Visas and residency

Visas and residency

British citizens possessing valid passports are permitted to enter Greece and remain for three months from their date of entry without a visa or any other formality except customs examination. If this three-month period is exceeded without the permission of the Greek authorities difficulties may be experienced on trying to leave the country and prosecution for contravening the regulations may follow.

Those coming to Greece to take up residence should obtain a change of residence certificate, which is issued by the Greek Consular authorities in the United Kingdom.
From 1 January 1993 EU Nationals visiting Greece may freely import and re-export personal effects and are no longer subject to any customs controls or other formalities at points of direct entry from another EU Member State. However, for cars, boats, etc. please see the section below. Small quantities of flowers, bulbs and fresh fruit may be imported. Plants must be accompanied by phytosanitary certificates issued by the appropriate authority in the country of origin. Small animals may be imported as long as accompanied by a veterinary certificate issued by the MAFF.

Registration certificates

Greece now adheres to EU Directive 2004/58/EC concerning the “rights of citizens of the Union to move and reside freely within the territory of the Member States”. Accordingly, Greek law governing residence of EU nationals in Greece has been regulated as follows: All EU nationals must apply for the new “Registration Certificate” (Veveoisi Engrafis) after they have spent 3 months in Greece. The Registration Certificate replaces the old “Residence Permit” (Adeia Diamonis). It is obligatory. This new certificate will be open-dated and therefore will not need to be renewed.
The following documents will be required when applying for the issue of a Registration Certificate.
1) For working people:
a) The passport used when the applicant entered Greece
b) A statement by the applicant’s employer, duly certified by the local Labour Inspectorate, specifying the nature and duration of the work to be done by the applicant and therefore proof of local health cover e.g. IKA.
2) For members of his/her family:
a) The passport used when the applicants entered Greece
b) A document issued by the appropriate authority of the country of origin showing their relationship, i.e. marriage/birth certificates that will need to be translated into Greek or, alternatively, applicants may sign a                       Signed Declaration (Epefthini Deilosi) in Greek to confirm the relationship.
3) Pensioners or Unemployed:
a) The passport used when the applicants entered Greece
b) Applicants will be asked to prove that they have funds to live off – e.g. by producing their bank account booklet which must show a balance of €330. Alternatively, pensioners can produce written proof (translated into Greek) that they are in receipt of a pension from their country of birth.
c) Applicants will need to be able to prove that they have health insurance. This can be an EHIC card, E121, UK or Greek Private Health Insurance
EU Nationals who wish to set up their own business in Greece should comply with the relevant regulations in obtaining a licence to operate. This will involve registering with the Local Tax Authorities and Chamber of Commerce. Certain occupations directly involved with food and beverages also require a work licence issued by the Greek Police (e.g. bar/cafeteria or restaurant work).
A new document now available to all EU nationals is the “Permanent Residence Certificate” (Engrafo Monimis Diamonis). It is optional. This Certificate may suit British citizens who are married to Greek citizens or British citizens who have made Greece their permanent home. Anyone wishing to obtain this Certificate must be able to prove that he/she has been a permanent residence of Greece for over 5 years.
Both of the above Certificates should be applied for at the Police Station closest to the applicants’residence.

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