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Some Greek Red Tape... The Registration Certificate - Βεβαίωση Eγγραφής

Βεβαίωση Eγγραφής (Vevaiosi Engrafis) - Registration Certificate
EU nationals staying longer than 3 months in Greece must hold this Certificate which will be open dated and so there will be no need for it to be renewed, subject to ongoing status conditions.

And now my story...

I have been working in Greece since September 2009, I have recently started a new job, I gave in my required papers.. (which already took a lot of pain to get) to my new employer, those being:

  • Photocopy of Passport
  • IKA Paper (National Insurance Number 1)
  • AMKA Paper (National Insurance Number 2)
  • AFM Paper (Tax Number)
  • Tenancy Agreement

So then the new company send off my details to the Greek Manpower Office (OAED) in order to say I have been employed, however.. Greek Manpower Office (OAED) refused my papers stating that I also need to show a "Registration Certificate" (Βεβαίωση Eγγραφής - Vevaiosi Engrafis) which I don't have.

The new company are quite confused by all this baring in mind the company is very popular classifieds newspaper, and have lots of staff (which are also from other EU countries)..

However after consulting with my Embassy I am informed that this "Registration Certificate" IS REQUIRED for ALL EU nationals living and working in Greece.

In order to obtain it I required the following (in fact I have yet to obtain it... this is why I write this message)..

  • 3 Photos of myself
  • Letter from Employer which has to be stamped by the KEP office + 3 photocopies
  • To show my Passport + 3 Photocopies of my passport
  • My Tenancy Agreement again stamped by the TAX office + 3 photocopies

Yet to obtain this document I had to go to an office which was not simple to get to, and I had to get there AT 7am!! The office being on a road in Athens called Petrou Ralli 24.. so imagine, I had to get up at 6am just to get there on time because they will not see you after 7am, except this office is actually the Immigration or Aliens Office of Athens, so imagine when I get there and I am mixed in with all sorts of people from outside the EU all trying to get their papers.. I was treated no different and was put in a MASSIVE queue with families from all parts of the world...

Now in my mind I realised that my papers would not take so long, since I didn't require half the things the others in line needed to show. However when it came to my turn eventually after 1 hour (so make that 8am) I happily went up to the desk which (by the way only 2 desks were open for over 100 people) insane!!!!

But I kept asking myself.. "I come to Greece from another EU country, I want to work here, I supposedly want to pay my taxes here, but just please count all the papers that I have already had to obtain.. and now I am standing in the Immigration office with hundreds of others from all around the world, from all sorts of war torn and impoverished countries.. however I just thought.. what IS the point of the EU??

For example, in the UK you require a National Insurance Number and your Passport, you give this to the employer and then the rest is taken care of.

Now this "Registration Certificate" is purely a Greek law I have already checked if other EU countries make other EU nationals go through this process and I have not found one.

So.. back to my story.. I approach the desk happy that I have all I need.. "Passport." he demands, "Photos." he demands again, "Pou Meneis;" he asked rather demandingly.. "Why are you here?" he demands again, basically I am being interrogated as to my reason for being in this country!...

So I retort "I am from another EU country I have all my papers (which have already taken an arm and a leg to get) can you provide me with the "Βεβαίωση Eγγραφής - Vevaiosi Engrafis" and let's be done, because I have no time for being interrogated as to why I want to stay here, I am an EU national and I have a right to live and work here..."

He retorts back.. " Your tenancy agreement is fake"...

"Excuse me? Sygnomy?" I say confused way.. "It is not fake Sir" I can feel the hoard of people behind me getting agitated.

So I just left and got some advice from my Embassy who just told me to try again, possibly the person serving you was not in the greatest of moods, cause they said they documents I had are fine and in fact all I actually needed to show was my Passport and a letter from my Employer.

But that is Greece.. never simple. So again tomorrow I will wake up at 6am for round 2.

ROUND 2

Thanks for the messages guys, you are right, it is required however as you say, few EU citizens do it. In my case, I am being asked to do it by my employer and the OAED office.

So.. I woke up again today at 6:30am and made my way to the "Aliens Department"... arrival at 7:15am.

I entered and went to the desk, I was told that I was too late and they will not be able to process my application today.. too late???? Obviously I asked "Giati;"... the guy replies, "You need to have a number, but to get the number you must go to the other building behind this building..."

Things are getting confusing now, I had no number.. he continues.. "It is not allowed, because you have no number, but the number office closes at 7:10am".

I ask him.. "Can you please explain to me the whole process in detail, so I know."

"OK, you come at 6:30am you go the building behind this building, you queue and we will give you a number, you then take the number to this building we are in now, and collect the application form, then you go to office number 2 and wait for your number to be called, we will then check all of your documents, then you have to wait until maybe 3pm at which point sometime between 8am-3pm we will issue your "Registration Certificate", but you MUST come at 6:30am to get the first number, then you will not have to wait until 3pm..."

I asked the guy for his name... he replied "I am not allowed to give you it, to get my name you need to go to office 7 and ask them, they may give you my name"

I said "But what if I need to ask for you, or call you, or if I want to refer to you, you are a public servant, are you not? It is only right that you give me your name"

"It is not allowed" he replies.

I left, deciding that round 2 was another failed attempt.

Look, I understand I have to do this, but the way the Greeks set up the system in order to get this "Registration Certificate" is the problem, even if other EU countries require the same of other EU citizens.. I am sure without a doubt the process is a lot simpler, there are more offices, they provide signs and information in English (or other EU languages) they don't talk to you like some kind of immigrant from a war torn country who is seeking refuge, and most of all they don't require you to go from building to building at 6am in the morning!!!!!

Round 3 coming up.. I have been advised now to get a lawyer to do all of this on my behalf.. are there any other EU citizens here who have been living and working in Greece longer than 3 months, maybe we can all go together :D we can make it an official MEETUP.

COMING SOON... ROUND 3
 

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I think your attitude may be contributing to your situation. You seem to be convinced that you are entitled to be treated a certain way and when you are not getting that treatment, you are losing your temper. You know what you have to do, just do it. Granted I am not an EU citizen, I am an American citizen, and I have to do significantly more paperwork, interviews, etc., than you do in order to stay and work here legally obviously, which is proper, since US citizens have none of the additional perks that the EU citizens enjoy, but I just do what I'm supposed to do without complaining, and the system works. If you are supposed to be there at 6:30, just be there at 6:30, instead of showing up late and complaining about it. I think the advice you received to get a lawyer is good advice, I'm not sure if you are on the fence about it or not, but I would certainly suggest that if you don't speak Greek you should have a lawyer. Greek is the official language in this country and you really cannot expect public servants to speak to you in some other language, whatever that might be.

So, relax, follow the rules, get a lawyer, and try to let go of the sense of entitlement because regardless of what you may be entitled to under EU rules, you have to follow the rules of the member country that you're in.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
If you are supposed to be there at 6:30, just be there at 6:30, instead of showing up late and complaining about it.
I already went the first time and was told be there at 7am, which I was, the fact is the system the Greeks have set up is incompetent, one day they say be there at 7am, the next they say come at 6:30am, then they say go to office 2 and then to office 7 and then to the other building across the road, is that good for anyone? even the public servants, as they see your face time and time again as you have been shuffled around, they have to face you again at certain levels, the system should be cleaned up and I believe ALL citizens regardless of whether they are non-EU or EU should be treated with respect. However, there should be better facilities to accommodate all the different situations and nationalities.

I come of a country (UK) where public sector processes are set up in order to help, rather than hinder, of course it is not all rosy, but if I am given a 4 page form to fill in that is in English and my first language is not English, the form is provided in another language from the EU (And some other non-EU languages) or I am given a translator.

If I am treated in what I believe to be a rude and derogatory manner, irrelevant of my nationality, there is accountability for such actions on the civil servants part.

The bottom line is, the Greek system is designed in a way to hinder, the Greeks themselves, EU citizens and non-EU citizens and I believe it needs to change and be streamlined. But of course for this to happen, civil servants who eat their cake and sit on their high horse will lose jobs, because other systems may not require a human to do the job, and of course this will upset a lot of people, since they will lose their job, or be moved on to do something else. But in the long run it can only be a good thing.

Less red tape, for all citizens regardless of nationality and greater respect, in order to get it, you have to give it, and BELIEVE me I have given great respect so far, (I have already been through other processes (AFM, IKA, AMKA) but now things are starting to look and feel ridiculous, so that is why I share my story.
 

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No one is going to argue with you that there is a lot of bureaucracy here, least of all me since like I said, I have it far worse than you do, but it cannot help your blood pressure to allow it to upset you so much. As my Greek friends say, "if I got upset everytime I had to deal with the bureaucracy, I would have died of a heart attack a long time ago."

I'm not defending the system, but I am suggesting that you stop looking at it as them against you. Also if this happened recently bear in mind that these workers are losing a lot of their salary due to recent changes in the public sector and this is liable to put anyone in a bad mood. That is not to defend anyone but just to understand human nature.

As far as the language issue goes, I'm sorry but I really must disagree with you there. Greek is the only official language in Greece and the fact that some other countries (including my own) do provide translations does not mean that Greece should or must. Many of the various papers I've had to fill out HAVE had English translations included but that is not required. There is no possible way to include ALL of the EU official languages on every piece of paper, nor to have every application available in all languages: the staff can't read them anyway, so what would be the point? If they privilege English, then they are discriminating against the Danes, the Germans, the Portuguese, the Bulgarians, and the rest of the EU. They are not asking you to write an essay; just learn the basics, bring a Greek speaking friend, or hire a lawyer (which I still think is a really good idea for anyone who doesn't speak the language and even for someone who does). And I highly recommend that you learn the language of the country where you live - this goes to anyone living in any country - unless you are planning to leave soon.
 

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No one is going to argue with you that there is a lot of bureaucracy here ... but it cannot help your blood pressure to allow it to upset you so much.
I think that says it all. It is not helping YOU to let it get to you. Yes, everything is very ineffficient and not designed to help but things won't change quickly.

Comparing it to the UK is inevitable but you have to realise what a free and uncomplicated country Britain is in many ways and how lucky you are to have lived there. Let yourself appreciate the UK but don't expect Greece to be the same. Few countries have so little red tape, even in the EU.

I got my form in Piraeus and it wasn't quite as bad as your experience. I certainly didn't have to be there at 7am. Why not ask if there is an alternative office you can use? It may depend on your tax office of course.

There is a very fine line to be drawn, in my opinion, between standing up for your rights (and if you are an EU citizen you have rights) and making things more difficult for yourself by aggressive or rude behaviour.

I think everyone may have to work out how to handle Greek bureacracy in their own way. I've found the best thing to do is try to stay extremely cool and polite and take a Greek friend who can also keep their cool with you.

On the other hand my husband, who is pretty volatile, gets on very well by losing his temper but then making them laugh.

One thing for sure - if you are going to work here there will be many more of those days so if you don't feel you can handle it I would use a lawyer as has been suggested.

Welcome to work in Greece ...
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Update...

So.. round 3.. I decided to take some advice and try at another office in Athens, the Maroussi Office, I had been told better things of it.

So off I went suspecting that I need to get there at the crack of dawn, so I arrived at 7am.. then went to enter the office (Police Station) only to be told:

"Why are you so early?, Applications start at 8am and you can come from 8am-Lunchtime."

"What!!??" Scratching my head confused, but also surprised by the civilised nature of that sentence.

I took a little photo while I waited: tweetphoto. com/12993726

So.. 8am came between 7:30am-8am about 6/7 other people arrived, but they didn't seem rushed or eager.

At 8am we were all called in and allowed to enter, up I went to the office, I was 2nd in line and waiting patiently.

I watched as the guy in front of me, gave his papers, had them checked by a very polite civil servant, only to be issued his Registration Certificate in under 10 minutes (no tickets, no waiting, no delays) and a smile at the end of it..

Then it was my turn:

"Yassas, Ti Kavete;" The guy said..

"Kala, esi;" I say optimistic.

"Pou meneis;" He says...

I tell him "XXX" (For privacy reasons can't say, but it is Central Athens).

"Sorry, but this office is only for Northern Athens" he says.

"But are my papers correct?" I ask him

"Yes they are fine, wait I will check with my manager if I can process it, I think it is ok actually" he says.. with a smile.

"Ok, Euxaristw poli!" I am even more optimistic, after witnessing the guy in front of me get his Reg Cert in under 10 mins!

"Sygnomy.. I cannot do it.. you need to go to the Tavros office that is in Petrou Ralli 24, because you live in Central Athens, I am very sorry, it is possible, but they say I cannot, I will give you all the details. But I warn you the Tavros office is very busy."

I interrupt "It is ok, I know all the details."

I leave, with a taste of civilised Greek Bureaucracy in my mouth... but I leave unfruitful.

So.. back to the Tavros it is. In theory I think it would have been possible to get the document, but alone I could not explain my situation, I don't think the office is as big an issue as they make out it to be, they just add the fact that you must go to only 1 office to cause red tape.
 

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Lol

Sorry, but I had to laugh about this article because I have been there two and a half years ago. But the paper I had to get is called Adeia paramonis. I had to get is also in Tavros, Petrou Ralli 24!! They told me to be there at 6 in the morning, but when I got there, in the back of the building just like you said, there were already over 100 people and guards with guns! Now I am a girl and I went there by myself because i thought how hard could it be. But when I got there I thought I was in some kind of movie. It was not nice. However, one of the people waiting there gave me the tip to write my name on a piece of paper, a list that they made themselves. The guards/policemen didn't really do anything for the order there.

Since this one man was so nice to point out the list for me I was one of the lucky ones to be allowed inside the building. Others were send home again, even though they were waiting there already for hours. (They told everyone to be there at 6:00, I thought I'd be smart and be there at 5:30, but some others were even smarter and were there from 01:00 o'clock at night!!!)

Inside the building we were put into two groups EU inhabitants and others. Lucky me, I was with the EU-people. Now, the thing that really got to me, was that the very same person that told me to be there at 6:00 came at 09:30 and he happened to be the person to talk the documents from the people applying for a "Adeia paramonis". To make a long story short, I waited in there for 4 hours until I could give my papers to this guy and he told me that since I am from Germany I would be one of the lucky people and quickly out of there. Further 4 hours later I had my nice blue paper.

I can understand everyone who is upset about this procedure! I like Greece, I like to live here, but this is something I cannot get over. This morning there I was so many time close to tears because I could not believe how we were all treated there. And the guy was right. I was one of the first to leave with the paper in my hand, besides the women that walked in there with a lawyer at their site. They were out there in less than 1 hour but probably had to pay a couple of 100 Euros in order to have that luxury.

I have to go again 2012. I still live in the Center so I will probably have to go to Petrou Ralli again. If anyone wants to join me, everyone is welcomed to. We make a field trip out of it! :)
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thank you for sharing your message

Thank you for sharing your message, I have decided to take my story to the press and see if we can get this system changed, it is ridiculous.

I will go again tomorrow and try for the 4th time to get the document, I was planning to get there are 6am, but now you suggest that I should be there even earlier.. I dunno!

Let's see. And let's make a field trip out of it for sure! I await the protests outside, we need to get these systems changed, they are a burden on the Greek taxpayer, and the civil servants sit there and complain, when half of the public sector services could easily be streamlined, for all concerned.
 

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I wish you good luck and Kalo kouragio! And maybe you should be there a bit earlier, like 2 or 3 hours should be enough! Ah and take some valium with, because the people working there don't like the people in front of them talking back at them. I suspect that was the reason they let me wait there for 8 hours even though I had all my papers with.

Ah and take something to eat and read with. And just try to keep calm. This is nothing you can change over night so just try to get with it, otherwise they have you come a fifth time and you really do not want that.

Good Luck! :)
 

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Hello Silvie (again :) ) and Josef,
I wanted to say that if you ever need help, especially when faced with these kind of procedures/situations, in order to communicate with people working in the Greek public sector (or in any other case really), please let me know. I'm originally Greek (Silvie is aware). I could go with you. In case your Greek is good, you don't really need me. I could still come though for moral support if you'd like.
It's ridiculous that you had to go through all these Josef! It can be as hard for Greeks some times to get certain papers etc., but I can imagine how much harder is for non Greeks, especially if one doesn't speak the language.
I know how rude most of the people working in the public sector can be. They thing they own the world! It's unacceptable.
Did you manage to take this to the press?
 

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Hello Silvie (again :) ) and Josef,
I wanted to say that if you ever need help, especially when faced with these kind of procedures/situations, in order to communicate with people working in the Greek public sector (or in any other case really), please let me know. I'm originally Greek (Silvie is aware). I could go with you. In case your Greek is good, you don't really need me. I could still come though for moral support if you'd like.
Thank you!

What can I say.. I got it! My employer will send this off and see now if that is what was needed to employ me in Greece.

So "Round 4" went like this:

Woke up at 5:30am.. made my way to Tavros. Arrived at Tavros at 6:30am on arrival I realised that I had not left enough time... I had to go the back of the Police station, when I got round there there were 3 groups well.. kinda of they were all pretty mixed up, but there were 3 groups, one for EU, one for Non-EU and one for Albanians.

The EU lump of a mass queue... was packed enough, I knew then that I had not arrived early enough to get in, the Police officers were shouting a lot at everyone to move back, move back.. since there was lots of pushing to get through one little gate then in to the front courtyard of the Police station.. i decided to be Greek and push in, I thought.. forget queuing politely, that does not work here, I have to do it the Greek way, I knew it was my only chance of not being told to come again because they have a cut-off of the numbers they let in, which is about 70, yet there were more than 70 in the EU mass outside the gate.

So I ducked in head down... then I hear the police officer call me... "What are you doing?" he says, pointing to the back of the mass of people.. "Where are you from?" he said.. "Eimai Anglos" I replied.. he flicked his hand and told me enter, I proceeded without any more bother.. I WAS IN!

Once in we had to form a long queue then we were frog marched in to the Police station, once in, there was a lady at a table, who had the "magic numbers".. again people were pushing in even at this stage, because the lower the number to sooner you get in and out of there.

I was given number 34 I was sure I was about 10th in line when I got through the gate... anyway.. with the number you are given the application form, it is in Greek, French and English.

Once In the main room, there was a small notice board up on the wall which gave translations in Romanian and Bulgarian.. almost all the people who were in the room excluding about 15 people where using this and fighting for a share of some pens. I filled in my application.. "What is your purpose for coming to Greece?" I filled it in "I AM EU" next question.. "How long do you wish to stay in Greece" again I answer "I AM EU". The other questions I thought were irrelevant and I just put N/A next to them.

Apart from my Name and Address of course.

So.. then at 7am the counter opens and the number above it flashes "001" up goes the first person.. after 5 mins they are rejected and told to leave... "002" this one takes a little longer.. around 15 mins to be precise.. this person is accepted and they have to go back and wait.. "003" again takes about 10 mins. "004".. rejected ... "005" .. argument.. rejected... "006" 15 minutes... "007"... rejected ... this process goes on for a while.. but then the guy gets up and comes out from behind the counter and starts shouting something in Greek at us all... I asked a German person who I had teamed with in this process to translate (there were there to convert their 5 year residence permit to the new Registration Certificate) they told me the guy said he will stop processing applications unless every listens to him and shuts up. "NO TALKING, NO TALKING!!" he was shouting.

I just wanted to knock him off his high horse and tell him to get the feck on with it. "008" flashes.. rejected...

By the time it came to my turn it was now 10:30am. I went up gave my papers.. this time, no questions, it took about 5 mins for me, he took my passport and asked me to be seated and wait.. I asked him, "How long will it take?" he said up to 2 hours. I went and sat back down.

I watched what happened to my papers, before he called "035" he was going through them again and again.. finally he got up and carried them out of this application room via... and this is the funny bit... across a courtyard and handed them in through an open window to a hand that was poking out, then walk all the way back and called "035"... rejected.. "036".. so this process went on and on, me sitting there with others just waiting.. and waiting... and waiting.. during this time a few people arrived as I did on my first attempt.. later at around 8am or 9am to be told to come back again tomorrow at 7am (I then chased them and told them 7am is not enough! You need to come at 6am to be sure.) But... and this is the bit I don't understand.. some people came later around 8am, 9am and the guy at the counter just served them.. even people coming at 10am got served sometimes.. this reminded me of the time I did it and how it felt like he was going to serve me.

Ok to cut a long story short.. finally I hear my name.. "JOSEF" and he hands me the little paper I was after, I ask for my passport... and this is the weird bit.. "Oxi" he says.. I ask why.. he says. "Go and get 2 photocopies and bring it back and then I will give you your passport".. I gave a confused look.. thinking.. where am I supposed to find a photocopier? And then thinking to myself.. this is ridiculous, they don't have a photocopier in the Police station, or they don't photocopy them beforehand????

The answer was no, and I realised i had to leave the Police Station and make my way to the Periptero where a very happy owner of the Periptero ran his lucrative, laminating, and copying business (in a little hut behind the Periptero) "BRITISH? He said with enthusiasm.. "How many copies?".. "Two" I replied.. he said.. "Do you want it laminated too?".. "OK" I said. Then he said with a happy voice, "Did you know that now you only need to get this document once!" ... "I know, thank feck for that" I replied.. "€2.40" he said... and then I had to go back in the Police Station to get my passport and get the heck out of there.. the time now was almost 2pm (So much for those 2 hours)

And here is a photo of the thing I went through all the trouble of getting:

 

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Hey cool, you got it!!! And it all sounds about the same, just the paper still doesn't look the same. I wonder if that is the new form now and maybe the next time I have to go, will be the last time as well.

And come on, you have to admit, it is kind of exciting and puts things into perspective. And you never have to go there again now! Congratualtions!


And something else, this with the people that came late but still got their papers right away, could it be that they had a laywer with them. Because I saw that too and at the time it really made me mad, but someone explained to me later that they probably had some kind of legal help with them or so.
 

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Depends who you talk to!

We retired to Crete in September 2009 and rented a house in Kissamos. I went to the local police station and they told me that, for a Registration Certificate, I needed to provide the following:
5 passport photos, 2 copies of passport, a rental agreement in Greek, evidence of money to support myself (translated into Greek if not a Greek bank statement) and details of health cover, aslo translated.
My landlord advised me to try later when we moved to Gavalochori which we moved to on 1st March. The lady police office in Vamos cop shiop wanted:
4 passport photos, 2 copies of passport, 2 copies of health cover, evidence of money to support myself (translated if not in Greek) and a rfental agreement also in Greek.
I obtained all of those (health cover being the EHIC card which, actually, offers no cover at all since it is only meant to cover UK residents whilst on holiday or on short trips abroad). I did not have a Greek version of my bank account but took along a screen print of the account balance hoping they would accept it. Anyway, the male office whom I saw on Thursday was only interested in the health card (2 copies), the pasport photos and the copies of the passport - I offered copy of bank account and rental agreemnet but he said "not necessary". Good luck to anyone applying in future since there must be a rule which says depending on what day of the month it is, whether or not Olympiakos has won or lost, and what side of bed the officer got out of that morning will dictate what you need to take along.

Βεβαίωση Eγγραφής (Vevaiosi Engrafis) - Registration Certificate
EU nationals staying longer than 3 months in Greece must hold this Certificate which will be open dated and so there will be no need for it to be renewed, subject to ongoing status conditions.

And now my story...

I have been working in Greece since September 2009, I have recently started a new job, I gave in my required papers.. (which already took a lot of pain to get) to my new employer, those being:

  • Photocopy of Passport
  • IKA Paper (National Insurance Number 1)
  • AMKA Paper (National Insurance Number 2)
  • AFM Paper (Tax Number)
  • Tenancy Agreement

So then the new company send off my details to the Greek Manpower Office (OAED) in order to say I have been employed, however.. Greek Manpower Office (OAED) refused my papers stating that I also need to show a "Registration Certificate" (Βεβαίωση Eγγραφής - Vevaiosi Engrafis) which I don't have.

The new company are quite confused by all this baring in mind the company is very popular classifieds newspaper, and have lots of staff (which are also from other EU countries)..

However after consulting with my Embassy I am informed that this "Registration Certificate" IS REQUIRED for ALL EU nationals living and working in Greece.

In order to obtain it I required the following (in fact I have yet to obtain it... this is why I write this message)..

  • 3 Photos of myself
  • Letter from Employer which has to be stamped by the KEP office + 3 photocopies
  • To show my Passport + 3 Photocopies of my passport
  • My Tenancy Agreement again stamped by the TAX office + 3 photocopies

Yet to obtain this document I had to go to an office which was not simple to get to, and I had to get there AT 7am!! The office being on a road in Athens called Petrou Ralli 24.. so imagine, I had to get up at 6am just to get there on time because they will not see you after 7am, except this office is actually the Immigration or Aliens Office of Athens, so imagine when I get there and I am mixed in with all sorts of people from outside the EU all trying to get their papers.. I was treated no different and was put in a MASSIVE queue with families from all parts of the world...

Now in my mind I realised that my papers would not take so long, since I didn't require half the things the others in line needed to show. However when it came to my turn eventually after 1 hour (so make that 8am) I happily went up to the desk which (by the way only 2 desks were open for over 100 people) insane!!!!

But I kept asking myself.. "I come to Greece from another EU country, I want to work here, I supposedly want to pay my taxes here, but just please count all the papers that I have already had to obtain.. and now I am standing in the Immigration office with hundreds of others from all around the world, from all sorts of war torn and impoverished countries.. however I just thought.. what IS the point of the EU??

For example, in the UK you require a National Insurance Number and your Passport, you give this to the employer and then the rest is taken care of.

Now this "Registration Certificate" is purely a Greek law I have already checked if other EU countries make other EU nationals go through this process and I have not found one.

So.. back to my story.. I approach the desk happy that I have all I need.. "Passport." he demands, "Photos." he demands again, "Pou Meneis;" he asked rather demandingly.. "Why are you here?" he demands again, basically I am being interrogated as to my reason for being in this country!...

So I retort "I am from another EU country I have all my papers (which have already taken an arm and a leg to get) can you provide me with the "Βεβαίωση Eγγραφής - Vevaiosi Engrafis" and let's be done, because I have no time for being interrogated as to why I want to stay here, I am an EU national and I have a right to live and work here..."

He retorts back.. " Your tenancy agreement is fake"...

"Excuse me? Sygnomy?" I say confused way.. "It is not fake Sir" I can feel the hoard of people behind me getting agitated.

So I just left and got some advice from my Embassy who just told me to try again, possibly the person serving you was not in the greatest of moods, cause they said they documents I had are fine and in fact all I actually needed to show was my Passport and a letter from my Employer.

But that is Greece.. never simple. So again tomorrow I will wake up at 6am for round 2.

ROUND 2

Thanks for the messages guys, you are right, it is required however as you say, few EU citizens do it. In my case, I am being asked to do it by my employer and the OAED office.

So.. I woke up again today at 6:30am and made my way to the "Aliens Department"... arrival at 7:15am.

I entered and went to the desk, I was told that I was too late and they will not be able to process my application today.. too late???? Obviously I asked "Giati;"... the guy replies, "You need to have a number, but to get the number you must go to the other building behind this building..."

Things are getting confusing now, I had no number.. he continues.. "It is not allowed, because you have no number, but the number office closes at 7:10am".

I ask him.. "Can you please explain to me the whole process in detail, so I know."

"OK, you come at 6:30am you go the building behind this building, you queue and we will give you a number, you then take the number to this building we are in now, and collect the application form, then you go to office number 2 and wait for your number to be called, we will then check all of your documents, then you have to wait until maybe 3pm at which point sometime between 8am-3pm we will issue your "Registration Certificate", but you MUST come at 6:30am to get the first number, then you will not have to wait until 3pm..."

I asked the guy for his name... he replied "I am not allowed to give you it, to get my name you need to go to office 7 and ask them, they may give you my name"

I said "But what if I need to ask for you, or call you, or if I want to refer to you, you are a public servant, are you not? It is only right that you give me your name"

"It is not allowed" he replies.

I left, deciding that round 2 was another failed attempt.

Look, I understand I have to do this, but the way the Greeks set up the system in order to get this "Registration Certificate" is the problem, even if other EU countries require the same of other EU citizens.. I am sure without a doubt the process is a lot simpler, there are more offices, they provide signs and information in English (or other EU languages) they don't talk to you like some kind of immigrant from a war torn country who is seeking refuge, and most of all they don't require you to go from building to building at 6am in the morning!!!!!

Round 3 coming up.. I have been advised now to get a lawyer to do all of this on my behalf.. are there any other EU citizens here who have been living and working in Greece longer than 3 months, maybe we can all go together :D we can make it an official MEETUP.

COMING SOON... ROUND 3
 
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