Latest information on this valuable and informative facebook group – British in Greece
We’ve been waiting to hear which of the systems Greece is going to adopt for issuing the new permits, declaratory (no paperwork) or constitutive (an application with supporting documents). According to an FCO list, which hasn’t been made official yet, Greece is going for the latter. Now there’s a surprise! My source added that we (the UK in Greece) are ‘unlucky’. But in one way it’s good because at least we all know where we stand and will end up with a physical permit we can wave under the noses of airline officials. To apply for the new permit you must have registered as an EU citizen resident in Greece by 31/12/2020.
What this means
- If we don’t apply for the new biometric permit by June 2021, we won’t acquire any rights under the Withdrawal Agreement and our status will revert to non-EU national. However, there is some leeway for Greek immigration officials to decide there were ‘reasonable grounds’ for missing the deadline. There is also leeway for Greece to extend the deadline by up to a year.
- The procedure must be short, simple, transparent, user-friendly and free. The new permits will state on them that they have been issued under the terms of the WA.
- Blue ‘permanent residence’ permit holders will exchange their EU permit for the biometric by presenting ID and confirmation of ongoing residence. Beige ‘registration certificate’ permit holders may be asked to provide supporting documents but they should be ‘much the same’ as those currently requested for registration. Both groups may be asked to undergo a criminality check.
So now we sit tight and wait for details of the Greek legislation (which hasn’t gone through parliament yet). This has to conform with the terms of the Withdrawal Agreement. The obvious questions are When? Where? (local police station or aliens’ office at the perifereia where the non-EU nationals go?) and How? Will those with ‘temporary’ beige permits have their years transferred onto the new permits? Will they have to reapply for permanent status after accruing five years? Will those with over five years on the beige be given permanent status on the biometrics or do you definitely need the blue?
No point in asking embassy/police officers/lawyers/Greek brexit site/EU info sites because they don’t know the details any more than we do until the legislation goes through, the Greek government circulars are brought out and their site updated.
Let’s hope everything goes smoothly – and we know the eyes of the EU commission will be on each country to check they are fulfilling their obligations towards us. But there is a lot that can go wrong too. So we need to be vigilant and know our rights!
You can read more about what ‘constitutive’ means for us in the following explainer https://www.facebook.com/britishineurope/posts/870833193357748