Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Temporary Forum - Please keep it CIVIL and ON TOPIC regarding updates/ news / concerns on British living / travelling in the EU.
Kilkis
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Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby Kilkis » Thu Sep 12, 2019 8:38 am

Phil C wrote:...I could stay longer than 6 months but then I am into the tax game. Any advice on my understanding would be great.


I think people confuse physical residency and tax residency.

Physical residency is how long you are actually here in any one year. Under current EU law you are free to move around the EU but you are supposed to apply for an EU Residency Certificate if you stay longer than 3 months and that does have conditions attached. They are defined in the EU Directive which is then transposed into Greek law. Because there is free movement, subject to those conditions, it does not need to specify any "minimum stay" restrictions to qualify for the Residency Certificate. Say you wanted to stay for 5 months. That is longer than 3 months so you should get a Residency Certificate. If you then left for 7 months and came back again that Residency Certificate would still be valid. When the UK leaves the EU you will no longer be an EU citizen, so that Residency Certificate will not be valid, nor will you have the right of free movement. You will need to exchange the Residency Certificate for a third country biometric residency card. It is quite possible that the terms under which you can do that will have minimum residency rules or they might not. We simply don't know if there will be such rules or what they will be until an agreement is reached.

Tax residency is different. Under Greek law and under the terms of the UK-Greek Double Taxation Agreement someone is regarded as tax resident in the country where they spend more than 183 days. Clearly that is totally different from the rules for obtaining a Residency Certificate. Under current rules someone could quite legally hold a Residency Certificate and be tax resident in the UK. Whether that will still be true under whatever new agreement is signed we won't know until it is signed.

It is worth noting that some people live here permanently but still remain tax resident in the UK acting on the advice of their accountants. How their accountants are achieving this I am not certain. For those who have been here a long time, the Greek law used to be that you were tax resident where the majority of your income arose and, for UK pensioners at least, that was normally the UK. It is possible that their accountants registered them as tax resident in the UK quite legally when that law applied and have simply kept quiet when the law changed. I believe one accountant is using a clause in the tax law that says the 183 day rule doesn't apply under certain conditions. If you read the law it is debatable if that was intended to apply long term, i.e. it meant that you might be in Greece for more than 183 days in one particular year and not be tax resident because of those exemptions but not year after year. I know some accountants are simply stating that their clients are here for less than 183 days each year even though they are here permanently. A terminological inexactitude, to use the phrase coined by Winston Churchill.

Warwick

Kilkis
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Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby Kilkis » Thu Sep 12, 2019 10:17 am

Given the last paragraph of my previous post this ekathimerini article may be of interest to those who are still tax resident in the UK. Whether it is useful will depend on the detail of the new law but there is a possibility that it might offer the preferential treatment to people who reside in Greece for more than 183 days but whose income is completely outside Greece. If it only offers the incentive to people who are resident in Greece for more than 60 days and less than 183 then it won't really help.

Warwick

Tim
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Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby Tim » Thu Sep 12, 2019 11:07 am

From the article:

*The clause is addressed to companies and individuals with large bank accounts*

Lets me out, then.
Tim

grana1963
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Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby grana1963 » Thu Jan 23, 2020 9:27 pm

Hi...we are looking to purchase a property only semi retired so unable to stay for the 90 days required at the moment although in 3 years we can stay and would like to stay for 5 months May until September. We will miss out on residency although we are self sufficient financially have health care and deeds or rent agreement it is only the 90 day hurdle. Anyway going forward has there been any mention of a long stay visa or is there anything in place at the moment for third party countries. If it means us getting a small job to qualify for a work permit I know a few people who could vouch for me working....I and my wife are to be self sufficient and the rest of the criteria mentioned. Unless there is a way around the 90 hurdle does any know?

Rick
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Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby Rick » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:15 am

It's my understanding that unless you obtain a residence certificate by the end of Dec 2020, which will then be converted to a biometric residence certificate at the beginning of 2021 (terms and conditions for conversion yet to be clarified) you will not be able to remain in Greece or any other Schengen country for more than 90 days in any 180 day period .

The only alternative, would be to apply for a Shengen visa.

Kilkis
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Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby Kilkis » Fri Jan 24, 2020 11:40 am

There are other methods of staying in Greece for nationals of third countries, which is what UK citizens will be after 31 December 2020, but I don't know the details. You would do better to enquire at a Greek Embassy/Consulate in the UK. For example, if you buy a property valued at over €250,000 I think you can get residency for 5 years, renewable providing you don't sell the property. Governments constantly change the laws so there is no guarantee this will remain the same. Another route is to declare yourself tax resident in Greece and pay a minimum of €100,000 in tax each year but I don't think that is a viable route for most people. I am sure it is possible to get work visas and student visas but I don't know the details and it sounds as though they wouldn't be applicable in your case.

While the EU is committed to the free movement of labour within the EU it tries to control its external borders just as vigorously as the UK wishes to control its borders. I wouldn't expect it to be easy. Schengen simply recognises that people make short term visits for a whole host of reasons, e.g. tourism, business, conferences etc, and it doesn't want to unnecessarily curtail those activities. It pretty much mirrors the internal controls for people who are not going to a different country to work, study or live self supporting.

Warwick

grana1963
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Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby grana1963 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:48 pm

Hi...thank you for your help. We are happy to spend the 90 days in 180 and now residing ourselves to these rules which to be honest is not bad as we will come to Crete from the beginning of April to the end of May then for about 6 weeks from the beginning of October. Depending on flights from Heraklion as we are looking for a property near Sissi. If we stay longer we would look for flight from Chania or Sitia to Athens then Athens to the UK if it is possible....is the weather decent in April and October. We also have an option to drive although can imagine it would quite a task or maybe an adventure.

Tim
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Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby Tim » Fri Jan 24, 2020 3:49 pm

grana1963 wrote: We also have an option to drive although can imagine it would quite a task or maybe an adventure.


It's both a task AND an adventure, grana1963. Everyone should do it at least once! 8)

Tim

Kilkis
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Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby Kilkis » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:22 pm

Agree with Tim. I've done UK to Greece and back once on a motorbike, although only to Corfu, Cephalonia and the Peloponnese not Crete. I went very close to Corinth so it wouldn't have been much further to get the ferry to Crete from Piraeus. I've also done it twice by car both ways to northern Greece, near Thessaloniki, once from the UK and once from the south west coast of France near Bordeaux.

If you intend to have property in Sissi why use the airports in Chania or Siteia, why not Heraklion? It must be much quicker to get from Sissi to Heraklion than either of the other two?

The weather can be a bit unpredictable in both April and October. If you can vary it a bit I would go mid/end of April to mid/end of June rather than early April to late May although it is worth getting here for Orthodox Easter. I would also tend to go early/mid September to mid/end of October rather than early October to mid November. I think those are the best periods weather wise and you can get all direct flights.

Warwick

grana1963
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Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby grana1963 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:37 pm

Hi...I was looking at other airports rather than Heraklion as I was unsure what flights were available and what dates they start and end flying. I will only be able to stay 90 days in 180 so was trying to max this out by coming in April for 90 days coming back to the UK for 90 days enabling me to return October for about 6 weeks. Then maybe it would better just coming for quality May to the end of July. Just 90 days a year. I will looking into flights soon to see what operators and flights are available.

Kilkis
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Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby Kilkis » Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:51 pm

Sorry, I wasn't factoring in the Schengen rules. If you do use the dates you suggested and take some flights outside the holiday season, there are roughly double the number of flights each day from Heraklion to Athens as there are from Chania to Athens and there aren't even flights every day from Siteia. For in season flights I think you have a wider choice of UK airports with flights directly to Heraklion than to Chania and certainly than to Siteia so in both cases Heraklion is still your best bet.

Warwick

grana1963
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Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby grana1963 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:06 pm

Good good...we are coming out in April so we know flights have already started....we will have to look when they end in October/November that is direct to the UK or via Athens......thank you. Then again we as I say maybe May to the end of July would be enough. My family would use our place also so at least in would be used. We are looking at properties in April we are back in Crete In June.

Kilkis
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Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby Kilkis » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:32 pm

Direct flights used to run into early November, e.g. around the 3rd, but last year and this year they seem to be ending a bit earlier. The latest I could get from Gatwick to Chania with Easyjet was 31 October last year. Flights via Athens don't seem to change much. Aegean/Olympic fly to Athens everyday from Crete. They also fly to the UK everyday but you can usually get a cheaper flight Athens-UK with Ryanair or Easyjet.

Warwick

grana1963
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Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby grana1963 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:45 pm

So on my return, if I go via athens I can stay till end of nov? I dont mind doing that.

Kilkis
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Location: Near Chania

Re: Exchanging residence certificates for biometric residence cards

Postby Kilkis » Fri Jan 24, 2020 7:35 pm

As far as flights go you could leave at any time. As far as I know Ryanair fly from Athens to London Stansted and possibly to London Luton all year round but not necessarily everyday. More flights per week to Stansted than to Luton. Easyjet fly from Athens to Gatwick virtually every day all year round and from Athens to Manchester but not everyday. Other carriers operate from Athens to the UK all year round but you are stuck with Aegean/Olympic from Crete to Athens and that can cost as much as the UK flight.

Warwick


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