NEWS

Deadline extended for permits

In a move that is expected to allow another 200,000 immigrants to acquire legitimate status in Greece, the government has tabled a new amendment extending the deadline for applying for residence permits. The measure was considered necessary as a large number of immigrants living and working in Greece were unable to meet the previous deadlines, and as a result are now considered illegal residents despite the fact that most fulfill all the preconditions for legalization. The extension – until June 30 – will apply to all foreign nationals who have work permits and temporary residence permits, as well as at least 150 social security stamps (ensima). The measure is expected to come into effect at the end of this week, provided the amendment is passed in Parliament. According to Interior Ministry figures, some 550,000 immigrants legally reside in Greece, having either received residence permits or having tabled all the necessary paperwork. At least another 500,000 are thought to be living in the country illegally.