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New Law - Changes at the Category of Residence Permit for Exceptional Reasons

The new Law No.4540/2018 (Government Gazette No.A 91/22.05.2018) concerning the adaptation of Greek legislation to the provisions of Directive No.2013/33 / EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 26 June 2013 on the standards for the reception of applicants for international protection, amends, inter alia, the provisions of the current Immigration Code (Law No.4251/2014) concerning the granting of residence permits to third-country nationals for exceptional reasons as provided for in the Article 19 of Law No.4251/2014, which, before the amendment of the law, granted the right to third-country nationals who were living  in Greece illegally, to be legalized in the following cases

(a) they had legally entered Greece (with an entry visa) after three years of residence in Greece or (b) they had a permanent residence permit, irrespective of the issuing authority, whose validity had expired in the last decade before the application was submitted, and documents which certify that the third-county national has developed special ties with the country which make it necessary to stay within the Greek territory. Exceptionally, the submission of the documents referred to in (a) or (b) was not required, provided that the person can prove the fact of his residence in the country for at least seven consecutive years, by documents of a certain date.

The new law alters fundamentally the conditions and  the procedure for the granting of the residence permit for exceptional reasons and abolishes the procession of granting a residence permit for exceptional reasons to third-country nationals  who had legally entered Greece (with an entry visa) after three years of their stay in Greece and also the provision of the law applicable to those who held a strong title in the last decade. Therefore they have to wait in order to complete the seven-year consecutive stay in the country, before they submit their applications.

On the other hand, Article 31 (4) (1) of the new law defines that a third-country national has the right to apply for a residence permit if he / she proves, by documents of a certain date, the fact of his / her stay in the country for at least seven years before the submission of the application or he/she is a parent of a minor and provides evidence of  their parental relationship with the child(s) !!!

Therefore, according to this new law, what the service examines at the time of the submission of an application, is only the fact that a  third-country national  has stayed in the country for seven consecutive years without being interested in how they entered or whether they had had previous residence permits.

The most important and positive change, established  by the new law is that it is no longer examined by the service  whether third-country nationals have special ties with Greece, but only the actual fact of staying in the country for a continuous seven-year period.

An another remarkable change of the new law is that from now and then parents of a minor who in the past had to submit their application for  residence permit to the Ministry of Interior, can now apply for a residence permit to the relevant decentralized administration of the Aliens' and immigration, by proving their parental relationship with the minor.

For the submission of the above mentioned application, a fee of € 300 (300) is required, as well as the non existence of reasons that make the applicants dangerous to public order and security. Indeed, any registration at the national list of unwanted non-nationals (EKANA) and any imposition of a ban on entry as a consequence of prior illegal residence or non-compliance with a return decision imposed on grounds of illegal residence, is not an obstructive reason for issuing a residence permit. In fact, by the issue of the residence permit the registration stops to be in force automatically!!!

The residence permit of this category has a duration of three (3) years and gives the third-country national the right to access to the dependent employment and the right to provide their services or work.

The international law office of Svetlana Kasatkina-Kouskou provides full qualified legal support for the process of obtaining a residence permit for exceptional reasons - from submitting an application to obtaining a permanent residence permit - representing the interests of a third country citizen in the migration services of decentralized administrations. Many years of experience of our law firm, as well as consistency, decency, methodicalness and punctuality in work allow us to ensure the successful completion of the procedure for issuing your residence permit in a short time!

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