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|Brexit - UK Citizens Living in Greece
LIVING IN GREECE The UK In Greece Rights After Brexit
BREXIT & UK Citizens Living in Another EU Country
BREXIT & UK Citizens Living in Greece & Crete
Greek Government Announcements
6th April 2019
Law 4604/2019 – Residence rights of UK citizens in Greece
On 19 March 2019, the Hellenic Parliament approved Law 4604/2019 (published in the Official Government Gazette /ΦΕΚ’
50/A/26-3-2019) which guarantees, in articles 123, 124, 125, 127 and 128, UK citizens’ rights in Greece after the withdrawal of
the United Kingdom from the European Union.
The law includes provisions both for the case of ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, as well as for the case of a
no deal scenario. It settles the future status of British nationals and their family members already living in Greece, according
to existing EU and national rules and offers them continued right to stay and work in the country.
The law confirms that upon ratification of the Withdrawal Agreement, the rights of UK citizens and their family members
already living in EU countries, including Greece, will be fully protected, according to Part II of the Agreement and relevant
provisions thereof. Their rights will also be fully protected during the transition/implementation period (from withdrawal date
until the end of 2020), as provided for in Part III of the Withdrawal Agreement.
In case of no deal, the law provides for a grace period, from withdrawal date until 31 December 2020, during which:
• UK citizens and their family members legally residing in Greece before the withdrawal date (holders of a Registration
Certificate or a Permanent Residence Document) will be able to continue to stay, work and study under the same conditions
(Free Movement Directive) and with the same rights as prior to the UK’s withdrawal from the EU
• UK citizens and their family members settled in Greece prior to withdrawal date but without having been registered, will enjoy
a grace period, from withdrawal date until the 31 December 2020, during which they will have the opportunity to register and
stay in the country, according to the rules in force before the UK’s withdrawal from the EU (Free Movement Directive)
• UK citizens and their family members entering the country and wishing to stay in Greece after the withdrawal date, will also
enjoy a grace period, from withdrawal date until the 31 December 2020, during which they will have the opportunity to register
and stay, also according to the rules in force before the UK’s withdrawal from the EU.
Law 4604/2019, article 125 – Healthcare for UK citizens in Greece in case of no deal.
The law also provides for temporary measures regarding healthcare coverage in case of no deal:
UK citizens and their family members legally residing in Greece before the withdrawal date, will continue to enjoy healthcare
benefits (in public hospitals and for public health services) from withdrawal date until the end of 2019, as before, according
to Regulations (EC) 883/2004 and (EC) 987/2009.
UK citizens that enter Greece legally (for tourism, professional or residence purposes), from withdrawal date until
31 December 2019, will also have access to public healthcare services, with private insurance or private funds, but at lower
rates (same rates as state pricing for insured individuals in Greece).
This is a transitional measure that complements the recently adopted Regulation (EU) 2019/500, which establishes
contingency measures (for the case of no deal) in the field of social security coordination following the withdrawal of the
UK from the EU. The aim of this Regulation is to ensure that EU members-states will continue to apply the principles of
equality of treatment, assimilation and aggregation for social security entitlements of UK citizens residing in EU member-
states prior to withdrawal date.
See more at the Greek Government Brexit website: http://brexit.gov.gr/uk-citizens-in-greece/
15th February 2019.
In a letter to the UK foreign secretary, the Greek government assures the rights of UK citizens living in Greece after 29/3/2019 to those who
are already (legally) resident, based on the withdrawal agreement, or in the case of no deal, rights will be fully recognised and guaranteed, in
line with the reciprocity offered by the UK to EU citizens.
"Our state agencies are working without delay on drafting fast track bills that will be voted in due time before March 29, 2019 and will enable
British citizens and members of their families already living in Greece prior to the date of withdrawal (29 March 2019) to remain in the country
and continue to live, study and work, and enjoy take social security benefits and health care. As far as the latter is concerned, the purpose of
the proposed EU regulation is to draw up a contingency plan in the event of failure to reach agreement, in particular on the co-ordination of
social security systems following UK withdrawal. "
For those who arrive after 29/3/2019 -
"The aim of our national law is also to provide for the categories of citizens who will arrive in Greece after the date of departure (29.3.2019). I
have already consulted my colleagues, the competent ministers, and I intend to make a public announcement soon. "
Link to the full text of the Greek Government letter is here
These are the things you should do NOW based on UK Government advise-
1) Make sure you are legally resident in your host country.
The current rules are that all UK nationals resident in Greece should apply for a registration certificate. Get your Greek residency
certificate/card now. If you have held a beige EU registration card for five years the advise is to upgrade to the blue permanent
registration card before Brexit. This may entitle you to more automatic rights.
See Residence/Registration Certificate
2) Check your passport expiry date
You’ll need to comply with different rules to enter and travel around the Schengen area. There are two important issues that may affect your
right to travel or to live here legally after exit, so it’s really important to start thinking about this now.
Firstly, Schengen Border Code rules mean that existing passports which were renewed early and therefore have over 10 years validity will no
longer be valid until the expiry date written on the passport, but will be limited to the 10 years immediately after their issue date. For example, if
your passport was renewed (under the old rules) 6 months before its expiry date, it would show a valid period of 10 years and 6 months. If
there is a no deal Brexit you will effectively ‘lose’ the last 6 months validity, as third country nationals’ passports must have been issued within
the last 10 years. Note: this may affect you even if you don’t travel – in order to remain a legal resident in your host country you need to make
sure that the issue date on your passport is in line with these rules.
Use the UK Gov passport checker tool to check the validity of your passport.
3) Change your driving Licence to a Greek one if you have held a residence certificate for at least 185 days .
See Driving Licence Exchange
The EU rules under which UK licences are recognised in the EU27 will lapse if there is no deal and you may need an International Driving
Permit (IDP) to drive on a UK Driving Licence in Greece..
4) Top up your medication
If you currently rely on an S1 form for access to the local health service and you need regular medication, think about making sure you have a
good supply of it – if the worst happens and the reciprocal health care system stops it might take several weeks to get an alternative system
up and running. Making sure that you have the permitted 3 months of long-term medication would mean that you’d avoid having to pay full
whack for your meds while the situation was resolved.
More on the Brexit checklist here: britishineurope.org
Further Information for UK citizens living in Greece & the EU : -
UK Government website guidance for British Nationals travelling and living in Europe
Living in Crete Forum on Brexit
British in Europe group
Facebook British in Greece group (aligned with British in Europe)