Updates on the Citizenship Directorate – Delays for the Naturalization Interviews

Last week, the law 4456/2017 was published in the Official Government’s Gazette. Three and a half months after the reformation that divided the Directorate of Citizenship from the Ministry of Immigration Policy, this law makes provision for covering the administrative gaps that had been created, and the delay which followed in the cases of citizenship.

In a few words, this law states that:

  1. The Citizenship Directorate will belong from now on to the General Directorate of ­­­­­­­­General directorate of Digital Governance and Elections
  2. There will be staffing of the Directorate
  3. There will be renaming and staffing of the Department of Informational Systems for Citizenship – Immigration.
  4. There will be changes in the composition of the collective bodies. Specifically:
  • In the Council of Citizenship, the General Secretariat of Immigration Policy of the Ministry of Interior will be replaced by the General Secretary of the Ministry of Interior (he will be substituted by the Head of the General Directorate), and a member of the Ministry of Immigration Policy will be added.
  • There will be changes in the composition of three (3) citizenship commissions of the Ministry of Interior (the ones that process the cases pending from 2010).

These three (3) commissions will be now consisted of:

  • A head member of the General directorate of Digital Governance and Elections of the Ministry of Interior as President
  • Two (2) members of Teaching and research Personnel in the field of Humanitarian Sciences of a Higher Education Institute
  • A head of Department of the Directorate of Citizenship of the Ministry of Interior
  • A head of Directorate or Department falling within the General Secretariat of Immigrant Policy of the Ministry of Immigrant Policy
  • Change in the composition of citizenship commissions in the Decentralized Administrations. Specifically, the head of the Department of Citizenship is replaced by a high member of one of the familiar Directorates of Secondary Education Directorate

This practically means that there are going to be delays on the naturalization interviews. Since there is no specific transitional provision that secures the ongoing operation of the collective bodies, until the new composition and the published decision of their establishment (the reviews that specifically refer to the names of the members of each Committee), they cannot hold meetings.

The so called “interviews”, meaning the examinations of substantive preconditions for the citizenship, will not take place.

Since every Directorate of Civil Status must expect answer from the relevant Regional Directorate of Education, these Committees will not be consisted at once, but each one depending on different decisions.

* It is noted that in this law, the article with the unacceptable amendment for the compensations of Moria, is included, and you can read more about it here.