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What do I need before leaving?

EL GREECE
Are you a non-EU citizen living in Greece and would you like to bring your non-EU family members to live with you there? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfil and procedures to follow, as well as the rights your family members can enjoy during their stay.


If you have resided legally in Greece for the last two years, you can reunite with your family members in Greece. Your family members include:

  • Your spouse who is over 18 years old;
  • Your unmarried, minor children and those of your spouse, including adopted children, and provided you (or your spouse) have been assigned with the children’s legal custody.
Polygamy is not recognised in Greece and you can only have one wife living with you in the country, hence you can ask for family unification only for one wife.

 


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Where and how to apply Application for family reunification

Following your application for family reunification at the Decentralised Authorities, competent authorities should immediately and within three months ask and receive the opinion of police authorities regarding issues of public order and safety as well as the opinion of consular authorities establishing your family ties, even through personal interviews. In examining your application, competent authorities pay special attention to the best interests of minors. When the consular autorities receive approval for your family reunification claim, members of your family are provided with visas to enter the country.

Residence permit

When your family members arrive in Greece and before their visas expire, they must apply  for a residence permit which may take up to nine months since your first application.

Documents required

With the initial application for family reunification, you should prove:

  • your family ties and that you have adequate accommodation for all of your family members;
  • a stable and sufficient income for the sustenance of the family, which cannot be lower than the annual income calculated on the basis of the minimum wage, increased by 20 % for your wife and by 15 % for each child;
  • full medical care to cover all members of your family.
When it comes to renewal of residence permits, every family member should submit an application to this effect with all supporting documents.
Duration of validity of permits

The residence permit of your family members is of the same duration as your own.  In case you acquire the long term resident status, the residence permits of your family members are issued for two years and then renewed every three years.

When applying for a renewal, you should again establish your family ties as well as your tax and social secutiry status.
Appeals Appeals against reasoned decisions may be lodged to the administrative court, as well as to the administrative authority that originally issued the decision.
Further information N/A

 


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Non-EU citizens legally residing in the country enjoy the following rights:

  • Free movement and settlement across the country. Their residence or establishment may be prohibited, for reasons of public interest, in certain geographic areas of the country.
  • Access to social security organizations and insurance rights.
  • Access to social protection.
  • The validity of residence permits is not affected by temporary absence from the country of maximum of six months per year, or other absence for a specific reason such as military service, pregnancy, health issues, or professional training.
  • In case of minors, access to compulsory education.
  • Recognition of primary and secondary education acquired in the home country, according to decision by the Ministry of Education.
  • Access to universities provided they have attended high school in Greece.
  • Exercise of any professional activity, provided all requirements of the law are met, without submitting a reciprocity certificate.
  • Non-EU citizens held in detention, immediately after they are put under detention, receive information in a language they can understand  on their living conditions under detention and their rights and obligations; this communication is facilitated either by consular or diplomatic personnel of the detainee’s state of citizenship or state of origin, or by authorised lawyers.
  • Actions that cause or provoke acts of discrimination, hatred or violence, or constitute an insult against persons on the grounds of their ethnic or national origin, religion or other beliefs, disability, age or sexual orientation, is automatically prosecuted.

Family members of the sponsor have the same rights in regard to:

  • access to education;
  • access to salaried employment and provision of services or work after the first renewal of the residence permit;
  • access to employment consulting, basic and further training as well as re-training.

Rights

You and your family members equally enjoy the following rights:

  • access to education;
  • access to salaried employment, provision of services or work at the first renewal of your residence permits;
  • access to vocational training and retraining.

Non-EU citizens legally residing in the country enjoy the following rights:

  • Free movement and settlement across the country.
  • Access to social security organisations and insurance rights.
  • Access to social protection.
  • The validity of residence permits is not affected by temporary absence from the country for a maximum of six months per year, or other absence for a specific reason such as military service, pregnancy, health issues, or professional training.
  • In case of minors, access to compulsory education.
  • Recognition of primary and secondary education acquired in the home country, according to decision by the Ministry of Education.
  • Access to universities provided they have attended high school in Greece.
  • Exercise of any professional activity, provided all requirements of the law are met, without submitting a reciprocity certificate.
Change of employment Family members have access to salaried employment, provision of services, or work at the first renewal of your residence permits.
Long-term residence Long-term resident permit

If your sponsor is a long term residence permit holder, you can renew your residence permit as a family member.

However, you may apply for a long-term resident permit on your own and not in relation to your sponsor, according to the standard relevant procedure and conditions described below.

If you have resided in Greece lawfully and continuously for five years before submitting your application, you can apply for a long-term resident permit provided that:

  • you have your own income for the sustenance of your family which cannot be lower than the annual minimum wage, increased by 10 % for all dependent members of your family, including any unemployment benefit received; for the calculation of the income, are taken into consideration the contributions of the family members.
  • you have full social security for yourself and the members of your family, and
  • fulfil the requirements for integration into Greek society, that is, you have:
    • Evidence of adequate knowledge of the Greek language and elements of Greek history and culture, as defined in national legislation; or
    • you have a residence Card as member of the family of a Greek citizen; or
    • a Citizenship Committee has a positive opinion; or
    • you have legally resided in Greece for twelve years.

You will still be able to apply for this status if you have been absent from Greece for less than six consecutive months and/or 10 months during this five-year period.

You must submit your application to the authority that issued your last/previous residence permit, and meet all necessary conditions. The decision should be issued within six months, which can be delayed for an additional three month period.

The long term residence permit is valid for five years and is renewable for five more years.

A long-term resident enjoys equal treatment with Greek citizens in the following sectors:

  • access to salaried employment and non salaried work, terms of employment, remuneration and dismissal;
  • access to education and professional training;
  • recognition of vocational degrees, certificates and other documents;
  • social security and basic social protection;
  • tax relief;
  • access to public goods and services housing procedures;
  • free movement and settlement in the territory.
 

 


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Competent Authorities

Diplomatic missions abroad

Municipality of the place of residence

Secretary General of the competent decentralised administration

Ministry of Interior, Decentralisation and e-Government

 


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