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        Why is the October8th Withdrawal Agreement Announcement So Important?

        Answer: Because it defines the process for residency change for Brits across the EU after Brexit. Regardless of the outcome of the Brexit trade negotiations between the UK and the EU, Britain leaves the Group on December 31, 2020.  Both sides have agreed to pay special attention to citizens residence rights in each other’s countries. This has been made clear and spelled out in the Withdrawal Agreement document on October 8th, 2020 for each of the remaining 27 countries.

        Officially, the legally binding document is called the:
        SPECIALISED COMMITTEE ON CITIZENS’ RIGHTS 8 OCTOBER 2020 –
        JOINT REPORT ON THE IMPLEMENTATION OF RESIDENCE RIGHTS UNDER PART TWO OF THE WITHDRAWAL AGREEMENT (WA)

        Here we focus on how the Withdrawal Agreement applies to Greece and Cyprus

        The Hellenic Republic (official name for #Greece) being responsible for its own national security policies, will change the current residence permits to biometric residence permits between January 1, 2021 and June 30th, 2021. Unfortunately, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs has not yet issued publicly the practical implementation rules for the new residence permit as of the time of writing.  This means that critically, everyone holding their Greek Residence Permit has until that date to apply. It is the onus of each holder to make the effort to apply or lose the status.

        To hold an initial beige permit (Veveosi Egrafis) or permanent blue permit (Egrafo Pistopoisis Monimis Diamonis) is proof as the continuing right to live in Greece. But it is important to understand that the authorities are changing the statuses of both permits on January 1, 2021 to that of a temporary permit to stay. Previously while the UK was an EU member the permits were open ended. The move reflects the clear status change of the United Kingdom on December 31. 2020 from being an EU member state to becoming a non-EU country.

        The implementation of citizen’s rights for Greece that affects the change for #Brits holding residence status prior to December 31, 2020 is outlined in the 8 October 2020 WA document as follows:

        23. Greece. The new residence scheme will be opened on 1 January 2021. UK nationals and their family members will have the right to apply for the new residence document according to the conditions set out in the EU Free Movement Directive. There will be a registration requirement with the application deadline of 30 June 2021. This will provide legal certainty for both the Greek authorities and UK nationals and their family members. UK nationals will apply in person at the competent police authorities handling foreigners’ issues of the place of their residence, while family members of UK nationals, who are non-EU or UK nationals, will apply at the competent Foreigners and Migration authorities of the decentralised Administration of their place of residence. The current residence documents that have been issued under the EU Free Movement Directive can be used as proof of the previous status 7 of UK nationals and their family members when they prove their residence status under the WA.

        How Many Brits live in Greece and have Residence Permits, including family members?

        It is estimated that some 28,000 British residents in Greece holding residence with either of the permits, as of July 30, 2020.

        For those of you interested in how the Republic of Cyprus (Greek Cypriot Cyprus) is handling the status change of British residence permit holders prior to December 31, 2020, here is the WA reference:

        27. Cyprus. The new residence scheme will be opened on 1 January 2021. An online application process is scheduled to start on that date. Cyprus will not require eligible UK nationals and their family members to replace their residence documents issued under the EU Free Movement Directive, where those documents can be used as means of proof of their right to stay in the Republic of Cyprus. Beneficiaries of the WA will have the right to apply for the new type of residence document based on Article 18(4) of the WA as of 1 January 2021. Those who hold a valid residence document issued under the EU Free Movement Directive will only need to submit a valid passport as proof of identity in their new application. UK nationals who have not obtained a residence document under EU law before the end of the transition period will be entitled to apply for the new residence document under the WA and will have to submit documentary evidence of their residence in Cyprus prior to the end of the transition period.

        How Many Brits live in Cyprus Have Residence Permits, including family members?

        It is estimated that some 37,000 British residents in Greek Cyprus have residency status using either one of the permits, as of July 30, 2020.

        The full Withdrawal Agreement document listing all the EU countries status change for British nationals holding residence permits in each state can be downloaded from this forum. It is attached at end of this post.

        Basically, the EU has agreed that each country will make the changeover from the current residence permit status to the new status for Britons as transparent and easy as possible. Greece and Cyprus both have publicly made it clear they want to fulfil this task and keep bureaucracy to an absolute minimum and be free as possible.

        Post script: Check the official Greek Government website periodically for latest announcements affecting Brits Living in Greece. Many questions are posed and answers. See how many situations may apply to you.

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        • This topic was modified 2 weeks ago by admin.
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