Migrants must have passports

Immigrants living in Greece who lack passports or other travel documents will not have their temporary residence permits renewed for next year even if they meet all other requirements for legal residence and work in the country, the government warned yesterday. Interior Minister Costas Skandalidis said yesterday that the new annual residence permits for 2003 will begin to be issued as of November 15, although there may be delays in areas with high concentrations of immigrants, such as Attica and central Macedonia. In such cases, Deputy Interior Minister Lambros Papadimas said, the procedure will probably be extended until the end of February. But the new permits will be in the form of stickers to be placed on immigrants’ passports. In order to address the problem of migrants without passports – mainly Albanians, Indians and Pakistanis – the government is pressing foreign governments to issue passports to their nationals in Greece. Some 550,000 immigrants live in Greece on six-month or annual residence permits.

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