As of 1 January 2021, the UK will no longer be part of the single market or the customs union. A Withdrawal Agreement was negotiated in order to ensure that the main political and economic links between the EU and the UK were not severed. The Agreement, entered into force on 1 February 2020, and sets out a Brexit transition period which lasts until 31 December 2020.
The Withdrawal Agreement
The right of every EU citizen and their family members to live, work or study in any EU Member State is one of the foundations of the European Union. The Citizens Rights included in Part II of the Withdrawal Agreement guarantees these rights after Brexit. EU citizens who already live in the UK and UK citizens who already live in the EU, can continue to live, study, work and travel freely between the UK and the EU.
During the Brexit transition period UK citizens can continue to live, work and study in the EU broadly as before 31 January 2020.
The Withdrawal Agreement protects those EU citizens residing in the United Kingdom, and UK nationals residing in one of the 27 EU Member States at the end of the transition period. It also protects the family members that are granted rights under EU law (such as current spouses and registered partners, parents, grandparents, children, grandchildren and a person in an existing durable relationship) to join their family member in the future.
The substantive conditions of residence are, and will remain, the same as those under current EU law on free movement. In essence, EU citizens and UK citizens meet these conditions if they:
- are workers or self-employed;
- have sufficient resources and sickness insurance;
- are family members of another person who meets these conditions;
- have already acquired the right of permanent residence and are therefore no longer subject to any conditions.
Living in Greece
Article 1 of the Greek Joint Ministerial Decision 4000/1/113-a/2020 provides that citizens of the United Kingdom and their family members who fall within the scope of Article 10 of the Withdrawal Agreement, shall be granted a residence permit.
United Kingdom nationals, and their respective family members, who have resided legally in Greece for a continuous period of 5 years have the right to reside permanently, and shall have the right to apply for a residence permit with validity period of 10 years. In case they have resided legally for a period of less than 5 years, UK nationals are entitled to a residence permit with a validity period of 5 years.
Periods of legal residence before and after the end of the transition period shall be included in the calculation of the qualifying period necessary for acquiring the right of permanent residence.
Once acquired, the right of permanent residence shall be lost only through absence from Greece for a period exceeding 5 consecutive years.
British citizens who are currently living in Greece, or who move there during the transition period, will need to apply for residence status by 30 June 2021. The starting date for the submission of applications for the issuance of residence permits is set at 1 January 2021.
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*This document does not amount to professional legal advice as it is only intended for information purposes.