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Residence permits by Greek law

If you’re an EEA national you can stay and work in Greece without a residence permit. However, if you plan to stay for longer than 90 days, you will have to register and obtain a Certificate of Registration or Residence Certificate (Βεβαίωση Eγγραφής Πολιτών Ευρωπαϊκης Ενοσης / Veveosi Egrafis Politon Evropaikis Enoseis) at the nearest police station or Aliens’ Bureau.

EEA nationalsThe above mentioned Residence Certificate has unlimited validity. You need to present your passport or identity card, four photographs, proof of accommodation (e.g. a rental contract or title deeds), proof you have sufficient income (e.g. bank statements or certificate from the employer) and proof of health insurance cover (EU Health Card – which has replaced Form E-111 and E-121 – or a private health insurance policy).

After five years of continuous residence or the marriage to a Greek national, a Permanent Residence Certificate (Eγγραφο Πιστοποίησης Μόνιμης Διαμονής Πολίτη Ε.Ε / Egrafo Pistopoisis Monimis Diamonis Politi Evropaikis Enoseis) can be applied for.

Non-EEA nationals
Residence permits for non-EEA nationals are difficult to obtain unless you’re married to a Greek or someone of Greek origin. First you have to obtain a long-stay visa from the Greek embassy or consulate in your country of origin in order to stay for longer than 90 days in the country.

When you arrive in Greece you will have to apply for a residence permit (Άδεια Παραμονής / Adia Paramonisat the nearest Aliens’ Bureau within two months.

It is recommended that you apply as soon as you arrive so that if the permit is delayed you don’t have to leave the country because your visa has expired. You need to present your visa, passport plus a copy, two photographs, a certificate of medical insurance, a health certificate from a state hospital (see below), proof of a local address (title deeds or rental contract), your employment contract (if applicable) and proof that you can support yourself financially. All these documents have to be handed in in Greek. The initial residence permit is valid for one year, after which it may be renewed for five to ten years.

In 2013, the Greek government passed a new law which gives non-EU nationals and their family members a residence permit when buying property with a value of €250,000 or more. If the ownership status of the property remains unchanged the residence permit might be renewed for five years. In this case, the period of residence is not relevant. However, this kind of residence permit doesn’t necessarily include the right of employment.

Health certificate
If you want to work in Greece you will have to be insured and get a Social Insurance Number or AMKA in Greek. EEA nationals in certain jobs (e.g. food preparation or child care) and all non-EEA nationals applying for a residence permit must obtain a health certificate from a state hospital. The certificate is issued after you have passed several medical examinations including a chest x-ray (TB), blood tests (hepatitis B and C, and HIV), a psychiatric evaluation and drug tracing. Note that you must pay for all examinations.

Working
If you’re self-employed, you need to present confirmation from the tax authorities that you plan to set up in business and provide a certificate from the local court stating that your business has been legally recognised and declared. If your employment involves food preparation or working with children, you must also present a health certificate.

If you have the right to work depends on your nationality. EEA nationalsare allowed to work in Greece without applying for a work permit. If they stay for longer than 90 days they will have to get a residence permit, which includes the work permit.

For Non-EEA nationals the work permit is related to the residence permit. Once you have entered the country with a visa you can apply for both. Which kind of residence or work permit you can obtain depends on your employment situation (self-employed, consultant, employee, executive).

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