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Having a Greek Father as a Ground for Acquiring Greek Citizenship

            The technological revolution, which we have the opportunity to be experiencing nowadays, has led to freedom of transportation and communication, thus creating a globalized society that allows, for a substantial degree, cohabitation of citizens of different nationalities in the same state. Greece indeed proves to be a state in which Greek citizens live in harmony with foreigners, Europeans or non-Europeans, developing professional, commercial and interpersonal relationships among themselves.

            Interpersonal relationships, which have been developing between Greeks and foreigners, sometimes lead to the creation of a family through the offspring aka children acquisition. These children are entitled to Greek citizenship when at least one of their two parents is Greek. However, recognizing the Greek citizenship of these children is not always self-evident and immediate. More specifically, we can distinguish the following cases:          

CHILDREN BORN IN WEDLOCK

            If at least one of the two parents is Greek, either mother or father, and if they are legitimately married and had children while they were married, then these children immediately acquire Greek citizenship by registering their birth in a Greek registry and after they are included in the record of the relevant parent of Greek nationality.

CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK AND WHOSE MOTHER IS GREEK

            If a child is born outside marriage, in case his mother is of Greek nationality and his father is a foreign national, then this child acquires Greek citizenship immediately by registering its birth in a Greek registry and after being included in the record of its Greek mother, without the need for settling any other formalities.         

CHILDREN BORN OUT OF WEDLOCK AND WHOSE FATHER IS GREEK

            A question arises in case if a child is born outside the marriage, and if it is its father who is of Greek nationality while the mother being a foreign national. If that is the way things are, the under-age child does not acquire Greek citizenship straight away. A certain series of actions are hence required, which will lead to the triumphal declaration of the minor’s nationality aka so-called determination.

            First of all, in order for the Greek national to be officially recognized as the father of the child, an official act of voluntary recognition of the minor is required, which is made in presence of a notary, and in which the father declares that he recognizes the child as his own. This act can be written either after the child is born or while his mother is still pregnant. In any case, if the foreign mother resides in Greece without any legitimate documents, the child can not be recognized by its father if it is over three years old (Article 27 (2) of Law 4251/2014). Anyway, this act of voluntary recognition of the child is afterwards registered at the registry office of the child's place of birth and the correct details of the father’s info are filled in the child’s registry record, however the Greek nationality of the minor is still to be acknowledged.

            The fact of recognition by the Greek father of the child is then followed by the determination of this child’s Greek nationality, for which a decision of the Secretary General of the Decentralized Administration is required. The application for the determination of nationality along with the full set of the required legal documents from one or both parents of the under-age child are to be submitted to the Civil Status Department of the Decentralized Administration of the Municipality, in which the Greek father is registered. If the child was born in Greece, the Greek birth certificate is required to be submitted, and if the child was born abroad, then the foreign birth certificate is required, preliminary validated and officially translated. To be considered official the translation must be carried out either by a lawyer registered in Greece, who has the proficiency of the language of the original document, or the translation department of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

            In order to acquire Greek citizenship in the above mentioned circumstances no interview or oath taking is required, nor is there an age limit of the child, i.e. adult children of Greek citizens whose citizenship has not been recognized so far, may also apply for Greek nationality determination. Moreover, there is no difference in the way how Greek nationality was acquired by the Greek parent (from birth, naturalization, determination, etc.), provided that the child was a minor then. Furthermore, if the concerned person already has the children of his own, he may declare it at the moment of submitting the application for determination, and by doing so this person makes his children entitled to have a relevant right to acquire Greek nationality along with him.

            It should be duly mentioned though that any abusive nature of the above provisions is prosecuted by the law and the procedure for examining the above mentioned claims is more that strict, and it may be necessary to prove the kinship bond through DNA testing.

            The Law Office of Svetlana Kasatkina - Kouskou provides with direct, responsible and reliable legal assistance in the preparation of the applicant's file for submitting for the the determination of his Greek citizenship, along with the faithful and valid translation of the foreign language certificates and documents in the Greek language required for the procedure, as well as filing of the request to acquire Greek citizenship in the relevant department in Greece. Our Law Office will be monitoring the course of the request as long as it is pending, as well as be settling the issues that may arise during the examination process. We also undertake immediate and consistent the registration in the Greek Special Registry of all the civil status events and documents of the person concerned, after the positive decision to determine his or her Greek Citizenship, such as birth, marriage, divorce, etc.


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