Brexit and your life and property in Greece
After Brexit, there will be some changes for British people moving to Greece. Buying property will be unaffected, but if you’re moving permanently, some new rules may apply. Here are your need-to-knows.
Why Brexit is not the end of your overseas property dreams
With the UK having left the European Union, some new rules will apply to British people moving to Greece and other EU countries.
The good news is that property buyers will be completely unaffected by Brexit. It is only if you are moving permanently that new rules will apply.
With the Brexit deadline approaching, it’s vital that you learn how to protect your budget by locking in an exchange rate. To do this, read the Property Buyer’s Guide to Currency.
Here are your essential need-to-knows.
1. The right to buy and own property
You will continue to be able to buy and own property in Greece after Brexit, just as before, even after the transition period. Property ownership comes under Greek, not EU control. You will also be able to rent it out, just the same as an EU citizen.
2. Access to health services
Holiday home buyers
Your EHIC will no longer be valid, and most people will opt to take out travel health insurance. If you don’t take out insurance you will be treated in an emergency by the Greek health services but may face a large bill afterwards.
If you are resident by 31 December, you will have ‘life-long healthcare rights’, as long as you remain resident. It is likely that there will be further healthcare cooperation, but it remains to be announced.
Therefore, in the meantime you should take out comprehensive health insurance.
Get your free copy of the Greece Buying Guide, with all the information you need about buying from overseas.
3. Right to residence
Staying less than 90 days
You will not need a visa. Most non-EU citizens are allowed free access without a visa for 90 days.
Staying more than 90 days
You will probably need a visa. There are many variations of this, for whether you are working, investing or retiring.
You can receive your pension in Greece if you are retired, whether you moved before or after the Brexit transition period. You may also be able to claim certain Greek benefits, if you qualify.
You will still receive your UK pension in Greece. However, whether it will be up-rated each hear has not yet been settled. The latest from the UK government is that it will be uprated until March 2023 at least.
If you are a resident in Greece, you can change your UK driving licence for a Greek permit up till the end of the transition period.
After the transition period, British travellers wanting to drive in Europe may need an international driving permit (IDP). These are available at any British Post Office over the counter for just £5.50.
“What about me?” Your questions answered
Let”s put that into some real-life examples.
“I’m buying a holiday home” No problem. Nothing will change.
“I’m moving to the EU to retire/work/study, BEFORE 31 December 2020” No problem. You will not need a visa, but remember to get a residency certificate (veveosi engrafis) as soon as you can.
“I’m moving to the EU to retire/work/study, AFTER 31 December 2020” You may need a visa. A range of visas are currently available to non-EU citizens, including passive investors (ie you can live without working as long as you meet income requirements), as well as working and studying visas.
If you buy a property worth €250,000 or more, you may qualify for a golden visa, giving you and your family fast-track residency, renewable for five years. After this, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency or citizenship, should you wish.
Remember, if you are simply buying a property and not planning to spend more than 3 months of the year in Greece, there is no change! You can press ahead with your plans.
We’d love to help along the way. Get in touch with us any time on 020 7898 0549 and don’t forget to download our free guide to buying in Greece.