New migrant bill submitted

The Interior Ministry yesterday tabled in Parliament the revised version of a draft law that foresees the granting of citizenship to tens of thousands of immigrants who have been living in Greece legally for five years and to their children. A key change to the original bill is that the children of immigrants will only be eligible for citizenship if they were born in Greece and both their parents are legal residents or have refugee status. The original draft legislation, which the conservative opposition had criticized as too lax, had stipulated that the child need have only one legal parent. The children of migrants who were not born in Greece will be eligible for citizenship on completing six years at a Greek school. The revised bill also lowers the fee for applying for citizenship to 700 euros from 1,500 euros and puts greater emphasis on the role of regional committees, rather than the Interior Ministry, in processing applications.

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