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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello all, and thanks to all in advance. This is my first time visiting this site so please forgive me if some of the questions I ask may have already been answered or covered in a FAQ. Just kindly point me in the right direction.

Ok, I'm a 35 year old American male, engaged to a Greek woman. I'm wanting to move there and be with her but we've got issues. I know you're saying, easy just get married and get Greek citizenship..well we got issues.

1. My fiance has a medical condition that requires constant monitoring. As she is a Greek citizen she is covered under their national health care system. But it is her understanding that if she gets married, she will lose that insurance(because she should be covered on her husbands insurance). And me not being a Greek citizen I wouldn't qualify for their health insurance. So we don't know if we could get married or not.

2. Her family is quite wealthy(lucky me), so I do not need to work. I don't know if this would make it easier(to just get a residency permit as opposed to work/residency permit)

All I'm looking to do is to move there and be with the woman I love. And I know a whole lot of red tape is probably standing in our way. But I'm willing to fight through it. So any advice and help is much appreciated!
 

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Hi and welcome to the forum

You will find others who can advise you better than I on some of the issues but I can tell you that it is possible for a husband to be covered on a wife's IKA, even if he is a foreigner.

I have two Greek friends who have both covered their foreign husbands this way. There's a place on the annual form where you list your dependents.

Assuming she has IKA I suggest she goes to speak to her local office and they will advise her.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Hi and welcome to the forum

You will find others who can advise you better than I on some of the issues but I can tell you that it is possible for a husband to be covered on a wife's IKA, even if he is a foreigner.

I have two Greek friends who have both covered their foreign husbands this way. There's a place on the annual form where you list your dependents.

Assuming she has IKA I suggest she goes to speak to her local office and they will advise her.
I should have mentioned, her medical condition prevents her from working. The medical insurance she has is her fathers..who passed away several years ago. She has told me that a greek woman has her fathers insurance until she marries. Then she becomes the responsibility of the husband.
 

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I should have mentioned, her medical condition prevents her from working. The medical insurance she has is her fathers..who passed away several years ago. She has told me that a greek woman has her fathers insurance until she marries. Then she becomes the responsibility of the husband.
Ah well she won't be able to cover you if she isn't paying any contirubutions.

She really needs to ask at the IKA office about what her situation will be once she marries. If she is wealthy the state would probably feel she should pay for her care herself.

You should also find out whether you can work her once you are married. If you got a job and paid IKA yourself you would be covered after about six months I think.

You will probably need to take out private health insurance for yourself in the meantime.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Ok just talked with her. The insurance she has isn't IKA, she has Dimosio. Don't know if that makes a difference or not. The big thing is for her not to lose her insurance. I know I can get my own, but she needs to be covered just incase something happens.
 

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Ok just talked with her. The insurance she has isn't IKA, she has Dimosio. Don't know if that makes a difference or not. The big thing is for her not to lose her insurance. I know I can get my own, but she needs to be covered just incase something happens.
If she has dimosio coverage through her father (as a dependent family member), it's true she'll lose it once she marries as she'll then need to have her own coverage or be covered by her husband's. If she's not working and cannot work, then she needs to purchase private insurance (if she qualifies) or will need yours.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
motorbike no, haven't had one in years. but i am planning on taking my dog...but we'll save those questions for another day :)
 

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Hello all, and thanks to all in advance. This is my first time visiting this site so please forgive me if some of the questions I ask may have already been answered or covered in a FAQ. Just kindly point me in the right direction.

Ok, I'm a 35 year old American male, engaged to a Greek woman. I'm wanting to move there and be with her but we've got issues. I know you're saying, easy just get married and get Greek citizenship..well we got issues.

1. My fiance has a medical condition that requires constant monitoring. As she is a Greek citizen she is covered under their national health care system. But it is her understanding that if she gets married, she will lose that insurance(because she should be covered on her husbands insurance). And me not being a Greek citizen I wouldn't qualify for their health insurance. So we don't know if we could get married or not.

2. Her family is quite wealthy(lucky me), so I do not need to work. I don't know if this would make it easier(to just get a residency permit as opposed to work/residency permit)

All I'm looking to do is to move there and be with the woman I love. And I know a whole lot of red tape is probably standing in our way. But I'm willing to fight through it. So any advice and help is much appreciated!
Well the situation is pretty complicated but lets see.

1) Since she has such an insurance this means that her father belonged to the so called "privileged" categories of employees of the public sector that's why there is such a coverage. Normally parental coverage is valid untill the 24th year (except if she is younger than that).

2) You can be eligible to insure her only if you work in the public sector not in the private. To work in the public sector you need to be a Greek or another EU citizen. If not speaking Greek fluently just forget about it practically.

3) The only way she can get a public medical insurance and being able to get married is...(not very legal) but you can find an employer that can hire her in the papers. Meaning that she wont get paid at all and in addition she will have to pay the insurance fees herself. This means that even if the hiring is with a minimum salary of 740 euros/month the insurance fee will be around 250-300 euro a month. Like this she will have medical care for free and 25% participation on medication costs

4) A form of marriage may be an engagement or a mutual free cohabitation agreement. Both are not recognised as a "marriage" for the Greek public so she wont lose her rights.

5) The laws in Greece are very complicated and they have a lot of "windows". its better to ask a Greek lawyer specialized on family law. I am sure he will find a solution.

6) You wont have any trouble getting a visa for 3 months. Later you can prolong it simply by subscribing yourself to any student or vocational training programme (public are for free) and pretend to be a student. Foreign students are welcomed always.
 

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6) You wont have any trouble getting a visa for 3 months. Later you can prolong it simply by subscribing yourself to any student or vocational training programme (public are for free) and pretend to be a student. Foreign students are welcomed always.
This is not true. The last time (to my knowledge) that an American citizen could get away with something like this was 2002. Now to be considered a student you have to start an application for a visa + permit from before you leave the US (through the Greek Embassy or Consulate that has jurisdiction over your state) and then you enter with that visa and start your permit application before it expires. There's a lot more to it but people should now that you can NEVER "prolong" a 3 month visa (tourist visa) unless you are in a serious situation (for example, if you are hospitalized and need to prolong your stay a few days or weeks, you can get special permission; another example would be Russian tourists this summer who were given special permission to stay longer so as not to have to go back to Moscow during the fires). Prolonging a tourist visa for tourist purposes will almost never be approved; prolonging a tourist visa for student purposes is not even legal.
 

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This is something that I wasnt informed about but in any case I dont think that if an American or a Canadian citizen really wants to settle in Greece he may face problems with getting a Visa or a stay permit. In our friends case I think an engagement or even a "cohabitation agreement" that has been recently introduced are ways to get his prolongation if he has an income that covers his stay costs or if somebody else declares that he is in charge of his expenditure. Am I wrong?

To specify, Dhmosio or OPAD is the Greek Public Insurance institution. There is a provision that members of this institution may have their children insured on the same institution until their 24 years, both males and females. This kind of coverage is provided only for special branches of the public sector (Employees of the Parliament, Parliament members, employees in the Justice sector, ex-officers of army,navy and airforce).

Only a specialised lawyer on family law can provide a reliable solution. In my opinion, every info you can get from a random public employee of IKA or OPAD is not really reliable.

Good luck
 

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This is something that I wasnt informed about but in any case I dont think that if an American or a Canadian citizen really wants to settle in Greece he may face problems with getting a Visa or a stay permit. In our friends case I think an engagement or even a "cohabitation agreement" that has been recently introduced are ways to get his prolongation if he has an income that covers his stay costs or if somebody else declares that he is in charge of his expenditure. Am I wrong?
Yes, you are wrong. In fact, it is very difficult for an American, Canadian, or any other non-EU citizen to "settle in Greece" (it doesn't make any difference if he "really wants to" or not). In most cases, it will not be possible at all.

HOWEVER, in this guy's case, he's marrying a Greek, so he will be able to. The spouses of Greek citizens can stay in Greece because of family reunification laws.

As far as a "prolongation" this is not usually legally possible. What you are suggesting he do (whether you are aware that this is what you are suggesting, or not) is:

- obtain a marriage license in the US
- come to Greece on a tourist visa (i.e., his US passport)
- get married before the end of his first month in Greece
- apply for a 5 year residence+work permit for Greece on the basis of his wife's citizenship in Greece. To do this HE MUST PROVE that he has health insurance that is not his wife's insurance (as hers will have expired when she marries him).

This IS doable and legal, however it will mean that this man's wife will lose her ΟΠΑΔ coverage. I have ΟΠΑΔ myself and I'm pretty sure that she will have to get added to her husband's insurance, whatever that may be.

Probably the smartest thing for them is to follow my suggestion above (marriage license in US > apply for permit in Greece) and for them to take out a private insurance policy in Greece that will cover both of them.

Very few Greeks realize that it is NOT easier for an American or a Canadian to get a Greek work/residence permit than it is for a Chinese, Cook Islands, Cameroonian, Costa Rican, Chilean, or any other non-EU country citizen. This misinformation gets passed around all the time but it is just that, misinformation that can give people the wrong idea about what is legally and practically possible.

Despite what you may hear, Greece is mired in bureaucratic rules and regulations. Just marrying into a wealthy family or knowing someone in a ministry does NOT solve all your problems. You have to read the laws that apply to you and follow all the rules. It does take a long time. I have been through the process more than once and am now in the final steps of receiving my 5 yr spousal residence/work permit, so anyone who has questions about how to do this for a NON-EU CITIZEN may ask me for details, which I have at any rate posted multiple times on this forum to help you.
 

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a suggested solution would be... You get married, she looses her insurance for 1-2 months, you get your papers done. You come to greece, you become self employed (in papers)..any job you may imagine (you state you teach english for example, or you offer councelling services whatever...) and you can be are insured in TEVE (insurance for self employed, or any type of private professionals)...now they changed its name but your girlfriend will know. You pay something like 150-200 euros a month (you can check it) and your dependents are also insured.

However as someone before said, take advice from a lawyer, as whatever employees of the public agencies tell you may not be valid and for sure not legally binding.
 
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