Many Greek Australians might be faced with a hard landing even before they board the plane to the motherland this year. Anyone planning to travel to Greece with an Australian passport alone will not be allowed to remain in the country for a period longer than 90 days.
Airline staff and passport control staff will demand proof that the ticket-holder has dual citizenship and therefore the right to remain in the country of destination for more than 90 days without a visa.
If travellers fail to provide proof of Greek citizenship their trip will be cancelled.
In the past year airlines have implemented stricter controls, and according to travel agents there have been several unfortunate incidents involving Greek Australians already.
As summer holidays approach for the northern hemisphere, many community members will be travelling to Greece, and a large number will be up for an unpleasant surprise.
Neos Kosmos reached out to the Greek Consulate in Australia, and the Greek Embassy is bound to make an announcement within the next few days.
Until then, travellers are advised to keep in mind that under current legislation, the mention of Greece as the passport holder’s birthplace does not constitute proof of citizenship. Both parents being Greek citizens is a prerequisite to be eligible for Greek citizenship. The querent having been born in Greece does not mean they are entitled to Greek citizenship. It is therefore up to the passport control officer’s best judgement if they will accept place of birth as proof of citizenship when only travelling with an Australian passport.
To be able to board a plane to Greece with a return date more than 90 days past departure date, one should hold a Greek passport or or a Greek identification card. The passport
takes four weeks to be issued from the date the application is submitted and the Greek id can only be issued in Greece.
Taking into consideration the urgency of the issue, the Greek Embassy in Australia has informed Neos Kosmos that those scheduled to travel within the next few weeks should book an appointment with the Greek Consulate in order to issue a certificate that verifies their Greek citizenship for the cost of 10 euro.
TRAVELLERS HOLDING PASSPORTS EXPIRING WITHIN SIX MONTHS ALSO IN TROUBLE
Meantime, another change in regulations regarding overseas travel is bound to affect Australians whose passports expire within six months of their return date. To avoid further inconvenience ensure that your passport is renewed or that it has at least a six-month window from your prospective return date if you are planning to travel overseas. For example, if you are returning to Australia on 20 July 2018, your passport should be valid until after 20 January 2019 for you to be allowed out of the country.