Residence Permit in Greece by Civil Partnership: Questions & Answers

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More and more clients of our office are interested in obtaining a residence permit in Greece based on a civil partnership, under the No. 23443/2011 Common Ministerial Decision.

- What are the documents needed to enter into a civil partnership between a Greek and a foreigner?

The civil partnership is contracted between the parties concerned before a public notary. In order to contract it, it is essential that the parties be present in person (it is not possible to contract by proxy). The parties should be provided with the required personal documents and,
in particular, the Greek citizen must present his / her identity card to the notary, while the foreigner should be provided on the one hand with a valid passport and on the other hand with a visa of any type of residence permit, in accordance with article 27 of the Law No. 4251/2014.

- How can a non-EU citizen obtain a residence permit in Greece after signing a civil partnership?

The foreigner who contracts a civil partnership with a Greek or EU citizen has the right to apply for a residence permit in Greece, according to the Common Ministerial Decision No 23443/2011. For this purpose, he or she must submit a petition to the Directorate of Migration Policy of the General Secretariat for Population and Social Cohesion of the Ministry of Interior, either in person or through a proxy. This application must be lodged while the foreigner is legally residing in Greece, that is at the time period of the entry visa. If the Visa has expired, an application for a residence permit can not be filed.

Along with the application, the person concerned must submit a series of documents, namely:

a) A certified copy of the passport with the entry visa attached thereto, where the latter is required;

b) A copy of the Greek’s citizen identity;

c) A copy of the civil partnership and its registration;

d) Documents proving the joint residence with the Greek (i.e lease contract, residence contract, utility bills, etc.);

e) Evidence of full sickness insurance cover (documents proving social security insurance or health insurance in a private insurance company for a period of at least one year, in accordance with the Common Ministerial Decision No. 53821/2014);

f) Other documents proving the parties' stable relationship (i.e documents proving that the parties have undertaken joint legal or social commitments, photographs of the common life etc.);

g) Four (4) passport photos (and cd);

h) Fee of € 16.00 for the reception of the biometric data of the foreigner;

i) A certified copy of the birth certificate of the foreigner with apostille, where required.

Upon the filing of the application and if no formal deficiencies are found, a temporary foreign residence permit ("Blue Certificate") is issued to the foreigner, under which he/she is entitled to reside in Greece until the final residence permit is issued.

- What is the duration of the residence permit granted under a civil partnership?

The residence permit is granted by a decision of the Minister of the Interior, has a validity of one (1) year and can be renewed for another two (2) years under the same conditions.

- Can the non-EU citizen who holds a residence permit in Greece based on civil partnership work in Greece?

According to the Common Ministerial Decision No. 23443/2011, the residence permit based on a civil partnership provides the foreigner with the right to work as an employed person.

- What is the fate of the residence permit in the event of the resignation or death of the Greek citizen?

The expiration of partnership, the death of the Greek or EU citizen or the departure of the EU citizen from Greece during the period of validity of the residence permit shall entail the loss of the right of residence. The right of residence of such persons shall be maintained on a personal basis only if they reside in Greece as partners of a Greek or EU citizen for at least three years before the expiry of the partnership or the death of the Greek or EU citizen.

Dafni Siopi is a lawyer in Thessaloniki enlisted in Thessaloniki Law Association since 2013. She has worked with major law firms and offices in Thessaloniki and Athens, having handled various cases mainly related to immigration, civil and commercial law.

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Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.

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