Moving to Greece

7 Replies



Hi, I wonder if someone would be able to help me please. I am a UK citizen and my wife is Latin American and we are hoping to start planning to move to one of the Greek Islands, most likely Santorini or Corfu. I have been contacting the Greek Embassy here and the UK Embassy in Greece but have not been getting any answers or replies and its been a long time I've been trying to contact them. I need to know financially what is required of us to gain residency there e.g. £24,000 in our bank account? more or less? I am aware we will need to speak Greek but do they require its fluent or basic Greek? And anything else that anyone thinks we need to know. I have read the page on here abuot it so its just what I have wrote above that I really need to know. Thank you all for your time and attention, Kind regards, George Panayi


PC Guy-226400 1360507787


Firstly, I am not an immigration legal expert, so you will need to check with an appropriate expert.

However, I am rather confused by what you perceive as the requirements to become resident in Greece (or any EU country).  As a UK citizen you are by default a member of the EU and legally every EU country is obilged to allow you to settle, live, work, play and get old gracefully.... How much money you have and whether you only speak South Sotho is irrelevant.

Your wife may present some technical issues but the rules are basically the same.  As your legal partner (and the same applies to your children and your parents) it matters not of which country they are citizens - they are entitled to the same rules as yourself.

It may make life a lot easier (and certainly a lot less paperwork) if your wife became a Briitsh citizen before you moved to Greece.  If you can afford to hire the sevices of an immigration laywer then you should do that as it is a real pain in the rear end to try and navigate the labyrinth of government yourself.

And lastly, if you did want to learn a little Greek before your departure (and it always impresses the locals when you can say a few words and nod your head intelligently) then I can strongly recommend the Rosetta Stone Language Course.  I have used Rosetta Stone to learn languages myself and am of the opinion that this is by far the most effective way to grasp the basics of any language very quickly.

Good Luck !

PC Guy

George14 1360529654


The part about my wife having technical issues is the problem at present but a friendly UK expat in Corfu is coming back to me this week hopefully with some news.

Here in the UK they have implemented new laws for non-EU spouses, they were introduced by Teresa May back in July 2012 and there due to us not being able to meet the financial demands on the new law my wife has until 14th March to leave the country. 

We have sought legal advice but the UKBA still refused to allow my wife to stay (despite her home country being deemed not safe enough for USA Citizens to go to) so no residncy until we have £67,000 savings or I get a job that gives me over £18,600 after tax plus I have to have been in that job for a minimum of 6 months. As most men would agree, they would not send their wife back to a dangerous place which is why we are trying to move to Greece. I speak pretty much full Greek but I wouldn't say fluent and my wife will start to learn soon.

Greece is in crisis but if me and my wife can get residency there it gives us time build our lives up again, which UK won't give us. 

Once again thank you very much for the advice as no embassy has replied to a phone call or email in months!


Stefanos-350558 1360574258

Dear  George,

Greece is really in crisis, but this also means  that it is getting cheaper, apart from taxes.

I would  suggest  to rent, not buy, as  taxes  are unpredictable  and high, while rents have dropped  dramatically.  Also, since you have a UK deadline, you could  come  and live for a couple  of months in Athens, sort out  paperwork, get your bearings, then decide where to stay.

I could give  inexpensive suggestions as to where to stay short term in Athens, also  where  your wife can  learn some Greek.  Families of UK friend have visited  Greece some months ago and have been surprised  that  life is not what   international TV shows.  Yes, there are great problems in the economy, strikes, even demonstrators clashing with police. But this  is only part of  life in Greece. The weather is very good, many people speak English and despite a complete lack of  police, it is a relatively  safe  place to live in. It is true that Greek bereaucracy has to be experienced to be believed  and many Greeks seem to have no social concience. Some  throw garbage around (while having a home of perfect cleanliness) , park so they block your exit  and  drive while speaking on the mobile telephone and smoke at the same time. You have the feeling  we are teenagers that never grew up.  If you can live with that,  you should come to Greece ; life is neved dull  here !  Stefanos Alevras, Kifissia, Athens

George14 1360577382

Kalhmera Stefanos!


Sas euxaristw poly gia tis advice, I found some places sthn Kerkyra to rent for about Euro 300 per month. Twra I am waiting for news if my wife can stay as a residenct in Ellada and if I need a certain amount of lefta in my bank account because she is non-Eu citizen. Another reason we are chosing Kerkyra is because its a main tourist destination we can try to make lefta there, I know there is nealry 0 jobs but maybe something can happen there for us :)

Xerw oti h zwh einai sklhrh sthn Ellada alla like you say the country is beautiful, life is more expensive here in the UK. Edw sto Londino I need £2000 a month to live with rent, utilities, travel, food etc very expensive and like in Ellada most countries in the EU are in crisis now so the media, nai okay is correct with somethings but Ellada is not so different with the crisis compared to other countries, it's just some governments like to blame Ellada for all of the EU's problems.

About the Ellhnes, believe me file mou living in the UK I see so many hlithioi anthrwpoi! we have people from all over the world here. Nice people, dirty people, dangerous people etc

Eimai Ellhnas, alla I was born sto Londino because o pappou mou kai h yiayia mou lost their homes to the tourkos, so my family moved to UK.

Thank you again for your advice Stefanos, eimaste perhfanoi pou eimaste Ellhnes! Our time will come again :) Ellas h tefra! 


Jelena NS-GR 1361570910

Hello there and thank you in advance for all the information your provide here!

I am a serbian national with a ten year old boy from a previous marriage. My fiance is a British national and a Greek resident. We hope to get married this summer and live together in Greece. There is so much conflicting information out there that sometimes it is confusing to understand exactly what we need to do!

Do we need to get married in the UK? Can we get married in Greece? What do I need to do and what can I hope to recieve as far as residency permits or EU visas etc?

Any advice would be eternally appreciated! :)

Thanks in Advance,


PC Guy-226400 1361580570

Hello Jelena

Welcome to the Anglo Info Athens Forum.

Before I advise you there is something important that you need to understand.  EU Law is complex and many officials in most of the EU countries don't really fully understand the Law.  In addition some EU countries will try to "bend the rules" to suit their purpose - an action which of course is totally illegal.

The EU Law with regards to the immediate family of your British fiance reads as follows: -

"...... as a citizen of an EU country, if you are working in another EU country – as an employee, self-employed or on a posting, your non-EU spouse, your children, your parents, your grandchildren and your grandparents can stay there with you without having to meet any other conditions......National authorities may not require your income to be above the level that would qualify your family for basic income support in that country......"

The most critical word in the above paragraph is "working".  Your fiance must be working.  It does not matter how much he is earning, what matters is that he is working.

But of course the above does not apply to you now because you are not married.  But the above will certainly apply after you are married, providing you marry in a country recognised by the EU and by a person (Priest, Minister, Magistrate) legally authorised to perform such a ceremony and providing you have been issued a valid Marriage Certificate. 

What is not always well understood is that the spouse of an EU citizen has the Right (this is not a privelege) to be treated in the same way as the EU citizen.  The EU Law reads as follows: -

".....the spouse and immediate family members of an EU citizen do not need a work permit to work, even if they are non-EU nationals.  In addition they have the right to equal treatment, including access to all social and tax advantages....."

Therefore, should you decide to live in Greece (as an example) you (as the wife of an EU National) has the immediate Right to take on employment without the need to apply for a work permit.

Officials in certain EU countries will try to circumvent the Law either through ignorance of the Law itself or becaue they are under pressure from their Politicians to "act dumb". 

As an EU national your fiance has the Right to ask for all the help that you both need from the EU orgainisations.

If you want to seek free professional help then contact the very helpful EU staff at the following link:-

Good Luck..... and may your marriage be a happy one.

PC Guy

Jelena NS-GR 1362098197

Thank you, PC Guy, for advices and thank you for the link. We will surly call it to make sure we wont forget to do something before the big days :). 

Greetings ... Jelena

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