Living in Greece

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

Greek work permit for high ranking executives

Greek permitThere are dozens of different work permits for Greece, and individuals who are high ranking professionals (directors, general managers, board members and administrators) at EU or non-EU companies abroad, with a branch or subsidiary in Greece are eligible for a visa and permit to live and work in Greece if their company transfers them.

Permits are not granted to everyone, and I encourage all non-EU citizens interested in living and working in Greece to first read, “How Americans/non-EU citizens can move, live and work in Greece.” Why? Because it is of vital importance to understand the legalities of visas and permits before investing time in looking for a job or continuing to read this post.

Work Visa

You must apply for the appropriate visa at the Greek consulate or embassy nearest the location of your legal residence with:

1. Passport
2. Proof of employment (work contract or other official document)
3. Verification of employment from HR or superior, and reason for transfer on company letterhead
4. Proof of medical insurance
5. Police record from the station nearest your home

All must be originals.


Once arriving in Greece, the executive and his/her family members must apply for a permit within 30 days at the municipality ‘dimos’ office or police station (if in a remote area), during which many of the same documents listed above will again be requested for each person along with:

a) Proof of residence in Greece (rental lease stamped by the eforia/tax office or your mortgage);
b) Proof of income (originals of check stubs or payments) translated into Greek;
c) Proof of health insurance (originals) translated into Greek;
d) Health certificate (X-ray and blood test performed by a state hospital in Greece, after which a certificate is issued if both are clear);
e) Four (4) recent passport photos (per person)
f) Fakelo (folder with bands on the corner available at any office/school supply store)

What happens next?

After your papers are verified and accepted, you will be issued a bebaiosi (certificate of receipt; blue paper with photo). It is not a permit. It simply means that papers have been received and you have temporary permission to stay while higher authorities examine your documents. You must carry this or a photocopy with your passport for public and private transactions, as well as legal purposes should a policeman or other authority ask you to present it.

It does NOT grant you the right to travel outside of Greece. You must remain within the borders until an official sticker has been issued and placed in your passport or you have been issued a residence/work permit card. See, “I’m a non-EU citizen in Greece, am I allowed to travel whenever I wish?

There is no interview or other requirement, but it is your responsibility to go in person to follow up on its status since no one will call or otherwise contact you. If your application is successful, a permit will be issued in the form of a sticker.

Be sure to apply as early as possible upon arrival and after securing a legal residence, in case there are issues that need resolution. You must complete the process before the special entry visa expires.

The official permit is good for one year.

Be sure to apply as early as possible, in case there are issues that need resolution.

To renew the permit

You are expected to renew your work/residence permit at least 60 days before the current permit expires. It is your responsibility to keep track of date for renewal by looking at the date on the bebaiosi, even if your permit sticker or card hasn’t been issued.

Related articles

Certifying a photocopy or other document in Greece
Translation of documents into Greek
FAQ Greek residence/work permits

* Article last updated on December 7, 2010

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