HomeUnited KingdomDetailed guide: Living in Greece

Detailed guide: Living in Greece

What you should do

You should:


You should follow the advice of the Greek Government and your local authority. You can also read our Greece travel advice for our latest guidance.

For information on getting a COVID-19 vaccine as a UK national in Greece see our coronavirus travel advice.

Stay up to date

You should:

Attend a citizen outreach meeting

The British Embassy regularly holds events across Greece for UK nationals. Attend one of our citizen outreach meetings to keep up to date on working and living in Greece.

You can also:

The Withdrawal Agreement

If you were legally resident in Greece before 1 January 2021, your rights will be protected by the Withdrawal Agreement.

You should check that you are correctly registered and should get a new residence document by 30 June 2021 to evidence your rights.

You should also read our guidance on living in Europe.

Visas and residency

All UK nationals resident in Greece before 1 January 2021 should get the new biometric residence document. The deadline for getting the new document is 30 June 2021.

This deadline is indicative which means that your rights under the Withdrawal Agreement will not be affected if you do not meet the deadline. However, we recommend that you get it as soon as possible.

Read the Greek Ministerial Decision on residence documents (in Greek) and the related announcement from the Hellenic Police (including a series of Q&As).

If you have been legally resident in Greece for:

  • over 5 years: you will be eligible for permanent residency and a 10-year renewable residency document
  • less than 5 years: you will be eligible for a document with 5 years validity

To request the document:

  • if you live in Attica and Thessaloniki regions, visit your nearest Hellenic Police station that has an Aliens Department
  • if you live elsewhere, visit your nearest General Regional Police Directorate that has an Aliens Department
  • non-EU family members should visit their nearest Directorate for Aliens and Migration of the Decentralized Administrations

You should also read the Greek government’s website for UK nationals living in Greece and submit any questions in the contact form provided.

Additional support

UK nationals who are resident in Greece, and need help to complete their residence application or registration, can get support from organisations funded by the UK Nationals Support Fund.

This support is only available to people who need additional help to secure their rights under the Withdrawal Agreement. They may include pensioners, disabled people, people living in remote areas or people who have mobility difficulties. Support available includes:

  • answering questions about residence applications, such as the documents you need and how the application process works
  • guiding you through the process, if necessary
  • support if you experience language barriers or difficulty accessing online information and services

If you, or someone you know, are having difficulty completing residence paperwork or have any questions, contact the Aire Centre

The AIRE Centre

Contact details:

  • AIRE Centre website
  • hotline: 0030 698 85 91 229, available available during the following hours: Mon and Wed 4pm to 7pm and Tues 10am to 1pm
  • email: eurobrits@airecentre.org (please contact The AIRE Centre by email if the hotline is busy)

Moving to Greece

Check the entry requirements for Greece.

You should also read:

Passports and travel

You should carry your residence document (registration certificate or permanent residence certificate), as well as your valid passport when you travel.

If you have not yet applied for a residence document, you should carry evidence that you are resident in Greece. This could include a tenancy agreement or a utility bill in your name, dating from 2020.

If you cannot show that you are resident in Greece, you may be asked additional questions at the border to enter the Schengen area, and your passport may be stamped on entry and exit. This will not affect your rights in Greece.


Check your passport is valid for travel before you book your trip. You can apply for or renew your British passport from Greece.

You must have at least 6 months left on an adult or child passport to travel to most countries in Europe (not including Ireland). This requirement does not apply if you are entering or transiting to Greece, and you are in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement.

If you renewed your current passport before the previous one expired, extra months may have been added to its expiry date. Any extra months on your passport over 10 years may not count towards the 6 months needed.

Renew your passport before booking your travel if you do not have enough time left on your passport.

As a non-EEA national, different border checks will apply when travelling to other EU or Schengen area countries. You may have to use separate lanes from EU, EEA and Swiss citizens when queueing. You may also need to show a return or onward ticket.

Entry requirements

You can travel to other Schengen area countries for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa for purposes such as tourism.

To stay longer than 90 days in any 180-day period, to work or study, or for business travel, you must meet the entry requirements set out by the country you are travelling to. This could mean applying for a visa or work permit.

Periods of time authorised by a visa or permit will not count towards your 90-day visa-free limit.

Different rules will apply to EU countries that are not part of the Schengen Area. Check each country’s travel advice page for information on entry requirements.

Travel to the UK and Ireland has not changed.


You must register for healthcare as a resident in Greece, as well as registering, where necessary, with a health insurer.

Read our guidance on who can access healthcare in Greece and make sure you are correctly registered.

If your UK employer has sent you to Greece temporarily, your access to healthcare is different. Find out how to access healthcare as a posted worker.

State healthcare: S1

If you have a registered S1 form and were living in Greece before 1 January 2021, your rights to access healthcare will stay the same if you are either:

  • receiving a UK State Pension
  • receiving some other ‘exportable benefits’
  • a frontier worker who lives in Greece and commutes to work in the UK

Read our guidance on using an S1 form in Greece to ensure you are correctly registered for healthcare.

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC)

If you are resident in Greece, you must not use a UK-issued EHIC for healthcare in Greece.

If you were living in Greece before 1 January 2021, you may be eligible for a new UK-issued EHIC if you’re:

  • a UK student in Greece
  • a UK State Pensioner with a registered S1
  • a frontier worker with a registered S1

Apply now for a new UK EHIC.

An EHIC is not a replacement for comprehensive travel insurance.

For more information read our guidance on healthcare when travelling in Europe and advice on foreign travel insurance.

You should also read guidance on:


You must check your prescriptions are legal in Greece.

The Greek government has introduced a platform for ordering prescriptions online, read a step by step guide on how to access the service (some information in Greek). This platform is only accessible within Greece.

Working in Greece

If you were legally resident in Greece before 1 January 2021, you will have the right to work, as long as you remain legally resident.

See working in an EU country.

You may need to apply for:

Once you have a job, you can get a social insurance number (AMKA) through your local Citizens Service Centre (KEP) (in Greek).

If you are planning to come to Greece to work, you may need a visa. Read the Greek Embassy in London’s guidance on visas.

Frontier workers

If you live in Greece and were regularly commuting to work in another EU or EFTA country, before January 2021 you may need a permit to show you are a frontier worker. You should also get the new biometric residence permit.

We will update this guidance when more information is available.

Money and tax

The UK has a double taxation agreement with Greece to prevent income being taxed in both countries. Ask the relevant tax authority your questions about double taxation relief.

Existing double taxation arrangements for UK nationals living in Greece have not changed following the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.

Read the guidance on:

You must register for a tax identification number (AFM – pronounced aa-fee-mee) – read further guidance in the Greek government ERMIS website (in Greek), with central information and e-services. Once you have an AFM number, it is compulsory to submit a yearly tax return.

You should get professional advice on paying tax in Greece. Find an English-speaking lawyer in Greece.

National Insurance

Find out if you need to pay National Insurance in the UK or social security contributions in Greece.


Whether UK banks can provide services to customers living in the EEA is a matter of local law and regulation. Your bank or finance provider should contact you if they need to make any changes to your product or the way they provide it. If you have any concerns about whether you might be affected, contact your provider or seek independent financial advice.

Read the Money and Pension Service guidance on banking, insurance and financial services changes for more information on cross-border banking.


Read our guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Greece.

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

If you retire to Greece, you can claim:

Read the Money and Pension Service guidance on pension and retirement changes for more information on cross-border pensions.

Life certificates for UK State Pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible. Your payments may be suspended if you don’t.


Read our guidance on entitlement to UK benefits and pensions while you are living in Greece.

You will need to tell the UK government offices that deal with your benefits, pension and tax if you are moving or retiring abroad.

Check which UK benefits you can claim while abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit cannot be paid to you if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

You may be eligible to claim some Greek social security benefits. Read guidance on Greek social security benefits.

You can request proof of the time you’ve worked in the UK from HMRC if you are asked for this.

Driving in Greece

If you are a resident in Greece you should exchange your UK licence for a Greek driving licence (in Greek).

Read guidance on:

Bringing a UK-registered vehicle to Greece

Read our guidance on taking a vehicle out of the UK.

Read the European Union’s guidance on car registration and taxes in Greece. You may be exempt from some of these taxes. If so you will need certificates of exemption.

If you’ve been resident in an EU country for at least 2 years before moving to Greece, you’re exempt from VAT and registration for:

  • cars (owned and used privately)
  • pleasure craft
  • motorcycles
  • mobile caravans

You must appear in person at the nearest Customs Authority to request exemption from paying registration and VAT within 1 month of arriving in Greece. You’ll then be given special Greek registration plates.

Your vehicle must also pass a test at any official KTEO facilitation station.


You cannot vote in local municipal elections in Greece or European Parliament elections.

You may be able to vote in some UK elections.

Births, deaths and getting married

If your child is born in Greece, you will need to register the birth abroad.

If someone dies in Greece:

Find out how you can get married abroad.

Find out about notarial and documentary services for UK nationals in Greece.


If you have a pet passport issued by Greece or another EU member state, you can use it to travel with your pet to Great Britain and elsewhere in the EU.

A GB-issued EU pet passport is not valid for travel to the EU or Northern Ireland. You should speak to your vet before you travel to get the necessary pet travel documents and ensure you’re compliant with the EU Pet Travel Regulations.

Read guidance on:

Check the rules of the country you’re travelling to for any additional restrictions or requirements before you travel.


You can dial the European emergency number 112 or:

  • 100 for police
  • 199 for fire brigade
  • 166 for emergency medical service
  • 108 for coast guard
  • 197 for emergency social assistance

Read further information on emergency numbers in Greece.

If you need urgent help (you are the victim of crime, have been arrested or are affected by a crisis abroad), contact your nearest British embassy or consulate.

Other useful information

Returning to the UK

Tell the UK and Greek authorities that you are returning to the UK permanently.

Contact the International Pension Centre to move your pension to the UK.

If you get healthcare in Greece through the S1 form, you must contact the Overseas Healthcare Team on +44 (0)191 218 1999 to make sure your S1 is cancelled at the right time.

Read the guidance on returning to the UK permanently which includes information on, amongst other things, tax, access to services and bringing family members.


Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Greek authorities. The Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.


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