The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Temporary Forum - Please keep it CIVIL and ON TOPIC regarding updates/ news / concerns on British living / travelling in the EU.
ros21m
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:32 pm
Location: Kerasia.

The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby ros21m » Wed Jul 01, 2020 7:27 pm

Hot off the press, Coutersy of Julia Cross, British in Greece. She has given me permission to share this.

We finally heard back from the Citizens' Rights Officer at the British Embassy
Excellent news. She confirmed that anyone who is registered as resident in Greece before 31/12 (beige and blue permit holders) will AUTOMATICALLY secure their rights under the provisions of the Withdrawal Agreement. This means that none of us will have to re-apply. It will be a straight swap for the biometric. No paperwork So by definition none of us can be refused even if your status has changed since you got your residence permit ( loss of income,savings or property, loss of health insurance, separation, divorce etc.) We will still have to meet the deadline of 31/12/2020 for registration as EU citizens and also the deadline for the application for the biometric (unknown but likely 30/6/2021). So it is very important we continue to reach as many people as possible to get them to register. You should still upgrade to blue if you can because it will give you a different status on the biometric.
The Greek government is finalising its legislation and they should be updating their Brexit site as soon as they announce it – likely in July.
Most importantly it seems that the British Embassy have been fighting our corner after all behind the scenes. The proof of the puddding is in the eating of course so let's not break out the champagne quite yet. It's still a mammoth task to get everyone registered and all those cracks papered over.
Full text of the email below.
Dear Ms. Cross,
Thank you for your email and my apologies for not replying to you earlier. I was hoping I could provide specific answers next time I would write to you but I am afraid this is still not the case. I understand the frustration this may cause to you and other members of the British in Greece group and I can only ask for your patience.
Citizens’ Rights has always been our priority and despite the unexpected covid19-related developments globally, our work here continues apace, at the highest level and with the same commitment as always; I cannot share details yet but you may have seen some relevant activity online. Sarah Taylor, FCO Director for Europe, recently led a two-day, high-level, virtual visit with Greek officials to discuss all aspects of British-Greek relations; future relationship and the implementation of the Withdrawal Agreement included. Indicatively, a brief video can be found here. Alternate Greek Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis also commented publically on internal preparations, currently taking place at intra-MFA and inter-ministerial level; an indicative example can be found here. The British Embassy in Athens also supports UK-European Commission talks for the work being done within the context of the Specialized Committee on Citizens’ Rights. I believe British in Europe follow this strand of work closely too.
The transition period provides time for member states to prepare their systems. We have been informed that the Greek authorities, having reached the final stage of internal preparations will be soon in a position to proceed with public announcements. We expect that to happen in July, possibly early in the month. Once done, the official Greek Brexit website will be updated to include the new information and we will do the same with our Living in Greece guide once we have clarity on policies. The good thing is that Greece chose not to introduce a new system in order to minimise disruption. Those legally resident, in line with the Free Movement provisions, automatically comply with the conditions in the Withdrawal Agreement and will see their rights protected. They will have to take action later in the year to get the new residence document but will not have to re-qualify. This is why the key message to all UK nationals resident here remains the same for the time being: go register. We know the number of applications has been reduced in the past couple of months, given the lockdown and social distancing measures in place but now is a good time to communicate this message again. We would be grateful if you could multiply through your channels too.
We follow the implementation of the WA closely and we work with the Greek authorities to streamline processes locally as much as possible; we are aware of certain issues that may complicate procedures in practice and thanks to our community members, many of them in Crete, who bring evidence to our attention we are able to strengthen the cases we submit to Greek authorities for review. We have resolved many issues but there are some we are still working on. Please encourage the members of the group to get in touch via our contact form in order to share such evidence. We analyse all the information we get and we take action when we can be specific.
I understand you got a chance to meet the AIRE reps while in Crete; I hope your discussions were constructive and thank you for your help to get the word out so that the information can reach those who are not online and may need it the most.
Best wishes,
Arete Ketekidou | Regional EU Consular Policy Adviser | Greece – Cyprus - Bulgaria |

altohb
Posts: 934
Joined: Sun Aug 05, 2007 2:51 pm
Location: Sitia

Re: The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby altohb » Thu Jul 02, 2020 6:43 am

You beat me to it, @ros21. This is excellent news, and we should all be grateful to those who have been working so hard on our behalf.

Rick
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Aug 10, 2019 1:50 pm

Re: The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby Rick » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:56 am

This is extremely good news for everyone!
Especially for those of us with beige certificates who probably dreaded the daunting task of jumping through hoops again to prove that we still qualify.
For ‘part timers’ we’ll retain the freedom we’ve enjoyed up to now, without having to worry about the restrictive 90 days in 180 days rule.
We MAY need to become tax resident (nobody knows for certain), but even this prospect is becoming attractive, with the proposed rate of 7% tax for retirees.

YoMo2
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Joined: Sat Mar 16, 2013 11:07 am
Location: Milatos, Lasithi

Re: The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby YoMo2 » Thu Jul 02, 2020 7:58 am

For the sake of clarity, Ros, by "register" do you mean get a beige or blue residence certificate if you don't already have one?

Andrew

ros21m
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Joined: Fri Jul 06, 2018 9:32 pm
Location: Kerasia.

Re: The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby ros21m » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:26 am

YoMo2,
Yes, beige or blue means you are already registered.

Kilkis
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Re: The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby Kilkis » Thu Jul 02, 2020 9:28 am

YoMo2 wrote:For the sake of clarity, Ros, by "register" do you mean get a beige or blue residence certificate if you don't already have one?

Andrew


Yes. There is no other form of registration for UK citizens at the moment.

The EU Directive governing free movement allows countries to have a system of registration but it does not force them to have such a system. Some countries decided to make registering mandatory and others didn't. As far as I know, Greece is one of the countries that decided to make it mandatory, although you wouldn't think so since there is no real attempt at enforcement.

The Withdrawal Agreement gives you the right to continue living in your country of residence provided you are living there "legally" by 31 December 2020. In a country like Greece, where registering is mandatory, you are only living here "legally" if you have registered. The blue and beige Residence Certificates are simply proof that you have registered.

In countries that did not make registering mandatory there will be some other mechanism to demonstrate that you are living there legally. Again, the Withdrawal Agreement allows countries to use different mechanisms for UK citizens to demonstrate that they are living there legally but it does not force them to do so. It isn't our decision, it's the government's decision. It would appear that Greece is only going to use the Residence Certificates as proof of legal residency. That is why it is vital to have one.

Warwick

YoMo2
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Re: The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby YoMo2 » Fri Jul 03, 2020 8:05 am

Yes, thanks Warwick, I'm aware of all that. We've had our blue cards for several years. I was just slightly confused about a post that just talked about registering, when most of the debate on the forum has been about "getting a beige or blue card". Just me being careful in case I'd missed some fancy new regulation.

Andrew

RobiS
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:38 am

Re: The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby RobiS » Fri Jul 10, 2020 10:36 am

This is very good news. One question: When we switch over to the biometric card does anyone know if we have it do it at the police station we originally registered at? I registered in Crete a couple years ago, where I got my beige card, but now live in Athens. I can certainly go back to Crete to make the change, but it would be easier here. Should I go to the KEP and change my residence? Any advice greatly appreciated.

Kilkis
Posts: 12192
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Location: Near Chania

Re: The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby Kilkis » Fri Jul 10, 2020 11:21 am

Nobody is certain until the government announces exactly how it will work. Logically it would make sense to go back to the police station where you originally registered, since they hold the file with all your details. Equally logically it would make sense to have a more limited number of application locations since each will need equipment to record biometric data, e.g. the Aliens Bureau in Chania doing it for the whole Chania Nomos. As yet we don't know.

I did confirm with KEP that they CANNOT do it for you, you will have to do it in person.

I don't know what happens to people who have changed their place of residence. I would have thought that they should be able to do it at whatever office deals with the area where they now reside but I can't guarantee that. That office ought to be able to request their file from wherever it is currently kept.

Warwick

RobiS
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 29, 2019 10:38 am

Re: The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby RobiS » Fri Jul 10, 2020 12:51 pm

Thanks, Warwick. I worry I'll travel to Crete to do it, and they'll see I live in Athens, send me back there, and then in Athens they'll see my beige card is registered in Crete, and send me back to Crete, like some pingpong ball!

Kilkis
Posts: 12192
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby Kilkis » Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:29 pm

Yes, being bounced from office to office is not uncommon here. I would wait until details of how UK nationals should convert their existing EU Residence Certificate into a new Biometric Residence Card are released by the Greek government. At that point I would start at whichever office deals with the area where you now live. Your local KEP office should at least be able to tell you which office to go to but they probably won't know yet.

Warwick

evansmr1
Posts: 290
Joined: Tue Nov 09, 2010 3:00 pm
Location: Pirgos, Kalo Horio,

Re: The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby evansmr1 » Fri Jul 10, 2020 2:55 pm

Please be aware that if you only have the 5 year permit (buff I think) you may be required to provide a number of documents to proceed to the next stage.
One of those documents is a Tax return. If memory serves correctly when my wife took hers to the immigration office she had to show current and previous years. That was last year. We used my returns as we make a joint declaration. Both names are shown on the document.
When I applied for mine about 3 years ago no Tax documents were required. We were just lazy in getting madams. Mine was required for my Driving licence.
If you do not have a Tax number, maybe you may have to apply for one.
Mike
=============
Sic parvis magnaike

Phil C
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:58 pm

Re: The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby Phil C » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:13 pm

Hi all,

Agree great news I have now purchased my house and the work has just finished. I visited the police station to register filled out the forms but had to wait for final completion of the sale to produce the deeds so the certificates could be issued. There was a delay so came back to the UK then covid came along delaying my visit to 2 October. At least then I can finalise the resident certificate part. I will be in the uk over Christmas returning 15 Jan 2021 what is the cut off to exchange for the biometric please?
Regards
Phil.

Kilkis
Posts: 12192
Joined: Sat Apr 21, 2007 3:58 pm
Location: Near Chania

Re: The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby Kilkis » Sat Jul 11, 2020 3:36 pm

Nothing has been announced about the procedure yet but according to the Withdrawal Agreement the cut off for exchanging an existing Residence Certificate for a Biometric Residence Card cannot be earlier than the end of June 2021. It could be later if the Greek government needs more time. You must have the EU Residence Certificate, either initial or permanent before the end of 2020.

Warwick

Phil C
Posts: 13
Joined: Mon Sep 02, 2019 7:58 pm

Re: The latest info regarding our exchange to Biometric cards .

Postby Phil C » Sat Jul 11, 2020 4:10 pm

Thank you Warwick I will be worry free over the new year!


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