Photo from www.swindoncp.co.uk
While researching a post about different types of residence/work permits, I confirmed the belief I’d been issued the wrong permit upon renewal in 2007.
I was told to submit my papers as usual — photocopies of my identification and permit, proof of insurance, my tax statement, work contract, a bebaiosi from my boss that confirmed I was still employed, a statement of facts, application, etc. To me, it looked like I was going to be renewed as a salaried worker. Nothing new.
But since I was now connected to a Greek citizen, they also asked for his identification and one of his papers. They said it would be easier, though I didn’t understand what that meant since it was the same amount of bureaucracy I had or more, when I wasn’t.
Months passed and my name never appeared on “the wall,” a glass window where they post the names of people whose permit sticker was approved and ready for pickup. I checked several times and enlisted the help of my Greek counterpart since names are handwritten, not alphabetized and haphazardly posted in no particular order or date. This is actually an improvement — AFMs and phone numbers previously accompanied our names, enabling strangers to use our information as they pleased.
Four months and fifteen visits to “the wall” later, I received a letter to appear at the prefecture and was interviewed along with my partner. This led us to believe they would issue me a permit designated as a “family member” or “spouse” of a Greek citizen. But that wasn’t the case either.
The permit sticker I picked up a month later classified me as, “Family Reunification – Spouse of a Non-EU Worker.” Huh?
I knew it was wrong because I hadn’t been reunified with anyone, I’d been living in Greece the entire time with my own permit. And “spouse of a non-EU worker” given as the reason I was reunified, that was even more puzzling.
In my research, it turns out that “Family Reunification” permits are given to spouses and children of non-EU citizens who have been living and working in Greece with a legal permit for a minimum of two years.
Have you figured it out?
That’s right, I am the non-EU citizen who has been living and working in Greece with a legal permit for seven years, and the permit was granted so my family member (me) could be reunified with my spouse (me) who is a worker in Greece.
I’ve been reunified with myself for the next five years. Drinks anyone?
Kat is a well-traveled American journalist and author. To learn more, see “About Me.”
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