Permanent residence in Greece: residence permits and facts about life in Greece

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Permanent residence in Greece: residence permits and facts about life in Greece

Greece is not just a homeland of gods and heroes, familiar to everyone since childhood. Greece is a bright sun, azure sea, golden sand, and coffee aromas on narrow swirling streets. Many dreams of visiting the Greek coast on vacation, but few think about moving in. Mostly because of the crisis that has been going on here for several years now.

Yet Greece has several obvious advantages, e.g.: the status of a European Union member, loyal migration policy, general security, sunny weather, rich cultural and historical heritage, and wonderful nature.


Life in Greece: fun facts

While the whole world calls this country Greece, its inhabitants, the Greeks, prefer to name themselves Hellenes, and their homeland — Hellas or the Hellenic Republic/Democracy (Ελληνική Διμοκρατία). From an early age, the idea of ​​the obligatory continuity of history is implanted in the head of every citizen. In particular, it shows in the custom to name children here after their grandparents.

Here are some more amazing facts about life in Greece:

  • Local siesta - "μεσημέρι" - is a period of peace and tranquility that lasts every day from 14 to 17. Shops, cafes and other establishments are closed while noise and loud conversations are strictly prohibited and may be deemed as a violation of the general order.
  • The Greeks are the stronghold of the Orthodox faith. They are very pious, and the church is the center of their cultural and spiritual life. Every city, town, or village is built in the way that the church square is always in its center. Consequently, the search for the desired address should be started with the name of the church which is close to the building you seek.
  • At first, Greeks can seem very noisy, active, and in some cases —  aggressive. But this is not the case. They are friendly and hospitable. At the same time, they are slow, unreliable, and constantly late. This applies not only to personal relationships but also to matters of work, papers, and service.
  • In addition, Greeks are quite lazy: they are more interested in sipping coffee and thinking about life than in making money. Therefore, the country has a high level of unemployment. Most of the service personnel are foreigners working for low wages. At the same time, it is still difficult to find a job, and you will have to work a lot and hard. The Greeks are not ready for that, so they prefer to defend their rights — the country even has a calendar of strikes.
  • In Greece, there are more than 300 sunny days per year, the winter is mild, and the swimming season is open almost all year round (especially in the southern regions). Peculiar geographic position, fascinating nature, and rich cultural heritage make this country so special. And it explains the local mentality: why one needs to be fussy and engaged in hard work when there is such beauty everywhere?

Still, life in the cradle of civilizations for an immigrant may not be as sweet as it may seem. Getting used to cultural features, learning the language and the specific alphabet, as well as general adaptation, can take up to 3 years.

Getting a job in Greece mostly requires launching a business, and when you employ in a local company forget about a quick or formidable career. Also, the country is not suitable for those who strive for a precise daily schedule and timely completion of tasks. Despite the above-mentioned facts, a few of those who have received a Greek residence permit return to their native country.




Registration of Greek permanent residence

A permanent residence permit equates a foreigner with native Greeks in terms of rights and social benefits, except participation in the political life of the state. You can get permanent residence after 5 years of uninterrupted legal residence in the country. To obtain the paper you need to pass exams on Greek language proficiency, as well as the history and culture of the country. Legal residence in the territory of Greece means that a foreigner applies to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and issues a temporary residence permit.


Reasons for obtaining a residence permit

To obtain a residence permit in Greece, it is necessary to collect and submit to the Consulate a package of documents (including certificates of no criminal record and the absence of hazardous diseases), as well as confirmation of the need to live in the country.

You can move to Hellas in different ways, but the most popular options are:

  • Confirmation of financial independence of a foreigner. This is one of the easiest options for moving. For an immigrant to be considered financially independent, he/she needs to confirm possession of at least 48,000 euros in a bank account or a monthly income of at least 2,400 euros.
  • If the move is carried out with a family, then 20% for the spouse and 15% for each child will need to be added to the sum. This type of residence permit does not permit one to work and therefore is not subjected to taxing for the income received from abroad;
  • Investments in real estate or the state's economy in the amount of 250,000 euros at least. The so-called "golden visa" allows for obtaining a Greek residence permit, and then a permanent residence permit for the investor, his family, and first-line relatives. You can invest in bank accounts, state shares, development of certain areas of science or culture. It is also possible to invest in the purchase of residential or commercial real estate;
  • Launching a business on the territory of the country or opening a branch of an operating international company. Such application is always considered by a commission that estimates the level of risks, as well as the profitability of the company on the market;
  • Marriage with a Greek. Marriage application submission requires a request for a permanent residence permit from the inviting party. And also — a confirmation of income that can provide a decent life for the pair (at least 2000 euros per month + 20% for spouse).
  • If the marriage is planned after the move, to avoid suspicions that the marriage is fictitious a long-term visa should be issued by invitation instead of the tourist one. Our specialists will help you understand the types of visas and get the paper you need;
  • Official employment. The candidate must submit to the consulate an international confirmation of his/her qualifications, a certificate of language proficiency, a diploma of education, as well as a work permit, and a concluded employment contract. Usually, this type of residence permit is rarely issued because employers are not willing to spend time and effort on additional papers.

In addition to the methods already listed, there is a repatriation program for foreigners with Greek roots. But, unlike the Israeli program, the Greek one is not popular because of the complexity of the process and the lack of support from the state. In addition, it is extremely difficult to confirm the presence of Greek roots.


For many people, living in Greece sounds like a dream, but living in the country has its pros and cons. Read more about the advantages and disadvantages of living in Greece here


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