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Bill Tabled for Deliberation Tries to Settle Greek Citizenship Issue for Immigrant Children

Immigrant ChildrenLegal residence in Greece of one parent for at least five years before a child’s birth and the enrollment of that child in first grade during the citizenship application year are the main requirements for immigrant children to acquire Greek citizenship, according to an Interior Ministry draft bill that has been tabled for deliberation.
According to the draft bill, if a child is born before a legally residing parent has completed five consecutive years in Greece, then the required number of residency years jumps to ten.
Children with at least one parent who has a long-term or such residence permit are eligible to acquire Greek citizenship immediately.
The bill seeks to resolve an issue related to a Council of State decision annulling a regulation in Law 3838/2010. According to the annulled clause, a child could acquire Greek citizenship at birth as long as both parents had been legal residents for the last five years. The new bill puts the weight on the child’s enrollment in school.
The draft law retains all other alternatives for acquiring citizenship for older children, affecting those who have graduated from Greek high schools and are studying at higher institutions in Greece (academic or technical universities), children who have completed the nine years of obligatory schooling (as stipulated by the Greek constitution), or children who have completed high school in Greece.
Emphasis has been given on granting Greek citizenship to immigrant children because social conscience and therefore national identity is formed during a person’s childhood, an Interior Ministry official said.
(source: ana-mpa)

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