The New Consul General of Greece in Sydney, Yannis Mallikourtis, has warned that many unforeseen complications arise for families with Greek heritage who haven’t registered their marriages and births in Greece.
From Citizenship eligibility to property inheritance and everything in between, the risk of complications is many for those who have not gone through the appropriate processes.
In a wide-ranging discussion on the Ouzo Talk Podcast, Mallikourtis encouraged those with Greek heritage to register marriages and any children as soon as possible, clearing the way for a more straightforward path to Greek Citizenship, passports and inheritance.
“When you get married, you need to register your marriage with the Greek authorities,” stresses Mallikourtis.
“This is a mistake that many people make, which sometimes creates misunderstandings and disappointment – especially of the older generations who are now in their 70s.
“They come to the Consulate and complain that when they got married in a church, they thought everything was fine, and then they realised years later that their children didn’t get Greek Citizenship.”
It’s a common problem, according to Mallikourtis, who has been in his new role since September 2022.
“The problem arises especially when grandparents were not diligent and did not settle these issues – (by not registering) their children and grandchildren,” says Mallikourtis.
“When the chain breaks – in other words when the generation that first arrived here passes away – then it’s much more difficult for the descendants of this man or woman to get their Citizenship because you have to prove then that your grandparents or your ancestors were Greek.
“Sometimes it’s not easy to prove that because many of them – for example – left Greece when their place of origin was not even part of the Greek State. Kastellorizo is a typical example.
“Kastellorizo united with Greece in 1947. So, a migrant who left in the ’20s from Kastellorizo, or 30’s (under Italian rule), probably doesn’t have any records of that. And once he or she passes away, their children decide in their forties or fifties or sixties to start the process. It’s not easy.
“I would encourage people – especially when their children are born – to register, because there’s a huge back-log with people who decide thirty or forty years later to do the process.
“Once your children are born, in the first few months, come to the Consulate and register their birth, especially if you’re settled – if you’ve got Greek Citizenship.”
Some functions of the Consulate General, including attaining certificates of permanent residence abroad for military purposes, copies of municipal registration certificates, and more, have now moved online and can be accessed via MyConsulLive.
During the hour and half long Ouzo Talk discussion, Mallikourtis also spoke passionately about the importance of maintaining the Greek language in the diaspora, providing information about military service and more.
The Ouzo Talk podcast is available on all major podcast streaming apps, including Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts, SOUNDIS.GR and more. Subscribe on your favourite platform so you never miss an episode.