Civil registration

Greece

Country Report: Civil registration Last updated: 30/11/20

Author

Greek Council for Refugees Visit Website

According to Article 20(1) L 344/1976, the birth of a child must be declared within 10 days to the Registry Office of the municipality where the child was born.[1] The required documents for this declaration are: a doctor’s or midwife’s verification of the birth; and the residence permit of at least one of the parents. A deferred statement is accepted by the registrar but the parent must pay a fee of up to €100 in such a case.[2]

As for the birth registration, beneficiaries of international protection have reported to GCR that if they do not have and cannot obtain a certified marriage certificate from their country of origin, the child is declared without a father’s name. In practice, another difficulty is the fact that according to Greek Legislation the father’s first name cannot be used as the child’s surname. This is a very common mistake that a lot of mothers do and interferes with the procedure of name-giving (ονοματοδοσία) of the child, especially when the child’s father is not residing in Greece. In these cases it is hard to prove that the person that signed the authorization to the mother for the name-giving is the declared father of the child in the birth certificate.

A marriage must be declared within 40 days at the Registry Office of the municipality where it took place; otherwise the spouses must pay a fee of up to €100.[3] In order to get legally married in Greece, the parties must provide a birth certificate and a certificate of celibacy from their countries of origin.[4] For recognised refugees, due to the disruption of ties with their country of origin, the Ministry of Interior has issued general orders to the municipalities to substitute the abovementioned documents with an affidavit of the interested party.[5] However, asylum seekers and beneficiaries of subsidiary protection are still required to present such documentation which is extremely difficult to obtain, and face obstacles which undermine the effective enjoyment of the right to marriage and the right to family life.

Civil registration affects the enjoyment of certain rights of beneficiaries of international protection. For instance, a birth certificate or a marriage certificate are required to prove family ties in order to be recognised as a family member of a beneficiary of international protection and to be granted a similar residence permit according to Article 24 PD 141/2013 (see Status and Rights of Family Members).

In practice, the main difficulties faced by beneficiaries with regard to civil registration are the language barrier and the absence of interpreters at the Registration Offices of the municipalities. This lack leads to errors in birth or marriage certificates, which are difficult to correct and require a court order.

 


[1] L 344/1976 on Civil Registration Acts, Official Gazette 143/A/11.6.1976.

[2] Article 49 L 344/1976.

[3]  Article 29 L 344/1976.

[4] Article 1(3) PD 391/1982.

[5] See e.g. Ministry of Interior, General Orders to municipalities 4127/13.7.81, 4953/6.10.81 and 137/15.11.82.

 

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation