Migration and Struggle in Greece

New bill reduces the residence time required for sans-papiers migrants to apply for residence permits

Posted by clandestina on 23 August 2011

August 23, 2011.  A new bill was voted today, according to which immigrants will be eligible for a temporary residence permit if they can prove they have lived in Greece – illegally – for at least 10 years, down from the current 12 years.

This reduction was agreed after the 300 immigrants’ hunger strike. The initial government’s promise though was to decrease the years from 12 to 8 years.

“The 10-year stipulation will not lead to the mass legalisation of immigrants,” interior minister Haris Kastanidis said.

The minister justified the government’s decision to reduce the minimum duration of residence. He said immigration legislation has changed drastically since 2001 and the current 12-year stipulation meant that migrants with a “genuine connection to Greece, who deserve the right to live and work legally in the country, were being denied residency”.

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