Greece is located in the lower part of the Balkan Peninsula. 4/5 of its territory is on the mainland, while the remaining 1/5 consists of 6,000 islands and islets, of which only about 200 are inhabited. Its territory (132,000 km²) is half that of Great Britain, and its population does not even reach 11 million. Foreigners have always been fascinated by Greece. Many people have dreamed of moving to a Greek island at least once in their lives.
The capital is Athens, the official language is Modern Greek. Greece is part of the EU and the currency is the Euro. The number of immigrants in Greece exceeds one million (10% of the population), many of them come from the Balkan countries: Albania, Bulgaria, etc.
Moving to Greece
EU citizens do not need a visa to enter Greece. Non-EU citizens require a visa to enter Greece (with some exceptions). On the government website you can find the list of countries and the visas required in order to enter.
Types of visa
- Tourist visa, for tourists from third countries who wish to visit Greece
- Business visa, for third-country nationals who have business purposes (a letter of invitation from a Greek company is required)
- Visitor visa, for third country nationals visiting a family member or friend legally residing in Greece (a letter of invitation from your family or friend in Greece is required)
- Cultural visa, for third country nationals participating in cultural or sports activities (a letter of invitation from the authorities is required)
- Student visa, for third-country students who wish to study in Greece (proof of enrollment is required)
- Work visa, for third country nationals who wish to work in Greece (an employment contract is required)
- Visa for job seekers for third-country nationals who are in Greece to look for a job
- Visa for researchers, for third-country nationals who wish to work as a researcher in a Greek institute (letter of invitation from the authorities required)
- Visa for freelancers, for third-country nationals who have sufficient means of subsistence and wish to work independently of location (a copy of your business licence is required)
- Student Internship Visa, for third-country nationals who wish to complete an internship in Greece (a certificate of enrollment authorising attendance at courses is required)
Here you can find all the informations about visa regulations
If you want to stay in Greece to look for work, you must first apply for your social security number,AMKA and then later, but in any case within 90 days, pick up your registration certificate or residence certificate at the police station or the nearest immigration office.
To obtain the certificate of registration, you must:
- Passport or ID
- Rental contract
- Employment contract or, if not working, proof that you have sufficient income to support yourself and health insurance. In case of self-employment, you must provide a certificate of your activity.
Moving to Greece, looking for accommodation
Prices have fallen sharply in recent years due to the crisis and apartment rents are not high in the cities, but in tourist resorts prices rise significantly during the summer season.
In Athens you can find rooms and apartments at a good price. Rooms at 200 € and apartments at 350 €. Depending on the neighborhood and the condition of the apartment, the price can increase. Utilities are around 100/150 € per month, but vary greatly depending on the type of heating (gas, electricity, diesel, etc.). Inquire if the apartment is furnished, because it often is not.
As real estate prices have been rising again recently, they will continue to rise in the future.
When you sign the contract, you usually have to pay a month’s deposit to the landlord, and if you hire an agency, the fee is equal to one month’s rent.
If you work in Athens, I always recommend looking for houses close to the office, because although public transportation works well, strikes or demonstrations could pose a problem for the accessibility of your workplace due to heavy traffic.
I would like to warn you about call center companies (Tele-Performance, etc.) that often offer housing assistance through affiliated agencies. Do not use them. They will charge rents that are above market rates. Do it yourself or use independent agencies.
The most popular renting websites are listed below:
- Home Greek, real estate offers al lover Greece
- Spiti24, besides the real estate offers, the website also contains a list of real estate agencies in Greece
- Tospitimou, very popular website
- Mobilia, real estate offers, mainly in Athens and Attica
Relocation to Greece, health insurance
The Greek national health system is administered by the Idryma Kinonikon Asfalisseon (IKA). The public health service is free for Greek citizens and regular migrant workers. Those who wish to avoid hospital overcrowding and long waiting lists for specialist visits can purchase supplementary private insurance.