By JOHN TRIPIDAKIS | In order to get a Greek (European) Passport, one must prove his /her Greek Nationality. Pursuant to the Greek Nationality Code, the child of a Greek male or Greek female obtains the Greek Nationality at birth.
In order for a person to have his Greek nationality recognized, he must prove an uninterrupted sequence of Greek origin, as follows:
Locate the registration of the person’s Greek ancestor (such as father or mother, or even grandfather/mother) with a Greek Municipality and get the ancestor’s birth certificate
a. the ancestor’s marriage (if married in Australia) certificate and
b. his birth certificate registered with the Athens Special Registry. In case his/her Greek ancestor’s marriage took place in Greece, then, the relevant marriage certificate does not need to be registered with the Athens Special Registry. If the above certificates are not issued by the Greek Orthodox Church, they should be Apostilled (certified by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade).
After this registration is completed, an application should be submitted along with all the required documentation to the competent Municipality where the ancestor’s family lot is kept
The file is then forwarded by this Municipality to the competent Department of the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which is the competent Region. After reviewing/approving the file, a Decision of the Competent Region will be issued recognizing the Greek nationality of the applicant. In case the applicant is male, the competent department of the Region issues an additional Decision ordering his registration with the Greek Male Rolls. Then, the Greek Municipality will proceed with the registration of the applicant with its Municipal Rolls and Greek Male Rolls.
Other documents required:
The applicant should also file before the Greek Municipality the following documents:
1) an application requesting his registration with its archives and
2) a statement in which he will declare that he is not registered with another Greek Municipality.
In case the applicant is male, he should also submit :
3) a certificate verifying his age (“praksi kathorismou ilikias”) and
4) a certificate verifying his trips to Greece (“pistopiitiko afixoanahoriseon”).
After the registration with the Greek Municipality is completed, the applicant may procure his Greek birth certificate from the Municipality, which will prove the
Greek citizenship and based on which he can proceed with the issuance of a Greek passport from the Greek Consulate of his place of residence, or directly (if in Greece) from the passports office there; He can also get a Greek Identity Card (taftotita).
In conclusion, the necessary documents required for the procurement of a Greek passport, are (in principle):
• Photocopy of passport
• Birth Certificate (original)
• Parents’ marriage certificate (original)
• Parents’ birth certificate (if in Greece, it can be procured from the Greek Authorities)
Now, if the grandparents were born in Greece, but the parents were born in Australia, then the same documents, as above, are required for these parents too.
The time required is usually from 2 months to a year, if not more, depending on each case.
Of course all the above procedure can be effected through a limited Power of Attorney to an experienced Greek lawyer, without the individual having to travel to Greece.
Mr John Tripidakis of www.greeklawyers.com.au is an Australian registered Greek lawyer, entitled to practice Greek law only. He has offices in the Greek Community Center, Oakleigh and Athens