NEW Biometric Residence Permits for UK citizens living in Greece

Now the Brexit transition period has officially ended and the UK is no longer part of the EU, there are changes to the residence permits for British Citizens living in Greece. Like other Third Country Nationals, we need to apply for biometric residence permits. If you already have your blue/beige residence permit or other proof that you were resident here before 30/12/2020 you are in a good position.

Information that follows here is collated from the citizens rights group “British in Greece“, is advisory only and specific for residents of the CHANIA region. You are strongly advised to call and check the requirements for your individual case.
In any case, you need to call to book an appointment to submit the application.

CHANIA Police Station: Megaro Astinomiki Chania | Leof. Irakliou 15-23, Chania 731 35
Phone number: 28210 25811 / 28210 25812

Appointments are being given already. There is an indicative deadline of June 2021 to submit the application for your biometric residence permit. By all accounts, the officer in Chania speaks good English and is helpful and patient. Let’s remember this is a new procedure for the police too, so ask questions but be patient ourselves and prepared that they may not know all the answers.

Documents that can be requested (as listed on the Hellenic Police website)

  • Valid Passport
  • Four (4) current color photographs, with the same technical specifications as those for Greek passports.
  • Sixteen (16) euros fee (Paravolo)
  • Previous residence document
  • A Declaration by the applicant that he/she resides in Greece at a specific address and that he/she has not submitted the same application to any other police authority.
  • In case of change of the identity data in the residence permit, official documents – certificates and decisions of a foreign Authority, officialy translated and certified.
  • In case of loss or theft, a copy of the report of loss or theft by the competent police authority.

Further notes on documents

PHOTOS
4 photos, sized for Greek Passports.
Note: Some people are being asked to bring digital photos on a CD-rom. Photographers will be able to do this for you if required and will know the correct sizing/proportions to follow. Greek passport pictures are larger than UK passport ones. Chania Police station are NOT asking for  photos on CD, at time of writing.

PAYMENT
16E “paravolo” payment (code 2296)
– KEP can also help you to print & fill out the required form, you need to then pay it at any bank or post office.
– payable online through https://www1.gsis.gr/sgsisapps/eparavolo/public/welcome.htm (if you can read Greek)
– Payable directly online through certain e-banking apps/websites if you have an account.

Notes – information taken from Julia Cross’s announcement on British in Greece
Paying for the application for the biometric card. We have to get a παράβολο – paravolo (one-off administrative fee) for the sum of 16 euros and take evidence of this payment to the office. We cannot pay the immigration officers directly. There are many different kinds of paravolo but the one we want has a reference code of 2296 – residence permit under article 18.4 of the Withdrawal Agreement. Recommended to make the payment a few days before you apply or when you have an appointment.

There are several ways you can do this. For the less tech-savvy among us, the easiest is to ask for it at a post office or bank. KEP can also able to help you download and print out the correct form but won’t be able to accept money so you will have to go to a bank to pay.
If you can’t/don’t want to go to a bank, the instructions also cite five banks – Alpha, Ethniki, Eurobank, Attiki and Piraeus – which issue paravola directly through their e-banking apps. Another option if you can read Greek or use Chrome translate (or can get a Greek speaker to help you) is to go to the e-paravolo site here: https://www1.gsis.gr/sgsisapps/eparavolo/public/welcome.htm

Press the green button at the bottom and when the next page appears put the code 2296 at the top. The type of paravolo will show up automatically. Then you need to fill in your AFM if you have one and your personal details. Then you can either pay by (Greek bank) card and print out the receipt or print out the application but then you will still end up at a bank to pay.

Other documents that you may need

RESIDENCE PERMIT
Beige/Blue pre-2021 permit

PROOF OF CONTINUOUS RESIDENCE
Tax returns for last 5 years

PROOF OF FUNDS
Proof of adequate funds (c.a. 4000 EUR) – printout of bank statement with name and IBAN visible (if UK bank – receipt of card on or day before appointment showing you can take out money)

PROOF OF HEALTH COVER
EHIC is valid until the expiration date on card
IKA book for S1 pensioners / other Greek insurance if you hold it
Private health insurance policy

PROOF OF ADDRESS
Hosting declaration, Rental agreement or House deeds.

Instructions for exchange to biometric permit (taken from Julia Cross’s announcement in British in Greece)

They give us a window of 1/1/2021-30/6/2021 to apply for the new permits but clarify that if we do not meet the deadline of 30/6 we do not lose any of our rights provided we can prove we met conditions of residence in Greece before 31/12/2020. The deadline is indicative. So the worst that can happen to those of us who already have a residence permit is that we are refused the biometric card. Not the right to stay.

Those with beige registration certificates will be issued with a five year biometric permit. To get this permit you will have to provide (again!) the paperwork that you fall into one of the categories of employed/independent means/spouse of Greek citizen/student just like we do now as EU citizens. The paperwork is in Files under residency application. Please note that those who used the UK EHIC as proof of health cover will need private health insurance for a period of 12 months at least unless you have an insured AMKA number with Greek state insurance contributions. The AMKAs of S1 pensioners are insured through reciprocal agreements with the UK. Logically, uninsured AMKA numbers will not be accepted as you need to prove you are not a burden on the state.

Those with blue permanent residence certificates will be given a ten year biometric permit. If your permit was issued fewer than five years ago, you don’t need to provide any further documentation. If your permit was issued more than five years ago, you have to prove that you have not been absent from Greece for a period of more than 5 continuous years from the acquistion of the blue permit until the date of application for biometric. Rental contracts, utilities, tax returns, employment and travel tickets are cited as acceptable means of proof. You will not need to prove minimum income or health cover.

Those who have already got some years on their beige permits will be able to effectively transfer these years by applying for the permanent 10 year biometric permit before their 5 year biometric permit expires. So if you were issued your beige permit in 2018 and your 5 year biometric in 2021, you can apply for the permanent 10 year permit in 2023. Those who already have over 5 years on their beige will be able to apply for the permanent 10 year permit with the relevant paperwork showing their 5 year continuous residency in Greece for the first five years from the issue date of the beige and then that they have not been absent from Greece for a period of over 5 continuous years.

If you didn’t manage to get a residence permit before end of transition you can still apply for a biometric permit but you will have to prove pre-31/12 residency. Rental contracts, travel tickets and evidence that you were seeking employment can all be used as means of proof. You will then have to meet the same conditions of residence that have always been required from us as EU citizens to show that you are not a burden on the Greek state (address, income and health cover).

We will be applying for the new permits at the central police stations in our prefecture and at the Aliens’ Police in Athens and Thessaloniki. The fee will be 16 euros plus 4 photos Greek passport size and valid passport. The fee is in the form of a one-off payment known as a ‘paravolo’. You can get these from a bank, post office, KEP, online e-paravolo link or e-banking app. Quote reference number 2296. Also we will be asked to make a declaration that we have not applied under any other address.

We will have to be fingerprinted.

Our existing permits will cease to be valid on 31/12 but should be kept as proof of pre-31/12 residence. They will be removed from us when we apply for the new biometric permits. Once we have applied we will be issued with a ‘certificate of submission’ which can be used for all purposes until we are issued with the new biometric permit.

We can contact the Greek police if we have any problems either by e-mail at: ad_omg.bu1@astynomia.gr or by phone at (0030) 213 15 20 132 / 213 15 20 427 (Opening hours: 07:00 – 15:00, Monday to Friday). You can also contact the Aire Centre on eurobrits@airecentre.org or the British Embassy through their contact form.

Caution those with fewer than five years on their new 5 year permits should be in Greece at least six months in every year to accrue the five years ‘continuous residence’ to get a permanent permit (at which point you can remain up to five years outside Greece without losing your right to live here). This could cause problems for the many ‘part-timers’ who are here for over 90 days in the summer and therefore need to register, but not as long as six months in the whole year so you risk losing the permit. If you lose the permit you can only reapply as a non-EU national. There are also potential problems with tax residency, which is usually defined as where you spend over 6 months in every year. You must consult a good Greek accountant if you are in this situation.

Police circular regarding Biometric permits
– circular in Greek http://www.astynomia.gr/images/stories/2020/files20/24102020-kya.pdf

Info from the AIRE centre for British citizens resident in Greece
https://www.airecentre.org/Handlers/Download.ashx?IDMF=9b3c6d0a-8766-44af-b9f6-771eba8522e8

2 thoughts on “NEW Biometric Residence Permits for UK citizens living in Greece

  • January 11, 2021 at 8:33 pm
    Permalink

    This is really helpful..thank you Fiona.
    Just one query with regard to the following:

    PROOF OF FUNDS
    Proof of adequate funds (c.a. 4000 EUR) – printout of bank statement with name and IBAN visible (if UK bank – receipt of card on or day before appointment showing you can take out money)

    Does this mean, with regard to UK bank accounts that you need a receipt or mini statement from a bank machine taken on the day of or day before your appointment, indicating a minimum balance of 4000 euros or equivalent in British pounds.

    Thank you again
    Judy and Ian Edwards

    • January 12, 2021 at 10:04 am
      Permalink

      Hi Judy! You should call the police in Chania and ask them for specifics of what you need to take. The notes are just suggestions based on what people have been asked for, in other parts of Greece, so always check with local issuing officer before worrying as you may not need it. From reports, most people are NOT being asked for proof of funds. But check.

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