Long-term residence

Greece

Country Report: Long-term residence Last updated: 10/06/21

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According to Article 89 of the Immigration Code, third-country nationals are eligible for long-term residence if they have resided in Greece lawfully for 5 consecutive years before the application is filed. For beneficiaries of international protection, the calculation of the 5-year residence period includes half of the period between the lodging of the asylum application and the grant of protection, or the full period if the asylum procedure exceeded 18 months.[1] Absence periods are not taken into account for the determination of the 5-year period, provided that they do not exceed 6 consecutive months and 10 months in total, within the 5-year period.[2] A fee of €150 is also required.[3]

To be granted long-term resident status, beneficiaries of international protection must also fulfil the following conditions:[4]

  • Sufficient income to cover their needs and the needs of their family and is earned without recourse to the country’s social assistance system. This income cannot be lower than the annual income of an employee on minimum wage, pursuant to national laws, increased by 10% for all the sponsored family members, also taking into account any amounts from regular unemployment benefits. The contributions of family members are also taken into account for the calculation of the income;
  • Full health insurance, providing all the benefits provided for the equivalent category of insured nationals, which also covers their family members;
  • Fulfilment of the conditions indicating integration into Greek society, inter alia “good knowledge of the Greek language, knowledge of elements of Greek history and Greek civilisation”.[5]

Despite the Ombudsman’s successful intervention in 2018[6], the Greek Police is still reluctant to renew travel documents of beneficiaries of international protection (of the ‘old’ procedure) that had been granted “long-term residence permits”, on the grounds that “they are not holders of “ADET” and, therefore, “they have a different status”.

The Council of Europe’s Commissioner of Human Rights noted that, as far as it provides foreign citizens with five years or more of legal residence with the possibility to secure a long-term residence permit, Greek law complies with relevant recommendations. However, the Commissioner recommended that the entire asylum procedure period be taken into account, as opposed to half of the period between the lodging of the asylum application and the granting of protection as provided in legislation. In addition, the Commissioner highlighted “that access to long-term residence is complicated by additional requirements, including sufficient income to cover the applicants’ needs and those of their family, full health insurance covering all family members, and good knowledge of the Greek language, knowledge of elements of Greek history and Greek civilisation”. Moreover, contrary to the Commissioner’s recommendations, Greek law does not provide clear legal exemptions to enable a variety of vulnerable groups to meet the requirements”.[7] These finding are also valid in 2020.

 

 

[1] Article 89(2) L 4251/2014 (Immigration Code).

[2]  Article 89(3) Immigration Code.

[3]  Article 132(2) Immigration Code, as amended by Article 38 L 4546/2018.

[4] Article 89(1) Immigration Code.

[5]  Article 90(2)(a) Immigration Code.

[6] Greek Ombudsperson, Ορθή εφαρμογή της νομοθεσίας για τα διαβατήρια αναγνωρισμένων προσφύγων, κατόχων αδειών διαμονής «επί μακρόν διαμένοντος, available in Greek at: https://bit.ly/2Qhwj1m

[7]  Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Report of the Commissioner for Human Rights of the Council of Europe Dunja Mijatović following her visit to Greece from 25 to 29 June 2018, CommDH(2018)24, 6 November 2018, paras 72-73.

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