The National Insurance Number (AMKA) of people who have lost their right to legal residence in Greece or whose stay in the country has been interrupted may now be temporarily deactivated, according to a clause voted through with the recent social security law and published on Wednesday in the Government Gazette.
This new regulation forms a new framework for the use of AMKAs which, along with identity numbers and the tax registration numbers (AFMs), constitute the main data for the identification of individuals in Greece.
In practice this complements the legal framework that has remained unchanged since 2008. Its main target is to probe the legality of every contact that mostly foreign citizens originating from the Balkan states and other non-European Union countries have with the Greek social security system, for access to the National Health System and all kinds of benefits, whether they are insured or not.
The new regulation introduces the process for the activation as well as deactivation of an AMKA in case its holder stops meeting the law’s requirements and mainly if he or she stops being a permanent and legal resident of Greece.
The Labor Ministry’s objective is optimum service to citizens and to prevent phenomena such as those observed in recent years, with the issue of AMKA numbers to non-eligible individuals, the presentation of fake documents and the continuation of the use of an AMKA number by ineligible people for free healthcare and social benefits.
The relevant ministerial decision will be issued by the end of the year, determining the process and the other competent authorities for the issue of AMKA numbers, the details of the number’s issue to minors, the criteria for legally staying and residing in the country, the necessary documents for proving one’s legal employment and permanent residence, and any other necessary document for the issue, activation, deactivation and suspension of the AMKA number.
There is already an agreement for an online connection of the Labor and Migration ministries’ systems as well as that of the police, for cross-checking documents.