EU Citizens Moving to Greece

Understand the residency rules for European Union citizens moving to Greece to live, work, study or retire...

EU/EEA citizens do not need a work or residence permit to live and work in Greece. They can enter Greece with a valid identity card or passport, regardless of the planned duration of their stay.

If EU nationals intend to stay for more than 90 days, they must register at the local Department of Aliens bureau (these are found at police stations with a foreigners department) in the area of residency (Τμήμα Αλλοδαπών/ Tmima Allodapon), where a Certificate of Registration (Residence Certificate) (βεβαίωσης εγγραφής πολιτών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης/ Veveosi Egrafis Politon Evropaikis Enoseis) is issued. The Residence/Registration Certificate has unlimited validity and is issued free of charge (according to European Union directive 2004/38/EC).

A Residence Certificate is issued the day the application is made, however, the procedure may take many hours or even a full day and the Certificate may sometimes prove difficult to obtain. Greek officials may not speak fluent English so taking a Greek speaker is advised.

The following documents are required (with at least two copies of each):

  • Application form (available from the Aliens bureau)
  • Copy of passport or identity card
  • Four passport photos
  • Proof of medical insurance: European Health Insurance Card (EHIC), IKA, OAEE or private health insurance
  • Certificate from employer if in paid employment, or proof of sufficient financial resources
  • For retirees, a certified translation of a letter from my pension provider stating the annual income
  • Proof of local residence (rental agreement, property ownership documents or statement of person whose name is on the property deed if owned by someone else)

The Greek Police Aliens Bureau has more information on the documents required in order to apply for a Registration Certificate.

EU citizens residing in Greece for 90 days or longer and who do not register will be subject to a fine. However, it is very rare that this certificate is ever requested. Some Greek authorities are not aware of the European Union directive and do not know that this certificate exists. In many cases, the tax identification number (AFM) is used as proof of residency.

After five years of continuous residence, or following marriage to a Greek national, a Permanent Residence Certificate can be applied for (Πιστοποιητικό μόνιμης διαμονής πολιτών της Ευρωπαϊκής Ένωσης/ Egrafo Pistopoisis Monimis Diamonis Politi Evropaikis Enoseis). This certificate is valid indefinitely.

Law requires local nationals to carry an identity card at all times. The Residence Certificate is considered to be an adequate form of identification.

  • EU nationals intending to work in Greece must have medical insurance or a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) and a social insurance number (AMKA). For more information visit Angloinfo’s Greek National Administration page.

Some occupations, for example food preparation and child care, require the employee to have a medical examination at their own expense after which a health certificate will be issued from a state hospital.

Non-EU family members of EU and Greek nationals

The EU directive on family reunification (Council Directive 2003/86/EC) decrees that the non-EU family members (spouses and children) of EU nationals and Greek citizens have an automatic right to residence and work. However, depending on their nationality, a visa may still be required to enter Greece.