Living in Greece

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

I’m a non-EU citizen in Greece, am I allowed to travel whenever I wish?

suitcaseThis post assumes you have a residence/work permit (άδεια διαμονής/adeia diamonis) for Greece or have applied for one. If you do not have one, see “How non-EU citizens can get a permit to live and work in Greece.”

According to Greek immigration law, all non-EU citizens in Greece with only a bebaisoi (blue certificate with photo) are forbidden to travel, while a residence/work permit is being processed as a renewal or a new permit and/or you are waiting to be interviewed.

Only those with an official unexpired permit sticker inside their passport or official residence/work card can travel freely to a country outside Greece and within Schengen without a visa, as I’ve explained previously in 2007 and the EU (finally) confirms on their official website.

If you do not have a permit sticker inside your passport or residence/work card, Greek authorities have been instructed to prevent you from re-entering Greece. The only way you can leave is if your original national or Schengen entry visa is still good for the duration of your trip and does not have entry restrictions, and you come back before it expires and don’t show anyone your bebaiosi.

According to EU law, non-EU spouses and children of Greek or other EU citizens are allowed to travel without restriction. However, this is only in theory in Greece. In reality, they may not. Many Greek authorities will insist you have a permit sticker/card and can refuse re-entry. Others may allow you to pass. There’s no way to predict what will happen due to Greece’s flexible rules, discrimination and lax implementation.

Why is it so strict? Because non-permit holders are technically not approved and therefore do not have legal standing. Also, it is a measure to prevent the movement of potentially illegal immigrants.

*Article last updated on January 2, 2015


In the past, exceptions were made only when the government announced special permission to travel during:
— Summer, usually mid-June to mid-September;
— Easter, varies according to the Orthodox calendar and is usually a six-week period that starts 30 days before Easter Sunday;
— Winter, normally around Christmas, starting anywhere from December 13-20 and ending between January 15-31; and
— Lunar New Year, for Asian citizens in Greece.

This exception only allowed travel to a non-EU citizen’s homeland, and the precise dates were usually announced at the last minute, which meant no one in this category could make travel plans, paid high-season costs and/or faced sold-out bookings. And even during these “free” travel periods, there were cases when Greek authorities prevented people from re-entering Greece and a lawyer or other authority needed to intervene to get proper resolution.

Another issue? The bebaiosi (blue paper with photo) was only in Greek, which violated EU directives and didn’t allow authorities of other countries the ability to read it.

Finally in October 2009, the government began granting permission to foreigners legally living in Greece the right to travel home at will, which has been extended through December 2015 2014 2012 2013. See, “Open travel period announced for non-EU citizens in Greece.” The bebaiosi is also printed in English as of 2011.

Travel to destinations other than the homeland are not allowed with only a bebaiosi. Only those with an unexpired residence permit sticker/card have the right to travel without restriction. If you have a bebaiosi (blue paper with photo) and need to travel to a country that’s not your homeland, you need to apply for a visa at embassy/consulate serving the country you wish to visit.

Have a question?

• Contact the Ministry of Public Order and Citizen Protection

Tel: (210) 6977000
Fax: (210) 6929764

• Contact Greek authorities that issued your residence/work permit sticker or bebaiosi

• Contact the embassy/consulate of the country you wish to visit to inquire if you need a visa

Related posts

FAQ Greek work and/or residence permits
How non-EU citizens can live and work in Greece
Thanks to Greece, I’ve been reunified with myself


  arammos wrote @ October 16th, 2007 at 21:48

Good evening Kat. In 1999, I traveled to Italy with my ID only. After 9/11, everything changed. Now I have my passport, whether I’m traveling in the EU or not.

  The Scorpion wrote @ October 16th, 2007 at 23:27

What is so difficult about traveling with that paper with the photo on it, along with your passport?

Is there a logistic reason that wouldn’t work for them? Or is it just typical “Greek scratching the left ear with right hand” bureaucracy?

  gia1 wrote @ October 17th, 2007 at 15:50

It does seem to be a matter of bureaucracy and national safety. We live in a country that is currently attractive to citizens from non-EU countries. Since 9/11 there has been a crackdown on all activities that have to do with immigration.

  graffic wrote @ October 21st, 2007 at 12:31

I guess one day I’ll be waking in the street and the police will arrest me, hitting me because I forgot to fill-up the AX3244234FF form. And after that they will discover that I don’t need it.

Welcome to chaos, welcome to Greece.

  hony wrote @ October 21st, 2008 at 00:59

i am filipino nationality 4 years working in greece ,i have a permit for employment,service or project type of permit my question is can i go in other europe country for visit a family freind for at least 30 day?and my permit also will expired by january 16 2009,what shoul i do first i am planning to go on dec to january 10,thanks alot

  Kat wrote @ October 21st, 2008 at 11:14

The answers to your questions are already on site; please search/read more carefully next time or your questions won’t be published. As I say in the Related Post listed above “FAQ: Greek residence/work permits,” you should renew before you leave. You are required to start renewal at least 60 days previous, which you should know if you’ve held the permit for 4 years.

As I say in the article above, there will likely be a Christmas travel period, so as long as you renew before you leave, you should be fine. If you have further questions, call your municipality office.

  Singh wrote @ October 27th, 2008 at 22:51

I need Urgent help. I have my Adia Diamonis and it is going to be finished in mid of march. I am working as a Full time Employee in a IT company in greece as Programmer and my Tax is fully paid of 2007 and 2008. Now I want to open my own small freelance work also.

My lawyer told me that I must change my status to Work permit of Employment to work permit of Independent and work permit.

I want to ask , Is it ture?
1. He told me that changing status of permit is 300 Euro
2. Renewals fees is 300 euro.
3, I decide to pay him because in most of Dimos it is full of uneducated department.

Do u guys think I am doing correct? or I am totally wrong.

what I want to do is work for my employer also and run a small freelance work too and give one slip. should I need to change my work permit / adia diamonis status to Work permit + Independent worker?

Waiting for your reply.

Note from Kat: First of all, I do not see the urgency of your request. You still have several months before renewal, are not in any immediate danger and have not been fined or deported.

Second, you need to either trust your lawyer OR push to see documentation of what (s)he is telling you if you don’t believe it. In either case, I find it improper that you are asking me for free advice to help your lawyer do a job you paid him/her to do. If you don’t trust your lawyer, this is an entirely different matter that has nothing to do with me.

Please also note that I have never used a lawyer to do any of my papers in Greece for 11 years and am not a lawyer myself, which proves it is possible for anyone to do it no matter what the challenges.

  cristina wrote @ January 20th, 2009 at 17:37

hi,i live in greece ,have a working permit that expires next year.but because i’m a fyr macedonia citizen they won’t stick the working permit inside my passport.i wanna travel in italy with my boyfriend this march.i wanted to know if they are gonna make me a problem if i try to travel.answer as soon as possible,as i need it to travel.

Kat Reply:

Hi Cristina. Yes, it’s true that Greece does not recognize the name ‘Macedonia’ for your country, and as a result does not recognize your passport as being valid. Therefore, even though you have a valid work/residence permit, it is very possible that Greek authorities will not allow you back into Greece if you leave, unless the name dispute is resolved before March. Whether you want to take this risk is up to you.

* Hat tip to MBE for sharing his stats and information.

  Panagiotis wrote @ January 27th, 2009 at 06:18

Hello Kat,

I just felt obliged to congratulate you on your excellent reporting – not to mention for providing the ultimate resource for expat issues in Greece.

I bumped into your December article in UK media that was simply a revelation for me; even though I’ve been living in France for five years and consider myself a sceptical observer I hadn’t been able to distance myself enough from my origins so as to see into the malaise of the Greek society as you clearly did.

My girlfriend is Senegalese and we want to move to Greece; She has a long-term residence/work permit which is transferable among EU countries (which I know, thanks to your site!) so it should be easier for her to move than it was for you.

I’d like to tell you that I’ve enjoyed a lot reading your posts: your objectivity is of scientific standards – a valuable and rare attribute; your articles and comment replies are rigorous, admirable..!

I hope you keep writing


Kat Reply:

Ela Panagioti. I’m sorry I didn’t answer right away; sometimes I don’t know what to say, and sometimes life moves too fast. Apo tin kardia mou, thank you for your kind words and encouragement. It is my pleasure to write, serve and invest in people like you. Hope to see you again!

  Krista wrote @ April 12th, 2009 at 17:26

Thanks for the information regarding travel with only a bebaiosi. Has the government announced the pre-approved travel period for Easter 2009?

And does the Easter travel exception still apply if the first point-of-entry back into the EU is through a country other than Greece? For example, travel to a Non-Schengen country (Wales), and a return flight back to Greece via Amsterdam. Will the customs officials in Amsterdam recognize the bebaiosi and the accompanying press release, both of which are printed in the Greek language?

Or will they simply issue a transit visa and leave it for the Greek authorities to deal with upon return back into Greece?

Thanks again for all of your help.

Kat Reply:

That’s a good question, and I did not post anything last month. For those who missed it, the Easter period is from March 14 to May 3, 2009, see the Press Release in Greek only. The Easter period is not widely publicized because it’s assumed everyone wants to stay here for Greek Pascha. People should keep in mind that a passport or other valid travel document and the original bebaiosi (blue certificate with photo) are necessary. Those with a special certificate of legal residence that bans the holder from leaving are not eligible.

Another good question. You’re right. Greek authorities, for some reason, will not let go of the age-old practice of issuing a bebaiosi in only Greek. Therefore, officials from other countries cannot read them. When you get to passport control of any point of entry and officials see your visa has expired, give them the bebaiosi and press release. They’ll see it’s in Greek, shake their head or roll their eyes and make a comment/complaint that it’s not in English, then let you go (sometimes they’ll ask you what it says or why Greece doesn’t do this or that, but most EU countries are familiar with Greece’s ancient practices). They figure it’s not their problem, and Greece will deal with you. I’ve never been refused passage. Carrying the press release is primarily recommended to deal with uninformed Greek authorities, who should know better.

Thank you for being someone who took the time to read through the information I provide, then asks a legitimate question that helps everyone and is grateful for the assistance. Really it’s a pleasure, and have a nice trip! :)

  Leigh wrote @ August 4th, 2009 at 16:56

Does anybody know what is the difference between the sticker residence permit and the card residence permit? I received the card permit valid for 5 years (I am a non-EU married to an EU Citizen) but I was expecting a sticker to be placed in my passport.

Kat Reply:

They’re both permits and accomplish the same thing. Why would you want a sticker when the card is better? The card is evidence that the permit process is evolving — it used to be a paper, then it was a poor quality card in Greek only, and now there are bilingual stickers and cards with improved security.

  Sanjay wrote @ August 31st, 2009 at 14:19

Hi ,
I am a Indian Passport holder and came to Greece on Visitor visa which is valid for 3 months. After i came here my company applied for my Residence Permit which is yet to come ( almost 1 month since we applied for it ) .. Now the Visitor visa is expired and i am having Blue paper and i want to visit other EU countries (Swiss and Italy for tourism ) . what should i do if i dont get Residence Permit by then ?

Kat Reply:

Please read the above post. I also suggest reading the post “FAQ: Greek work/residence permits.” Waiting one month for a permit is NOT a long time; I and several of my friends have waited up to a year.

You and your company have given Greek authorities two reasons to delay and/or not issue your permit:
1) to enter Greece for the purpose of work and immigration, you should have been issued a Schengen type ‘D’ visa through the proper channels, not a visitor visa;
2) the law says that applicants must apply for permits within 30 days of arrival in Greece.

Also note that Switzerland is not an EU country. It is, however, in Schengen.

  3rd wrote @ December 28th, 2009 at 00:53

im a filipino working here in greece in almost 2 yrs. i have a working permit of employment and services or project. my problem is that my company is not giving me a write salary on me, my salary is not in minimum wages here in greece. what can i do on this? even my personal passport is on them.. i say to the company that this is my personal property. they just tell they will sent me back to my country if i insist getting it on it, even do that my permit is not expire until 2011 will expire, can i possible to find new employer?

  nana wrote @ February 6th, 2010 at 03:01

can somebody answer me..i am non-eu citizen, i have greek residence permit sticker in my passport, it’s expiry date is 30.06.2010, only in greek language, so can i travel to poland up to 90 days with my greek permit sticker?

where can i find same information on an official site?

thank you.

Kat Reply:

Answer is in the first paragraph of the article above.

You can find the same information in Greek on the Ministry of Citizen Protection’s official website, which is also listed in the above article.

Note: Because you asked two redundant questions, future ones were deleted per my policy.

  Peter wrote @ February 8th, 2010 at 23:22

Hi Kat,
I am non EU citizen and when i came to Greece i sought asylum and was given a pink card that is renewable every six months. I was born in Gambia in the western part of Africa, but Mali is my country. My father is from Gambia, and my mother is from Mali. Since i was born in Gambia, i was issued with Gambian birth certificate and passport. I have gone to Mali just twice with my mother since I was young. My mother died about 8 years ago. On my pink card they wrote Gambia as the place i was born and Mali as my national country.

I have Gambian passport and birth certificate but i have nothing from Mali that shows that i am from there. However on my AFM they wrote Mali as my country and this is a problem for me because i am using a Gambian passport.

So what should i do now? Can they change the country on my AFM and make it Gambia for me since i have all my documents from Gambia. I cant go to Mali again because i don’t have any family there. All my sisters are in Gambia, though my father too is dead.

Please help me so that i can change the country on my AFM and the Work permit. Thank you.

Kat Reply:

Hi Peter,

I’m not sure how to answer this question because I don’t understand why they listed Mali as your country for your AFM and work permit, especially since your passport is from Gambia and this is the only passport you’ve ever had and have no documents from Mali. The only thing you can do is ask the eforia and the dimos office to make the change and see what they demand from you.

  lizzie wrote @ November 19th, 2010 at 01:53

hello, Kat!

Need ur advice, can u pls help me.

I’m citizen of Kazakhstan, I have 1-year national visa and applied for a residence permit (they gave me blue paper, but it seems it means that i just applied and waiting for residence permit). I want to go to Italy. Could i go there without italian visa with greek national visa? or with this paper that states that i’ve already applied for residence permit?

Any suggestions? I’ve tried to communicate with italian embassy and no results.

thanks very much

Kat Reply:

A national visa for Greece is only good for Greece, as I explained in Visas for Greece in “How Americans and other non-EU citizens can get a permit to live/work in Greece.” Therefore, you cannot travel to Italy or anywhere else with this visa.

The bebaiosi (blue certificate with photo) is not a Greek residence permit. With this paper, you are allowed to travel to your homeland of Kazakhstan and nowhere else.

To travel to Italy, you need to apply for a Italian visa. The Italian embassy is only an authority on issues pertaining to Italy, so asking them to answer questions about a Greek bebaiosi and Greek residence permit is not their job.

  Joyce wrote @ December 3rd, 2010 at 00:46

Dear Kat,

Thank you for all the information you have put into this site. They have helped me a lot in dealing with the Greek bureaucracy!!! And I hope you can give me your insight to my situation.

I am Non-EU spouse to a Greek national and am holding the bebaiosi (still waiting for the immigration department to issue the permanent permit). I am planning for a holiday to Turkey in January, which my Singapore passport doesn’t require me to take out a visa for the visit.

You mentioned previously that people with bebaiosi are allowed to travel to their home country only. My questions are:
1. Since I don’t need a visa to travel to Turkey, will I have problems when clearing customs in Greece when I return from the trip.
2. Will the Greek customs officers stop me from entering because the flight is not from my home country? How do they make sure that I do travel to and back to my home country?

Thank you very much for your help!

Kat Reply:

Your concern should not be whether you need a visa for Turkey and if you can get back into Greece after you leave. Your concern should be whether you are allowed to leave Greece to begin with.

As the article says, anyone without a permit sticker/card for Greece and holding only a bebaiosi is allowed to travel to their homeland with special permission granted by the Ministry of Citizen Protection explained in “Non-EU citizens in Greece with a bebaiosi can travel home until December 2011.” Without this special permission, non-EU citizens in Greece with only a bebaiosi are allowed to go nowhere. Therefore, it is a privilege to travel home.

The only way you can travel outside of Greece without regard for a bebaiosi or residence permit is if your original Schengen visa of 90 days granted to Singaporean passport holders is still valid after the date you come back from your Turkey trip. How do you know if it’s still valid? Count 90 days from the day you arrived in Greece. Have you used them all? If yes, you can’t leave. If no, now count 90 days from the date you arrived in Greece until the last day of your planned Turkey trip. Have any of those 90 days left? If not, you can’t leave. If you’ll be back from Turkey before the 90 days of your original Schengen visa expires, then go.

The bebaiosi is the only document allowing you to remain in Greece beyond the 90-day Schengen visa. If you do not obey the rules governing the bebaiosi, authorities have the right to deny you entry to Greece. Being married to a Greek citizen does not grant you the right to break the law.

How do they know you didn’t go to your home country? Lots of ways. When you check-in at the flight desk, they’ll look at your final destination and your passport and bebaiosi. When you go through passport control, they look at your passport and air tickets and warn you not to leave. If you go by bus or boat, they’ll look at your passport and tickets and warn you not to leave. When you arrive in Turkey — a non-EU, non-Schengen country — they’ll stamp or scan your passport. When you come back to Greece, they’ll look at stamps in your passports or scan your passport and look at the history in the computer to see where you’ve been and/or ask you for proof in the way of boarding tickets.

You’ll hear stories of people who traveled to other countries and got back into Greece with no problem because authorities were lenient, but I know people who were denied entry and had to buy a plane ticket, go back to their home country and start over again. The choice is yours.

  Ipay wrote @ December 1st, 2011 at 00:38

i am a philippine passport holder who entered greece with a national visa-type d and has a pending application for a residence permit.

i am planning on travelling to france and italy but was not thinking about applying for a schengen visa based on the information i read on this link

however, after reading your articles i am now unsure. were there any changes in the laws? or did i miss anything?

your feedback will be very much appreciated.


Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough information for me to give a customized answer to your specific case. I can only tell you what I know and hope something applies to you.

Pertaining to the link you sent. There are two things to remember:
a) What is decided in European Parliament or stated in EU directives is what “should” happen. You’ll notice throughout the circular that it says “should” and “shall.” In reality, that’s not what necessarily happens. Greece, for example, is notoriously slow in issuing residence permits and runs several years behind mandatory EU directives.
b) Each member state (Greece included) can write and implement laws that contradict EU directives, and this is legal. I state this in “Non-EU citizens in Greece can travel home until December 2012.”
It has nothing to do with changes in the laws.

Pertaining to your visa. A national type D visa only entitles you to travel between the country that approved it — which I assume is Greece — and your home country for the specified validity period. Only a Schengen visa allows travel in the entire zone (Germany, Italy, France, etc.), and the maximum allowed for any non-EU citizen is 90 days in any 180-day period. I don’t know how long you’ve been here, but my impression is you don’t have permission to travel outside Greece and should contact the French and Italian embassy to apply for a visa.

  Sarah wrote @ December 27th, 2011 at 00:46

Comment 1
Now that I have a one year mulitiple entry visa for Greece, why bother to apply for residency? It appears that I might not even be able to leave Greece and re-enter if I am still waiting for my residency permit when I am scheduled to leave in April. It is my intention to maintain residences in both countries and basically travel back and forth. Is there a reason that I just can’t keep going to the Greek Consulate in the US each year and renew my multiple entry Greek visa? Also, by reading the last post, am I to understand that even though I have a Greek visa for a year and am I US citizen that once I have been in Greece for 90 days I can’t go to another EU country because I will have already used up my 90 in 180? Thanks.

Comment 2
I think I know the answer to my post. I need to apply for a residence permit because that is the reason the consulate issued me a one year visa. I am lucky that there is an open travel period for non-eu citizens until Dec 31, 2012. It appears that if travel to another EU country once I have my applicated accepted that I will need a visa and I most probably will not be able to go out of Greece except to the US until I get a permanent sticker. Do I get it now?

Kat Reply:

Whether or not you apply for a visa and residence permit for Greece depends on what you intend to accomplish.

In “How to get a visa and residence permit for Greece” — the article you read and followed to get the visa — it says under ‘Start the visa process outside Greece’ that there is no need to apply for a residence permit if you do not intend on living/staying in Greece/Schengen zone for more than 90 days in any 180-day period. Since you applied and went through the process in acquiring the special visa with intention to apply for a residence permit, it is assumed that you intended to stay in Greece/Schengen zone for more than 90 days in any 180-day period.

Because you did not say what kind of visa you were granted — national or Schengen — I assume this is a national visa good only for Greece based on what I explain in “How non-EU citizens can get a permit to live and work in Greece,” and you were granted this type because (again), through the act of your application, it is assumed that you intended to live in Greece for one year or at least stay more than 90 days in any 180-day period in the Schengen zone. It has multiple entries because the Greek embassy/consulate knows it takes time for permit stickers to be granted, and the visa gives you permission to move between the USA and Greece for one year, aside from the government’s open travel period until December 31, 2012.

  shy wrote @ April 12th, 2012 at 02:24

hi, just wanna ask i come here in greece as a working visa, i take my veveosi for one year but its already expired and i dont get my residence permit yet thats why my employer told me that we cannot renew my veveosi or my permit unti my sticker came, coz as i read in ur article it must renew 2 months before the expiration of the veveosi but my employer said this is not the system anymore we need to wait first the sticker, so just want to ask if this really the system noe coz im confused,and one more thing if in case i renewed my veveosi or sticker can i go out to other eschengern country like italy or france or do i need to take a visa just to go out the country. hope for ur immediate answer. thank u

Kat Reply:

Greece is a ‘results may vary’ country — there are rules and there is implementation of rules (different things).

The system didn’t change because as of a few days ago I know people who renewed their stay in Greece with the bebaiosi.

I do not see how your employer could be correct. Why?
a) Your bebaiosi is expired;
b) Unless you were waiting for a 5-year or 10-year permit, your permit sticker expires the same day as the bebaiosi;
c) Because the bebaiosi is expired, and the permit sticker (which hasn’t been issued) is likely also expired, you cannot renew anything because renewal implies that there is something valid to extend;
d) Without a unexpired bebaiosi or permit sticker, or a renewal application and new bebaiosi, you are technically in an illegal status.

You are free to verify my answer at the nearest municipality office. If I am wrong, please come back and tell me.

For your other questions, you can see “Non-EU citizens with a bebaiosi can travel home until end of 2012.”

  Yasya wrote @ August 21st, 2012 at 18:13

Comment 1:
first of all thank you for all this extremely helpful info! Then i have a question for that nobody can help with. I am ukrainian, but i have my residential permit and i am married to a Greek citizen. Can i travel to Cyprus? Or i need to apply for visa in the embassy?

Comment 2:
In case anyone interested, i checked with the embassy and they replied that as a non-EU citizen but a holder of Greek residence permit you can travle to Cyprus for tourism purpose without a visa. As long as you provide the proof that you’ll be back such as return ticket, and reservation for hotel for the days of your stay.

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
You didn’t provide enough information for me to help you, and being married to a Greek is irrelevant as it only matters what passport you hold.

Ukrainian citizens typically need a visa to visit Cyprus according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs web page “List of countries whose nationals require a visa to visit Cyprus,” which I found through a simple Google search.

Cyprus is not in Schengen, but it is in the EU so your residence permit sticker/card may or may not have any bearing. I’m not an expert on Cypriot laws and immigration, plus it depends on whether you are going to the Greek or Turkish region. The quickest way to verify if holding a permit is sufficient to visit without a visa is to contact the Cypriot Embassy in Athens.

If you have a blue paper with photo, you can only travel to your homeland as explained in “Non-EU citizens in Greece with a bebaiosi may travel home through 2012” and a visa would definitely be required in that case.

Answer 2:
Thank you so much for coming back to report what happened and for sharing that information. I learned something, and it helps me to help others. Have a nice trip!

  Hashim wrote @ October 9th, 2012 at 21:59

I’m a non-EU citizen who live and work in Greece with adia diamonis. My question is: Do I have permision to vizit London United Kingdom for Christmas. Thanks.

Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough information for me to help you. Please contact the UK embassy/consulate nearest your location — which is Albania, not Greece — to inquire.

  Vijayanta wrote @ October 18th, 2012 at 10:34

I am an Indian possessing permanent resident permit of Greece acquired in September 2009. I came to India in December last week of 2010 and have been in India since then due to family problems.

I wish to return again in December 2012. Can you advise me if I am entering Greece within time limit to keep my resident permit alive?

Before coming to India I asked Dimos staff and they said I can stay up to a period of Two years outside Greece. Please advise.

Kat Reply:

A 10-year permanent resident permit for Greece does entitle you to be outside Greece for up to 2 years without penalty. The dimos advised you correctly, and you did the right thing to check with them before you left.

I recommend that you not wait ’til the last week of December to re-enter Greece to avoid any trouble, as authorities do count the exact number of days.

Thank you for your question. All best.

  Yulia wrote @ November 2nd, 2012 at 21:47

Hello! Here is the situation that I have: I am a wife of Greek citizen, I’ve got 2 children 15 and 4 years old, they are Greek citizens. My citizenship is Russian. My husband owns a travel agency. We are organizing international conferences abroad (in Shengen Schengen zone). At the moment we are working for over than a year on the conference that will take place in Luxembourg at the beginning of December, 2012. My problem is that I have made an application for renewal of resident’s permit in March and until now I have no document except of this blue certificate with photo. We went to Periferia and we was said that my folder wasn’t even recorded! So, it means that nothing was done so far. This is the application for 10-years resident’s permit.. We made all necessary actions in order to accelerate the process, but was said that in any way my adeia will not be ready earlier that before Xmas. There is no way for me to cancel my trip – this is our bread. We called also to Embassy of Luxembourg, they are not so excited and trying to avoid visa issuing for me.. What is your opinion, is there anything else we can do in order for me to travel legally? Thank you very much for your attention.

Kat Reply:

Family members of Greek/EU citizens are supposed to get their permits faster, but I have found from real-life experience of many people that this is not true. In 14 years, I’ve always waited up to a year to get my permit or after the “new” one is expired, never 60-90 days and only once did I get my permit in 6 months (miracles can happen).

The only solution is to apply for a visa at the Luxembourg embassy, which I say above and in “Non-EU citizens in Greece with a bebaiosi may travel home.” If you are eligible, can supply all supporting documentation and have good reason to temporarily travel there (which you do), they cannot legally refuse to issue you a visa.

Many in the EU are worried that non-EU citizens are going to jump countries. But if your husband is Greek, you have a business in Greece and you have family ties here, it should be obvious you are established in Greece and are coming back. Smile, be polite and hope that the embassy gets excited about helping you.

Thank you for your question. Wishing you all the best.

  khan wrote @ December 26th, 2012 at 18:04

Your question was transferred to, “Long-term EU-wide residency/work permits for Greece.”

  job obour wrote @ December 28th, 2012 at 20:57

Comment 1:
hello can u help pleased , i am from ghana and i came to greece with iligal illegally way to seck a salum seek asylum and i get red card , and i here hear the remu that they re coming to give perpars papers on greek ,pleased if they do so did red card people will amont of them, or is it thruth that they coming to geve

Comment 2:
may god bless u forever. pls have had the news abut the new perpars they coming to give it to foreners or the opens perpars.
i hope that u will ans my for me think u.

Kat Reply:

Asylum seekers and refugees can get free legal help at the Greek Council for Refugees in Athens. Click for more info.

  gloria wrote @ July 27th, 2013 at 00:03

Your question was moved to, “Long-term EU-wide residence/work permits from Greece.”

  Mary wrote @ September 5th, 2013 at 10:32


I am from Seychelles which i dont need a visa to any of the european countries at the moment i am in Sweden with a vevaiosi. I’ve not been stamped in to Sweden cause i still had a valid permit from Greece when i came. Can i still go back to Greece with the vevaiosi?

Kat Reply:

An answer has already been given at “Non-EU citizens in Greece with a bebaiosi may travel home through 2013.” Please stop posting identical questions/comments. Thank you and good luck.

  peter wrote @ October 15th, 2013 at 22:03

My name is peter,am from kenya i seek for asylum here in Greece,i hold a pink card which i renew after every 6 months,i dont have a permanent job sometimes i work in a garden two or three days in a week.i have a fiance from Germany,what do i need so that i can travel to visit her?If she approach Germany goverment and allow me to travel can Greek goverment halt me from visiting my fiance for 1 month?

Kat Reply:

I know very little about the pink card, but I’m fairly sure it does NOT allow you to travel anywhere. The problem isn’t whether you can go to Germany; it’s whether Greece will allow you re-entry and void your pink card, if you leave.

I recommend that you ask your question at General Council of Refugees (GCR), where legal assistance is free.

  Luckyosas wrote @ November 2nd, 2013 at 23:48

Your comment/question was moved to, “How non-EU citizens can get a permit to live and work in Greece.”

  Lheyo wrote @ November 25th, 2013 at 16:24

I, a filipino citizen now working here in Athens as a travel agent. Many are asking me about the law if they can travel going to Manila and can they come back here using the blue veveosi until next year (2014).

If you have a copy of the law about extension to travel, can you please send me. It would be a big help for us, thank you very much..

Kat Reply:

The article, “Non-EU citizens in Greece with a bebaiosi may travel home” will be updated when/if I hear anything from the government. I do not notify anyone by email.

  farhan wrote @ December 1st, 2013 at 18:07

I am an international student in athens doing my masters. From my home country i got a multiple Type D visa which was valid for 3 months and with the help of my university i applied for the greek residence permit . I have the blue paper with the picture ( which is all in greek) but havent recieved the residence card ( just applied 10 days ago).

My question is that can i travel to other european countries or to my home country without any problem?


Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough information for me to help you, as it depends on your nationality/passport, type of visa and its validity, and residence status.

I get the feeling you didn’t read the article or detailed information at “Non-EU citizens may travel home with a bebaiosi,” which is a link offered above. They provide more than sufficient info to help you answer your own question.

  BM wrote @ December 7th, 2013 at 18:07

Question 1:
I have a vaild resident card as a spouse of a Greek… can I travel to EU countries without a passport? For instance, a week visit to Spain and a week in Italy to see my friends. My passport expired and I have to wait a long time for a renewal… holidays will be spent in Greece othwrwise.

Have you personally done it or know anyone who has?


Thanks for your reply.

Sorry, I thought I provided enough information. I am not an EU citizen, but as I have a valid unexpired residence card, I know I can visit other EU countries as a tourist without a visa.

So, if I have two tickets, to go and return, would it be ok? I’d be travelling with my husband as well.

Obviously I know that a passport is necessary for international travel and it may be silly of me to assume the EU would be different. But since I don’t knoe the laws for the EU, I wanted to ask you, as a non-EU resident of Greece with a very informative website, if perhaps you knew something that I didn’t.

Kat Reply:

Answer 1:
You didn’t provide enough information for me to help you, so all I can give is general information.

EU citizens can travel to other EU member states with an unexpired national ID card. Everyone else needs a passport.

My passport is renewed well in advance, and I’ve never sought an exception. Also the airport/airline check-in desk would never allow you to board without proper travel documents and ID. Some airlines even force you to enter relevant and proper ID/passport before issuing a ticket.

Answer 2:
Having tickets is not the issue, nor is a residence card or being accompanied by your EU husband. They provide no exemptions from the law. You need a valid, unexpired passport. Period.

On a related subject, the validity of your residence card is directly linked to your passport. When your passport expires, you are obliged to immediately report details of the new passport to the office that issued your residence card. If you are stopped by police or asked for ID for any reason and cannot produce any, authorities may legally detain you until your identity is verified. Being married to a Greek or showing a residence card is not enough.

  Janet wrote @ December 8th, 2013 at 00:41

Your question was merged with the other three at “Non-EU citizens in Greece with a bebaiosi may travel home through 2014.”

  pata wrote @ January 7th, 2014 at 02:28

Hello, my friend live in greece.he got 1 year visa for work and employment or roject,can he visit any other EU country?

At the moment he is in home country.he have bangladeshi his passport visa type is work and employment or project.its valid dec 2014.

Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough information for me to help you. It depends on his citizenship/passport, the type of visa, the type of residence permit and any restrictions. It’s not a simple yes or no.

Still not enough information.

There is a bebaiosi, and there are dozens of different visas and dozens of different residence/work permits — each one entitles the holder to different things, and there are restrictions. He needs to inquire with the allodapon office that issued his papers. There’s no way I can answer his/your question without knowing exactly what he has.

  simone wrote @ January 25th, 2014 at 21:58

I would like to sponsor my brother-inlaw and his family who have indian passports and are living in greece with 10yr work permit.
I would like to invite him to the uk for a family function, will they need a visa to enter uk and how long can they stop up to.

please can you notify me by email, many thanks

Kat Reply:

You cannot sponsor their visa. They need to go to the UK embassy in Greece and apply for a visa. They will be denied or accepted based on whether they meet requirements.

I do not email readers per my policy at “Comments, Questions and Contacting Me.” If you require a more personalized reply, call the Greek embassy in the UK or the UK embassy in Athens. I am a private citizen.

  sefer wrote @ March 17th, 2014 at 19:27

hello.i am fro Albania and i have long-term residence in greece, can i travel to uk?? thnk

Kat Reply:

Depends. What passport do you have? What type of residence permit do you hold? Are there any restrictions? Why are you traveling to the UK and for how long? You didn’t provide enough information for me (or anyone) to help you.

Contact the UK embassy.

  emma becky wrote @ March 25th, 2014 at 21:49

All three of your questions/comments have been moved to, “Long-term EU-wide residency/work permits for Greece.”

  farhan wrote @ April 9th, 2014 at 00:50

Hi, i have a temporary residence permit reciept receipt ( bebasoi) which is valid till this year october. I am a student in greece , my visa has expired and i have applied for the residence permit. I haven’t yet recieved received it.

The questions is can i travel to turkey on my temporary residence reciept receipt? is it safe?

in response to the answer..

if i apply for a turkish visa ( and get it ) even then it is not allowed to travel from greece to turkey and back to greece?


Kat Reply:

See “Non-EU citizens in Greece with a bebaiosi may travel home through 2014.”

There’s no way I (or anyone) can answer that question based on the little information you provided. Apply for a visa at the Turkish embassy to learn the answer.

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

Your comment/question was moved to, “Residence/work permits for undocumented workers in Greece.”

  Mps wrote @ May 16th, 2014 at 16:11

hi is there any way for Asylum seekers and refugees to get help.

Kat Reply:

In your previous inquiry as ‘Mr Singh,’ I gave you a link to click and it’s obvious from your question that you didn’t read the article. Click the link now.

However, as I said previously, the only way your father can become legal is to go back to India and re-enter properly with a visa. He is not a refugee or asylum seeker.

  marites wrote @ May 21st, 2014 at 16:29

Hi, I live and work here in Greece and I’m A filipino citizen with my philippine passport and a sticker holder that expires this November 19, 2014. I am planning to go to Italy for 2 weeks this August. Is this possible for me?

Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough information for me to answer your question. Please check with Greek authorities that issued your permit and call the Italian embassy/consulate to inquire, as it says above in section ‘Have a question?’

  Klodi wrote @ June 3rd, 2014 at 12:19

I am from Albania and live in greece with my family. Last year I met a lady from UK while she was on holiday in Greece . She has invited me to visit her to UK but I am not sure if I am aloud allowed to travel to UK as I have Albanian passport with residence permit for family reunication reunification. Can I travel with this visa that I have and the passport or do I need to applay apply for a visitor visa?
Would be nice to hear from you.

Kat Reply:

You didn’t provide enough background information for me (or anyone) to help answer your question. Contact Greek authorities and the UK Embassy in Athens, as it says in section ‘Have a question?’

  sami wrote @ July 6th, 2014 at 16:48

Your question was moved to, “Long-term EU-wide residence permits from Greece.”

  Jen wrote @ September 9th, 2014 at 00:57

Hi there! I just want to ask for help, I’ve bran living and working here in Greece for few years now I’m non EU citizen but a year ago I met someone from my previous holiday and I’m now Five months pregnant my problem is that my boyfriend ( EU citizen but not Greek) lives and work somewhere in Europe but since last year I can’t go out (travel out) of Greece except to my home country. The situation is we didn’t plan this pregnancy but we decided to keep and build family soon. Right now it’s almost over a year and 2 months since I renewed my residence permit and upto now I still don’t have it. I wanted to move out of Greece and be with my boyfriend because I’m living alone and got no relatives here it’s becoming more difficult each day as well Id like to give birth to my boyfriends country. What shall I do? I’m so frustrated with my situation.

Kat Reply:

First. If it’s been a year since you renewed your last Greek permit and it was a one-year permit, you should have already submitted papers to renew again with the blue bebaiosi. I say this at ‘FAQ: Greek work/residence permits.’

Second. Eligibility to live with your EU citizen boyfriend in his country depends on his country’s immigration rules and has nothing to do with Greece or the permit you’re waiting for. He should research this in his native language and be taking action to bring you there.

  Ana wrote @ September 23rd, 2014 at 15:29

I have a adeia diamonis and it will expire in 2019.
Would I be able to travel as I want until it expires? I am planing on taking a year off and travelling around Australia as a backpacker and visiting some friends (with a tourist visa). Would this be a problem when I return? Would I be allowed back into the country?

Kat Reply:

There’s no way I (or anyone) can answer your questions based solely on an expiration date. Permission and legalities involve several factors. Therefore, all I can do is tell you to inquire at the dimos or allodapon office where your permit was issued.

FYI. The legal definition of residence in Greece and many other countries is living in it for at least 185 days a year. If you don’t and can’t provide proof of it, the country that issued the permit has the right to revoke the permit.

  tanmay wrote @ October 4th, 2014 at 17:12

Your comment/question was moved to ‘How non-EU citizens get a permit to live and work in Greece.’

  Muneer wrote @ October 6th, 2014 at 23:53

Thanks for helping us.
I am jordanian and came in D type visa for three months started from 5/10/2014. I would like to visit my family in UK (I have my uk visa).
I didn’t apply for blue certificates and permit residence.
Can I go to UK then to Jordan and I will come back after two weeks (my D visa will be valid).
My plan to renew my visa from Jordan once it is expeired. Can I do that?
Thank you
have a nice day

Kat Reply:

Hi there,

As long as you have a visa for the UK, you are free to travel there and visit your family.

As long as your D visa is still valid and does not have restrictions on number of entries (some do, some don’t), you can exit and return without applying for a blue paper or residence permit.

Whether you can renew the visa depends on the application you submit and the decision of authorities. Have a great trip!

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

Your comment/question has been moved to “Undocumented workers in Greece.”

  Alex wrote @ January 5th, 2015 at 18:49

I have a question on traveling within the EU for holders of a Greek bebaisoi. I am a Canadian citizen and my wife is British, and we are residents of Greece. I have a bebaisoi and my wife has a Greek residence card. We are planning a trip to Canada and Britain.

I understand that I am allowed to travel to Canada (because I am a Canadian citizen). However I cannot understand if it is possible for me to travel to Britain. This statement is unclear to me:

“If you have a bebaiosi (blue paper with photo) and need to travel to a country that’s not your homeland, you need to apply for a visa at embassy/consulate serving the country you wish to visit.”

Do you meant that I can travel to the UK if they grant me an entry visa and still be able to keep the Greek residence application?

Thank you for the clarification,

I have read that article as well, and from almost all angles it is looking like I am not allowed to travel to the UK. The statement I asked clarification on suggests that travel to countries other than those of nationality is possible with a visa, but it is not clear to me whether this travel will enable me to return to Greece since I have visited countries other than my Homeland.

Reading the comments on this article, my question is similar to the situation of Yulia who posted on November 2 2012. It seems like it’s possible for her to travel to Luxembourg and presumably return to Greece on a bebaisoi (even though Luxembourg is not her Homeland). Does that mean that the Greek government allows travel outside of Greece so long as there is a valid entry visa to the country of travel?

Thank you for clarification,

Kat Reply:

The sentence you quoted is clear, and I don’t see another way to explain. Perhaps looking at “Non-EU citizens in Greece with a bebaiosi may travel home through 2015” (same link in article) can help clarify. All best.

Yes, that’s what it says in the first section under bullet point ‘Check if you need a visa’ and in section ‘What you need’ in the article I asked you to read. Any further questions should be directed at Greek authorities and/or the UK embassy.

  elena wrote @ January 17th, 2015 at 14:34

hello!!i am greek my husband is albanian.we would like to visit london for one week,and i would like to ask you if it’s possible for my husband to travel only with the residence card of a family member of a union citezen citizen? thank you verry very much

Kat Reply:

Answer is in the third paragraph of the article above.

You may also seek further clarification with UK authorities, as this concerns travel to the UK and not Greece. Here’s the official site, which I found through a simple Google search: You can also call the UK embassy in Athens.

  Dimitris wrote @ January 21st, 2015 at 17:13

I have an Albanian passport..
I live in greece and i have a long term residency permit which hasnt expired.
Can i travel to UK without a visa??

P.s LONG TERM RESIDENT PERMIT oficialy means that i have the same rights with a greek citizen?!

Kat Reply:

Answer is the same one I gave Elena just above you.

  ajbeasty wrote @ February 17th, 2015 at 15:43

i have my working permit/ sticker inside my passport and will expire on sept. 2017. my question is, if greece will move out from eurozone does this mean that my free movement to 26 schengen countries will be limited?

Kat Reply:

No one can answer this question as you’re asking about an event that hasn’t happened. It’s pure speculation. Besides that, the Schengen zone is different than the EU and also different than the eurozone.

A work/residence permit/sticker from Greece doesn’t grant free movement or the right to live/work in other EU countries, only EU citizenship does. A permit allows travel and temporary stays in other Schengen countries, and the permit can be revoked if restrictions are violated.

  Ephie wrote @ April 28th, 2015 at 12:43

Please, can you help me: An Albanian citizen with biometric passport, residence in Larissa, Greece with long term residence permit in Greece, he is married with a Romanian citizen. He wants to travel as a tourist to London. Do you know if this man can travel to U.K. with his passport and the residence card only or is necessary to take a visa?
Many thanks

Kat Reply:

Marriage to an EU citizen is irrelevant. This question pertains to UK visa requirements and should be posed to the UK Embassy in Athens, or the answer can be looked up at the UK Visas and Immigration:

As a travel agency, I would think you’d know.

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