Living in Greece

A practical guide to moving, living, working & traveling in Greece, plus musing and misadventures from an American in Athens

Residence/work permits for undocumented workers in Greece

Greek permitLegalization of undocumented workers in Greece closed October 31, 2007 and has not reopened, as the Greek government has no intention of issuing residence/work permits to foreigners who came here illegally. Non-EU citizens interested in securing a permit under normal conditions should first start with “How non-EU citizens can get a permit to move, live and work in Greece.”

No updates, amendments to the law or new measures are expected, as unemployment is at a record high and Greece has no reason to regularize or mass legalize illegal immigrants, nor does it have the financial resources to offer amnesty to hundreds of thousands of people. The recession is in its sixth year and is not over.

If you are a genuine asylum seeker or refugee, seek free legal advice from the Greek Council of Refugee at I do not have any knowledge, advice or experience with pink cards or revoked pink cards.

Also know in advance that Greece only approves less than 4 percent of all applications for asylum, and illegal immigrants caught by police are kept in abandoned army barracks that Human Rights organizations called unlivable and worse than prison conditions.

*Article last updated June 6, 2014. However, please note that ‘Comments’ reflect a specific case or whatever was true at the time.

What hunger strikers “won” in March 2011

At the end of January, a group of 287 illegal/legal and formerly legal immigrants began a hunger strike in Athens and Thessaloniki that lasted 44 days, during which nearly 200 were hospitalized. The Greek government stated from the beginning it would adhere to EU/Greek laws, not exacerbate the economic crisis and not consent to a mass legalization, nor grant residence/work permits that would only encourage similar protests.

To end the hunger strike and prevent possible loss of human life, Interior Minister Yiannis Ragousis, Citizen Protection Minister Christos Papoutsis and Health Minister Andreas Loverdos agreed on March 9, 2011 to:

a) Lower the IKA ensima requirement to 120 from 200 for all immigrants with salaried work in Greece to facilitate renewal of a one-year residence/work permit;

b) Lower the IKA ensima requirement to 240 from 400 for all immigrants with salaried work in Greece, in order to allow renewal of a two-year residence/work permit;

c) Lower the ensima requirement to 120-240 from 200-400, dependent on length of permit validity, for all immigrants with several employers in Greece (i.e., housekeepers, child care workers), in order to renew their permit.

d) Change law 3907 that says an illegal immigrant may apply for a residence/work permit with special consideration, if proof is provided that he/she has been living in Greece for 12 years, gradually lowering the requirement to eight (8) years over an unspecified period. Though an amendment was drafted by Parliament in August 2011, no time frame for passage of this amendment has been set, announced or published to date.

e) Through a customized process by police, grant the 287 hunger strikers a bebaiosi (certificate) of temporary stay for six (6) months, which may be renewed every (6) months. With this bebaiosi, they may continue working in Greece and visit their home countries on humanitarian grounds and return without fear of barred re-entry or penalty. All items in (e) only apply to the 287 hunger strikers, not all undocumented or formerly legal residents in Greece or asylum seekers or refugees.

No residence/work permits were issued or approved. No mass legalization was announced.

Rumors and racist comments began circulating when BBC published an article that had not been vetted before publication, stating that temporary residence permits were part of the compromise reached. This is not true.

*Corrections welcome.

Past Legalization

— For Informational Purposes Only: The following article was left in place to show what basic requirements were required in a past legalization. It does not guarantee a permit in the end. —

An illegal non-EU citizen who has been in Greece since before December 31, 2004 has a right to become legal and secure a residence/work permit if the following documents can be provided to the local municipality.

What you need

1. Passport or other valid travel document (Latin letters have been acceptable in recent years, and translations into Greek for passports without Latin letters)
– Original and three (3) photocopies of the passport page and entry stamp to Greece
– One (1) photocopy of each passport page

2. Proof that you were in Greece before December 31, 2004
a. Copy of rental agreements with your landlord certified by the DOY-Eforia (tax office)
b. Letters from your past/present employers, each submitted on letterhead with an original signature of the boss and certified by the police station
c. A series of monthly bus/metro renewals over the years
d. Proof that your child was enrolled in school

3. Photocopies of your income tax returns for the past 2 years.
– Your annual income must be at least 8,500 euros, plus 15 percent (or 1,275 euros) for each dependent family member (spouse and/or child). i.e. If you are married with 1 child, your income must a minimum of 11,050 euros.

4. A signed and certified dilosi and printout issued by the tax office (DOY eforia) stating that you do not owe any unpaid taxes

5. Proof that you are currently enrolled with IKA, TEBE or another insurance carrier.
– Printout/statement from your insurance carrier

6. Proof of at least 150 ensima per year for the past 3 years.
– Originals for verification and photocopies of ensima or a dilosi signed and certified by your carrier.
– Immigrants are permitted to purchase all 150 ensima for 1000 euros, but this money is non-refundable if for any reason the permit is never issued.
*Note that the normal number is 200 ensima per year.

7. A document issued by your social insurance fund (IKA or TEBE) stating that you do not have any unpaid insurance contributions

8. A photocopy of your rental contract (certified by the tax office/eforia) or the title deed of your home

9. Health certificate
– Issued after a blood test and chest X-ray are completed at a state/public hospital
– Original and one (1) photocopy

10. Four (4) recent color passport-size photographs

11. Parabolo of the 150 euro fee
– Paid at the eforia or Dimarxeio-Mayor’s office of your municipality (location of payment varies according to municipality)
– Original and three (3) photocopies

12. Fakelo (folder with bands at the corners)
– Purchased at any office or school supply shop; they’ll know what you mean

13. Letter/contract from your employer that you have work

14. Dilosi (statement of facts) signed at the municipality that you give permission for the Ministry of Citizen Protection and Public Order Justice to furnish your Type A criminal record

Be aware that you may need an appointment or be required to go early and wait on a first come, first serve basis on certain days of the week when you are ready to submit your papers. A public official will check, verify and bundle your documents in the fakelo, then issue a bebaiosi (blue paper with photo) that you keep to later pick up your permit in 90 days or more.

What happens next?

If something is found to be incomplete, it is your responsibility to check with the municipality by inquiring in person (or phone, if you find a rare generous soul); there is no guarantee that anyone will notify you by phone or mail.

It takes between 90 days and one (1) year to be issued a permit.

You must start the process of renewing your permit at least 60 days in advance of the expiration date or a fine will be assessed.


— Documents from the municipality and personal notes
— First-hand experiences of KB, IK, JR

Updated with:

Έληξε η απεργία πείνας των μεταναστών” — Eleftherotypia
Χαρτοπόλεμος ΠΑΣΟΚ – Ν.Δ. για τους μετανάστες” — Eleftherotypia
Βρέθηκε λύση για τους μετανάστες απεργούς πείνας” — Kathimerini
Hunger strike ends in Greece after reaching compromise” — Kathimerini
Αυλαία στην Υπατία µετά 44 ηµέρες απεργίας πείνας” — Ta Nea
Migrants end Greek hunger strike after government offer” — BBC
Συμφωνία κυβέρνησης- μεταναστών” — Imerisia
Minister defends deal to end migrants’ hunger strike” — Kathimerini


  vlada wrote @ February 27th, 2011 at 19:24

Ms. Kat,

I am writing here following your instructions for asking an emergency question.

I am Serbian, living illegally in Greece since May 2005. I have a Latvian (EU) girlfriend living in Greece, and we want to get married. I have to found out what is the best way to exit the Greece and re-enter again, get married and get residence permit. I read everything you have posted about overstaying in Greece. My case is complicated so I will start from the beginning.

On December 2005 i managed to apply for a Greek residence permit. If I entered Greece before 01. 01. 2005 I will have a full rights for successfully applying for residence permit and a “blue veveosi” until the process is done. But in my case my lawyer managed for me a red veveosi “veveosi katathesis aitisis gia ekdosi adeias diamonis” (it is valid for one month and means i was missing some documents and needed to get them to continue the process for a residence permit). My lawyer managed to push further but after 2 years it was denied by the Periferia Crete. I decide to go to court but i lost the case on May 2007. In the meantime I got an AFM and worked with ensima until October 2007 (some months after I lose the case).

My passport will expire on March 12th so there is no more hope for me that I can apply for Greek residence permit in any future legalization of undocumented immigrants, so I think it is the best if I leave Greece in coming days. I still have an old version of a Serbian passport, which is not biometric and requires me to have a visa for traveling. New Serbian passports are biometric and no visa is required for up to 90 days in 180 days for EU. If I want to leave Greece after my passport expires I can still take an document from the Serbian Embassy in Athens, which entitles me to travel to Serbia.

I have a two options: to leave Greece the proper way and pay the overstaying fine or to leave Greece (EU) without passing the passport control (it is an option too!)!

My questions are:
1. If I leave Greece paying the fine, get new biometric passport and try to re-enter in Greece probably I can enter but it is still an question will they let me pass the border? I guess you have the same opinion about that?!

2. Do you suggest me first to enter to some other EU country and then to travel to Greece? Which countries do you suggest?

3. If they let me pass the border and I get married, are there still big chances to be refused for Greek residence permit because of my past in Greece?

My personal opinion is paying the fine is a better way!

4. Second option is to exit Greece and EU without anybody checking on my passport, so no stamp and no computer, get new biometric passport in Serbia and re-enter Greece. Could I have a problem at the Greece border because of my past in Greece and not having any evidence of me leaving Greece?

5. If everything went well and I enter Greece and get married to my girlfriend and apply for a residence permit, I am afraid I could be questioned about my previous staying in Greece. For example, when I left Greece? For example, why don’t I have an exit stamp?

Also, I am afraid that they could find out that i still received ensima after I was refused a residence permit or lost in the court (proof i overstayed in Greece!)

Any risk of getting on black list , even deportation? What is your opinion of all of this?

6. My hope for all those years was one day I will get Greek residence permit in some future legalization of undocumented people. I have information that soon will be new legalization. I just found out that it will not be possible for me to apply for residence permit if I don’t have a valid passport for at least 6 months. that is confusing for me because it means that somebody who is in Greece for 10 years (6 in my case) can’t apply for residence if he/she has expired passport but somebody who is in Greece for 2 years and still have a valid passport can apply for residence if there is legalization for undocumented people.

What do you know to tell me about that?

I have some 10 days to leave the Greece before my passport expire? I am searching for answers, asked 3 lawyers but I didn’t get clear answers. It will means a lot for me if I can get very soon some answer from you. Also if you can suggest somebody else , maybe some good lawyer?

Thank you very much!

Kat Reply:

It’s late and it seems I’ll be answering comments tonight instead of doing a new article, so I’ll make this as short as possible.

1. As you already read in “Overstaying a visa in Greece,” there’s no way to know whether they’ll allow you re-entry. Greek authorities are within their right to deny you for overstaying a visa in the past and working illegally in Greece. Paying the fine means you avoid possible blacklisting.

2. Whether you enter through another country is a personal choice as there are no guarantees it will be easier because the SIS computer gives all Schengen countries the same information if they’re connected and if authorities are using them. There’s no way to know if a country or the person passing judgment on you will be more lenient. You must have seen me say this 100 times already.

3. Yes, you can still be denied a residence permit. Marrying an EU citizen doesn’t mean past sins are forgiven.

You need to understand that you have done more than overstay a visa. You have been breaking the law by living/working illegally in Greece for almost 6 years.

4. Greek authorities will look for proof of all entries and exits, so do it the right way. I was once not stamped out of the Schengen zone, and Greek authorities asked me to provide proof that I boarded a flight and left before they would even accept an application to renew my residence/work permit. People once criticized me for keeping boarding passes, but in my case it was smart and people ate their words.

5. You will definitely be questioned about previous stays in Greece:
a) Your entire history of bureaucracy is on file and archived in a database, including what bebaiosis you were issued and when, what applications you submitted anywhere in Greece, what court cases you filed and decisions rendered, etc.
b) If you get married and apply for another residence permit, they’ll cross reference that with the rest of your file.
c) Since you have a history of overstaying a visa, not having a past permit, challenging a decision in court, working/staying illegally in Greece and a sudden marriage upon re-entry, the immigration committee will automatically (and rightfully) see you as someone who married for a work permit. It doesn’t matter how valid your relationship is. All of it is grounds for denial, and you may be asked to leave.
d) Blacklisting usually happens if you overstay and don’t pay a fine. Deportation usually occurs only after you’re taken to court and prosecuted, as you should have read in “Overstaying a visa in Greece.”

I am a truthteller, not a fortuneteller so I cannot predict what will happen to you. You are responsible for your choices, and all choices have consequences.

6. Legalization is in a rumor, so whatever information you have reflects that. With the economic climate and hunger strikers demanding permits, the ministry has made clear that it will apply the law ‘as is’ and NOT authorize a route legalization for all undocumented workers, repeated again in “Ούτε σκέψη για μαζική νομιμοποίηση μεταναστών” (Not considering mass legalization). It said it MIGHT consider announced Monday in “Μειώνονται τα ένσημα για την ανανέωση της άδειας παραμονής” (SKAI) and “Fewer insurance stamps to renew residence permits” (Kathimerini) that it would be lowering the ensima requirement from 200 to 120 for immigrants who held residence/work permits for years then lost them when they lost their jobs and couldn’t collect enough ensima to renew.

Because you never had a residence/work permit, you do not qualify under this scheme. Also, there are far more requirements than a valid passport for 6 months in order to apply for a residence/work permit in Greece. Those here for two years may not qualify, so I don’t see a valid reason for confusion or concern.

In my opinion, the lawyers who gave no clear answers without taking your money were honest. Too many promise something without knowing anything, take money and never do anything but give people false hope. I cannot recommend a lawyer to you because I often see them fumbling around in dimosio offices (some don’t even bring a pen and borrow mine) and no lawyer I’ve met is more knowledgeable than I am on permits. It also seems a bit ridiculous that I would recommend you pay someone money but pay me nothing.

Leave, renew your passport, try to re-enter and take it from there. Step by step. No lawyer can get around the law. All you can do is follow it.

  George wrote @ March 28th, 2011 at 19:39

I got married to an EU citizen and had my veveosi. After 1 year, my application for my Greek permit was rejected and a rejection letter was given to me. I want to know if I can apply apply with the new form/law of legalization of people who’s papers had one problem or the other (eg, rejected) at the ministry in syntagma. Do i qualify to apply for this, since I had a family paper but doesn’t pay taxes because I had no job?

Thank you.

Kat Reply:

You did not provide enough information for me to give you a customized answer. However, you need to understand that being married to an EU citizen does not guarantee you or anyone a residence/work permit; there are many lawful requirements.

Also there is no mass legalization. Please read the updated article above under “What hunger strikers “won” in March 2011.” Most of the revisions concerned the hunger strikers and those trying to renew a Greek residence/work permit.

  abdul wrote @ February 25th, 2012 at 06:59

I entered greece without a passport. On my arrival I then claim assylum asylum and was a granted what they call red paper. After gething getting the red paper i then applied to further my education from the menistry ministry of education and was successful. I was then given a letter of prof proof that confirms I have been accepted a place in one of the greek university with condition that I under go a studies of a greek language at the university of athens and recieve a certificate for the greek language.

I then took this course and upon completion of the eight month course I sat to the general exam that was offered in may and was successful in that too, I was issued with the greek language profiency. The following september which was 2011 I enrol to enroll with the university which i am currently under going studies on my first year.

Wanting to apply for a resident permit I was told by a lawyer that it is possible because there is law that says that does working with the right ikka IKA and for does studying can apply.

I went throw through with the application for a special residence permit since he made it clear to me that i cant get a student permit.

Following my application he told me that it will take 4 month for the permit to be out which was last month but it is not.

I was wondering what is your thought about this case?

I am not in a rush but i just want to see if my application is legit because i have been given a reciete receipt which say that my application for a residence permit does not proof my legality here .

Kat Reply:

In “FAQ: Greek residence and work permits,” it says that permits in Greece can take up to a year — even past their expiration — to be issued in cases where the non-EU citizen is not an asylum seeker. Therefore, four months is not a long time.

Asylum seekers with pink (roz) or red cards tell me that they have waited years to hear something on their case. So again, I do not consider four months to be a long time.

My opinion is that your lawyer is either not knowledgeable or is knowledgeable and not telling you the truth in order to continue having you as a client. In 14 years, I have never used a lawyer to process any of my papers; I go straight to Greek authorities. I also recommend that asylum seekers and refugees take advantage of free legal services offered at the Greek Council for Refugees in Athens. Visit for more info.

  omar wrote @ March 3rd, 2012 at 04:08

I am non greek, residing here and holding a permit of a red paper. However, I am interested in joining the greek army force or the navy. Please tell me if this possible or not.

Secondly I have obtain the greek certificate of language and my friends are telling me that with this i can apply for a greek residence?

For your information i have been residing here for 2 years now.

Kat Reply:

I’m fairly certain they will not allow you to join the army or navy because you do not have full legal status. You can use contact information at “Military service in Greece” to confirm.

A red paper represents temporary status and does not entitle you to apply for a normal full-status residence permit. You can verify my answer at the Greek Council for Refugees at and see ‘Contact’ to get their address.

Friends are not a reliable source of information.

  Linh wrote @ March 28th, 2012 at 15:04

Comment 1:
I’m refugees Asylum in Greece, i have Pink Card.
1. How and when i can apply to get Resident Permit ?
2. My husband in U.S of America, he is American, can i apply the procedure to go to America to reunion with my husband ? May i neeed to have Resident Permit before apply to go to U.S of America.
Thank you for your answer.

Comment 2:
I wrote to you yesterday, but you din’t answer me yet ? Can you please check my case ?
Thank you.

Comment 3:
Thank you for your replying. I thought my question is skipped that’s why i send the second in order to remind you.
I will wait for your answer.
Thank you in advances for your helping.

Comment 4:
I said i will waiting from yours. My third comment just an explaination for you to understand why i send to you the second comment. Hope you understand what i mean.

Kat Reply:

In reverse order:

Answer 3:
It said how many questions were in the queue before you left yours, so the misunderstanding resulted when you didn’t read it. Because I keep count of the questions and I am under no obligation to answer anyone, there is nothing to ‘remind me’ of.

Answer 2:
Please look at the front page under “Have a Question?” It says there are 130 questions in the queue ahead of you, and I do not work for the government. I am a journalist running this website in my unpaid time. I do not consider less than 24 hours to be a long wait for free assistance. Visit a municipality office if you are impatient for an answer.

Answer 1:
Asylum seekers in Greece are given pink cards, which entitle them to temporary permission to live, work and receive medical care without fear of expulsion. It is renewable every 6 months, only until your asylum claim is rejected or accepted. That means you are not entitled to a residence/work permit. You can verify my answer at Greek Council for Refugees at

You cannot apply to be reunited with your husband in America. Why? Because the U.S. citizen must initiate the application, provide proof of income and apply for your visa to bring you into the country. You can read about it at “Green card for a family member.” You should be asking him why he hasn’t done it, not me.

  Jane wrote @ April 27th, 2012 at 17:14

I´m EU citizen more than year in relationship with Algerian having “red card” in Greece. We used to live together there, he paid a lot of money for lawyers, we put all documents what they said we need to get married. But its more than half year of promises, documents from my country expired and we are still not married. Now I´m pregnant and back in my country because of better healthcare. I read your topics but did not find answer, just in few comments that asylum seekers with this temporary permission cant get married?? We are confused and worried about our future. To get some valid information from Greek officials is almost impossible, every time they say different things or openly ask for money to “do something” (they do nothing anyways). What we can do in our situation? We just want to get married and be together in my country when our baby will be born… Thank you for response

Kat Reply:

Lawyers typically do not know much about laws governing non-EU citizens — which may explain why they plagiarize my website so often — or they know very well, promising hope and solutions to vulnerable persons to trick them out of money. I have never used a lawyer for papers or paid a bribe.

Asylum seekers and refugees cannot get married in Greece because red/roz cards denote a temporary status. One must be in a full legal status to marry. If you were somehow granted a marriage license and permitted to marry in spite of this, the red/roz card would again be an issue when applying for his residence/work permit because it would look like he married you for papers and a committee would deny it.

In addition to not knowing enough about your situation, I don’t know enough about the red/roz card to give you advice because I have never held one, and everyone who comes to this website seeking advice never shares their story beyond their problem or comes back to tell me how it worked out. Therefore, I have no way of gaining wisdom and experience to help others. The best I can do is direct you to the Greek Council of Refugees in Athens, which provides free legal assistance:

I also recommend you consult immigration authorities in your country to see if there’s a different solution that does not involve Greece, perhaps him exiting Greece voluntarily and starting over in yours. Wishing you all the best for health, happiness and finally being together.

  kristina wrote @ May 21st, 2012 at 23:37

Your question was moved to “Residence/work permits for non-EU citizens in Greece.”

  Linda wrote @ October 8th, 2012 at 01:50

Please, I hope you can help me. I have a very dear friend in Greece. He is Syrian and went to Greece 7 years ago on a 10-day visa but never left. He has been illegally residing and working in Greece. He has no papers to get out of the country. He is stuck in Greece. He wishes to have a visitor’s visa for either Australia or NZ and then apply for work permit there, then onto residency eventually. How can he get a visitor’s visa to get out of Greece? He is desperate and now that his family has been killed in Syria in the past few months, he has nothing left to keep him near his loved ones. Your advice would be muchly appreciated. Thank you.

Kat Reply:

Here’s the dilemma. Your friend cannot become legal if he is illegal.

Applying for a visa to visit another country requires travel documents (passport, etc.) and documentation attesting to one’s stability, usually financial documents, proof of residence, ties to the country he lives. If he’s been illegally living in Greece, I don’t see how he’s going to do that.

Even if he gets a visa, the following obstacles lie ahead:
— Australia may turn him away at passport control because dozens of Greeks are trying to enter the country disguised as tourists to illegally immigrate. They’re being detained and sent back.
— When applying to Greece to immigrate as a worker, an employer must sponsor the visa and call for the worker through the Greek embassy/consulate in his country of legal residence (his homeland or a country that issued him a residence/stay permit). A country he’s visiting as a tourist doesn’t qualify.
— Electronic records will show he was issued a 10-day visa, but his whereabouts cannot be accounted for after that. If he tells the truth, he’s done. If he can’t produce proof, he’s done.
— In order to get a work permit in Greece, there must be a compelling reason to be here. I understand Syria is a terrible place to be and he’s alone now, but this isn’t enough to grant a visa based on work and eventually issue a permit, especially with unemployment now at 25 percent — the highest in the eurozone and still rising. Greece has no reason to import workers when its own citizens and legal immigrants are suffering.
— People applying for political asylum are typically rejected. You can read about it in “Greece failing asylum seekers.”

I delayed responding, hoping to present you with a viable solution, but I regret I can find none if he wishes to live and work in Greece. The best I can do is direct him to the Greek Council of Refugees in Athens, which provides free legal assistance without judgment:

He might also ask them if it’s possible to apply for political asylum in a different EU country that will not return him to Greece, as Greece is widely known for its inhumane treatment.

Wishing you the best.

  osman wrote @ February 22nd, 2013 at 17:16

i am refugees and i have pink card the did i have right to marry a greek citizen?

Kat Reply:

I’ve answered this question already. Please see the response to ‘Jane’ above.

  ahmad wrote @ March 14th, 2013 at 15:15

Your question was moved to, “FAQ: Greek work and/or residence permits.”

  osman wrote @ June 27th, 2013 at 22:08

i am political asylum in greece and i am working illegal dtd have righet to get residence permit please help me

Kat Reply:

You did not provide enough information for me to help you. Get in contact with the Greek Council of Refugees in Athens, which provides free legal assistance without judgment:

  Saky wrote @ September 15th, 2013 at 21:20

HI. Well first i would like to tell you thank you for what you are doing, and may god help you in what ever you would want to achieve.

But the main reason why i am here is to find an answer to many question that in asking , Living in Greece since 5 years and i am in love since almost 2 years with a Greek citizen woman and we live together ,i am not legalized cause i have the pink card
My first question is How we can get married
2_ what are the papers that we will need to provide
3_ can i get married with the pink card because i have check the link of there’s nothing mentioned there
4- Will it be necessary to take lawyer to check it out
5-how it can take us according to the Greek bureaucracy
Pls your help is needed and i would like to help you as much i can also to promote your work.

Thank you again and will be looking for your answer

Thank you so much again i will do as you said ,i will call them and have the information and i will let you know too maybe it can help the others .have a nice evening and Take care

Kat Reply:

I know nothing about pink cards, as you may have read in comments/questions posted above you by other readers. Therefore, you need to contact people at and speak with them about your case, the same recommendation I gave to others, not just read the website. There’s no need to pay a lawyer, when GCR offers free legal assistance.

Thank you for your offer, but I already have 27K followers, have done my own SEO for almost 7 years and work full time as a web designer/coder/media manager for Fortune 100 companies. My problem is plagiarism and lack of time, as Living in Greece is a philanthropic project.

If you come back and tell me what information they gave and what happened in your case, it would indeed give me insight on pink cards and how to help others in a similar situation to yours. Wishing you all the best.

  nir lama wrote @ September 30th, 2013 at 13:02

i am nir lama from nepal i arrived may 2012 here in grecee. by turky evros river border too many struggle for entrance grecee reason of bangaldeshi smuggler they gave trouble they took more euro. when i entered in northern grecee alexender poly there was one force oristida i gone there they gave 1 month stay (white paper) after then i went athina trying to more stay and work why i want recover my smuggler paid money. unfortunately , i did not get more stay and work permit so still happened undocument illegal migrant .it’s not good I know that i am it student . and a lot job experience . it’s must my life i am doing small job in chinese market at athina without paper very low salary it’s not my job. if you have more relative article please support me .how/ where apply for stay/ work in grecee i am non eu citizen from nepal . can i apply residence permit in grecee i am undocument migrant from nepal

Kat Reply:

No, as it says in the first sentence. This option has been closed since October 2007.

  Joe wrote @ November 11th, 2013 at 00:47

Hi Kat!

Thanks for the wonderful job you’ doing on here. I mean , all the questions I’ve been asking myself have being answered through this your detailed work. You are a genius !!!

Now that my questions are answered, guess it time for tough decisions and action. Continue with the good work and God bless you if you believe in one. I’ll make sure to recommend this your site to all of my friends ! YOU ARE REALLY A “KAT”

  leah wrote @ November 26th, 2013 at 23:25

hi…very informative your articles are,good job!!! well for more information regarding my inquiry, hope u could help me have more ideas what to do regarding my paper,I’ve been here for 5 years. had a working visa for 2 consecutive contacts, renewed every two years but sad thing on this month of october my paper was expired and wabt able to renew because i dont have enough ensima, my previous didnt pay my ika for a year starting when this ergismo it posible for me again to have a paper?thank you.looking forward for your response.more power!!!1

Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough information for me to help you. You should bring all your papers and inquire directly with the allodapon office nearest you.

  sonia wrote @ December 15th, 2013 at 23:45

Hi. My name is Sonia I have pink card and I am married to a Greek man the demo dimos and police called me and my husband for interview we answer the question about both of us correctly, I wrote before in my pink card that I work as a tailor when I was in my country but in the interview I mistakenly said I was hairdresser in nigeria , and also the date I came to Greece instead of 17th I said 18th of the same month and year I was confuse and lost. So I want to know if they will give me regection rejection because of these mistake. Thank you.

Kat Reply:

It’s always best to tell the truth, then there’s no reason to remember what was said and when. If you’re nervous or can’t remember, it’s good to review everything in advance. Don’t give anyone any reason to have power over you.

There’s no way that I or anyone can predict what the committee will say. Only they know.

  JV wrote @ January 5th, 2014 at 11:24

Hi there! I’m a non-EU citizen. I just want to know if I will be able to return in Greece. This is my case, I went to Greece way back in 2006 with a Student Visa. I was able to get a Residence Permit before my Visa expires. Then I was also able to renew my Residence Permit on my second year as a Student. But on the third year, as my course was only 2 years. I didn’t renew anymore my Residence Permit. I was able to stay & work in Greece for 5 more years without any Residence/Work Permit.

When things got hard because of the crisis, I decided to avail the program of International Organization for Migration (IOM) & the Greek Government to Voluntarily Return to my home country in 2013. The IOM put on the document they held that I was “OVERSTAYING”. The processed was very quick, in a span of 1 1/2 week I was on my country. The IOM do all the paperworks so no more questions in the aiport. And no fees was collected from me to pay.

My questions are the following:

1. Would I be able to return and not to be denied to re-enter Greece this year or maybe next year, provided I apply for a working visa?

2. What if I applied for work in other EU member countries, will I be able to be admitted and not be denied for a working visa?

3. What are the rules of the EU when it comes to voluntary returnees of a non-EU citizen seeking to re-enter the bloc?

Thank you very much. Have a great day!

Kat Reply:

What you’re asking me to do is answer questions about a non-existent scenario in 28 countries with different laws. That’s quite impossible. All I can do is give an opinion based on the current economic climate.

1. With unemployment at 28% for Greeks and over 36% for non-Greeks, I sincerely doubt you will be approved for a working visa/permit in Greece.
2. Each country has different immigration laws, some with quotas and all giving preference to EU citizens.
3. Don’t know rules for all 28 member states. The EU is not one country.

You were a voluntary returnee, but you stayed in Greece legally for 2 years and illegally (overstaying, no permit, no legal status and not paying taxes) for 3 years. No country looks favorably on this because it’s an indication you will do it again.

All best.

  mahsin wrote @ February 19th, 2014 at 00:55

i m bangladeshi,if anyone of bangladeshi go to greece an illegal way,how long he get legal and can get work permit or police id.what is the process.

Kat Reply:

If you come to Greece illegally, you can never become legal or get a work permit. Greece, as it says in the first sentence of the article above, has not legalized any undocumented workers since 2007. Further, it has no reason to change this policy because unemployment is 28%, the highest in the EU.

To get a Greek ID, you must be a Greek citizen. To become a Greek citizen, you must be born to a Greek citizen of Greek blood or have a direct descendent (grandfather, grandmother).

  mr singh wrote @ April 12th, 2014 at 17:36

Hi , My father is indian passport holder .He is came in greece since five year for only work through turkey . He has not documents and not legal. I want to ask that how he become legal and get documents for freely move in greece . Also I want to ask how he can apply the beboisi or temporary residence permit . Please guide me

what are the necessary documents and procedure for apply temporary residence permit and fee structure.

What is bebaiosi ????? Is it can avoid one from police arresting and deportations.

thax for information .

Kat Reply:

There’s no such thing as a temporary residence permit. The bebaiosi is a receipt that acknowledges that an application has been submitted for possible issuance of a permit; it grants no rights or permission.

When you enter, stay or work in Greece or any country as an illegal, there is no way you can ever become legal as stated in “FAQ: Greek work and/or residence permits.” Also, as it says above in the article, Greece also hasn’t legalized undocumented workers since 2007, and has no plans to change its policy with unemployment at 28% and neo-Nazis sitting in Parliament.

In cases of asylum (seeking refuge from war), Greece holds people in unsanitary and overcrowded detention centers and approves less than 2% of applications after making them wait several years.

Like I said, there is no such thing as a temporary residence permit in Greece.

In the “FAQ: Greek permits” from the first answer, there is a link to an article on legal ways a non-EU citizen can move, live and work in Greece. I get the feeling you didn’t read it.

However, as I said, no one can become legal if they entered any country illegally. The only way for your father to become legal is to return to India, apply and obtain the appropriate visa from the Greek embassy and then immigrate.

3: See section ‘About the Bebaiosi’ at “Non-EU citizens in Greece with a bebaiosi.”

  mahmood wrote @ April 22nd, 2014 at 00:05

i have pinck pink card from 2007. i am working here and paying my texes taxes (ensemasensima) from last three years. my question is can i apply for papers to trawell travel my country (pakistan) and return back.

Kat Reply:

I know nothing about pink cards, as I said to other readers in comments/questions posted above you with similar questions. Plus, you didn’t provide enough information for me (or anyone) to help you.

You need to contact GCR staff at and speak with them about your case, the same recommendation I gave to others, not just read the website. They offer free legal assistance.

  Afam wrote @ June 22nd, 2014 at 14:14

Dear Sir,
It’s a big free service that you provide to the foreigners, i found your contact on Thanks alot for the great job.
I’m from Nigeria, but living here in Greece over since 2009. my problem is that, my girlfriend she is a greek and we want to get married now, but the problem is that i don’t have my pink card again, so how possible can you help me for that?

Kat Reply:

There’s no way that I or anyone can help you based on so little background information. Read the article above for advice.

Kat is a woman’s name (Katherine, Katerina), so I am not a ‘sir.

  khan wrote @ July 10th, 2014 at 03:47

i ,m a non-EU citizen i just want to know
i am leaving living in greece since 2005
i can prove that
i hear about 10 years proof if anyone have 10 years proof he can apply for bibiosi bebaiosi is it possible????
before i get pink card from aladapon allodapon but now
they take back my pink card
i have no documents to stay in greece
i want to ask that how can i become legal and get documents
for freely move in greece.
an i also want to ask how can i apply for bebiosi bebaiosi
or another documents

Kat Reply:

Take the time to read the first four paragraphs of the post above, which explain that there is no legalization process and advises on what to do. If you find out something different, please come back and let me know the law code (4 digits/year) and requirements.

  Jay wrote @ October 9th, 2014 at 19:19

Hello! I am a asylum seeker and am using the pink card for over 5 years now and am jobless, I have a child age 4yrs with a Greek citizen but we are not married, I have recently recognised my child and we have got her Greek passport with father’s name (my name)… My question is, am I eligible to apply for a permanent resident with my pink card as my child is a Greek citizen? Regardless the fact that there is no married relationship between me and the mother. Does that permit me to get a permanent resident in Greece???

Hello! I am a asylum seeker and am using the pink card for over 5 years now and am jobless, I have a child age 4yrs with a Greek citizen but we are not married, I have recently recognised my child and we have got her Greek passport with father’s name (my name)… My question is, am I eligible to apply for a permanent resident with my pink card as my child is a Greek citizen? Regardless the fact that there is no married relationship between me and the mother. Does that permit me to get a permanent resident in Greece???

Kat Reply:

Your duplicate questions have been received. Please see note on front of the website for ‘Have a question.’ I’m a private citizen who runs this forum in my unpaid free time. If you’re impatient for an answer, my taxes pay for government offices to help you, and you can inquire there.

Rights pass from adult to child, not from child to adult. Therefore, you are not eligible for citizenship or a residence permit.

Further, Greece grants permanent residence to non-EU spouses of EU citizens and non-EU citizens who have resided and worked legally in Greece with a normal residence/work permit for 5 years or more. With a pink card, you are not eligible.

Please read the third paragraph of the article above.

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