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Registering for Greek Residence

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  • #92095
    safe journeys
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        • BIC 2.0 Newbie
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        Hi we are thinking of moving to Crete. We are retired and wondered if it would be better to do it before Brexit. Is it a simple matter to register when you get there? many thanks in advance

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        BullionVault

        #92099
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            • Practcally Cretan
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            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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            #92205
            BadgerFamily
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                Thank you firstly for the informative article, my family and I are new to the site and have had a dream to move to Greece for years. We were on Crete in Milatos for a mnth and we are now on Ikaria but may come back to Crete.

                We are very conscious of the Brexit date and therefore want to get temporary residency sorted ASAP. I have several questions that I need answers to so if you cannot answer but recommend an immigration expert that would be helpful. But, if you can then great.

                1. We are a couple with 15 year old twins, do we need to have 4000 euros for my wife and I only or do we need to have these funds for the kids too?

                2 If we get temporary residency do the kids get it by default or do we need to take them to the Police Station too to be present when completing the form?

                3. You mentioned some places accept the EHIC card, if they don’t can you recommend a well priced insurance so we can get the residency sorted?

                4. Once you have temporary residency are there a certain amount of days you need to be in Greece each year or does the permit elapse?

                5. Is it enough to have a 3 month rental agreement on a property to gain the temporary residency as we haven’t purchased anywhere as yet?

                As an aside we went to the police station in Evdilos on Ikaria to state our intentions and they said have we had our passport stamped, we said no as it wasn’t. The police officer just said well if we don’t know when you came then stay as long as you like. This made us both smile but isn’t the answer long term, we do love the Greek attitude though.

                 

                Any help will be gratefully accepted as entering the Greek bureacratic system feels somewhat daunting.

                Thanks in advance

                Nathan :good:

                #92206
                BadgerFamily
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                    Hello we are newbie’s to the site and I did post yesterday but I cannot find it so maybe I did somehting wrong.

                    :yahoo: Thank you firstly for the informative article, my family and I are new to the site and have had a dream to move to Greece for years. We were on Crete in Milatos for a mnth and we are now on Ikaria but may come back to Crete.

                    We are very conscious of the Brexit date and therefore want to get temporary residency sorted ASAP. I have several questions that I need answers to so if you cannot answer but recommend an immigration expert that would be helpful. But, if you can then great.

                    1. We are a couple with 15 year old twins, do we need to have 4000 euros for my wife and I only or do we need to have these funds for the kids too?

                    2 If we get temporary residency do the kids get it by default or do we need to take them to the Police Station too to be present when completing the form?

                    3. You mentioned some places accept the EHIC card, if they don’t can you recommend a well priced insurance so we can get the residency sorted?

                    4. Once you have temporary residency are there a certain amount of days you need to be in Greece each year or does the permit elapse?

                    5. Is it enough to have a 3 month rental agreement on a property to gain the temporary residency as we haven’t purchased anywhere as yet?

                    As an aside we went to the police station in Evdilos on Ikaria to state our intentions and they said have we had our passport stamped, we said no as it wasn’t. The police officer just said well if we don’t know when you came then stay as long as you like. This made us both smile but isn’t the answer long term, we do love the Greek attitude though.

                    Any help will be gratefully accepted as entering the Greek bureacratic system feels somewhat daunting.

                    Thanks in advance

                    Nathan :yahoo:

                    #92207
                    admin
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                        Hello Nathan

                        Welcome to the forum and thank you for contacting us.

                        Thank you for your posting. Both messages received. Did you refresh the page after posting the first time?  And remember to click the save button under a post, often out of sight, off screen.

                        It sounds like you met a typical and friendly police officer at #Evdilos police station. But does that station issue residence permits? What I have posted in the BritsinCrete Forum is regarding one of the four prefectures in the region of #Crete. Even for Crete island region I understand there are one or two quirky variations between the four prefectures too.

                        I have learned: The Greek system is as daunting as you make it to be.

                        Making your Greek Residence Permit Application in Ikaria?

                        As you are on Ikaria, and you hold a passport of an EU country ( I am assuming UK and below retirement Age) I would try to get in touch with the officer in charge of the foreign community for that area. You know ‘the guy all the foreigners need to speak to’ on matters like residency. There on Ikaria, you may have a tighter or looser set of criteria that person has for issuing an initial residence permit to what I have described for our Prefecture.

                        If I were you I would consider to see that person asap and listen to their requirements. My experiences locally have been that where we need to apply is at the main police station in our prefecture at the town of Agios Nikolaos – the regional administrative centre, where the right police person in charge of security is located.  The question would be: is the main police station on Ikaria at Agios Kirykos where the regional government offices are located? And, where maybe you need to present yourselves. If so, there would be no harm to getting there and talking to the officer handling foreigners, now would there?

                        If you are facing ‘issues’, I have always found that getting a lawyer involved for advice is not going to cost an arm and a leg like it is in UK. That is what I would suggest. Find out from local Greeks (better still, if you can find some English folk there who have gone through the residency application process) and if there is a lawyer who speaks good English and handles this kind of matter?

                        This is not Legal Advice but Practical Considerations and approach.

                        I have to state clearly I am not a lawyer. What I mention here is based on experience and knowledge gained from living in Greece, and on Crete, for a while:

                        Practical Approach to Moving Forward

                        YOU ASKED —

                        1. We are a couple with 15 year old twins, do we need to have 4000 euros for my wife and I only or do we need to have these funds for the kids too?

                        MY RESPONSE: Get advice but I would think, yes, as they have their own passports. Applying as a family unit probably has flexibility. 

                        2 If we get temporary residency do the kids get it by default or do we need to take them to the Police Station too, to be present when completing the form?

                        MY RESPONSE: AS Above

                        3. You mentioned some places accept the EHIC card, if they don’t can you recommend a well priced insurance so we can get the residency sorted?

                        MY RESPONSE: The EHIC until DEC31,2020 is sufficient I do believe, or should be to fit the health criteria. Private health insurance in Greece seems to be just so expensive and unbelievable for the average person.

                        4. Once you have temporary residency are there a certain amount of days you need to be in Greece each year or does the permit elapse?

                        MY RESPONSE: Without seeing the current police manual, I believe it is something like no more than 6 months away in a two year period before losing the status on the first permit to be issued which is 5 years.

                        5. Is it enough to have a 3 month rental agreement on a property to gain the temporary residency as we haven’t purchased anywhere as yet?

                        MY RESPONSE: What is critical is this: at the police station if you present a three month rental agreement does it satisfy the required “three month residency” required to apply for a permit. Maybe it is? You see what I mean about flexibility of the police person handling your application.

                        I hope you are treating all this with a matter of top priority if you plan to stay in Greece. Getting residence after Dec 31, is going to be much more difficult.

                        Have you been into Facebook to find any connections in Ikaria?

                        Finally. So you are in #Ikaria. It really makes sense to pursue the resident application process there, as you are in situe and time is so short to get things done in a practical manner. It costs you nothing but time. Make sure you have your EHIC cards for all the family.

                        Hope that is helpful too…

                        • This reply was modified 10 months ago by admin. Reason: Content amended
                        #92209
                        BadgerFamily
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                            Thank you very much for the lengthy and again informative response, I tend to agree that we need to just go and see the officer in Agios Kirykos and see what he says. We can then get everything together so that the process is swift and easy. When we speak to the Greeks they seem surprised we want to stay but then happy that we do so if the police are as welcoming we are sure the process will be smooth.

                            Thanks once again, I will let you know how it goes in case others can benefit from our experience.

                            #92210
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                                Hello Nathan of the ‘Badger Family

                                Yes, it would be good to know how you get along, and to compare the different ways each region handles a residence permit application.

                                Take care and best of British!

                                #92222
                                BadgerFamily
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                                    Hi,

                                    I thought I would give an update on the temporary residency process in Ikaria. Well it appears they are fairly laid back in the fact we were waiting on getting a lease on a house to satisfy the process, but the man we dealt we just asked why we wanted residency. We told him we were buying a house and that was all he said, we gave photos and showed bank account for my wife and I as he said don’t worry about the children.

                                    We went on the Thursday and picked up our temporary cards on the Monday. We are chuffed to bits and very grateful we got it done before 31st December.

                                    Good luck to anyone else looking to do it and thanks for the guidance on the forum it was much appreciated.

                                    Thanks :good:

                                    #92233
                                    clunegapyears
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                                        Good evening.

                                        Arrived in Greece this trip on 10.10 by ferry.  This will not satisfy the already here for 3 months requirement. But we were here for over 5 months last winter, leaving at the start of March. I have all the ferry bookings, but no rental contract for that period as we were in a motorhome.   Do you think the police station will accept last winter as being here for 3 months?

                                        We have a 6 month rental now which has been done through the accountant. However, Vryses has asked for the electricity bill. This is not in my name, but that of the landlady.   Do you think this will be acceptable?

                                        I know people have not had to present this evidence at a different police station … do we have to use Vryses?

                                        Madly, we have birth cert, marriage cert all apostille stamped, land registry to show we own uk properties, pension statements, medical insuranceetc … but they don’t want to see any of this. Sigh!

                                        I hope you can advise … desperate to make our permanent home here.

                                        Katherine

                                         

                                        #92234
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                                            Hello Katherine @ clunegapyears

                                            Welcome to the forum.

                                            As I mentioned to the ‘badger family’ and you have picked up on it, it seems every police station can have a slightly different attitude to the question of the conditions of issuing the beige residence permit.  The one question that family were asked was simply: why do they need a permit? Because before, the system was very relaxed in Greece for EU nationals. In the course of daily life it was not necessary to prove residence until you need to do something official with the bureaucracy like buying a car.

                                            A “ΥΠΕΥΘΥΝΗ ΔΗΛΩΣΗ” may be helpful

                                            Anyway, remember the Greek year is January 1st – Dec 31st. So time in Greece this past winter ‘may’ count. But I am not in a position to give advice, I am not a lawyer. But you have an accountant. For an electricity bill issue, ask the accountant to speak to your landlady, state the problem of the electricity bill and ask her to sign a legal declaration “ΥΠΕΥΘΥΝΗ ΔΗΛΩΣΗ” that you rent the property and that she pays the electricity on your behalf and you re-imburse her. You would need a receipt to attach to the ΥΠΕΥΘΥΝΗ ΔΗΛΩΣΗ as well. The landlady would have sign a copy of a paid bill and sign it as part of the declaration too. THIS IS ONLY A SUGGESTION FROM ME. If all else is proving a challenge then get help from a lawyer. They do not cost an arm and a leg as in the UK. So if you run into difficulties talk to one. It may just stop heartache and worry.

                                            Usually, as an EU national you are supposed to apply for the residence permit  when you have stayed in Greece over 3 months.   I think what the police want to know is that you are able to support yourselves and that you are serious that  you wish to live in Greece, and that you are not being opportunists.  If the local police are sticklers by going by the book, then you need, I feel, to contact a local lawyer as I suggested, or even a local Greek you may know with some influence to liaise with the police. Your accountant is unlikely to do this on professional grounds.

                                            EHIC or Private Health Insurance

                                            Something else you may not be aware of. It is my understanding that as long as you have healthcare provision in the form of the EHIC card and for a private healthcare policy that is issued within an EU country that ‘should’ be enough proof  you are covered. (Just hope you do not need to translate the policy document into Greek). As you know all ’emergency treatment’ for EU nationals is without charge. Of course that changes for Brits on January 1, 2021.

                                            Choice of Crete Police Station

                                            It is usually the case you have to apply in the regional area where you have an address as shown on the rental agreement. Best to get along with the police station officer you have already made contact with. From our local mayor, the town council is incredbly keen to ‘keep’ the British residents ‘to stay’ after Brexit and not through bureaucracy force them out. It is recognised the British community is an economic force in the local economy of Crete. Good luck with the application for the residence permit application.

                                            Hope that is somewhat helpful

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                                            #92238
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                                                Katherine, as an after thought, consider contacting your local KEP office, the Greece equivalent of a Citizen’s Advice Bureau. Brit residents in our area have found our KEP office to be incredibly useful. Hopefully you can find an English speaker in the office.

                                                In our area they handle the swapping of a British Driving licence for a Greek one. (The Ministry of Transport would normally handle this process).

                                                After Dece, 31, 2020, it is likely Brits will need to apply for an International Drivers Licence to drive on Greek roads, regardless of the type of licence.

                                                #92243
                                                clunegapyears
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                                                    Thank you so much for your detailed help. So from the sounds of it, I should be completely up front with the police station initially and ask if months in the first part of the year can count, and explain we reimburse the landlady for electricity. If he is not happy, try the Kep and get the landlady accountant legal doc to state we do pay it. Here’s hoping … I’ll report on how we get on.

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