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- Practcally Cretan
Hello Safe Journeys
Welcome to the forum.
It is good to hear from new members here.
Greek residency application with Brexit looming – and assuming you are holding British citizen passports.
Coming late in the UK separation from the EU process could have complications with just 4 months to apply for residency.
Taking Up Residency is a Two Step Process
First, to become an initial resident as an EU citizen and that includes Brits until December 31, 2020. To start the process you should be landed in Greece, three months before registering for residency.
If approved, you will be issued a beige permit which is open ended.
After five years of continuous residency, EU citizens are encouraged to convert to becoming a permanent resident – that is a blue document. For Brits, both documents will be changed sometime in 2021 into a new credit card style document containing a microchip. This matches residency cards issued to all other non-EU nationals already.
Those are the basics.
Biggest take away for you to know: The time is now to start the process to apply for the initial permit before #Brexit takes final effect. From January 1, 2021 the process changes immensely. The huge difference is between chalk and cheese and very costly.
As mentioned above, as an EU citizen, you apply AFTER three months of staying in Greece.
You Should Come Immediately (and definitely before Dec 31st, 2020 if you want Residency under old UK/EU Relationship)
This would indicate you should come as soon as possible.
If you are over 65 years of age, and retired, and you are in Greece, the bureaucracy is straight forward when you go along to your local police station that handles foreign residents affairs to apply with:
- 1. Proof of medical coverage. It has been enough to present an EHIC card. If you move to Greece permanently, Newcastle normally issues an S1 document that hands over health care to the Greek system …
- 2. Proof of ownership of property (deeds) or in the event of renting a property the need is for a copy of the rental contract.
- 3. One recent stressful event was a police station asking for real proof of having been in Greece for the three months. It was not enough just being here. The police will not check with airport or airlines to verify tickets / boarding passes.
- 4. 4 Passport photos, passports,
- 5. Proof of UK pension. The annual letter you receive each February from DHSS stating the increase you will receive should be enough.
- 6. Proof of Sufficient funds. Depending at which police station you register, it is required to show in a Greek savings account or UK Savings account the sum of 4000-4,600 euros or equivalent per person (meaning double that amount if you present a joint account) depending on the police station you register at. I am informed it does not have to stay in the account but can be withdrawn afterwards.
- Those are just some of the basics and it is not gospel. I am not an immigration specialist – far from it.
If all the papers presented are sufficent and accepted, the issuing of the residence permit is usually within a couple of days, at most a week.
From what I understand, the EU Commission is requiring (subject to final ratification) that all British Passports will be treated in line with all non-EU nationals applications for residency (that means in the same context as Russia, Eastern European, Asian and African countries) from January 1, 2021. It will cause more complex and more stringent requirements. Already some under 65yo Brits who have run foul of the bureaucracy have been talking about entry via the Golden Visa program. That project was originally aimed at wealthy Chinese and Russians to invest in Greek property with a minimum sum of 250,000 euros. Those folk had a need to overcome the expected hurdles imposed on Brit passport holders by the EU Commission, not the Greeks.
Therefore, all Brits should understand our cozy relationship with the EU is over and should not expect any privileges from Europe once #Brexit finally takes effect.
Again in my opinion, anyone thinking of coming to Greece to live should do it now without delay.
There are less than 4 months + left to take action. (per this edit 04-09-2020)
Finally my personal words of advice
The way Greek bureaucracy works is by issuing a “protocol” number. In other words this is an allocated file number attached to any application / dealings with a government entity (in this case the Police). Once allocated, and before any deadline, usually, I repeat usually, it means the application can be completed after the deadline as it was issued prior to the defined cut off date (in this case, December 31, 2020). Secondly, in serious matters, I always have used a Greek lawyer to assist, to smooth the due process. They are far less costly than their UK counterparts and should be considered, as should be a recommeded accountant. As you are leaving to the last minute your application and unlikely you not know the ‘ropes’, especially if you are not familiar with the Greek ‘system’,
I would further suggest that time is the essence and earnestly recommend you do not think to start any application in 2021 and beyond if you seriously intend to live in Greece .. It is worth remembering that a move to Greece or any other EU destination (except Ireland) is not like moving to the next county or city in the UK. Each country is very different to each other. Greece is no exception. One piece of good news .. the issuing of a Greek residence permit is FREE.
Note: Having stated all that, if you are not familiar with moving to Greece and taking up residency as a #Brit, the UK Government website on Living in Greece is remarkably helpful. It covers pre and post Brexit scenarios. Great read. Necessary read.
Safe Journeys , hope that helps
Gerald / admin
PS: After Brexit , Brits will still be able to come to Greece without a visa for 90 days in any 180 days period. They will not be able to do anything other than be temporary visitors. It will be difficult to open bank accounts, or any other activity associated with being a non-resident.
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