Does Greece allow dual and multiple citizenships?
Greece allows dual citizenship. Holding multiple citizenships is also permitted. That means you don’t have to renounce your current citizenship or citizenships if you decide to get a Greek passport.
Dual citizens are treated in the following way. Greece will consider you its citizen while you’re both in the country or abroad. But while you are in the country of your other citizenship, the Greek authorities won’t view you as a Greek citizen there.
Citizens with only Greek citizenship and dual nationals with Greece have the same rights and responsibilities.
Dual Greek citizenship can be obtained automatically by birth, or a person can apply for it on the basis of descent, naturalisation, or military service. Wealthy people often choose to obtain Greek citizenship through the Golden Visa program.
Be aware some countries prohibit dual citizenship with Greece. For example, among these countries are India, Malaysia, and the United Arab Emirates.
Representatives of certain professions are also not allowed to hold more than one citizenship. Among them are military officers, judges, ministers, and deputies.
Ways to obtain a Greece passport
Greek descent. A person can obtain a Greek passport if their parents or grandparents are citizens of the country. The applicant must provide documents proving it.
Military service. Ethnic Greeks can obtain the country’s passport if they serve in the Armed Forces Greece or attend the Military Academy.
Naturalisation. To apply for citizenship by naturalisation, an applicant must live in the country for 7 years, holding a residence permit and then permanent residence. They would also need to pass an exam on a sufficient knowledge of the Greek language.
Marriage. Greek citizenship can’t be obtained straight through marriage. However, a spouse of a Greek citizen is eligible to apply for permanent residence three years after marriage and then, in five years, submit documents for citizenship by naturalisation.
Investment. Greek citizenship can’t be obtained directly by investment, but a residence permit can. Such a residence permit is also called the Golden Visa. To get it, you need to invest in the Greece economy, and after several years of residing there, you can apply for citizenship by naturalisation.
Citizenship through the Greece Golden visa
The Greece Golden Visa program offers several investment options:
- buying real estate — €250,000+;
- renting a hotel or a tourist residence for 10 years — €250,000+;
- purchase of a land plot for construction or agriculture — €250,000+;
- timeshare for 10 years — €250,000+;
- inheriting real estate or receiving it as a gift — €250,000+;
- purchase of securities — €400,000+;
- opening a bank deposit — €400,000+.
The most popular investment option is purchasing residential or commercial real estate.
Investors can buy properties themselves or register them on an EU-based company. It is possible only if they own 100% of this company’s shares.
Examples of an investment real estate in Greece
To be eligible for the Golden Visa, the investor needs to be over 18, have no criminal records, and be able to confirm the legality of the income.
The investor can also include their close family members, such as a spouse or a partner, unmarried children under 21, and parents, in the application. If the investor and their spouse want to own property together, they must invest at least €250,000 each.
The average obtaining period for the Greece Golden Visa is 6 months.
Five years after acquiring the Golden Visa, you can file an application for permanent residency. To be eligible, you need to still possess your investment and live in Greece permanently. It is not allowed to spend more than six months at once or ten months in general outside Greece.
The list of documents for permanent residence includes the following:
- an application form;
- a certified copy of a valid passport;
- a receipt proving payment of application and card issuance fees;
- an insurance policy from a private insurance body;
- a copy of all pages of travel documents;
- real estate ownership or leasing papers.
After another two years, it is possible to apply for citizenship. The main requirement is to reside in the country for the majority of the time.
You would also need to collect the following documents:
- a naturalisation statement;
- a receipt of payment of a government fee;
- a copy of the passport or another travel document;
- a residence permit;
- a birth certificate;
- a tax return or a copy of the tax declaration for the last fiscal year.
Besides providing documents, you would also need to take exams on the Greek language, culture, geography, history, and government structure.
Greek dual citizenship for minors
A child under 18 can become a Greek citizen if they:
- were born to Greek parents — if a child were born out of wedlock and only their father is Greek, it is required to conduct a paternity test;
- were adopted by Greek citizens;
- were born in Greece, and at least one parent had been a resident of Greece for at least five years;
- completed 9 school years at the elementary and secondary education level or 6 at the secondary level.
Benefits of having Greece citizenship
Visa-free travel to 186 countries. Among them are the Schengen Area, the USA, the UK, Canada, Japan, and many others.
Safe haven in Greece. Greece passport holders can move to Greece at any time and live there for an unlimited period.
An opportunity to move to any EU country. As Greece is a part of the EU, its citizens can move to any EU country and stay there without the need to obtain a residence permit. They are also allowed to work in any EU state.
However, most of the EU countries require new residents to register at the police station or migration office upon their arrival.
Business opportunities. Greek citizenship gives access to the EU market. With the country’s passport, you can open a bank account in any EU state, run a company there or optimise taxes.
Education for children. Citizens of the EU can study in universities in all EU countries. Preferential terms apply to them: in some countries, EU nationals pay a tuition fee lower than one for foreigners or don’t pay it at all.
Inheritance of citizenship. Children and grandchildren of Greek citizens can obtain the country’s citizenship by descent, even if they are born in another country.
Safety and privacy. Like other EU nationals, Greeks benefit from the safety and privacy that the EU provides. That includes:
- consular protection in any country;
- protection of personal data and financial privacy;
- product and food regulations.
Disadvantages of having dual Greek citizenship
Double taxation. Some countries haven’t signed double taxation avoidance treaties with Greece. If you come from such a country, you might have to pay double taxes: to Greece and your country of origin.
Mandatory notice. Some countries require citizens to notify the authorities about having or obtaining dual citizenship.
Prohibition to occupy certain posts. Most countries forbid dual citizens to work in government institutions. For example, they can’t be judges, military officers, or deputies.
In brief: important things about Greek citizenship
Greece allows its citizens to have dual citizenship.
If you don’t have Greek roots, you can get Greek citizenship only by naturalisation. That means you will need to obtain a residence permit, then permanent residence, as well as live in the country for several years before applying for citizenship.
You can receive the Greece Golden Visa, which is a residence permit by investment. To do so, you need to meet certain requirements and make an investment of at least €250,000.
The available investment options are the purchase of residential or commercial real estate, renting a hotel or a tourist residence for 10 years, purchase of a land plot for construction or agriculture, timeshare for 10 years, inheriting real estate or receiving it as a gift, and purchase of securities or opening a bank deposit.
Greek dual citizenship has several advantages, such as visa-free travel to 186 countries, an opportunity to move to Greece or any other EU country, a chance to give children European education, and the safety and privacy guaranteed by the EU laws. Greek citizenship can also be passed to the next generations.
Frequently Asked Questions
You can obtain Greek citizenship if at least one of your parents or grandparents is a Greek citizen. In this case, you’re eligible to get a passport by descent.
You can also obtain Greek citizenship by naturalisation. To do so, you need to live in the country for at least 7 years, learn the Greek language and integrate into Greek society.
The Golden Greece Visa is one of the paths to Greek citizenship. To get one, you must:
- be over 18;
- have no criminal records;
- be ready to invest in the country’s economy €250,000+;
- be able to confirm the legality of your income.
Yes, you can have Greek and British citizenship, as both countries allow their citizens to have dual citizenship.
Yes, dual citizenship is allowed in Greece. However, there are some countries like India, Malaysia, or the United Arab Emirates that don’t allow their citizens to have it. That means if you decide to obtain a Greek passport, you will have to renounce your first one.
- visa-free travel to 186 countries;
- safe haven in Greece;
- an opportunity to move to any EU country;
- European education for children;
- inheritance of citizenship;
- safety and privacy.
No, a Greek passport is not obtained automatically if you marry a Greek citizen. However, after marriage, you can get a residence permit and, after living in the country for several years, apply for its citizenship.
You are eligible to get Greek citizenship by descent if your parents or grandparents are citizens of the country. To prove so, you need to provide documents like their birth certificates to the country’s diplomatic mission for migration.
You can have American-Greek dual citizenship because both countries allow having two passports.