Foreign workers are required to have the proper visas and work permits in Greece, as established by immigration laws. Work permits must be secured for employees, and sponsored by a locally licensed and incorporated entity, which can be a problem for companies just entering the Greek market. If you have yet to complete the incorporation process you can use an outsourced management company or GEO Employer of Record to sponsor the employee for the necessary permits.
Non-EEA nationals must obtain a work permit prior to the start of their employment activity in Greece.
Residence/work permits for non-EEA nationals are, however, very difficult to obtain for those who are not of Greek origin or not married to a Greek. Once separate permits, the residence permit and the work permit are now all-in-one, meaning residence permits can include the right to work. It is not possible for a non-EU national to obtain a stand-alone work permit; the permission to work is included in the residence permit.
Work permits in Greece are employer-specific (although there can be exceptions), occupation-specific, and location-specific, and are normally valid for one year.
A worker from a non-EU country must first obtain a visa to enter Greece and then apply for the residence/work permit once in Greece.
Process of sponsoring a non-EEA worker
In order for an employer to sponsor a work permit for a non-EEA nationals, it is necessary first to provide employees with an entry visas:
A type D visa (or National Visa) for work must be obtained for any non-EU national planning to stay in Greece for more than 90 days and work. This visa must be obtained before arriving in Greece, from the Greek Embassy or Consular Section in the applicant’s country of residence.
Required documents are as follows:
Obtaining a work permit
Within 30 days of arrival in Greece, the visa holder must apply in person for a residence/work permit at the local municipal office (Δημαρχείο / Dimarchio). In some areas, application may be made at the police station. There are numerous types of residence permit available, depending on the applicant’s circumstances (self-employed, consultant, employee, executive). Validity periods range from one to five years.
It is suggested to file the application as soon as possible after arrival, as the process can be lengthy.
How to apply for a residence/work permit
Prior to applying for a residence permit, applicants must obtain a tax number (AFM) from the local tax office, as well as a social security number from the Social Security Institute (AMKA). It may be possible to obtain an AMKA number from the nearest IKA office (Social Insurance Institute) or Citizens Service Office (KEP).
Application forms for residence permits can be obtained at the local municipal office (Δημαρχείο / Dimarchio) or prefecture (nomarxeia). It may be possible to obtain an application form at a Citizens Service Office. Applications must be submitted, in Greek, either in person or by a certified lawyer granted power of attorney.
The following documents are required in order to obtain a residence permit:
Two passport photos are officially required, although many applicants are required to present four.
Once the application has been submitted, the applicant will receive a blue form (bebaiosi) as receipt that the application is being processed, which means that the applicant is legitimate to work at this time. The applicant is responsible for following up to obtain the residence permit.
Renewing a residence permit
At least 60 days before the residence/work permit will expire, an application must be submitted for renewal to the local municipal office or prefecture.
Documents required for renewal include:
Processing time: Approximately 30 days for the entry visa.
Fees: Vary by country, but price is approximately €50.
Once you get in touch with us, one of our consultants will take all the work off your hand, co-ordinate with our local partners to get all the required permits organised, provide the processing time, costs, document-checklist and keep you informed through the process. Contact us to know more.
|Category||Description of Visa|
|Short Stay Visas (“C”)||
A short stay visa (visa C) allows to transit through or stay in the Schengen area for an uninterrupted period of 90 days maximum or for 90 days accumulated in stages over 180 days for:
• tourist or family visits;
Third country nationals subject to a visa obligation who wish to stay in Greece for less than 90 days over a period of 180 days for business, family or tourist visits, etc. must apply for a short stay visa (visa C).
Visa applications should in principle be lodged at least 15 calendar days before the intended visit and cannot be lodged earlier than 3 months before the start of the intended visit.
Other supporting documentation, in relation to the purpose of the visit, may be requested.
Applications shall be decided on within 15 calendar days of the date of their lodging. When the visa is granted, it is affixed in the passport in the form of a visa sticker.
The visa type C allows for stays for a duration not exceeding 90 days over any 180-day period. The visa can be issued for one or several entries, depending on the reasons of stay.
Possession of a visa does not confer an irrevocable right of entry. The holder of a visa is required to show evidence, at external borders, that he fulfills the conditions of entry in accordance with the Schengen Borders Code (article 5).
Extension of the visa C
When applying for a visa extension, the applicant must show that he cannot leave Greece before the expiry of his visa or the authorized period of stay, for reasons of force majeure, for humanitarian reasons or for serious personal reasons.
As a rule, the visa can only be extended if the applicant has stayed less than 90 days in the Schengen area, in the course of the past 180 days, and if his current visa is not expired.
Fees: Approximately USD 65
|Long Stay Visas ("D")||
A national “D” visa allows you to enter Greece in order to apply for a residence permit. It can be issued for a set of reasons (i.e. work, studies, training, etc. ) and has a long-stay validity for a maximum of one year. Holders of national visa have the obligation to apply for a residence permit to Greece immediately after their first entry to the country.
Documents required are as follows:
1. Long Stay (D Visa) application form fully completed in English or Greek and signed by the applicant.
2. Passport valid for at least 3 months after the date of expiry of the D visa, issued within the previous 10 years and containing at least 2 consecutive blank pages.
3. One (01) recent passport-size color photograph not older than 6 months, white background, no head or face cover(s) that prevent(s) full visibility of the facial features.
4. Travel medical insurance valid for a period of no less than the length of the D visa, covering any expenses which might arise in connection with repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical attention and/or emergency hospital treatment.
5. Medical fitness certificate, stating that the applicant is free of any disease capable of putting public health at risk, according to the international situation and the World Health Organization, as well as of other contagious, infectious or parasitic diseases which would require the adoption of public health protection measures (see attached template).
6. A copy of the applicant’s criminal record issued by the foreign authorities, certifying the applicant’s criminal status.
Fees: Approximately USD 102
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