Family members of Union citizens who are third-country nationals are issued with an individual residence card, called "Residence Card of a Family Member of the Union Citizen", in accordance with Article 9 of Presidential Decree 106/2007.
Step 1: Registering the European citizen
Even before third country nationals apply for a residence card as a member of a European Citizen family, the European citizen of whose family they are a member, must have completed the registration procedure with the police authorities responsible for dealing with foreigners in their place of residence. Union citizens have the right to follow the registration procedure and therefore to stay in Greece for a period of more than three months, mainly if:
(a) they are employed or engaged in an independent economic activity; or
(b) have sufficient resources for themselves and members of their families.
Step 2: Submission of the application by the third-country national
The family member of a Union citizen who is a third country national may submit an application once the procedure of registration of the Union citizen, as explained above, has been completed, and in any case not more than 3 months before, to the competent Immigration Office if he/she fulfills the following basic conditions:
- Holds a valid passport or other travel document recognized by Greece.
- Provides documentary evidence of his/her family relationship with a citizen of the Union (e.g. certificate of marital status, marriage certificate, birth certificate, etc.)
- Prove the legal residence of the Union citizen in Greece (the legal residence of the Union citizen has been completed by the registration procedure already from step 1)
- Proves by all appropriate means that he/she is dependent on the Union citizen, in cases where this fact must be established (not applicable to all cases).
Duration of residence permit and possibility of renewal.
The residence card of Union citizen family members who are third-country nationals has a validity of five years or the intended period of residence of the Union citizen, if less than five years. The validity of the residence card shall not be affected by temporary absences not exceeding six months per year.
Union citizens renew to "permanent residence" if they have legally resided in Greece for a continuous period of five years or else they renew for another 5 years. Once the right of permanent residence has been acquired, it is lost only if the person concerned is absent from Greece for a period of more than two consecutive years.
Other Information About Family Residency Permits in Greece
- For purposes of obtaining a residency permit, "family member" is defined as:
(i) the spouse;
(ii) the partner with whom the Union citizen has a registered partnership relationship under the legislation of a Member State, provided that the legislation of the host Member State recognises the registered partnership relationship as equivalent to marriage, and in accordance with the conditions laid down in the relevant legislation of the host Member State;
(iii) descendants, blood relatives in the direct line, who are under the age of 21 years or whatever their age if they are dependent, as well as those of the spouse or partner according to the above distinction in terms of age, and adopted children, also according to the above distinction;
(iv) irrespective of nationality, the direct ascendants of the Union citizen, as well as those of the spouse or partner, if they are dependent.
-There is no fee for submitting an application for a residence permit as a family member of a European citizen.
-Insurance similar to that of the main income earner is required, or insurance from the relevant insurance provider if employed, or an insurance policy from a private insurance provider.
Interested in learning more about obtaining residency in Greece?
Reach out to Alexandros, a qualified Greek immigration lawyer specializing in visa and residency matters for Greece.