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. 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. A fee of €150 is also required.
To be granted long-term resident status beneficiaries of international protection must also fulfil the following conditions:
- 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”.
Despite the Ombudsman’s successful intervention in 2018, the Greek Police are still reluctant to renew the travel documents of beneficiaries of international protection that had been granted ‘long-term residence permits’ (under the ‘old’ procedure) on the grounds that it is not possible to electronically connect said permits with the travel documents because they were issued by different services.
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. These findings are also valid for 2022. The renewal of long-term residence permits is now only possible electronically through the special website of the Ministry of Asylum and migration (https://portal.immigration.gov.gr/login). However the electronic renewal procedure started off as technically problematic. Thus the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, granted an extension of the duration of residence permits until 30/06/2022 for
- residence permits and certificates of submission (blue certificates) that expired in the first quarter of 2022 i.e. from 01/01/2022 to 31/03/2022. These include those that had already expired by 31/12/2021 and were extended until 31/03/2022.
- certificates of submission (blue certificates) from applications for residence permits submitted between 01/04/2014 and 31/12/2020 for which no decision has been issued and which have to be renewed with new permits according to Article 139 of Law 4876/2021.
The extension also includes long-term residence permits and certificates of submission for long-term residence permits. The granting of such an extension ensured the legality of residence, the uninterrupted interaction of third-country nationals’ with public services, access to the whole of the rights deriving from the title they hold and ensured that they had adequate access to all their rights and enough time to renew their residence permit in time (before the expiry of the extension) through the electronic platform of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum.
 Article 89(2) L 4251/2014 (Immigration Code).
 Article 89(3) Immigration Code.
 Article 132(2) Immigration Code, as amended by Article 38 L 4546/2018.
 Article 89(1) Immigration Code.
 Article 90(2)(a) Immigration Code.
 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, available at: https://bit.ly/3MziWTJ, paras 72-73.
 Ministerial Decision 374365/2021 (Official Gazette 5242/B/12-11-2021).
 Ministerial Decision 180838/2022 (Official Gazette 1535/B/30.3.2022).