Immigration Law

As of the 1st of January 2014, Public Immigration offices in Greece were restructured in order to provide more effective services to non-EU, third country nationals, who live legally in Greece. However, this reorganisation is not yet finalised. Moreover, on the 1st of April 2014, a new law was published, collecting all the previous conditions and provisions related to immigration law with new additions. Some of these changes improve the status of third country immigrants in Greece, however, some others can make the application procedure more complicated.

Our firm is dedicated to advising potential clients (individuals and corporate) on all those matters relating to immigration law – whether simple or complex. In particular, we assist with citizenship applications, applications for temporary residence permits, permanent residence permits (Golden VISA), employment permits as well as all types of VISA.

·       Citizenship applications

Greek citizenship to foreigners can be granted on the basis of naturalisation, for those third country citizens who have long-term residency in Greece. Under Greek law, marriage to a Greek citizen does not grant citizenship or a Greek passport to a non-Greek spouse, since they will still need to go through the naturalisation process after 3 to 7 years of consecutive residence in Greece, provided that they acquire sufficient knowledge of the Greek language and Greece culture.

·       Application for temporary residence permits

Greek law states that a two-year residence permit can be granted to a third country, non-EU national provided that they have obtained a special VISA and have enough financial resources to cover their living expenses. The amount of these financial resources equals to €2,000 per month or €24,000 per year. This sum can be earned either by each family member or by all family members collectively. This category of residence permit does not allow the holder to have access to the Greek labour market. Temporary resident permits are valid for two years and can be renewed for three years provided that the requirements set by the law are met.

·       Permanent residence permits

Permanent residence in Greece can be granted through property or general investment opportunity at €250,000. Launched in 2013, this programme grants a 5 year residency visa in return for an investment in real estate. There is no minimum stay requirement and children up to the age of 21 are included in the family application. The visa is granted for five years and renewed every five years if the property investment is retained. It is not necessary to live in the country in order to retain and renew the visa. However, permanent residence permit does not automatically grant citizenship. Applicants can apply for Greek citizenship after seven years of residency in the country.

·       Employment permits

A work permit issued by the Greek government allows independent workers, seasonal workers, executives, athletes, entertainers and members of foreign schools of archaeology among others to work in Greece for specific periods of time. These permits are granted on an individual basis and depend on the nationality of the applicant.

·       VISAS

EU citizens do not need a VISA to travel to Greece. However, all third country citizens can visit Greece with a suitable VISA, since the Greek government has validated the Schengen Convention. Most common VISA categories include VISA for family reunion, studies, labour and tourism.

In case your application for renewing your VISA or permit has been rejected or you have been ordered to leave the country, we can help you with appeals against VISA rejections and eviction measures. We also welcome enquiries from refugees and asylum seekers.

Leoforos Aleksandras 57, Athens Greece - Tel: 210 2717137 - Fax: 210 2718481