Greek Citizenship dilemmas

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Greek Citizenship dilemmas


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Old 21st April 2013, 06:25 PM
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Default Greek Citizenship dilemmas

Hello all,
I am an American attempting to get dual citizenship with Greece. Half of my family is greek and my father was born there to greek parents. I started this process presuming it would be straight forward but have run into numerous road blocks. I have all the paperwork I can personally get including:
My birth record
My fathers birth record and certificate (stating he was born in Athens)
My grandmothers greek passport with him in it
His american naturalization papers
Marriage certificates (both in the catholic and greek orthodox churches)
Lack of criminal record.
And numerous other bits and bobs all apostilled and translated.

According to my lawyer I absolutely have the right to greek citizenship as I have evidence my father is my father and is greek from a family of greek origin. However I might not get it.

My father immigrated to the US when he was young and never served in the greek military, due to this one of his registrations was (according to my lawyer there) deleted, reinstated 7 years after his death, and then subsequently deleted again. They can not reregister him now since he is deceased...still. I need to go another route where I was told they want to "see how Greek I feel" no other information was given. I have property and have been paying taxes in greece for 15 years, i make regular trips there and have family there, however my greek language skills are not that strong and to be honest I do not know how one "feels greek enough" there are no tests or anything I can solidly prepare. Uugghhhhhhh. Any help would be greatly appreciated as well as advice on how to figure out this process. Is there some fee I can pay expedite and simplify this process?

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Old 22nd April 2013, 04:38 AM
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I have been working on obtaining citizenship through my grandfather and it has been one thing after another. I've been working on this for 3-4 years as I've lost track. There seems to be no rhyme or reason on how the process works. Unfortunately, I don't think throwing money at it will help. The only thing you can do is ask your laywer what is needed now and then get the documents submitted and see what happens or what they ask for next.

I am like you as I'm half Greek. In my opinion, I feel this is why we're having difficulties.

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Old 22nd April 2013, 06:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cdragon View Post
Hello all,
I am an American attempting to get dual citizenship with Greece. Half of my family is greek and my father was born there to greek parents. I started this process presuming it would be straight forward but have run into numerous road blocks. I have all the paperwork I can personally get including:
My birth record
My fathers birth record and certificate (stating he was born in Athens)
My grandmothers greek passport with him in it
His american naturalization papers
Marriage certificates (both in the catholic and greek orthodox churches)
Lack of criminal record.
And numerous other bits and bobs all apostilled and translated.

According to my lawyer I absolutely have the right to greek citizenship as I have evidence my father is my father and is greek from a family of greek origin. However I might not get it.

My father immigrated to the US when he was young and never served in the greek military, due to this one of his registrations was (according to my lawyer there) deleted, reinstated 7 years after his death, and then subsequently deleted again. They can not reregister him now since he is deceased...still. I need to go another route where I was told they want to "see how Greek I feel" no other information was given. I have property and have been paying taxes in greece for 15 years, i make regular trips there and have family there, however my greek language skills are not that strong and to be honest I do not know how one "feels greek enough" there are no tests or anything I can solidly prepare. Uugghhhhhhh. Any help would be greatly appreciated as well as advice on how to figure out this process. Is there some fee I can pay expedite and simplify this process?
I had a similar situation, my father was born in Greece and immigrated to the US when very young. I thought the process was straightforward and soon found out otherwise and had to jump through all sorts of hoops and deal with the byzantine bureaucracy of Greece and its American Consulates until, six years later, I acquired Greek citizenship.
First, you need to realize that as an American one feels entitled to certain rights, but just because you are legally entitled to citizenship in Greece, the red tape can snag you.
Second, hiring a lawyer is not a defeat. A good lawyer in Greece has access to the Special Registry that you won't on your own, and can help explain the law to the bureaucrats.
A document that was helpful to me was my father's naturalization application, not the certificate. It listed his birthplace, and his name in Greek. You can get this document from the archives of the state where he applied, or the National Archives, but that one might be illegible.
Just when I was almost finished with the process, they demanded that I prove my father was baptized Greek Orthodox, which was impossible because records in his birthplace had been destroyed. So I went to Athens and to his village, where they did give me a copy of his registration number, but no baptism record. I was about to give up when I hired a lawyer, who ran around with me to all the relevant departments, and the DA, who said proof of religion was nonsense, and I was a citizen in two days!
So take heart, persevere, and feel free to contact me if you need any help.

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Old 23rd April 2013, 06:46 AM
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Thanks for the replys. I have been working on this for 2 and a half years and am trying to figure out where to go from here. By the "DA" do you mean the district attorney? In the US or in Greece? Thanks again for the feedback.

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Old 23rd April 2013, 04:23 PM
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What stage are you at in the application process? Your birth and your parents' marriage must be registered in Greece. Then you must be registered at a Prefecture. This is where I ran into an obstacle when the Prefecture asked for proof of my father's Orthodoxy and sent my paperwork back to the Registry and the consulate in the USA where I applied. I went to Athens and my lawyer took my case to the Registry but since my new Greek certificates were more than a year old, we had to go to the District Attorney in Athens and renew them. Then to the Attiki Prefecture, where a very nice woman looked at my case and said she was inclined to grant me citizenship, especially since I showed up in Greece.
So you see how convoluted it can become. Indeed, this trip to Athens was unnecessary as the question of religion was irrelevant.
What specifically is the hangup in your case, and is there a document that you are lacking?

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Old 24th April 2013, 01:05 PM
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The hangup that I am currently having is that although I have all my fathers birth records and his mothers Greek passport with him in it one of his registrations (pistopiitiko genisseos) was found in Athens, deleted, reinstated after his death and then deleted again. As he is still dead they say he can not be reregistered so I need to go through a naturalization application that has less chance of success and they need to see "how Greek I feel".

After that interview I can then launch my application but it needs to be launched in NY supposedly and not in Greece. Essentially I would be registering as someone with Greek Heritage but not as a child of a Greek citizen. Again I have all my paperwork and it is all apostilled and translated but it will do me no good in the next phase. Also I am somewhat frustrated as this now seems to be totally up to the discretion of whoever is at the consulate interviewing me and I have nothing solid to go on. I was born and raised in the US and my father never taught us Greek growing up. Despite this I have learned some on my own as an adult (not proficiently enough I fear) and make numerous trips there. I mantain a residency there as well as own apartment buildings and pay tax there. I am somewhat nervous about going to the interview and being shot down due to my poor language skills, only being half Greek and the fact I do not have the traditional Greek looks. Any advice on "how to feel Greek" enough Thanks again

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Old 24th April 2013, 02:56 PM
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My father married a Catholic and I never learned to speak Greek fluently. He never served in the Greek military and died before I applied for citizenship.
You have all the documents you need to acquire citizenship, except for your father's registration and it seems to me that it was deleted in error. If he was not born in Athens, where it was deleted, his home village will have a record of it. I don't understand why it was deleted and you may be able to have it reinstated. You may need to have his death certificate translated and apostilled. The lawyer who helped me enormously is Arsinoi Lainioti. She is Greek-American, speaks excellent Greek and English, and knows all about what you need to become a citizen. Ask her what to do next. Lainioti Law Offices, Athens, Greece - Law
Best of luck

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Old 24th April 2013, 03:28 PM
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The deleting of your father's registration number, given that you have his birth records, seems arbitrary, even by Greek standards. I would pursue getting it reinstated rather than go the naturalization route. Call Arsinoi. She is very "results oriented" and has a positive attitude that works wonders with bureaucrats.

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Old 24th April 2013, 07:34 PM
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I would call Arsinoi as well. She understands the process and workarounds, knows the people, and is persistent. You will need all of the above. I tried the consulate route and they made mistakes and unlike the in the US each mistake in Greece cost me a year.

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Old 25th April 2013, 12:16 PM
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Thanks,
I have sent her an email and hopefully she will get back to me. From what I know if this is able to be reinstated I can be registered within a few days as I have all the other appropriate paperwork. My faith in the lawyer I had down there is somewhat minimal at this point as he seems to have just given up on my case. I will keep you updated and here is hoping
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