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Immigration Law Greece

Immigration law in Greece focuses on the management of both EU and non-EU nationals entering and residing in Greece.

It is shaped by both national regulations and European Union directives.

Greek immigration law determines who may enter Greece, under what circumstances, and what documentation, such as visas and passports, is required. It includes provisions for both short-term stays (such as tourism or business trips) and long-term stays (such as for work or family reasons).

Interested in Golden Visa and Immigration Law in Greece? Contact us today.

+30 2310 284408

+49 30 88702382

[email protected]

New Greek Immigration Law 2024

Greek immigration law is dynamic, evolving in response to shifts in migration patterns, international crises and changes in EU policy, as well as ongoing efforts to modernize the country’s immigration system and make it more accommodating and attractive to foreign nationals.

In 2024, Greek immigration law saw significant improvements aimed at streamlining processes and introducing new types of residence permits.

Here are the main changes:

  • Implementation of the EU Blue Card: Highly-skilled third-country nationals can now apply for Blue Cards, which are intended to attract highly-skilled workers to the EU. The new law allows these applications to be submitted by those already in Greece on a C visa, residence permit or using their valid passports. In addition, those who hold a valid Blue Card from another EU member state and have resided there for at least 12 months can now apply for a Greek Blue Card residence permit.
  • Introduction of an Investor Residence Permit: This new permit is aimed at investors who are shareholders of a domestic company with a significant amount of capital or share value, as well as board members or legal representatives of domestic or foreign companies that meet certain financial thresholds. This move is aimed at stimulating economic growth by attracting more investors to Greece.
  • Electronic filing and issuance of residence permits: The law now officially codifies the electronic submission and issuance of residence permits, making the process more streamlined and transparent. Applicants can submit their applications online and receive their residence permits electronically.
  • Elimination of residence permit for managerial positions: The new law eliminates the special residence permit category for managerial positions. Individuals who previously qualified under this category will now have to apply for other types of permits, such as the EU Blue Card or intra-corporate transfer permits, depending on their circumstances.

Greece Immigration Law

Greek immigration law includes a wide range of regulations that govern the entry, stay and rights of foreign nationals in the country. These laws are aligned with the regulations of the European Union, but also include specific national provisions.

The law defines the conditions for entry and residence in Greece for tourism, study or work, as well as the legal requirements for refugees and asylum seekers.

Migrants in Greece are entitled to rights under both national and international law, including access to health care, education and the legal system. These rights are protected to ensure that migrants are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of their legal status.

Foreign nationals who enter Greece illegally or overstay their visas may be subject to detention and deportation under specific conditions defined in Greek legislation. This process respects the principle of non-refoulement, which prohibits the return of individuals to countries where they face serious threats.

Entry requirements and residence permit

Under Greek law, foreign nationals must present valid travel documents and, in many cases, a visa to enter Greece. The visa regime in Greece is primarily influenced by European Union law, in particular the Schengen Agreement, of which Greece is a member. Visas can be divided into several types, including

  • Short-stay visas (C-visa): These allow for stays up to 90 days within a 180-day period and are typically issued for tourism, business trips, or family visits.
  • Long-stay visas (D-visa): Required for stays longer than 90 days, these are often precursors to obtaining a residence permit for various purposes such as work or study.

Once in Greece, non-EU nationals wishing to stay longer must apply for a residence permit. These permits are categorized according to the purpose of the stay and include work and study permits, family reunification permits, and special permits for individuals who can make significant financial investments in Greece or have sufficient resources to support themselves without employment.

Each type of permit has its own criteria and required documentation, as outlined in the Greek Immigration Code (Law 4251/2014).

Asylum and Refugee Status

Greece actively monitors its borders, especially its maritime borders with Turkey, to manage the flow of migrants. This includes cooperation with EU agencies such as Frontex, which helps patrol and secure Europe’s external borders.

The country abides by international and European laws regarding the protection of refugees and asylum seekers.

Individuals must apply for asylum upon entry or as soon as they feel threatened in their home country. Upon arrival, individuals are taken to reception and identification centers where they are registered and their immediate needs are addressed. Asylum claims are assessed on the basis of criteria established by both Greek law and the EU’s Common European Asylum System.

Why is it recommended to hire a lawyer to immigrate to Greece?

Greek immigration law, like that of many countries, can be complicated and subject to frequent changes. The process of applying for visas, residence permits or citizenship can involve considerable bureaucracy, including detailed paperwork and precise documentation.

As attorneys specializing in immigration law, we can provide up-to-date advice and ensure that all legal requirements are met, which is essential to avoid delays or denials.

If you are looking for an expert Golden Visa lawyer in Greece, we will be able to advise and assist you in obtaining it in the shortest possible time, as well as bridge the language and bureaucratic gaps to ensure that communication with the Greek authorities is clear and effective.

A lawyer can save you considerable time and effort by handling complex procedures, allowing you to focus on other aspects of moving to a new country, such as settling in and integrating.

If legal issues arise during the immigration process, such as appeals of denials or complications with residency status, we will represent you before the immigration authorities or in court if necessary.

* The information on this site is provided for the sole purpose of illustrating the subject matter. It in no way constitutes legal advice nor a substitute for individual legal advice provided by counsel. Each case is unique, presents unique circumstances, and should be evaluated in detail by an attorney who will verify its specific circumstances.

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Contact Leptokaridou Law Firm today if you are looking for an immigration lawyer or a Greek citizenship lawyer and benefit from our over 20 years of experience as an international law firm in Greece.

We advise you on Golden Visa and Immigration Law in Greece.

+30 2310 284408

+49 30 88702382

[email protected]

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