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Amendments to the Law Concerning Residence Permits for Exceptional Reasons

According to paragraph 2 of Article 19 of the Law 4251/2014 as replaced by paragraph 23 of Article 8 of the Law 4332/2015, up to today the residence permits for exceptional reasons have been issued by the Ministry of Migration Policy in Athens. The third-country nationals who can apply for this category of residence permit are the ones who have arrived to Greece at least three years ago with a Greek visa or with a relevant three-month stamp in their passport, as well as those who have arrived to the country by another way and have been staying here for more than seven years. The above prerequisites are applied to the foreign nationals who earlier had no residence documents but while staying in the country had developed quite strong ties with it.

On the 19th of January 2017 the Regulation of the Minister of Migration Policy was listed in the Government Gazette providing for further amendments to the conditions for obtaining a residence permit of the above category. Thus, starting from the 3rd of April 2017, the illegal third-country nationals shall apply for a residence permit for exceptional reasons to the local one-stop shop service of the Decentralised Administration by the place of residence.

The compulsory requirements which should be fulfilled by the foreigners in order to acquire a residence permit of this category are: a passport even if it is expired, a Greek entry visa issued at least three years before, or documents proving that an applicant has been living in the country for seven (7) years continuously, as well as the documents indicating the special bonds with Greece. When applying, the receipt of the 300 euros state fee payment should be attached to the rest of the supporting documents.

The residence permit applications submitted by the third-country nationals to the Ministry of Migration Policy (former Ministry of Interior) in Athens will be considered by the said Ministry until the aforementioned Minister Regulation enters into force (03/04/2017).

The foreign nationals who have earlier submitted their documents in Athens may refuse from consideration of their initial application and apply for a residence permit again. In this event, they will have to submit anew all the documentation to the Aliens and Immigration Directorate of the local Decentralised Administration, excepting the state fee which is considered already paid.

The International Law Office of Mrs Svetlana Kasatkina-Kouskou performs fully qualified legal support during the residence permit acquisition process, applying for and receiving already issued residence permits.

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