New rules simplify migrant permit process

The government on Monday unveiled legislation simplifying the process for immigrants applying to renew their residence permits and allowing the children of migrants to apply for Greek citizenship once they turn 18, provided their parents are long-term legal residents.

According to the Interior Ministry, the new regulations radically reduce the number of documents needed to apply for a residence permit. They also reduce from 50 to 19 the different types of residence permits that can be issued.

However they also stipulate that DNA tests are carried out to prove the blood bond between legal migrants and their children.

The new rules also foresee the issuing of long-term residence permits that would allow migrants to travel to other parts of the European Union.

The new framework was unveiled by Interior Minister Yiannis Michelakis on Monday and is to be put to public debate.

According to the ministry, a new piece of legislation relating specifically to the acquisition of citizenship by migrants will be unveiled in due course.

Earlier this year the government scrapped a previous law allowing second-generation migrants to obtain Greek citizenship if their parents had been living in Greece legally for at least five years.