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How to Become a Citizen in Greece

Greece is known for its rich history, breathtaking landscapes, and as the cradle of Western civilization. Many are drawn to this country not only for tourism but also for the possibility of making it their home. Obtaining Greek citizenship can offer a plethora of benefits, such as access to the European job market, education systems, and healthcare. This comprehensive guide will delve into the various pathways to acquiring Greek citizenship, detailing each process and discussing how services like Citizen Remote can provide essential assistance.

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Understanding Greek Citizenship

Greek citizenship can be acquired through descent, naturalization, marriage, or through investment, each with its own specific criteria and processes.

Citizenship by Descent

Citizenship through descent is the most straightforward method if you have Greek heritage. Greece allows individuals with Greek parents or grandparents to claim citizenship by proving their lineage.

Steps to Apply:

  • Document Collection: Collect necessary documentation including birth certificates of your Greek relatives, their marriage certificates, and any proof of their Greek nationality.

  • Consular Registration: Register yourself at the nearest Greek consulate or embassy. This involves verifying all documents and officially recording your claim to citizenship.

  • Application Submission: Submit a formal application for citizenship, including all required and verified documents.

Citizenship by Marriage

If you are married to a Greek citizen, you can apply for citizenship after being married for at least three years and living in Greece for some of that time. This path requires integration into Greek society and proficiency in the Greek language.

Key Requirements:

  • Duration of Marriage: At least three years of marriage.

  • Residency in Greece: You must have lived in Greece with your spouse for a portion of your marriage.

  • Language Proficiency: You need to demonstrate fluency in Greek.

  • Social Integration: Participation in community life and familiarity with Greek customs and culture are also considered.

Citizenship by Naturalization

Naturalization is a common route for expatriates who have no Greek familial ties. Applicants must have lived in Greece for a substantial period and integrated into Greek society.

Necessary Steps:

  1. Legal Residency: Reside legally in Greece for at least seven years; this duration is reduced for refugees and individuals of Greek descent.

  2. Language Proficiency: Show proficiency in the Greek language, which involves passing a language test.

  3. Clean Criminal Record: Provide a police record showing no criminal convictions.

  4. Integration into Society: Demonstrate active participation in the local community and adherence to Greek customs and traditions.

  5. Application Submission: Apply through the Greek Ministry of Interior with all necessary documentation.

Citizenship by Investment

While Greece does not directly offer citizenship through investment, it does provide a Golden Visa program that can lead to residency and eventually citizenship. Investors must maintain their investments and fulfill residency requirements to be eligible for citizenship later on.

Investment Options:

  • Real Estate Investment: Invest at least €250,000 in Greek real estate, which grants a five-year residency permit, renewable as long as the property investment is maintained.

  • Capital Transfer: Significant capital transfers to Greek banks or into specific investment categories can also qualify for residency under certain conditions.

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Visa Options Leading to Residency

Securing a residency visa is the first step toward long-term stay and eventual citizenship. Here are several key visa options:

D Visa (Long-term National Visa)

This visa is for those who intend to stay in Greece for longer than 90 days and can be granted for various reasons, including work, study, and family reunification.

Digital Nomad Visa

Recently introduced, this visa allows remote workers to live in Greece while continuing to work for a non-Greek employer. This is an attractive option for those looking to enjoy the Greek lifestyle while maintaining foreign employment.

Path to Citizenship

After living in Greece for seven years under a residency permit, individuals can apply for Greek citizenship. This process requires applicants to demonstrate proficiency in the Greek language and knowledge of Greek history and culture through examinations. The citizenship route also requires applicants to have integrated into Greek society, which is assessed through various criteria by the Greek government.

Tax and Financial Considerations

Understanding the financial implications of relocating is crucial. Greece has reformed its tax laws to attract foreign investment, including a flat tax rate option for high-net-worth individuals. Additionally, new tax residents can benefit from a non-dom regime, which offers significant tax relief on foreign income for up to 15 years.

Real Estate and Living

Choosing where to live in Greece can vary widely depending on personal preferences. Urban centers like Athens offer a bustling lifestyle with every modern amenity, while the Greek islands offer serene landscapes and a slower pace of life. The cost of living in Greece is relatively low compared to other Western European nations, which makes it an attractive option for many expatriates.


Greece provides a high standard of healthcare. The system is a mix of public and private provisions, with residents contributing to social security for access to public healthcare services. Many expatriates also opt for private health insurance to cover additional services and ensure quicker access.

Challenges and Considerations

While moving to Greece is appealing, it comes with its own set of challenges, particularly navigating the local bureaucracy. Processes can be slower than expected, and a basic understanding of Greek can be very beneficial.

How Citizen Remote Can Help

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Navigating the complexities of Greek citizenship laws and the application process can be overwhelming. Citizen Remote offers specialized visa and immigration services that can simplify this process. They help ensure that all paperwork is correctly filed, that legal requirements are met, and provide guidance tailored to your personal circumstances.

Gaining Greek citizenship opens the door to numerous opportunities within Greece and the broader European Union. Whether through descent, marriage, naturalization, or investment, the pathways to becoming a Greek citizen are diverse. Understanding these routes, preparing your application meticulously, and leveraging professional assistance can significantly enhance your success. For detailed support and personalized service, consider reaching out to Citizen Remote to see how their expertise can facilitate your journey to Greek citizenship.



Tim Marting is an entrepreneur and co-founder of Citizen Remote a site for remote workers and digital nomads. Although from the US, Tim currently lives in Spain, and has been a world citizen for the last 5 years, living in 3 different countries. He had other long-term stops in Australia, Italy, Indonesia, Thailand and the UK. His life goal is “to enable border-less travel and border-less relations for the rest of this beautiful world.