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How To Obtain Greek Citizenship By Ancestry

4 min read

How To Obtain Greek Citizenship By Ancestry

Every year, hundreds of people worldwide seek European citizenship. Greece is often their preferred destination. It offers a vibrant economy and affordable investment residency. The nation is an excellent place to retire due to its pleasant temperature and millennia-old culture.

Ethnic Greeks and their families, as well as investors and skilled workers, are all welcome in the Hellenic Republic. It allows for dual citizenship and provides all of the benefits of being an EU national.

Any person of Greek heritage born outside of Greece has the legal right to get Greek citizenship by Ancestry. Non-EU nationals are more likely to choose this route since it allows them to live and work in the EU, whether in Greece or abroad.


You can apply for Greek Citizenship by ancestry if you have heritage born outside of Greece

You can apply for Greek Citizenship by ancestry if you have heritage born outside of Greece


These are the categories of individuals eligible for Greek Citizenship by Ancestry:

  •  A child born in Greece to at least one Greek-descent parent;
  •  A child born outside of Greece to at least one Greek-descent parent;
  • A grandchild born outside of Greece with proof of at least one Greek-born grandparent.

Anyone who aspires to get Greek citizenship but is not of Greek ethnicity and has no direct Greek ancestry may do so via long-term residence (Naturalization) or through the Golden Visa investment program.


Related content: Ireland Citizenship By Ancestry



Even if you were born to at least one Greek parent, you would not be formally recognized as having Greek citizenship if you were born outside of Greece. To assure your citizenship, your parent(s) must have been born in Greece, registered you in the Greek registration, and petitioned for Greek citizenship on your behalf.



If neither of your parents was born in Greece, the Greek consulate might approve a citizenship application through a grandparent born in Greece. In comparison to the preceding, this may take much longer to complete.


You can relax in Corfu with your Greek citizenship by ancestry

You can relax in Corfu with your Greek citizenship by ancestry


In general, the following documents are required for all applications:

  •  Birth certificate;
  •  Christening or baptism certificate;
  •  Birth certificates for your father and mother
  •  Marriage certificates for your parents, if applicable
  •  Certificate of family status, stating whether your parents are married, divorced, or dead and verifying that you are their kid.

Those seeking citizenship through a grandparent must additionally provide their registration certificate, marriage certificate, and death certificate.


Related content: The Basics Of How To Get A Second Passport Or A Second Residency



You can apply for Greek Citizenship within the country or outside the country.



Once you have gathered your documents, you must attend in person to the registration office in Athens to register them.



All Greek embassies accept applications. To begin, check the embassy's website to see whether you need to schedule an appointment; you most certainly will. Bring as many documents as possible to your appointment to ensure the procedure runs smoothly and quickly.


Related content: Romanian Citizenship By Ancestry


Lefkada, Greece

Lefkada, Greece


Your application will be sent to the regional general secretary; if you are in Greece, you will be offered the option of delivering it in person. A criminal background check may be requested, and you may be compelled to provide any missing records.

The citizenship committee will review your application and will inform you about their decision. If your application is approved, you will be given two Greek birth certificates, one of which will be used to apply for Greek identity. The second certificate must be submitted with your family's record, usually where their voting rights in Greece are documented. You can create one if your family does not currently possess one.

If all evidence is in place and there are no discrepancies in your family records, the full procedure might be completed in three months for those with Greek birth parents. On the other hand, everyone may need two to three years. This may seem an inordinately long time, but it is a significant improvement over the four to a nine-year waiting period for persons without Greek ancestry.



Before addressing the authorities, conduct as much investigation and record collection as you can. Second, if you speak Greek or bring someone with you to appointments who do, it may speed up the process, especially if you are applying inside the nation. Finally, instead of going through an embassy, try finishing the procedure in Greece. Naturally, this is just a possibility for some people, but it may assist to expedite the procedure. It is important to realize, however, that none of these things are required, so do not be concerned if you are unable to meet them.


Related content: Spain’s Citizenship By Ancestry


Syros, Greece

Syros, Greece


You will be informed as to why your citizenship was denied, and you may be offered the option to appeal if you have evidence to the contrary. In all other situations, the decision will stand.

Reapplying is allowed as long as the application was not denied due to a criminal record or a lack of true Greek heritage.



When it comes to freedom of travel and employment, the Greek passport is among the best in the world. It enables you to travel to 186 countries without a visa (as of 2021). It offers all of the privileges of a European Union passport, which means you can travel, work, and study in most European countries for as long as you like. You are also eligible to vote in any EU-related elections.


Related content: How To Obtain Czech Republic Citizenship By Ancestry


Greek passport enables you to travel to 186 countries without a visa

Greek passport enables you to travel to 186 countries without a visa


It is simpler to become a Greek national if you can prove your ancestry. If you do not qualify for citizenship by ancestry, you can as well get citizenship through naturalization. The Golden Visa investment program is also another route to obtain Greek citizenship, and it is one of the most affordable in Europe. You are welcome to contact us to learn more about your options.



I help my clients to move offshore for freedom, privacy and autonomy by focusing on the immigration, legal, and tax issues that you will face when becoming an expat. If you would like to work one-on-one with me on getting out of your home country (or setting up a Plan-B location), then read this important letter and fill in an application form to become a Private Client. My fees are not cheap; however, I can assure you that when you work with a professional firm like ours, the results will be worth it.



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Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money®, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money, and his second book: Expats Guide On Moving To Mexico.

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