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7th November 2020 at 7:05 am #92265shinobidefParticipantMember since: 7th November 2020
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- BIC 2.0 Newbie
I’m Louise from the UK and new here – pleased to meet you!
I’m having Brexit worries…
I arrived in Crete on 6 September and fell in love with the place. I am a traveller so I’ve been concerned about Brexit for a while and would love to try and get temporary residence here.
I understand I have to wait until 6 December before I can apply but there are some issues:
- I’m living in Gavdos – I rent a room month to month but I have no contract or utility bills in my name in order to get a tax no. and then the bank account. As I can’t apply anyway for residency until 6 December, and what with lockdown restricting movement now and tye very tight timeframe between 6 and 31 December, especially with Xmas, I don’t know what I can do
- I’m self employed but only started my online business this year which is currently dormant so no tax returns. But…I do have ample funds to support myself for 2-3 years living on perhaps an average Greek salary. I may also look to work or volunteer once the COVID situation is more relaxed.
- I have some Greek friends who can help with translation, though they will be on Gavdos and not possible for them to attend appointments with me if I need to go to Chania.
What to do… Am I too late to get this sorted out before 31 December? Are there any agencies who could help me soeed up the process, or any ways around not having a proper rental contract? There is a policeman on Gavdos but that’s about it!
The other thing I’m confused about is whether I can stay past 31 December..technically that would form the start of the 90 day allowance for being in the EU within a 180 day period…but will I need to leave and then immediately come back? Or just attend somewhere to show “Ok I’m starting my 90 day period now” (since I would have no stamp in my passport to show when I got here).
I did read on one site that UK citizens had until June 2021 to get residency due to COVID but perhaps I’d herd to fly back to the UK by March and then come back to Crete?
Any tips or advice you can give would be very much appreciated, especially as I don’t have a home in the UK to go back to.
Louise7th November 2020 at 1:04 pm #92266adminKeymasterMember since: 1st January 2005
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- Practcally Cretan
Greece Is A Place – Who You Know Counts Most in Officialdom
Greece as you know is a person to person place. It is really is all about who you know and if they have any sway with local officals “to smooth the way”.
Start the process now. Don’t delay as Brexit definitely happens at 0100hrs on January 1, 2021, Greek time.
If you have good Greek contacts on Gavdos, well it is so small everyone knows everyone. You could well help your cause this way, as you have been on the island for a while already.
I would befriend the local police guy in any event, if you haven’t already, and with local Greek support. Gavdos is its own municipality, but very small (only 150 or so inhabitants). With only one police you need to ask if he/she can issue a residence permit or you must go elsewhere to a main police station, likely to be somewhere in the Chania Prefecture of which Gavdos is a part. (You may have asked already as you mention going to Chania city? of Prefecture?). I suggest you ask for contact details and find out which papers they seek to support an application for the beige coloured first residence permit (Άδεια παραμονής – in Greek). These are only assumptions on my part. If you know the local police person then he/she can be most helpful in supporting your application, if you must go off the island. Maybe your Gavdos person CAN issue the permit. Then it should be much easier. I simply am not familiar with the situations on Gavdos. As every police station handling applications have their own attitudes to applications in addition to what the law says. There can be mutual flexibility. What I can tell you is that local mayors are encouraging Brits to stay in situe post Brexit. Why? We have been a major contribution and a boost to the local economies around the island. Do you know your local mayor?
Finding solutions in the Greek residence permit process
I have outlined in other recent residence application enquiries in this forum (such as here), to state how you can get around the rental issues and utility bills. Showing financial staus via UK accounts is good enough, for now. Please read those other forum threads. They are useful and relevant.
How to Use a Sworn Affadavit Solution
The use of a sworn affadavit, in Greek – ΥΠΕΥΘΥΝΗ ΔΗΛΩΣΗ can overcome obstacles. If your landlady was to agree she could sign one of these affadavits that you are in agreement for 3months?? That she has paid the utilities and you have reimbursed her. In such a document you basically make statements that are subject to legal proceedings if not true. Until Dec31, 2020 the EHIC is enough to cover health insurance at the time of your residence application.
Other Potential Resources
You asked about help via agencies. In Crete it can be via a local lawyer familiar with residency issues. They are not anywhere as expensive as UK. I would see what is possible and get advice. First brief meeting should be without charge. If there is a KEP office (similar to the Citizens Advice Bureau in UK) on Gavdos?
Here is an extreme thought: If you are facing real headwinds with your enquiries: can you get in touch with the owner/operator of the local radio station to get advice from his Greek listeners or call for their support in what you are doing? Just a thought anyway.
What About Local British Resident Connections?
Are there any other Brits there you can talk to about this matter, and their experiences?
There is a small British community in Paleohora that may be a good place to look for contacts: such as in FB Paleohora, a Group?
The only information about the June 30th, 2021 date I have confirmed is the need to convert from the current paper residence permit to a new biometric one.
Please start the process without delay. Do not wait until December 6 (the date you mentioned?) as December 31, 2020 is it. That is the last day Britain is in the EU and we will have Brexited completely at 11pm GMT.
Using Protocol Number to your Advantage
I wish you well for your application for an initial 5 year residence permit (Άδεια παραμονής) from Gavdos. My words are not to be construed as advice as I am not qualified to do so. Just experiences I am aware of in these matters. May I suggest, while Crete is laid back, this is not the time to do so in your case. I agree it is going to be an uncertain time after mid-December until mid January for getting anything concluded. Final thought. All government processes are governed by a protocol number (your file). Make sure if you apply very late to get one from the police. The reason is your application will still be valid after Brexit deadline (in this case) until a decision is made in your application for residency. This applies across all government transactions, unless otherwise stipulated – to my knowledge.
Hope that helps.
9th November 2020 at 5:56 am #92276shinobidefParticipantMember since: 7th November 2020
- This reply was modified 2 weeks, 5 days ago by admin. Reason: Mark up error corrected
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- BIC 2.0 Newbie
I can’t thank you enough for that incredibly thorough and helpful post which has lifted my spirits! Some Greek friends don’t seem very hopeful, but it’s worth trying otherwise I definitely have no chance.
Do you happen to have any links I can read regarding the showing of finances as proof that you can support yourself? I tried a search but the results seem to be getting garbled on my tablet.
I will see if the landlady will sign an Affadavit when she returns, though she is late returning and I’m not sure she will, though the local policeman knows how long I’ve been here after I had to report my bag missing on my first day (thankfully I got it back!). Is the Affadavit something I need to request from a lawyer?
Unfortunately, there’s no KEP office here – theres very little indeed! However, I’ll have a look for some other offices.
I have heard that opening a Greek bank account is a challenge. Does it have to be fully Greek, or is it possible to use an international one like HSBC? I have read some info that suggests you need a birth certificate as well as a passport so I hope that’s not the case as no clue where in the UK it is.
I have emailed a couple of lawyers to see what I need to arrange an AFM and if they can do it for me to save me travelling to Chania for this and then again for a bank account appointment.
To my knowledge, theres no other Brits here, though I do belong to a few Crete FB groups.
I’m self employed but only started my business in this tax year so no tax returns. For simplicity, I wonder if it’s better to state I’m unemployed for now since I’m not currently bringing in income and don’t know if I’ll keep the business up as I’m on a break. Perhaps instead I can just close it in the UK when my tax return is due, or register here if I succeed with the application.
Thanks again Gerald – your thoughts are very much appreciated!
Louise11th November 2020 at 10:05 pm #92277adminKeymasterMember since: 1st January 2005
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- Practcally Cretan
May I suggest that perhaps we should not discuss so much of your personal information in public?
– While UK is still in the EU, a statement from a British bank there is accepted (although not always). Needs to show 4,000 euros equiv.
– Have you spoken to your policeman on applying for residence? You may need him to verify more about you if the eventual police who issue a permit wants to know more about your presence in Gavdos.
– I do not know if there is any flexibility (easing) in applications as the Brexit transition period is coming to an end. If you read about the Ikaria family experiences it seemed very straight forward with the police being very amenable.
– Even Greek laywers are not good at responding to e-mails. Better to phone. Try to get their mobile numbers. Even better is try to arrange a meeting. I mention this as you appear to be struggling with some of the requirements.
– Finally, have you tried to catch up with the small Brit community in Paleohora? Try the Facebook Group as a starting point. They may well be better informed about this subject and maybe guide you to some useful contacts. Unfortunately, I do not know anyone there, yet!
How’s that for perhaps a faster route to getting the beige resident permit?
- This reply was modified 2 weeks ago by admin. Reason: corrected spelling
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