Greece Granted Legal Status to Over 3,400 Bangladeshi Migrants Last Year


10,337 Bangladeshi migrants applied for regularisation in Greece last year, whereas 3,405 were granted legal status, Greek authorities told InfoMigrants.

On the other hand, 1,009 applications were rejected for different reasons, reports.

The regularisation process was made under the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), an agreement reached between Athens and Dhaka in 2022.

Under this memorandum, undocumented Bangladeshis living in Greece were permitted to apply for legal residence. To be eligible candidates, applicants were required to have a Bangladeshi passport valid for at least two years, to prove they were living in Greece before February 9, 2022, and that they had a job.

Before applying online through the Greek governmentโ€™s website, applicants first had to register at the Bangladesh Embassy in Athens. The application process was opened between January 9 and December 31, 2023.

Apart from the 2023 applications, by February 15 this year, 113 undocumented Bangladeshis applied for legal residence.

Meanwhile, over 5,900 applications are pending, as per data provided by the General Directorate of Immigration Policy of the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum.

Those include Bangladeshi migrants who have already finished the first step of procedures and are waiting for confirmation from the Greek authorities regarding their initial residence permit or smart card.

In 2022, Greece also introduced a new scheme to recruit Bangladeshi seasonal workers. This agreement followed an influx of Bangladeshi migrants trying to reach Greece via unsafe routes.

Greek authorities have taken various steps in a bid to discourage unsafe migration through the sea.ย  Regarding this issue, the government has implemented new changes to facilitate the procedures for obtaining legal residence in Greece.

The Greek minister of Migration and Asylum, Dimitris Kairidis, declared earlier this month that 2024 will be the year of legal migration.

Recently, Kairidis revealed that the migration ministry is working on a draft law to modernise the granting and renewal of residence permits to legal migrants in Greece.

Within the first half of 2024, four new biometric data collection centres will be opened, three in Athens and one in Thessaloniki, to free up staff.

Dimitris Kairidis, Greek Minister of Migration and Asylum

He underscored that migrants face difficulties when applying for the renewal of their residence permit, although they have legally lived and worked in the country and paid taxes and contributions.

Greece plans to modernise the permit system regarding this issue, processing 850,000 migration files by the first six months of 2026.


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