Greece: a land of myth, history, and olives. But what if you want to extend your tryst beyond a fleeting vacation? Don’t worry! We’ve got you covered!
Jumping into the labyrinth of securing a temporary residence in this Hellenic paradise, this guide is here as your partner.
Let’s dive in!
Temporary Residence Permit In Greece
The temporary residence permit is a document that allows a foreigner to stay in the country for one year. Depending on the conditions for issuing a residence permit, it can be extended indefinitely.
The main advantage of owning a residence permit is the ability to obtain permanent residence and citizenship in the future. Often, after the fifth extension, a non-resident is granted permanent residence status.
The Greek government allows issuing a temporary residence permit to foreign citizens only after the latter has visited the government’s territory, for example, as a tourist.
That is, non-residents can obtain a residence permit only if they have visited Greece at least once.
Types Of Greek Resident Permits
A residence permit permits permission to live in a country for at least a year. According to Greece’s legislation, residence permits are issued for the following reasons:
- For work purposes
- For studies, voluntary work, research, and vocational training.
- For a family reunion
- For Humanitarian, exceptional, and other reasons
- For victims of human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
Behind these dry lines of the law, various practical ways to get a residence permit are hidden.
For instance, “work purposes” apply to employees, entrepreneurs, and investors. ” Exceptional and other reasons” give the right to obtain Greece residence for real estate owners, renters, and financially independent people.
Ways For Obtaining A Greek Residence Permit
This program can be used by foreigners who have relatives permanently residing in Greece on a legal basis.
Having parents, children, and spouses with a Greek passport or a permanent residence permit is a good reason for requesting a residence permit for future Greek immigrants.
In the case of a marriage between a Greek citizen and a foreign citizen, a residence permit for the second one can be issued by submitting a marriage certificate to the appropriate migration office. On this basis, a residence permit will be issued.
After living together for more than three years, a spouse is able to collect documents and write an application for obtaining Greek citizenship.
This way of immigration is considered attractive because it doesn’t require an immigrant to have passive income sources. But at the same time, it is one of the most challenging ways to move to Greece.
A European passport or EU Blue Card is required to get a job quickly in Greece. All employers in the Schengen area have to consider candidates from their country at first, then — specialists from the eurozone.
And then, if no suitable applicants are found, third-country nationals are considered.
To obtain a residence permit under this program, an applicant should invest at least € 300,000 in the country’s economy.
They can sponsor a project or participate in a local business, partially or fully paying for it. A one-time investment allows a foreigner to obtain a two-year residence permit.
Investors can register a company with an active account of € 60,000. Funds must be transferred from an account in their home country to a Greek one. They have the right to be employees in their companies or work for a Greek outsourcing or contractual company.
The program requires investments in residential or commercial property for 250,000 euros.
A foreigner who becomes a private real estate owner in Greece automatically receives a temporary residence permit. Then, he receives permanent residence, and after seven years, he can apply for citizenship.
Immigrants can move to Greece if they confirm Greek origin or obtain official refugee status.
Entry into the country will be allowed based on the proven fact of oppression by race, gender, nationality, religion, political views, and social status at the place of residence.
Military actions and natural disasters are also grounds for granting international protection to asylum seekers at external borders.
How To Obtain Residency In Greece?
Non-EU residents must have a type D visa for working in Greece before applying for permanent residency. UK citizens can travel to Greece for up to 3 months without a visa.
After these three months, you must apply for a Registration Certificate (Veveosi Engrafis). Once granted, you only need to renew it if your circumstances change, and you must fill out versions for both you and your children (if applicable).
These documents must be submitted to your local police station or the Aliens Police if you’re based in Athens.
To count as a permanent resident of Greece, you must have an address you live at for at least 183 days of the year. After five years of this, you’ll be able to apply for full, permanent residency.
Different residency permits are available depending on your purpose for moving to Greece. The most popular are financially independent persons (FIP), Golden Visa, and digital nomad visa.
Moving To Greece
Greece offers a lavish lifestyle much sought after by foreigners. In addition to its lovely climate, beautiful countryside, and stunning beaches, living in Greece means direct access to unique archaeological sites, a rich history, great food, and wine.
But how do you get started on your journey to living in Greece?
The challenges of being an expat in Greece begin when you decide to relocate there. Greece attracts all expats, including young professionals, digital nomads, and those seeking a relaxing retirement.
Although the idea of preparing for such a major move may seem daunting, with careful planning, it can go smoothly. You will receive help from the Greek people along the way, which confirms that choosing Greece as your home was a good decision.
Where To Live In Greece?
Greece is a large country that offers a plethora of choices. You can enjoy the excitement of bustling city life, the slower pace of a small rural community, or the unique island living.
Many people choose to live on the fringes of a city, with Athens being a favorite. However, an increasing number are moving to the beautiful Greek islands, with Santorini being a popular choice.
Before moving to Greece permanently, taking a six-month rental and spending some time in the country in the offseason is recommended to ensure you have made the right choice.
This is especially important if island life appeals to you, as many islands are only lively during the tourist season (May to October), while during the rest of the year, many places are closed, and the islanders spend their time on the mainland.
This unique city with amazing sights is the top choice for foreigners moving to Greece, including Americans, Canadians, British, Australians, and more. It offers plenty of must-visit archaeological sites, including the Acropolis and Parthenon.
The city has museums, cultural tours, markets, good shopping, and reasonable prices. Athens enjoys a typical Mediterranean climate with mild winters and hot, sunny summers.
The Greek capital has an excellent public transport network, making it easy to live a little further out where rental prices are lower.
Greece’s second city is architecturally attractive, with a rich history, a cosmopolitan vibe, and a broad coastal promenade, perfect for evening strolls. The pace of life is more relaxed than in Athens, and the city is known for its diverse culture and excellent cuisine.
Thessaloniki enjoys a mild climate but often gets snow in the winter months.
Located in the northwestern Peloponnese, the port city of Patras offers a vibrant city center with museums, galleries, shops, and a lively nightlife.
It has numerous work and leisure opportunities, as it lies close to the sea and mountains, with two large parks on its outskirts.
Undoubtedly, Santorini is one of the most stunning Greek Islands and a popular choice with expats.
Much of the island does get really busy in the summer months, but in the autumn and winter, island life is much calmer and peaceful, but this is undoubtedly only a lifestyle that will suit some.
Prices for many consumer items are high, making it the most expensive of the Greek Islands. Enjoying a delicious, cheap meal in a taverna well away from the tourists
is still possible.
It is best to head to the smaller villages inland during the summer to avoid the crowds. Internet speed is surprisingly good, unlike the island’s plumbing, which can be problematic.
Crete – Chania
Situated on the northwest coast of the large island of Crete, Chania is a great choice. This city is attractive, with an old Venetian harbor, beautiful beaches, and a sizable expat community.
Accommodation prices are low, and Chania has high internet speed for remote workers. Chania has one co-working space in the center, but many cafés offer free Wi-Fi. The Apokoronas District, just east of the city, is particularly popular with expats.
Emigration to Greece
Although Greece is not among the wealthiest countries in the European Union, hardly anyone will be surprised that living there is the dream of many people. Emigration to Greece is one of the easiest ways of moving to Europe and settling there.
To enjoy the privileges of the Greece residents, migrants can apply for one of the following statuses:
- A temporary residence permit gives the right to stay in the country for one year (with the right to annual renewal).
- Permanent residence permit giving the right to live in Greece.
- Citizenship in Greece.
What Is Living In Greece Like?
When it comes to the Greek lifestyle, there are many aspects worth praising. Along with the glorious weather and fantastic food, the pace of life is something many expats dream of in retirement.
It’s not surprising that Greece is one of the world’s best places to retire.
As with many European countries, Greece enjoys a relaxed way of life that might take some getting used to. Although major cities and tourist hubs generally work on a more “British” pattern of standardized hours, more rural areas often march to the beat of their drum.
Greece puts a lot of emphasis on family, spending time outdoors, and tradition.
This should be fine for expats looking for a more relaxed lifestyle, but if speed and efficiency are your top priorities, it’ll be worth relocating to a larger city like Athens.
Because tourism is a major source of income in the country, English is fairly widely spoken. As with other countries, this is less true in more rural areas, but either way, some knowledge of Greek would be beneficial.
If you’re willing to adjust to a Greek’s pace of life and are in a relaxed mood to get something done, you’ll be pleasantly surprised about how good this feels.
Food and weather lead to a healthier lifestyle than you might enjoy now, so complement this by taking things a bit more slowly.
Is Living In Greece Expensive?
Greece uses the Euro, but living here is generally cheaper than in other European nations such as France or Germany. However, the cost of living is definitely higher in cities, particularly ones with a lot of tourism.
For example, rent on an inner-city apartment in Greece will set you back about €335 (£300), while rural rent on an apartment of the same size will be around €280 (£250).
Similarly, food is generally less expensive. A loaf of bread in Greece will set you back around £0.80. Eating out in a restaurant will also be cheaper.
Utility bills are also lower in Greece. While you must pay for refuse collection, your essential monthly outgoings for water, electricity, and such will be around €150 (£130) a month.
Generally speaking, an expat with a monthly income of €2,000 will be able to live very comfortably almost anywhere in Greece.
The Pros And Cons Of Living In Greece
Although more than a simple list of pros and cons will ever be needed for deciding something like residency, it at least helps you understand what living in the country is like.
Here is a quick rundown of the pros and cons of living in Greece, many of which will be expanded upon below.
The Pros Of Living In Greece
Whether you’ve visited Greece or not, the country is well known for its glorious weather. Although it varies by geography, average temperatures are around 30 degrees in the summer and 10 degrees in the winter.
In the height of summer, you can enjoy upwards of 12 hours of glorious sun each day and average sea temperatures of 25 degrees. The rainiest month of the year is December, when, on average, it rains for 11 days.
An abundance of historic sites
Obviously, Greece has plenty of ancient historic monuments if that’s your thing. Whether it’s the Acropolis in Athens or the spiritual center of Delphi, you’ll have plenty of fascinating ancient sites to discover around the country.
While you have to pay for entry, none of them are very expensive.
Greece has some fantastic food. Moreover, it prides itself on its local culture, meaning almost every restaurant is a local affair with good quality, locally sourced produce. You’d pay top dollar for this in countries like the UK.
It’s a dream for seafood lovers, but you must recognize gyros or souvlakis, two national delicacies.
That said, there are plenty of opportunities for vegetarians, although Greece hasn’t been subject to the same surge in vegetarianism as more cosmopolitan countries.
Generally speaking, the quality of healthcare in Greece is quite high. There is a robust public healthcare system, but many expats opt for local, private, or international health insurance to guarantee a higher standard.
International health insurance can be expensive. To make sure you get the best value for money, compare international health insurance options from various providers to find the best deal.
The low cost of living in Greece
Greece enjoys a lower cost of living than other countries, such as the UK. For example, utilities cost around 30% less, internet is 20% less, and renting an apartment in central Athens will set you back at around £670 compared to £3,150 in central London.
The Cons Of Living In Greece
Unequal distribution of facilities
If you’re looking for all the amenities you currently enjoy in life, then you’ll need to live in or near a major city, which means the cost of living will be higher.
However, if you’re happy with rural life, living will be cheaper, but you’ll have to acclimate to a more laid-back lifestyle.
Few employment opportunities
You might find employment challenging if you retire to Greece, set up your own business, or have disposable income. Speaking Greek will definitely make this easier, but don’t move to Greece assuming you’ll easily find a job.
Greece has a more complicated tax system than you might be used to. To avoid this, hiring an accountant to take care of your annual tax returns is best. Not only will this help from the language side, but they will also ensure you don’t overpay.
From sun-kissed beaches to historic alleyways, temporary residence lets you soak in Greece a little longer.
Now equipped with the essentials, may your stay be as enduring as the tales of old. Here’s to your Grecian chapter!
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