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Want Greek citizenship? You’ll now have to pass a written exam first

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Are you looking to get dual Greece-Australia citizenship? According to an Interior Ministry bill that has been submitted for public consultation until September 10, foreign nationals will now be required to sit and pass written examinations to receive Greek citizenship.

The new examinations, called the “Panhellenics,” will be held twice a year. The questions will focus on the Greek language, while also touching on the geography and history of the nation as well.

According to the proposed legislation, the exams must be passed with a score of 80% before they receive a “Certificate of Adequacy of Knowledge for naturalisation” and only then will they be eligible to apply for citizenship.

Crete. Photo:Milan Gonda / Alamy Stock Photo

There are currently 30,000 pending applications for Greek citizenship, with this new system set to bring a much more organised granting structure.

Greece’s Secretary General of Citizenship, Athanasios Balerbas, stated to interviewers from Ta Nea that it was of extreme importance to change how individuals acquire Greek citizenship.

“When we took over the Ministry,” he relates, “we noticed the extremely long delays in the naturalisation of foreigners, who have the legal conditions to acquire citizenship, if, of course, they wish to do so.”

Acropolis, Athens. Photo: Peter Oglos/The Greek Herald

For those aged over 67 or who have diagnosed writing difficulties, the program will offer oral exams instead.

While this test will speed up the citizenship process, diaspora Greeks will still be required to have an interview with two officials from the ministry’s general secretariat for citizenship, along with an administrative fee of 550 euros, before citizenship is granted.

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