United Kingdom citizens and their family members, irrespective of nationality, who are permanent residents of Greece will have an established right of residence in the country after December 31, when the transition period under the Withdrawal Agreement with the European Union comes to an end, according to a Migration Ministry announcement on Monday.
There is also a provision for special residence permits for UK citizens and their families, irrespective of nationality, that are not permanently resident in Greece, the ministry said.
The Withdrawal Agreement calls for the issue of a new residence permit document by EU member-states that will certify the new residence status of UK citizens and their family members.
Greece has opted for the fast-track process of simply confirming right of residence, rather than re-establishing the right, thus acknowledging the contribution of UK citizens to the social and economic progress of Greece.
This means that UK nationals that have been legally resident in Greece for more than five years or register as residence in Greece before December 31 and continue to stay in the country after that date establish the right to remain in the country, based on the Withdrawal Agreement.
The ministry, in collaboration with the Citizen Protection Ministry, have issued a joint ministerial decision that outlines which authorities will be responsible for issuing the new biometric residence documents for UK nationals and their family members, in line with EU requirements.
These will also include a statement indicating that they have been issued in accordance with the Withdrawal Agreement and making the new residence status – as well as guaranteeing the established rights – of the holders clear.
The new residence permits will be valid for 10 years for those that have established the right of permanent residence and five years in the opposite case. A five-year residence permit can be converted to a permanent residence permit after five years, provided the permitted periods of absence are not exceeded.
UK nationals and their family members can apply for the new residence document from January 1, 2021, supplying the necessary supporting documents.