How can my children become Greek nationals?
According to the Greek immigration law, the main applicant can only include children younger than 21 years old as dependent applicants for the Greece permanent residence card. Children's permanent residence cards typically expire on their 21st birthday. However, there are several ways to maintain the permanent residence after turning 21 years old:
1. Transfer property to the child, so that the child will maintain residency, although the child's grandparents will lose their permanent residence status;
2. If the child is studying in Greece at the age of 21 and provides studying certificate, the permanent residence card can be valid until the child is 24 years old;
3. Before the expiry of the Greece permanent residence card, if the applicant matches the conditions, he/she may acquire an EU long-term residency permit or become a Greek Citizen.
Although maintaining the permanent residence permit is important, many investors are most concerned about the citizenship of their children in Greece. It must be emphasized that foreign children born in Greece do not directly acquire citizenship. If an applicant's child wants to become a Greek citizen, they must use one of the following methods:
1. A child of foreign parents born in Greece acquires the right to Greek nationality under the following preconditions:
1) He/she has enrolled in the first grade of elementary school and is still attending Greek school at the time the application-declaration is being lodged;
2) One of their parents has been living legally and continuously for at least five (5) years in the country before the child was born. In case the child was born before this five year period had been completed, then the necessary period of legal and continuous residence of the parents is extended to ten (10) years.
2. A non-national minor legally residing in Greece establishes the right to acquire the Greek citizenship if they meet the conditions related to school attendance:
1) A non-national minor legally residing in Greece establishes the right to acquire the Greek citizenship due to school attendance in Greece, provided he/she has successfully completed attendance of either nine (9) grades of elementary and secondary education or six (6) grades of secondary education. Attendance of nursery schools is not included in this period. The successful completion of the required attendance is proven by the relevant certification of the competent authority;
2) A non-national legally residing in Greece and graduate of a Greek higher education or technical higher education institution establishes the right to acquire Greek citizenship provided he/she holds a completion certificate from a Greek high school. The declaration application must be filed within three (3) years of the graduation from the higher education institution.
According to the latest 2018 Henley Passport Index ranking, Greece ranked 6th with 183 countries allowing visa-free access. The Henley Passport Index is a ranking of all the passports of the world according to the number of countries their holders can travel to visa-free. The ranking is based on exclusive data from the International Air Transport Association (IATA), which maintains the world’s largest and most comprehensive database of travel information and conducts extensive in-house research.
Traveling around the world is a dream for many people. It typically requires a visa, along with limits and many headaches. However, with a strong passport from a country like Greece, travelling to more than 100 countries will be easy and stress free.