I am a dual citizen (US/Greece) currently living in the US and visiting Greece for three and a half months. I entered Europe through Germany using my US passport (the Greek one is in the process of being renewed) and was told I could only be in the Schengen area for 90 days.

Am I legally allowed to stay in Greece as long as I’ve planned (~105 days), given that I’m a Greek citizen? How do I justify this to officials when returning to the US?

  • 1
    Did you discuss with the immigration officer that you are a Greek citizen?
    – phoog
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 1:30
  • @phoog I did not unfortunately, I just wanted to be on my way, but I started doubting myself later and hence this question
    – Exit path
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 11:17

2 Answers 2


You're a Greek citizen. You can stay in Greece as long as you wish. If you're asked about it when you leave, just show your Greek passport.

  • 1
    @Tomas The OP says it's being renewed. I'm assuming he'll have it by the time he wants to leave.
    – user90371
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 21:21
  • Correct, but I would recommend you to document things (and have such documents on next few travel to Europe), and get earlier at airport when you will depart. Free to stay, but not free of troubles. Documents will help to sort things quickly. Commented May 23, 2019 at 10:01

As a Greek citizen, you have the right to stay in the EU for as long as you like.

However, you would probably still be well-advised - once you have your Greek passport back - to leave the Schengen zone using your US passport before your 90 days are up, and re-enter using your Greek passport.

The risk if you don't is that if you pass Schengen immigration using your US passport in the future - particularly if you do not have your Greek passport at the time - the immigration agent will check your stamp dates and assume that you overstayed. Which is likely to lead - at least - to awkward questions.

  • 3
    He can always pull the Greek passport (on that assumed future trip), and the discussion will be over. He actually never needs to show his US passport anyone in Europe again. So an extra trip is wasted money.
    – Aganju
    Commented May 22, 2019 at 23:33
  • @Aganju Well it's a trade-off between a potential argument with an immigration officer (everyone's favorite pastime) and making an excuse to leave the Shengen area and maybe have a long weekend for fun Commented May 22, 2019 at 23:52
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    Q: you seem to have overstayed on your previous trip. A: I'm a Greek citizen. Q: where's your Greek passport? A: it's being renewed. Q: have a nice day. Doesn't seem so awkward to me.
    – phoog
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 1:26
  • What if, instead of "Have a nice day", the conversation continues: Q: Do you have any other evidence of your Greek citizenship? A: No, I'm afraid not. Q: Would you mind stepping this way please, so that we can look into this further? Don't get me wrong, chances are the biggest risk is hassle rather than anything more serious, but is the hassle worth it, if it can be avoided with a long weekend somewhere mid-trip? That's up to the OP.
    – Hedgehog
    Commented May 23, 2019 at 18:36

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