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Living in Greece as an Expat



Nowadays, there is a big number of expats in Greece. It’s easy to understand because this country offers many unique features. From gorgeous landscapes to a very rich cultural and historical heritage. And its gastronomy is among the bests in the world.

Living in Greece is quite simple for European nationals. But there are a few important points to consider if you want to be successful in your adventure.

Steps to Be Followed by the Expats in Greece

From an administrative point of view, moving to Greece is rather easy for European nationals. They can move and settle freely in the country without having to apply for a visa.

However, there are a few steps to take to legally move there:

Signing up in the Register of Foreigners Living in Greece

Foreigners living in Greece must register themselves in the expat’s register. It’s done in a Police office within 3 months since you settle down there.

This will grant you a certificate that will allow you to:

  • Reside in Greece
  • Work
  • Take diplomas or exams in the country.

This document is valid for 5 years.

Permanent Residence Permit

The permanent residence permit is obtained after 5 years of residence. Or after the purchase of a property of a certain value.

Obtaining a Tax Number From the Tax Office

This number is essential for many procedures such as:

  • Opening a bank account
  • Signing up for a telephone plan
  • The subscription to an energy contract
  • Etc.

Register of Citizens Living in Greece

This step is not mandatory when you move to Greece, but it is strongly recommended. It allows you to facilitate certain administrative procedures, but also to obtain help and advice.

You can do it at your country’s embassy or consulate.

Work in Greece for Expats

Moving to work in Greece is not very popular among the expatriates. This country doesn’t offer as many opportunities as other destinations. The crisis has had a serious impact on employment, and the unemployment rate remains quite high.

Also, the cost of living in Greece is much lower than in other European countries. Due to this, the salaries are also low. This country is more suitable for retired expatriates.

Anyway, this does not mean that there are no possibilities to find a job in Greece. Some sectors are looking for highly qualified young people. Some examples are:

  • Industry
  • Catering
  • Logistics
  • Technical sectors
  • Scientific sectors.

It is also possible to expatriate to Greece by choosing a tourist region, which regularly recruits international profiles.

While fluency in English is essential for expats, it is important to make the effort to learn the national language. It will open more doors to employment and facilitate integration with the local population.

Moving to Greece is also an interesting choice for freelancers who can work remotely. Provided that you have a good Internet connection, which is the norm in large cities, you will benefit from an exceptional quality of life.

Healthcare in Greece for Expats

It is possible to get healthcare in Greece for Expats with the local health care system (IKA-ETAM).

The only requirement is to have contributed for 100 days if they are employed. Or be national from a country that has subscribed to a bilateral social security agreement with Greece.

An AMKA number is assigned at the time of registration and gives access to:

  • Free consultations
  • Medicines reimbursed at 75%.

However, to be properly covered, it is recommended to take out private health insurance. Either a Social Security supplementary policy or a “1st euro/dollar” insurance.

To choose the most suitable one, you can use an online comparison tool. It’s a quick, easy and free solution.

Take in mind that the Greek health insurance system has many limitations:

  • Institutions are saturated
  • There is a cruel lack of staff
  • Facilities are often aging.

To be properly taken care of, it is, therefore, necessary to turn to private establishments. They do not suffer from these shortcomings and are up to satisfactory standards.

Plus, international insurances allow you to benefit from additional guarantees adapted to your needs. As well as evacuation and repatriation assistance.

It is therefore a very interesting solution to consider for expats living in Greece.

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This is also interesting:

What countries should I move to? The best countries to move to are not the same for everyone! Finding the ideal destination depends first of all on what is expected on a personal level.


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