Guidance

Living in Greece

Official information British people moving to and living in Greece need to know, including residency, healthcare and driving.

Brexit: what you need to know

There will be no change to the rights and status of UK nationals living in Greece while the UK remains in the EU.

While the government continues to negotiate Brexit, you should:

Before you go

See our travel advice for Greece and sign up for up-to-date information on local laws and customs, safety and emergencies.

See moving or retiring abroad.

Visas and residency

See entry requirements for Greece in our travel advice.

After 3 months in Greece, you must apply for a registration certificate (Veveosi Engrafis). See registration certificate – permanent residence requirements.

Healthcare

See our travel advice for Greece and EOPYY – healthcare.

The NHS has information about healthcare for British people living in and visiting Greece.

You need a free European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) to get emergency medical treatment during temporary stays in EU countries. You also need comprehensive travel insurance to cover anything not covered by your EHIC.

Once you’re resident in Greece, you should apply for a Greek EHIC at your local Citizens Service Centre (KEP).

If you’re studying, your UK EHIC card will cover you for the duration of your course. If your course isn’t part of a UK degree (eg postgraduate studies), your EHIC is valid for 12 months. See studying abroad.

You will need to get a social insurance number (AMKA in Greek) through your local Citizens Service Centre (KEP).

You can find English-speaking doctors in Greece. You should also check your prescriptions are legal in Greece.

S1 form – healthcare paid for by the UK

You may be entitled to state healthcare paid for by the UK if you live in Greece and get an exportable UK pension, contribution-based Employment Support Allowance or another exportable benefit.

You need to apply for a S1 form – contact the Department for Work and Pensions’ International Pensions Centre.

Working in Greece

See working in another EU country.

Some jobs may require a UK criminal records check (known as a DBS check).

If you need a Greek criminal records check, apply at the Penal Records Department of the Ministry of Justice or at your local Citizens Service Centre (KEP).

Once you have a job, you can get a social insurance number (AMKA) through your local Citizens Service Centre (KEP).

Tax

See tax if you leave the UK to live abroad and tax on your UK income if you live abroad.

Greece and the UK have a double taxation convention to prevent income being taxed in both countries.

See paying income tax in Greece.

We recommend you get professional advice on paying tax in Greece.

You’ll have to register for a tax identification number (AFM – pronounced aa-fee-mee) – see ERMIS. Once you have an AFM number, it’s compulsory to submit a yearly tax return.

You may be able to pay National Insurance while abroad in order to protect your State Pension and entitlement to other benefits and allowances.

Pensions

See State Pension if you retire abroad and new State Pension.

If you’ve worked in Greece, you should claim your pension through your local EOPYY office.

If you haven’t worked in Greece, you should claim your UK state pension by contacting the International Pension Centre.

If you’ve worked in several EU countries, see state pensions abroad.

Life certificates for UK state pensions

If you get a ‘life certificate’ from the UK Pension Service, you need to respond as soon as possible – your payments may be suspended if you don’t.

Benefits

See claiming benefits if you live, move or travel abroad.

Find out which UK benefits you might be able to get while you’re abroad and how to claim them.

Many income-related benefits such as Pension Credit and Housing Benefit can’t be paid if you’re abroad for more than 4 weeks.

You may be eligible to claim some Greek social security benefits – see Greek social security benefits.

Driving in Greece

See driving abroad and road travel in Greece.

See driving licence renewal and exchange and taking a vehicle out of the UK.

If you spend more than 6 months of the year in Greece with your UK-registered car, you must register your vehicle with the Greek authorities. See car registration and taxes.

If you’ve been resident in an EU country for at least 2 years before moving to Greece, you’re exempt from VAT and registration for:

  • cars (owned and used privately)
  • pleasure craft
  • motorcycles
  • mobile caravans

You must appear in person at the nearest Customs Authority to request exemption from paying registration and VAT within 1 month of arriving in Greece. You’ll then be given special Greek registration plates.

Your vehicle must also pass a test at a Vehicle Technical Control Centre (KTEO).

Voting

British citizens living abroad can vote in some UK elections – you’ll need to register as an overseas voter.

If you’re resident in Greece, you can vote in local municipal and European parliamentary elections.

Births

See register a birth abroad.

Deaths

See what to do after someone dies.

See also:

Getting married

See getting married abroad.

Renewing passports

See overseas British passports applications and get an emergency travel document (sometimes called an emergency passport).

Pets

See travelling with pets.

Emergencies

As well as the European emergency number 112, Greece also has:

  • 100 – police
  • 199 – fire brigade
  • 166 – emergency medical service
  • 108 – coast guard
  • 197 – emergency social assistance

See Greece – emergency numbers.

If you need urgent help, contact your nearest British embassy or consulate.

Accommodation and buying property

See buying a property abroad.

Other useful information

Returning to the UK

To move your pension to the UK, contact the International Pension Centre.

See tax if you return to the UK.

See bringing your pet to the UK.

Disclaimer

Please note that this information is provided as a guide only. Definitive information should be obtained from the Greek authorities. The Foreign and Commonwealth Office will not be liable for any inaccuracies in this information.

Published 27 May 2013
Last updated 4 April 2018 + show all updates
  1. Complete revision of guidance to ensure it's up to date and accurate.
  2. Update to healthcare for early retirees and pensions information.
  3. Information added on changes to EHIC rules and health cover for early retirees.
  4. a contact information has been added under 'Useful Contacts'
  5. Updated the information on life certificates for UK state pensions.
  6. First published.