Greece is one of few countries in the world require mandatory military service. All Greek nationals who are males between the ages of 19 and 45 are required by Greek law to perform military service for 12 months. Greeks who are also dual nationals who have acquired foreign citizenship or passport are not exempted from this drafting.

All Golden visa holders who acquired Greek citizenship by naturalizing are required to serve in the military. (they are not exempt). Portugal does not require drafting, this is one of the important difference between the two golden visa programs. It is important to properly assess citizenship perks before investing

Greek citizens living permanently outside of Greece have the right to postpone their conscription. They are permanently exempted from their military obligations when they reach the age of 45 years old.  individuals may be exempt from military service, such as:

  • Individuals who have a permanent residence abroad for at least 11 consecutive years.
  • Individuals who resided abroad for work/employment for atleast 7 consecutive years.

If you fall into one of the above categories, contact the Greek Consular Authorities or Armed Forces Department to inquire about a Certificate Permanent of Residence Abroad

Note: If you are under military-exempt status but overstay the permitted time in Greece, you may not be permitted to depart Greece until you fulfill the military service requirement.

If you completed a minimum of three months of active duty service in regular units of the armed forces of any country allied to Greece, including the United States, the Greek authorities may credit your service on a month-by-month basis against the mandatory active duty.

Draft Evaders

Draft evaders are subjected to fines and administrative actions.  In case you are between 19 and 45 years old, you live abroad Greece, and you do not meet the criteria for a certificate of permanent resident abroad Greece, nor for a military exemption or postponement, you can apply for a certificate of stay for military use, in order to fall under the category of draft evaders living abroad Greece.

The certificate of stay is a necessary supporting document for the issuance of the certificate of draft evader abroad Greece. With the certificate of draft evader abroad Greece, you can:

a. travel to Greece for a period which does not exceed thirty (30) days totally within a calendar year
b. if used within six months of its issuance date, issue/renew your Greek passport

The certificate of stay is issued by the competent Consular Authority and it is sent officially to the competent Conscription Service that issues the certificate of draft evader abroad Greece. You will receive the certificate of draft evader abroad Greece electronically.