The New Greek Immigration Code (Law 5038/2023 – former Law 4251/2014) provides the possibility of granting a residence permit to third-country (non-EU) nationals who are family members of a Greek citizen. These foreigners can get permanent residency in Greece (residence permit – type O.3), provided that they are staying in Greece.
In order to apply for a residence permit of this type, the third-country citizen must be staying lawfully in Greece, which means to have entered either with a Schengen VISA, or with a permanent or temporary residence permit (uniform residence permit, residence permit issued by another Member State of EU, special legal residence permit, certificate of recognized beneficiary of international protection, applicant’s international protection certificate). The issuance of this residence card is not subject to government fees and its duration is for five (5) years.
Members of the family of a Greek citizen are considered to be: a) the spouse, i.e. the husband or wife of the Greek citizen, as well as the partner with whom the Greek citizen has signed a civil partnership agreement (cohabitation agreement), b) the direct ascendants of the Greek, as well as those of the spouse, irrespective of their nationality, if they are dependent, c) his or her spouse’s children under 21 or dependent children regardless of age and d) any other member of the Greek family, irrespective of nationality, if he or she is dependent or if serious illnesses make him or her dependent.
The application for a residence permit must be submitted to the Department of Aliens and Immigration of the Decentralized Administration of the place of the foreigner’s residence within three (3) months from the date of entry into the country and two (2) months from the date of the marriage, otherwise a fine of fifty (50) Euros must be paid.
– Residence card to the spouse of a Greek citizen
In order to obtain a residence permit, the spouse of a Greek citizen (husband or wife of the Greek citizen, as well as the partner with whom the Greek citizen has signed a civil partnership agreement), must submit to the competent Decentralized Administration a certified copy of his/her passport, together with the relevant visa or temporary or permanent residence permit, marriage or civil partnership registration certificate, copy of the Greek citizen’s ID and the third-country citizen’s health insurance certificate. The residence permit is granted for five (5) years and upon expiry, the third-country national may request the issue of a ten (10) year residence card (residence card type M.2) if the marriage is still valid and there is no absence of the third-country national from Greece for a period beyond six (6) months per year or an unjustified absence beyond twelve (12) months. If these conditions are not met, the renewal of the residence permit will last for five (5) years.
– Residence card to other family members of a Greek citizen
Other family members of a Greek citizen must present in addition documents formally certifying the relationship with the Greek citizen and proving their legal residence in Greece, as well as other documents proving the material and/or financial dependence on the Greek citizen, if the dependence prerequisite is required by law, or other serious health reasons that make them dependent.
It is worth noting that, in accordance with the law, in some cases the foreign person is granted the right of residence himself, i.e. the right of residence independent of the Greek citizen. This is the case if: a) the Greek citizen dies and the members of his/her family reside in Greece as members of the family for at least one (1) year before his death, b) there is a divorce, provided that the marriage lasted until the divorce process began, for at least three years, of which one year in Greece or whether, irrespective of the duration of the marriage and the period of residence in Greece prior to the divorce, custody is entrusted to the spouse who is a national of a third country or if the third-country national enjoys the right of communication with a minor child, provided that the visits are to take place in Greece and c) this is dictated by particularly difficult situations, as if the family member had been the victim of domestic violence as long as the marriage had taken place. For the purpose of securing the person’s right of residence irrespective of the Greek citizen, it must be shown that the foreigner is an employed person or self-employed or has sufficient resources for himself and his/her family. Furthermore, the third-country national should have full health insurance coverage in Greece. In this case, the personal residence permit has a duration of five (5) years and is renewed for five (5) years at a time.
*Our office has extensive experience in immigration law and international law (residence permits, citizenship, naturalization, deportation, asylum applications, etc.). For more information or legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact us at +30 2313 079293 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org*
Dafni I. Siopi
Attorney at Law, LLM
52 Tsimiski Str, Thessaloniki
T. +30 2313 079293, +30 6977 568673
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