New bill sets out rules for migrant citizenship
A new draft bill prepared by the Interior Ministry gives all second-generation immigrants living legally in Greece the right to apply for citizenship, whether they were born in the country or have completed certain levels within the Greek education system, Kathimerini has learned.
Once approved, the new bill will essentially fill the gap left by the revocation of the socalled Ragousis law, which had allowed second-generation migrants to apply for Greek citizenship and to stand in local elections.
The new bill sets out three alternative prerequisites for the acquisition of citizenship. The applicant must either have completed the compulsory minimum education in the Greek system (primary school and junior high), have completed six academic years in secondary education (junior and senior high) or have finished high school and graduated from a Greek university or technical college. Migrants as young as 16 will be able to apply and will be eligible for citizenship from the age of 18.
It is unclear exactly how many people will be eligible for citizenship under the new regulations. Ministry sources indicated yesterday that at least 50,000 fulfill the criteria. The Greek Forum of Migrants has estimated that there are some 200,000 second-generation immigrants in Greece.