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 firstname.lastname@example.org. 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 email@example.com. 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.
[…] for a residence permit that also has its own requirements. Please read my whole blog post on the Greece Resident Permit application […]
Thank you for going into such depth and detail for this otherwise seemingly complicated process. Is this applicable to Third Country Nationals, or EU too?
I think from reading this if I were to do it – getting a lawyer is a good idea, not least to help with the language barrier!
You’re welcome! This is only for Third country(non-EU) nationals.
Yes, if your Greek isn’t great then I would definitely recommend getting a lawyer.
Hi how are you? Glad to see your new post. I have been away from WP too. Are you finally going to stay there for good? Stay safe.
Hi! I’m good. How are you? Yeah I took a break with no traveling going on. I think so but I don’t tend to make long term plans like that. Where are you now? Stay safe too!
Thank you so much, the video was very informative and useful. As I understand in order to apply for this type of residency permit one must show proof of income-funds of 200E per month, does one have to show that the money needed to cover the 24 months expenses is already in totality in a greek bank account ? t
You’re welcome. It is €2000 per month. I didn’t have it in a Greek bank account but did have to prove I could withdraw it here. I had most of the total I savings and that would be advisable since you aren’t supposed to work in Greece.
we are planning on moving to Greece in 10 years when we retire, is there an advantage to the Financially Independant Permit over the Golden Visa Program? I had never heard of this permit idea, but we were planning on just buying a house for 250k and living in the house and getting that Visa, but if we could buy a cheaper place and get this FIP that may be another option for us to consider.
Thanks for your U-Tube videos, I am devouring them as we plan for our trip to visit the country in May.
The Golden Visa is more expensive to deal with in my opinion. Also it cannot lead to citizenship. The FIP is 1000 euros for two years and then is renewable. I think after 7 years you can apply for a longer visa. However all of this will probably change in 10 years. It changes often unfortunately.
Super informative info! It’s so hard to find such detailed first hand accounts of this process, so I really appreciate you taking the time to spell it all out for us!:)
Fwiw the golden visa does include the benefit of naturalization eligibility after 7 years, *if the visa holder has been living in Greece during that time (which may not always be the case since there’s no minimum residency requirement to maintain the GV). We were going to go the GV route, but after trying to deal with realtors there for the last year to find a home and feeling like it’s a never ending cycle of cat herding, we think we’re going to go the FIP route instead and just rent for a while=\
Thank you! I am so glad you found it helpful.
The golden visa does not allow for citizenship. The FIP does though. Hope that helps. Good luck with the house hunt.
Thank you for your kind words about my channel!
Thank you for writing this. My wife and I are permanent residents living in Athens and will be going for our renewal soon. We initially did most all of the application process on our own and found it burdensome. We are retired so we did have the time, but in review of all our time and effort, it probably would have been worth it do engage an attorney. The immigration office was always just chaotic.
Thank you so much for writing this blog T. It is so detailed and informative. My only question is, once you have the “blue paper” does that act as a “bridge style temporary visa” that you can use before you can collect your offical card? I am asking that specifically as I am from the UK and coming to the end of my 90 days. So it’d be amazing if I could present that “blue sheet” while travelling between island and main land until the permanent card was ready.
Hope that makes sense!?
THANK YOU AGAIN 🙂 This was so so helpful!
You’re welcome! Well you don’t need to present it to travel within Greece so you wouldn’t need it for that. Also, you cannot apply for the FIP visa in Greece. You have to apply for it in your home country. Let me know if you have more questions.
Hi thank you so much for a very informative post .We are busy looking at the pros and cons of this type of visa versus The Golden Visa.I am interested in the renewal process after two years.Do you have to submit all the documents again and do it from your home country?
Hi! I haven’t gone through the renewal process yet but I have spoken to people who have. Greece has gone digital during the pandemic and now it is done online. You submit your documents online through a platform. My understanding it is the same documents. I will be starting this process in June so I will be writing a post about that after I get it done. Hope that helps.
Oh and you can do it here in Greece. It is just the visa you have to do from your home country.
Such a great help, Tiffany. I do have a few questions. First, about the timing of the medical exam, FBI background check, and such. How near to the application appointment do those need to be? Second, specifically for the birth certificate, am I to get an original copy and then apostille or is a notarized copy permissible? I presume they won’t keep my original, that would be risky. Third, any recommendations about apartment lease “evidence” given that I won’t be in Greece for a few months before I come. Will landlords post date lease agreements thereby reducing the chances they’ll find other renters? Any workarounds on this? (the “won’t be in country for a few months prior to applying also applies to how old a medical exam or background check can be to be acceptable). Thanks so much.
I am glad this helps. I did mine about a month or so before my visa appointment. Yes, you need a original copy that will then be apostilled. You will get it back but don’t give them the original original, just the copy. The lease part doesn’t need to be given until the resident permit appointment so you will be in Greece by then to find an apartment. Hope that helps!
Another question, please. With regard to insurance, did you obtain that in country or in the States. Do you like what you have and would you recommend it to us? The name, if so? Did you have to have a specific letter from them stating it met certain qualifications or you simply showed the policy? Thank you again.
You need it for the visa appointment so you need to get it in the US. I used GeoBlue. They give you a visa letter to present.
Is the Apostille required ONLY for the birth certificate? All documents, including the birth certificate, are to be translated into Greek? I’m a detail girl, thanks for your patience.
Yes, only the birth certificate and literally everything will need to be translated for the resident permit appointment. You can do that in Greece easily.
Thank you for your information about the process, I have a question how long it took to receive your residence card after you provide your documents? Thank you for your answer.
You’re welcome. I had to get them more documents but it only took about a month after that. Hope that helps
Thank you for this information since the Greek Consulate in Turkey wasn’t exactly sure what will be required of me when I go to register in Greece, being a dual national kind of confused the process here, but we managed to sort it out.
I’m curious. Once the National D Visa is approved, is there anyway they can decline my registration in Greece?
Since the requirement for FIP is 2000 euro per month, and can be renewed every two years, I’m not clear if I have to have to prove 24000 euro or 48000 in the bank. I’m only asking because I’m wondering if I should delay my travel holiday in Greece, until after I register, which will kind of dip into the savings.
Again, Thank you for making this information available and simplified.
Also. I just spoke with a translation service from the link provided, and they are asking for apostille for all documents, not just birth certificate. Does this make sense?
Can you let us know if all documents need to be notarized or is translation enough, because it seems for me to get apostille on all other documents, I first need to get them notarized.
No, I only had to have the apostille for my birth certificate. They all had to be translated but not apostilled. That doesn’t make any sense since those documents don’t need to be notarized.
Hi. I’m only seeing your response now.
I’m in Greece now and thank God I got all documents apostilled and notarized. For some reason they were asking about this, to even include an apostille or notary stamp on my bank statement showing proof of funds, which I got directly from my bank, with signatures and stamps to show it’s an original statement from the bank.
I couldn’t get this apostilled or notarized in Turkey since no one heard of such a thing, but it seemed to have caused a problem here in Nafplio, since now they are requiring that I deposit the money into a Greek bank account, which I really don’t want to do. Does this sound right to you? since you didn’t have to open an account here.
I had a place to stay in Nafplio at a friends house, so thought to start off my first year in Greece here, but since I’m not a tenant, and my mobile contract with the address was not enough, they require that she make a notarized statement that I have permission to live at her place. This is impossible, since she is in Denmark, but owns a house in Nafplio.
Anyway, I decided that Nafplio isn’t the right place for me, and will go to Athens to set up base.
1. Is an airbnb rental enough to show proof of residency? Will a month or two be enough? It will take time before I find a long term flat.
2. I wonder if they will require that I transfer funds into a Greek bank account there as well. I wonder if this is because my account is in a Turkish Bank, although in a USD account.
It’s all become to complicated here in Nafplio.
What resident permit are you applying for? This may be why they are asking for different things.
The only thing I had to have apostilled was my birth certificate. The rest just needed to be translated to Greek.
You will need to get an apartment with an AFM, which is a tax number. The contract has to be registered there for it to be legal.
I did not have to transfer my money to a Greek bank account. I just showed that I was able to access the money here, which I did with an ATM receipt and a bank document showing the withdrawal.
I hope this helps
ps. if anything I have written to my recent experience sounds really off, maybe you can recommend the attorney you used, so I can get some advice from him? Thank you.
It does but I think when you try in Athens it will be different. Send me an email for the lawyers contact.
I’m also applying through FIP. I’m in the process of looking for a flat in Athens (online) and will travel there as soon as I can since I already spent 2 weeks here without resolve. All other paperwork, and AFM is ready to go already. Will send you an email for the lawyer’s number incase needed. Thank you very much
Hi Tiffany, I just wanted to follow up to see if you have gone through the renewal process yet? You stated above submitting documents online through a platform, and it possibly being the same documents? I finally got my FIP residency.
Hi! I started it but it is taking a long time. I am still waiting. It is the same documents. Congratulations!!
After my application, they never returned my documents, so can you elaborate on this a bit more please 🙏 because I don’t understand how we can obtain some of the documents again while in Greece? Also, can you confirm if you were able to do it online, or did you have to go in person again?
They should have returned the birth certificate to you. That is the only one you would have a hard time getting again. All the others I had to load were updated such as financial documents and my lease. I uploaded everything online. I will have go in person to get the new ID and fingerprints. But I haven’t gotten to that point yet.
Well. I still have the translated birth certificate (in Greek) which also proved authentication of my birth certificate. My birth certificate is a physical card actually, that is provided by Turkey, where I was actually born, which I keep in my possession, so no problem there.
And since I had to transfer the money to a Greek account, that will be easy enough produce . Thanks for your response.
I hope to hear the results. How long ago did you submit it online?
I wonder if online renewal is only applicable to residents of Athens? Or do you know if it’s country wide system, since my initial application was in Nafplio. I hope I can do it online as well.
I’m planning to apply for the fip visa from Turkey as well. Did you work with a lawyer?
I don’t think you need one for the visa. You might for the initial resident permit application.
Hi Oya. No, you don’t need a lawyer to apply for the visa. or the resident permit application in Greece actually, but can discuss this at another time. I applied in Nafplio Greece.
Where in Turkey will you apply? I assume you have legal residency in Turkey? You have to apply where your residency [ ikamet ] is and registered on E-devlet. Are you Turkish? Dual nationality? Either or, same rules apply.
At the time, I was actually living in Egypt, but you have to apply where you have legal residency, which for me was either the USA or Turkey. Since I was legally registered in Edirne, I couldn’t apply in Istanbul for example.
In Edirne, I needed to have an interview first: asking me why I want to live in Greece, if I had been there before, where I plan on applying for residency in Greece. How will I earn money during my time there, since I can’t legally work in Greece, pretty much, how will I live my life in Greece. Then if they are satisfied they tell you what you need to apply.
Istanbul is a different process. You have to submit papers first through email.
I can write more on what I needed to eventually show them, and what I needed after in Greece. For me, I was required to transfer the money to a Greek bank account, but this is another story 🙏
When applying for visa in Turkey, having a Turkish bank account helps, since it required authentication from the bank to even apply for a visa in Turkey.
I’ll be happy to answer what I can.
Figen! Thank you for such a thorough answer. This is great.
Hi Tiffany. I’ll do what I can to help dual citizens or Americans living in a country outside of the USA, who want to apply for FIP residency for Greece.
I appreciate it. Just to let you know that I will publish an article once my renewal goes through so you will have that when your time comes.
thank you so much for the details – starting the process myself! With the Apostille, does it matter how old the document is? Like if I get it done this year and don’t apply in Greece for another 3 years, is that OK?
And would you mind emailing me the Lawyer you used? I am looking for references. thank you again!
You’re welcome! No, it needs to be within six months of applying for the visa. I don’t have your email, can you email me at firstname.lastname@example.org?