Brexit update: includes further details on passport validity, healthcare rights and State Pension uprating if the UK leaves the EU with a deal.

There are broadly no changes to the rights and status of UK nationals (and their direct family) living in Greece while the UK remains in the EU.

Those living legally and permanently in Greece will be able to stay and continue to work, as well as accessing education, healthcare pensions and other benefits until at least the end of the transition period – end of December 2020.

Currently, after three months living in Greece, British expats should apply for a registration certificate from the Greek authorities – via the Greek Aliens Bureau.

If you haven’t applied yet you should consider it now, because this document will demonstrate your current settlement status.

Documents required for this process are a valid passport, proof of address, etc, but please note different papers are needed if you work or not, or if you’re under a pension scheme

At some point, we’re pretty sure that British nationals in Greece will be asked to apply for a new ‘residential’ status, for which they’ll have to provide all the proper papers needed – but whatever happens you will have until at least June 2021 to submit any necessary registration documents.

Our representatives in Greece are constantly looking into these matters and we’ll be
posting more information here, just as soon as we get it.

Join in our free forum to make sure you get all the latest on the Greece status and negotiations.

Converting a UK driving license into a Greek Driving License – the step-by-step advice for Ex-pats.

Brexit advice from the UK government has suggested that you may wish to exchange your UK driver’s license to a License issued in the EU country of your permanent residence before 31 December 2020. This advice is being offered to UK citizens living, working or studying within the EU.

This is good advice if you are living, working or studying in the EU and intend to remain there are a resident under the post Brexit EU Settlement rules. Whilst there may yet be an extension to the transition period beyond 31 December 2020 we recommend you use this date until further notice and take steps to prepare for a full departure on 1 January 2021.

The good news is that the process to exchange is fairly simple. Here is the quick guide for the process:

In order to exchange your license, you must meet the following conditions:

Greek law states that this can be done provided the person applying –

Has a habitual residence in Greece or the status of a student or student for at least six (6) months in Greece prior to the filing date of the application and the supporting documents.

Holds a valid driving license of a Member State of the EU or of the States of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and has not been removed from any authority.

He / she does not own / hold a third-country driving license

If he/she wishes their Blood Group to be listed on the driving license form and consents to his / her compliance with the Driving License Record of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport, which is entered on page 2 as the point 14a of the Driving License Form.

The application must also be accompanied with:

A photocopy of a police ID or a valid Greek passport or personal health booklet. If the applicant has the nationality of another EU member state. A photocopy of an identity card or a valid passport is required and a third-country national is required to obtain a photocopy of a passport or other document permitting entry into Greece or a document issued by a competent Greek authority, from which the identity of the person and his or her age.

A photocopy of any applicable public document, if the person concerned is not a Greek citizen who certifies his / her habitual residence in Greece, such as a Residence Permit, a Citizen’s Registration Certificate, a Permanent Residence Certificate of a Member State of the EU, Certificate of lodging of supporting documents for the granting or renewal of a Type A Residence Card, Special Identity Card Homogeneous. This document must have been issued at least 185 days prior to the submission of the application. If the foreign national concerned is a student or a student, the original attestation of the faculty or school certifying that there is at least six (6) months of student or student status before the filing date of the application is required.

A Photocopy of the valid driving license.

Proof of payment of € 30.00 for the printing of the driving license

One (1) recent photo, passport type (biometric)

 A request to print the driving license

Foreign driving license should be translated to Greek (Translation can be done by an Attorney)

On receipt of the new Greek driving license, the UK license must be returned to the DVLA.

This process may take Up to 50 days.

Brexit Decoded has Greek Lawyers who are available to assist ex-pats with this and any other issues at vastly reduced rates compared to other service providers.

If you would like to receive a free consultation with no obligation to discuss these matters please email us at info@brexitdecoded.com and we will pass your details to our affiliates.

Official information for UK nationals moving to or living in Greece, including guidance on Brexit, residency, passports, healthcare and driving.

Visas and residency

Check the entry requirements for Greece.

You must register as a resident in Greece if you want to stay for more than 3 months. Read registration certificate (Veveosi Engrafis) – permanent residence requirements.

Visas and residency after Brexit
Read the Greek government’s website (in Greek) about the UK leaving the EU, for citizens and businesses. Check the rights of UK nationals living in and traveling to Greece after the UK leaves the EU and submit any questions in the contact form provided.

If you are resident in Greece before the end of the implementation period on 31 December 2020 you will be able to stay.

After Brexit, you may need to change your registration document for a new resident card. If you are already registered as a resident in Greece, or you register before 31 December 2020, your residence documents will be considered as temporary national residence permits.

Read the Greek government’s Brexit website for more information.

If there are changes to residency registration processes after Brexit, we will update this guidance as soon as information is available.

Passports and travel

You can apply for or renew your British passport from Greece.

Passports and travel after Brexit
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. Your passport should be valid for the proposed duration of your stay; you do not need any additional period of validity on your passport beyond this.

You’ll need to renew your passport before travelling if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

The rules on travel will stay the same until the end of the implementation period on 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to travel to countries in the Schengen area or elsewhere in the EU with your UK passport.

We will update these pages with details of any changes to the rules as soon as information is available.

Healthcare

You must register for healthcare as a resident in Greece, as well as registering, where necessary, with a health insurer.

If you are resident in Greece, you must not use a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) from the UK to access healthcare in Greece.

When you travel from Greece for a temporary stay in another European Economic Area (EEA) country or Switzerland, you can use an EHIC to access state-provided healthcare in that country. During that short stay:

  • the EHIC covers treatment that is medically necessary until your planned return home
  • an EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance
  • for more information read the travel advice pages and advice on foreign travel insurance

If you live in Greece and receive an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit, you may currently be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK. You will need to apply for a certificate of entitlement known as an S1 certificate.

If you are a student, read the NHS guidance on healthcare and studying abroad.

You can also find an English-speaking doctor in Greece.

You must check your prescriptions are legal in Greece.

Healthcare after Brexit
There will be no changes to your healthcare access before 31 December 2020. You can also continue to use your EHIC, as you did before, during this time.

If you are living in Greece or move there permanently before 31 December 2020, you’ll have life-long healthcare rights in Greece as you do now, provided you remain resident.

Working in Greece

See working in another EU country.

You may need to apply for:

Once you have a job, you can get a social insurance number (AMKA) through your local Citizens Service Centre (KEP) (in Greek).

Working in Greece after Brexit
Your right to work will stay the same, as long as you remain resident in Greece.

Money and tax

The UK has a double-taxation agreement with Greece to prevent income being taxed in both countries.

Read the guidance on:

You must register for a tax identification number (AFM – pronounced aa-fee-mee) – read further guidance in the Greek government ERMIS website (in Greek), with central information and e-services. Once you have an AFM number, it is compulsory to submit a yearly tax return.

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Greece. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Greece.

National Insurance
Find out if you can pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

If you are employed or self-employed in the EU and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation until the end date on the form.

Money and tax after Brexit
Brexit will not change existing double-taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Greece. Send your questions about double taxation to the relevant tax authority.

Pensions

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming the UK State Pension in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

If you retire to Greece, you can claim:

Life certificates for UK state pensions
If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you don’t.

Pensions after Brexit
You can continue to receive your UK State Pension if you live in the EU, EEA or Switzerland and you can still claim your UK State Pension.

If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020 you will get your UK State Pension uprated every year for as long as you continue to live there. This will happen even if you start claiming your pension on or after 1 January 2021, as long as you meet the qualifying conditions.

If you are living in Greece by 31 December 2020, you will be able to count future social security contributions towards meeting the qualifying conditions for your UK State Pension.

If you work and pay social security contributions in Greece, you will still be able to add your UK social security contributions towards your Greek pension. This will happen even if you claim your pension after the end of the implementation period.

Benefits

There will be no changes before 31 December 2020 to the rules on claiming UK benefits in the EU, EEA or Switzerland as a result of the UK leaving the EU.

You may still be able to claim some UK benefits like child and disability benefits if you live in Greece.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid to you if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

You may be eligible to claim some Greek social security benefits. Read guidance on Greek social security benefits.

You can request proof of the time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC if you are asked for this.

Benefits after Brexit
If you are living in the EU, EEA or Switzerland by 31 December 2020, you will continue to receive any UK benefits you already receive. This will continue for as long as you live there and meet all other eligibility requirements.

If you work and pay social security contributions in Greece, your UK social security contributions will be taken into account when applying for Greek contributions-based benefits. This will happen even if you claim contributions-based benefits after the end of the implementation period.

Driving in Greece

If you are a resident in Greece you should exchange your UK licence for a Greek driving licence (in Greek). You can still use your Greek licence in the UK for short visits or exchange it for a UK licence without taking a test if you return to live in the UK.

Read guidance on:

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Greece
Read the guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Read the European Union’s guidance on car registration and taxes in Greece. You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so you will need certificates of exemption.

If you’ve been resident in an EU country for at least 2 years before moving to Greece, you’re exempt from VAT and registration for:

  • cars (owned and used privately)
  • pleasure craft
  • motorcycles
  • mobile caravans

You must appear in person at the nearest Customs Authority to request exemption from paying registration and VAT within 1 month of arriving in Greece. You’ll then be given special Greek registration plates.

Your vehicle must also pass a test at a Vehicle Technical Control Centre (KTEO).

Driving after Brexit
Driving licence rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

Voting

You may be able to vote in some UK elections.

If you’re resident in Greece, you can vote in local municipal and European parliamentary elections.

Voting after Brexit
After Brexit, UK nationals will no longer be eligible to vote in local and European Parliament elections.

Births, deaths and getting married

If your child is born in Greece, you will need to register the birth abroad.

If someone dies in Greece:

Find out how you can get married abroad.

Find out about notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Greece.

Pets

Current pet travel rules will stay the same until 31 December 2020.

If you’re travelling with your pet for the first time you must visit your vet to get a pet passport.

Read guidance on pet travel.

Emergencies

You can dial the European emergency number 112 or:

  • 100 for police
  • 199 for fire brigade
  • 166 for emergency medical service
  • 108 for coast guard
  • 197 for emergency social assistance

Read further information on emergency numbers in Greece.

If you need urgent help (you are the victim of crime, have been arrested or are affected by a crisis abroad), contact your nearest British embassy or consulate.

Other useful information

Returning to the UK

Tell the UK and Greek authorities that you are returning to the UK permanently.

Contact the International Pension Centre to move your pension to the UK.

If you get healthcare in Greece through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, tax, access to services and bringing family members.

Disclaimer

Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Greek authorities.

Source: gov.uk

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