What will apply after Brexit to the British living permanently in Greece

The right of residence is established by the citizens of the United Kingdom and their family members, regardless of nationality, who reside permanently in Greece, after the end of the transitional period of the Departure Agreement. Also, according to a relevant announcement of the Ministry of Immigration, there is a provision for special residence permits for those citizens of the United Kingdom and their family members, regardless of nationality, who do not reside permanently in the country. The transitional period provided for in the United Kingdom Exit Agreement with the European Union expires on 31 December 2020.

The Exit Agreement provides for the issuance of a new residence document by the EU Member States, which will certify the new residence status of UK citizens and their family members, regardless of nationality. According to the ministry statement, Greece has chosen for the citizens of the United Kingdom the rapid process of “verification” of the right of residence and not the process of “re-establishment” of the right, recognizing the contribution of these people to social and economic progress. of our homeland.

In this context, the citizens of the United Kingdom and their family members, who reside in Greece in accordance with EU law. or come to stay until 31.12.2020 and continue to stay after this date, establish a right of residence in our country under the Departure Agreement.

The Ministry of Immigration and Asylum in cooperation with the Ministry of Citizen Protection issued a joint ministerial decision, which identifies, among other things, the competent authorities for issuing new residence permits for UK citizens and their families. The new residence permits will be issued in accordance with EU technical specifications. for uniform residence permits, they will incorporate the biometric characteristics of the holder and will include a statement that they have been issued in accordance with the Departure Agreement, making clear the new residence status of these persons, which will ensure their acquired rights.

The validity of the new residence permits is ten years, provided that the right of permanent residence has already been acquired and five years, otherwise. A five-year residence permit can be converted into a permanent residence permit, as soon as five years have elapsed from the beginning of the family member’s residence in Greece, provided that the permitted periods of absence are observed.

Citizens of the United Kingdom and their family members protected by the Agreement can obtain the new document by applying from 1 January 2021 to the competent authorities, accompanied by the required supporting documents. They should contact the local authorities of the Ministry of Civil Protection, while family members of UK citizens who are third-country nationals should contact the Aliens and Immigration Service of the Decentralized Administration of their place of residence.

At the initiative of the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum, the competent services of the Decentralized Administrations of the country will contact the beneficiaries directly, so that from the beginning of next year they will be invited to submit the application for the new residence permit and the whole process will be completed at the latest. until June 30, 2021.

Third-country nationals who enter Greece after 1 January 2021 as family members of a United Kingdom citizen, beneficiary of the Departure Agreement, can apply for a residence permit within three months from the date of arrival in the country.

Citizens of the United Kingdom who are not covered by the Withdrawal Agreement may reside in the country as third-country nationals in accordance with the provisions of immigration law. For stays longer than three months and depending on the purpose of their stay, they must have a national visa and / or residence permit.

The Ministry of Immigration and Asylum points out that the Greek immigration legislation provides a number of selected possibilities for the settlement of the citizens of the United Kingdom, who either wish to settle in Greece after January 1, 2021, or wish to obtain and maintain a flexible status. residence, retaining their capital residence in the United Kingdom. Indicatively, the possibilities of entry and residence are mentioned as financially independent persons, as investors in real estate or other investments, as business executives or shareholders of companies.