Connecticut, US

Jul 10 2019

Immigration Administration Changes Following Election to Bring Delays

Greece

At a Glance

  • As a result of the newly-elected president in Greece, the Ministry of Migration has been permanently closed and all immigration processes will now be handled by various departments of the Ministry of Public Order.
  • This change in administration will cause immigration processing delays during the transition to the new department. Other immigration impacts, such as process changes and new immigration routes in Greece, are not known at this time.

The situation

According to a presidential decree, the Ministry of Migration has been permanently closed and all immigration processes will now be handled by various departments of the Ministry of Public Order.

Impact

Pending and new immigration processes are likely to be delayed for an unknown duration during the transition to the new department. Foreign nationals with pending immigration applications should contact their immigration provider for case-by-case advice.

It is not yet clear whether there will be changes to current immigration requirements and processes.

Background

  • Relatively drastic change. The previous government created the Ministry of Migration in 2015, merging all immigration departments in the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Public Order into one ministry. In past elections, new administrations have not so drastically changed immigration administrative rules, let alone shut down an entire migration department. This signals an aggressive step toward reform in the immigration arena, especially considering that the Ministry of Public Order (the department that will now handle immigration processing) is also the Greek police department in charge of anti-terrorism and illegal immigration, areas previously separated from the general immigration application processing function.
  • New administration’s focus on foreign investment. The new government has encouraged the growth of investment and secondment options in Greece, as opposed to the former government, which focused on the promotion of local hires.

 

Looking ahead

Considering Greece’s high unemployment rate and the country’s bailout programs over the last decade, the hopes are that this administration’s investment-focused platform will find new ways to improve the economy, including by creating more opportunities for foreign investment and foreign workers. In line with these efforts, Fragomen expects that the new administration will take a more active role in creating and clarifying the rules related to immigration routes such as:

  • The EU Blue Card (for which process requirements have still not been officially implemented);
  • The EU Intracompany Transferee (ICT) Permit (implemented in April 2019);
  • Investment permits (the growing market also known as ‘golden visas’); and
  • Perhaps a national ICT option (which Greece does not have).



Fragomen will monitor further developments and report on relevant changes as they occur.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to emea@fragomen.com.