Brexit update: Passports and travel section updated to include information on passport validity and entry requirements when travelling to other European countries from January 2021.

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.

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

The Withdrawal Agreement

The Withdrawal Agreement sets out the terms of the UK’s withdrawal from the EU and provides for a deal on citizens’ rights. It sets out a transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020. During this time you can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as you did before 31 January 2020.

If you are resident in Greece at the end of the transition period, you will be covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, and your rights will be protected for as long as you remain resident in Greece.

Any rights that are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement will be the subject of future negotiations. Read this guidance page for more information.

In the meantime, make sure you are registered as a resident in Greece. We will update this guidance as soon as more information becomes available.

You should also read the guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

Check the entry requirements for Greece.

Residency
If you are resident in Greece before the transition period ends on 31 December 2020 you will be able to stay.

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.

After 31 January 2020, 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 website for UK nationals living in Greece and submit any questions in the contact form provided.

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

Passports and travel

The rules on travel will stay the same until the transition period ends 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.

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 can apply for or renew your British passport from Greece.

Passports from 1 January 2021
Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip.

From 1 January 2021, you must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This requirement does not apply if you are entering or transiting to Greece, and you are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

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

As a non-EEA national, different border checks will apply when travelling to other EU or Schengen area countries. You may need to show a return or onward ticket and that you have enough money for your stay. You may also have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. Your passport may be stamped for visits to these countries.

Entry requirements
From 1 January 2021, you will be able to travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism. This is a rolling 180-day period.

To stay for longer, to work or study, or for business travel, you will need to meet the entry requirements set out by the country to which you are travelling. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit. You may also need to get a visa if your visit would take you over the 90 days in 180 days limit.

Periods of stay authorised under a visa or permit will not count against the 90-day limit. Travel to the UK and Ireland will not change.

Different rules will apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen Area. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

Healthcare

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.

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

Read the guidance on who can access healthcare in Greece and how to register.

State healthcare: S1
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.

Read the guidance on how to get an S1 form.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)
If you are resident in Greece, you must not use an 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:

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.

You should also read guidance on:

You must check your prescriptions are legal in Greece.

The Greek government has introduced a platform for ordering prescriptions online, read a step by step guide on how to access the service (some information in Greek). This platform is only accessible within Greece.

Working in Greece

See working in an 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).

If you are resident in Greece on or before 31 December 2020, 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. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Greece have not changed following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

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.

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 or EEA and you have a UK-issued A1/E101 form, you will remain subject to UK legislation until the end date on the form.

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.

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 31 December 2020
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 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 explained in the new State Pension guidance.

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 31 December 2020.

If you are considering moving to Greece on or after 1 January 2021 and you are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, the rules depend on negotiations with the EU and may change. Check the guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

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.

Benefits

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

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 31 December 2020
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.

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 31 December 2020.

If you are considering moving to Greece on or after 1 January 2021 and you are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement, the rules depend on negotiations with the EU and may change. Check the guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

Read the guidance on benefits and pensions in the EU.

Driving in Greece

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

If you are a resident in Greece you should exchange your UK licence for a Greek driving licence. 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 any official KTEO facilitation station.

Voting

You cannot vote in local municipal elections in Greece or European Parliament elections.

You may be able to vote in some UK 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 bringing your pet to the UK.

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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