Administration and Decentralization, and e) the head of the
Directorate of Civil and Municipal Status of the Ministry of the Interior,
Public Administration and Decentralization. The members of the Council
who are absent or cannot be present are substituted by their appointed
or according to law substitutes. 3. To the Council participates without
right to vote the head of the responsible Department of the Directorate
of Civil and Municipal Status, who reports on the items of the agenda,
who is substituted by his substitute. 4. For the functioning of the
Citizenship Council the rules of articles 13 – 15 of Law 2690/1999
are applied for the “Ratification of the Code of Administrative
Procedure and other rules” (Gov. Gazette 45 A’).
CHAPTER E’. Transitional and final stipulations. Wherever in
the legislation the term “foreign person” is used, as
a foreign person is also considered, provided it does not arise the
opposite, the person with no citizenship.
Marriage does not lead to the acquisition or to the loss of the Greek
The time limits of article 4 of Law 2690/1999 do not apply to cases
regarding the acquisition, recognition, loss and reclamation of the
By Presidential Decrees it is decided: 1. a) The procedure for proof
of the reasons for failure from the Greek citizenship according to
the stipulations of article 17 and the relevant procedure, b) every
necessary detail for the execution of this Code. 2. Preexisting decrees
continue to be valid until the issue of the decrees of the previous
paragraph, provided that their content is not contrary to the stipulations
of the present.
Naturalization applications pending during the beginning of the validity
of this Code, which have been filed along with the necessary documentation
are examined according to the preexisting rules.
The Legislative Decree 3370/1955 “On the ratification of the
Code of Greek Citizenship” (Government Gazette 258/A’),
as it was subsequently amended and completed is abolished, as well
as every other stipulation of the current legislation, which is either
contrary to the stipulations of this Code, or it regards a matter
regulated by this.
Remain in effect: a) Article 40 of Law 1832/1989 “Amendment
and completion of legislation for the local municipalities, the decentralization
and other stipulations” (Government Gazette 54/A’), b)
Paragraph 11 of article 1 of Law 2790/2000 “Reinstatement of
the returning people of Greek origin from the former Soviet Union
and other stipulations” (Government Gazette 24/A’), g)
Articles 59 par. 1 section b’ and 76 par. 6 of Law 2910/2001
“Entry and residence of foreign persons in the Greek Territory,
Acquisition of the Greek citizenship by naturalization and other stipulations”
(Government Gazette 91/A’), and d) Article 8 par. 5 of Law 3146/2003
“Organization and exercise of voting right of citizens of other
municipalities and other stipulations” (Government Gazette 125/A’).
(End of Part 2) | (Back
to Part 1)
Christos Iliopoulos is an attorney at law, LL.M., in Athens, Greece, specializing in International and European Business Law. For more information about him, see his brief biographical sketch under the HCS section for Contributing Authors at http://www.helleniccomserve.com/christosiliopoulosbio.html. He has submitted many articles to HCS; readers can browse these in the archives section bearing his name at the URL http://www.helleniccomserve.com/archiveiliopoulos.html. He can be contacted by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone (from the US) 011-30-210-6400282; mobile 011-30-693-2775920, fax 011-30-210-6400282, or by postal mail at the address: 105 Alexandras Ave., Athens, 11475, HELLAS
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