The recruitment of a third country citizen for dependent work in Greece is a procedure provided for in a.12 of Law 4251/2014. In general, the procedure is the same for all specialties with some variations depending on the specialty and whether the employer is a natural or legal person. In this article we will specifically address the recruitment of a domestic worker from the Philippines by an employer who is a natural person. The reason we will focus on the recruitment specifically from the Philippines is that it requires an additional procedure after the issuance of the VISA D (long term visa), which is not required in cases of recalls from other countries.
Step 1: Application of Recruitment to Immigration Office
According to a.12 of Law 4251/2014, any employer (either Greek or third country citizen, as long as he/she holds a permanent residence permit - an issue that was settled by the clarifying document of the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum (no. 422034/14.09.23), following the intervention of the author) can apply for the recruitment of a domestic helper. The basic requirement is that the employer must have gross income of at least EUR 20,000 in the last tax year. An equally important condition is the indication in the employment contract that the remuneration is at least equal to the minimum monthly earnings of an unskilled worker, according to the current provisions, which currently amount to 780.00 euros per month, and that the duration of the contract will be at least one year (equal to the duration of the validity of the visa). Moreover, the employer's identity card, a passport, some responsible statements on the part of the employer and the employment contract, which must contain some minimum information, are required. If the employer's file is complete, the approval decision is issued and sent to the Greek Consulate in Manila, either by diplomatic bag or by private courier paid by the employer (note that the employer must have requested the decision to be sent by private courier as soon as the application is submitted).
Step 2: Granting a Visa D
After the Greek consular authorities have received the file containing the decision approving the recruitment, the worker is asked to submit certain documents required for the granting of the visa (such as an application form, photographs, criminal record, health certificate, travel insurance, air ticket reservation, etc.). At this stage, two points require special attention: a) the employment contract must be translated into English and b) the start date of the travel insurance must be the same as the date of pre-booking of the air ticket.
Step 3: Issuing of the Overseas Employment Certificate (OEC)
After the consular authorities grant the visa, the third step follows, a process which is not particularly difficult, it is more bureaucratic, however, as the responsibility of issuing the OEC lies solely with the Philippine government, some delays and difficulties may arise. Initially, the employer's lawyer must contact an agency in the Philippines that will issue the certificate. The employer's lawyer must then contact the Migrant Workers Office - MWO (formerly POLO), which will instruct the employer to complete and sign a series of documents to be validated by the MWO and then sent by private courier to the agency in the Philippines. Once the agency receives the envelope containing the certified documents from the MWO, it initiates the process of issuing the OEC, a process that takes about a month. Once the POEA has issued the certificate to the worker, the latter can now travel to Greece. (ATTENTION! Without the OEC the worker is not allowed to leave the country)
Step 4: Application for a dependent work residence permit upon recruitment
After entering Greece the foreigner must immediately file for a residence permit, which essentially requires similar documentation as the application for recall plus a certificate from the social security fund that an application has been submitted. The licence issued will be valid for two years and renewable. Finally, it is worth noting that the domestic worker is insured on a work stamp basis and not on a pay stamp basis.
Alexandros is an experienced Greek Immigration Lawyer specializing in residency and visa matters for Greece. Contact Alexandros today to learn more about work permit options in Greece!