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Residency Permits

Citizens from EU member states now have an easier time settling on the Greek Islands thanks to a new ruling signed by the Greek president Karolos Papoulias in accordance with EU laws. Citizens from EU states are no longer required to hold residency permits, but in true Greek style this law has yet to be adopted by the immigration offices who are still insistent that all foreigners should register for a residency permit should they decide to stay longer than three months on the islands. You still have to register your intention to stay, but the procedure is no longer as bureaucratic as it once was.




Registering for Residency

All EU citizens can reside on the islands and the mainland for up to three months without the need for a visa or residency permit, however once this time is up, you need to submit an application for a registration certificate known as a veveosi eggrafis at your local immigration office, which can be found at your local police station. Once this is done, you do not have to apply for any other document regarding your residency as this document lasts for the duration of your life. If you want to prove that you have been resident in Greece for five years you can still apply for the old Permanent Residence Certificate known as the Engrafo Monimis Diamonis, although this really isn’t necessary now.


You and every member of your family including your children need to take along your passport or ID card and if you have been offered a job, a certificate of employment or a contract from your employer. If you are self employed you need to provide proof for example in the form of your company registration documents. If you do not intend to work for example if you are retired, you need to provide proof of health care insurance and official Greek bank statements showing you have sufficient funds to provide for yourself and your family. You may use details of your pension to prove this, but these documents will need to be apostilled in the UK and translated into Greek before they are accepted. Once you have provided this information your registration certificate will be issued free of charge immediately. Failure to register will result in a fine of around 59 Euros.

Non EU Citizens

Anyone from non EU states has to apply for a five year residency permit, known as a Deltio Diamonis Melous Oikogeneias Politi Tis Enosis once their visa has expired. In addition to the documentation outlined above for EU citizens, you must also take along your birth certificate and marriage certificate if relevant. Again, this application is free of charge. After five years of residency each member is eligible to apply for permanent residence, known as Deltio Monimis Diamonis. For this you will need to prove you can support yourself or have employment, 4 recent passport photographs, details of health insurance either through your employment or through a private company and a photocopy of the deeds to your property.

Gay and Lesbian Partnerships

Unfortunately legally ‘married’ gay and lesbian partnerships common in countries like the UK and Spain are not legally recognised in Greece, which means that they cannot adopt the same rights as common-law spouses and heterosexual married couples have. This law is subject to change in the future since Franco Frattini, European Commission Vice-President advised EU states that discrimination against same-sex couples, which includes the failure to recognise legal partnerships would be subject to sanctions in the future, which could include expulsion from the Union.