After several years of research and a year of living in Greece, I finally have my Greece resident permit. This was especially important this year with all the travel bans in place. If I hadn’t gotten it, I might not have been able to return home for Christmas without it. As it was, I didn’t receive it until the middle of November.
Getting a Greek resident permit is not hard, but it takes patience and persistence to get it. I am going to walk you through the steps of applying for the Greek resident permit here. This is for the financially independent resident permit. Keep in mind there are several types of permits in Greece that you can apply for.
Before you enter Greece, you should apply for a visa in your home country. Read my blog post about that if you haven’t done that yet.
Do You Need an Attorney?
One of the questions I am asked frequently is if you need an attorney to apply for the Greece resident permit. It is not required but may make the process easier for you. The lawyers in Greece have direct access to the Aliens administration to make appointments and ask questions.
If you decide to get an attorney, ask around to find one who has experience with this process. Many are not familiar with applying for the financially independent resident permit.
To use an attorney, you will need to get a power of attorney. The lawyer can write it up for you in Greek. You will then take it to your local KEP office to have it notarized. The KEP is the citizen’s services department in Greece. Take your passport with you. You may also need to have several copies of the power of attorney notarized, so do a few at once. At the time of writing this, there were no fees for the notarization.
The lawyer will tell you want they want you to do next.
Gather All Your Documents
You will need many documents to apply for the resident permit. Some of these will be similar to what you needed for your visa, so bring all those documents with you to Greece.
The documents you will need are your passport and a full-color copy of all pages, your birth certificate with apostille, a rental contract for an apartment or utility bill in your name, financial records, you will also need proof of insurance and passport photos. The passport photos will need to be digital on a CD and the four physical copies.
At the time of writing you need to prove you have €2000 a month in savings, passive income or retirement income.
All these documents will need to be translated into Greek. If you are not using a lawyer, you can have these documents translated at the Translation Service. The cost is pretty affordable at the service. There is a rush option if you need it. You will need to take your passport with you to this service as well.
Make an Appointment
Each Decentralized Administration has its own process for accepting appointments. After the events of 2020, more administrations have moved to online appointment systems for renewals. However, as of writing, the initial appointment still needs to be made via email.
The Athens administration’s email is email@example.com. My experience with contacting them via email has been good. However, you may need to wait a day or two for a response if it is a busy time of year.
If your documents are accepted, you will be given a blue certificate that acts like a temporary Greek resident permit. Be careful with this document as you may need it to travel with while your application is being processed. You will also have to turn it in when you pick up the official resident permit.
Pay the Fee
To apply for the resident permit, you will need to pay the fee. Right now, the fee is €1000, and you can pay it online. If you can’t do this online, there is a small copy shop next to the Athens administration, and they will help you for a small fee. If you are applying outside of Athens, check with the local KEP office, and they can help you find a way to pay in person.
You will also need to pay €16 for the plastic card. This can also be done on the same website as above.
After Your Appointment
Once you have gone to the appointment, you may need to submit more documents after the appointment. You will need to send the additional documents by registered mail.
The most important thing is to follow up with them frequently. You can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org. Keep in mind this is for the Athens administration only. You can also check the status of your application online.
I needed to submit more documents after my initial appointment. My lawyer sent the documents, and they were received. However, my attorney didn’t send a copy of the power of attorney, so they weren’t accepted. The administration never told us this, and I only found out after I emailed them.
How to Pick Up Your Resident Permit
When you get the notice your resident permit is ready, you will need to make another appointment to pick it up. You will need your resident permit number to register in the system to make your appointment. The online status system will show it to you at the bottom of the notice under remarks.
You will then go to the migration website to register and make an appointment to pick up your Greece Resident Permit. Right now, only part of the website is in English, so I recommend you use a Chrome browser and install the Google Translate extension.
Once you have registered, you can make an appointment. This part of the website is in Greek only. When you translate the website to English, there will be a section called “Performances,” which is not the correct translation. Then you will click on “Appointment for Performances.” This is also not the correct translation. However, this is where you make the appointment to pick up your plastic resident permit card.
When you go to your appointment, you need to take a print out of your appointment with you, your passport and your temporary resident permit (the blue paper). You will give them the temporary permit.
They will print out a decision about your permit and all the rules to renew it. You will then sign for the permit and that is it! You are officially a Greece resident.
Other Things to Know
The financially independent resident permit is initially good for two years and can be renewed. If you are denied, there is an appeals process. Please email the administration for guidance on how to do this.
The process for getting a resident permit isn’t hard, but as you can see, there are many steps involved. Even with a lawyer, I had to follow-up with the authorities many times and with my lawyer. Be persistent in following up. I recommend checking every week in the online system and every two weeks via email. It is up to you to make sure they have all the documents they have requested.
There is nothing like the feeling you get when you have that Greece Resident Permit in hand. I was so relieved to get it. If you are in the process, I hope this helps, and if you haven’t started it yet, I hope you are now better prepared to start. If you have questions, I will do my best to answer them.