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Greek Citizenship for Former Soviet Union Nationals

    Greek civilization, Greek nation and Greek culture have their roots go deep down time and history. Quite a few times it was that Greece got involved in wars due to its strategic geopolitical position and its immeasurable natural wealth, that is why countless times Greece has suffered numerous invasions of various conquerors. This has led to migration flows from Greece to third countries and former Soviet Union countries especially, namely Ukraine, Russia, Kazakhstan, Georgia etc. Thus, as a result of such kind of resettlement, Greek diasporas and communities in the mentioned countries account for hundreds of thousands of Greek repatriates, who permanently reside outside Greece and do not have Greek citizenship.

    The Greek legislators, recognizing the fact of how many foreign nationals of Greek origin reside within the territories of the former Soviet Union countries, have granted the latter the right to obtain Greek citizenship by demonstrating and proving their ethnic background. The first and most important stage in the process of obtaining the Greek citizenship for this category of foreign citizens is the confirmation of their Greek origin, either on the paternal or maternal side.
    A foreign national is recognized as a person of Greek origin in case if at least one of his parents or grandparents/great-grandparents was of Greek nationality, which actually constitutes grounds for filing documents for acquiring Greek citizenship in the first place. Obviously, when submitting a set of documents for obtaining Greek citizenship, the applicant must make sure that there are no reasons that may lead to a negative decision, carefully and repeatedly verifying the accuracy of the provided data, otherwise his request can be considered baseless and be rejected at the end. We would also like to draw your attention to the fact that almost all the documents that are necessary for applying for citizenship must obligatorily be translated into Greek and, moreover, the translation must be carried out and officially verified in Greece. An officially verified translation is the one that was executed by the Greek law office or in the translation department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece.
The citizens of the former USSR countries should submit the Application for acquiring Greek citizenship to the consulate of Greece situated in the relevant the place of residence of the interested person. However, those foreign nationals who entered the country before the publication of the law of 2790/2000, subject to their having the entrance stamp, and have been residing in Greece, regardless of the expiration date of the passport or visa, may apply for Greek citizenship to the General Secretariat of the Decentralized Administration at their actual place of residence in Greece.
    After submitting the relevant application, in both cases, the applicant for Greek citizenship is assigned for an interview, which is conducted by the Consular Commission consisting of three people. Of course, if the application is under consideration directly in the Civil Status Office of the Decentralized Administration at the place of actual residence in Greece, the interview is conducted in Greece. The purpose of this interview is to confirm the applicant's relationship with his Greek roots, his familiarity and knowledge of the Greek language, cultivation of Greek customs and traditions, and in general, possession of the Greek national identity and consciousness.
    The term Greek national consciousness is a very specific and broad concept, which is rather difficult to define unambiguously. As a rule, it is believed that if one possesses Greek identity and consciousness, he would prove his fluent knowledge of the Greek language or a certain dialect of Greek language of that region from which the applicant claims to be from, as well as a clear idea of Greek national values and interests of Greek ethnos, the history of the nation, its current state position in the world and its prospects for development.
    Further on, the members of the above mentioned consular commission submit their opinion, positive or negative, regarding the confirmation of the Greek origin of the candidate for Greek citizenship, taking into account the information provided directly by the applicant, as well as on the results of the interview. Then the full set of documents, together with the conclusion of the commission, is forwarded to Greece and is considered by the Office for Civil Status of the Decentralized Administration which is to make a final decision on the attribution or non-attribution of Greek citizenship to the applicant. For this purpose, special commissions are created, which, by examining the documents submitted and based on the information obtained, pass their opinion regarding granting of Greek citizenship to the applicant. Applications of those foreign nationals who are submitted on the territory of Greece are considered directly by the aforementioned Offices, bypassing the consideration of the Consular Commission at the place of residence.
    In the case of a positive decision by the relevant competent Greek authority concerning acquiring Greek nationality, the repatriate, after taking the oath of allegiance to Greece in presence of the Greek consul or the Secretary General of the Decentralized Administration, obtains Greek citizenship. The mentioned oath is taken within one year from the publication of the decision on the appropriation of citizenship in the governmental newspaper. It should also be noted that underage children of a Greek citizen, who has already received Greek citizenship, also have a right to acquire the status of Greek citizens and, together with their parents, are registered in the municipal registers and systems of Greece, in accordance with the decisions of the General Secretariat, in which their parent wish to be registered.
    In case the applicant was refused in acquiring the Greek citizenship, the main point is not to let this grind him down to despair! One has a legal right to appeal against a negative decision on this issue, according to which within 30 days from a refusal decision receipt, a so called special administrative protest should be submitted to the Minister of the Interior of Greece. This appeal is submitted to the Minister of the Interior in Athens, regardless of where the application for Greek citizenship was initially filed, and thus the negative decision can be revoked. Naturally, the application must be issued by a lawyer who conducts daily practice on these issues.
    Moreover, if the deadline for the submission of a special administrative protest by the interested person has been lost, or if a refusal has been received for this protest as well, there is the possibility of submitting an application for reviewing the entire case and the citizenship issue in the Civil Status Office of the Decentralized Administration at the place of actual residence in Greece or in the Greek Consulate in the place of residence, provided, of course, that the repatriate will submit for the mentioned review some new information about himself in addition to the one already filed. In conclusion, if the above appeals fail, within a certain period of time, you can apply to the Administrative Courts of Greece for the cancellation of the negative decision on citizenship acquiring.
    The International Law Office of Kasatkina-Kouskou Svetlana provides with complete responsibility and reliability a range of services in submitting and processing necessary documents for obtaining Greek citizenship with fast and accurate execution of official translations into Greek, of the documents, provided by the law, monitoring all along the client's file throughout the application procedure, carrying out the settlement of issues that may arise in the course of consideration. Also, our office provides preparing on a highly professional level of appeals and protests for the refusal in Greek citizenship as well as of applications for the issue review in Greek consulates and Decentralized administrations, with a view to a positive review of the matter. And, finally, we grant provision and protection of the client’s interests in court while protesting against refusals to citizenship. We will allow you to gain confidence in your rightness and in your Greek origin!

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