Law 4251/2014 (GG A’ 80) “Immigration and Social Integration Code and other provisions” as in force, is the basic legislation concerning the entry and work of third country nationals (i.e. outside the EU) in our country. Chapter D of the above law entitled “Residence for employment and professional activity” describes the ways to enter the country for the purpose of work. Articles 11 to 15 describe the invitation process that concerns the majority of working third-country nationals in Greece. A Joint Ministerial Decision is issued every two years, under Article 11 of Law 4251/2014 setting out the maximum number of third country nationals and their specialties who may work in Greece.
Legal documents for access to work
Third-country nationals entering our country for the purpose of work must hold one of the following legal documents:
a) Residence permits with right to work. Residence permits are issued either by the local competent Decentralized Administration (Department of Residence Permits) or by the Ministry of Migration and Asylum. In some cases, those are issued by the competent authority that had granted the last relevant residence permit (long-term residents, for a period of ten years).
b) Certificate of submission of supporting documents for the issue of a residence permit with the right to work. In accordance with the provisions of Article 8(5) of Law 4251/2014, a third country national who submitted a timely application for the issue or renewal of a residence permit along with all the required supporting documents and has received the relevant certificate, the duration of which is annual, is considered to be legally residing in the country, for as long as this certificate is valid. The holder of a certificate of application for the initial residence permit enjoys the rights provided by the requested residence permit.
In the context of the residence permit renewal, the holder of the certificate enjoys the rights provided by the previous residence permit for which the renewal is requested.
c) Visa with the right to work. The competent authority for the issue of the national visa for work is the consular authority of Greece in the country of origin or residence of the third country national.
d) Beneficiaries of international protection (refugees and beneficiaries of a subsidiary protection status) as well as applicants for international protection (six months after the issue date of the International Protection Applicant’s card. The permit is granted by the Asylum Services.
e) Third country nationals who have been granted a certificate of deferral of removal (Article 24, Law 3907/2011, GG A`7) or a certificate of non-removal for humanitarian reasons (Article 78, Law 3386/2005) by the competent police authority, which is valid, provided that they are holders of a valid work permit, also have access to the labour market. The work permit is issued by the Region of the place of residence of the third country national under Article 3 of the no.53619/735/2015 (B`2631) Joint Ministerial Decision. Holders of the specific work permit may:
i. work exclusively in the agricultural and livestock farming sector, in the sector of domestic work as well as in the textiles sector and
ii. work in the entire territory of the country with the exception of:
- the Regional Units of Evros, Xanthi and Rodopi of the Eastern Macedonia and Thrace Region
- all the Regional Units of the North Aegean Region
- the Regional Units of Kos, Rhodes, Karpathos and Kalymnos of the South Aegean Region.
f) Work permit for the employment of illegally residing third-country nationals in the agricultural economy under Article 13A of Law 4251/2014. The employer (exclusively in the agricultural sector) may submit to the competent service of the Decentralized Administration of his place of residence an application for the exceptional employment of third country nationals with no residence permit in the country, to address the urgent needs of the agricultural holding. The granted approval for the exceptional employment of third countries nationals constitutes a reason for deferral of removal and the provisions of Article 24 of Law 3907/2011 (GG A’ 7) are applied accordingly. The work permit is issued by the Region of the place of residence of the third country national under Article 3 of the no.53619/735/2015 (GG B’ 2631) Joint Ministerial Decision.
g) Greek nationals, holders of a Special Identity Card, under the provisions of Law 2790/2000 (GG A’ 24) may work with this card.
The Department of Greek Workers’ Support Abroad, the Department for Foreigners’ Work in Greece and the Department of Equal Treatment at Work, Directorate for Individual Regulations, Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs are responsible for regulating and monitoring the implementation of the legislation on the employment of third country nationals in the Greek territory. You may contact with the above services by calling at 213 1516 540 / 025 / 080 or sending an email at email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com.
- Law 4251/2014 (GG A’ 80)
- Law 4540/2018 (GG A’ 91)
- Law 4636/2019 (GG A’ 169)
- Joint Ministerial Decision No.5269/139/2021 setting the maximum number of residence permits for work of third country nationals for the years 2021 and 2022 (GG B’ 430)
- GG 545 B` 2021 for an error correction in Joint Ministerial Decision no. 5269/139/3.2.2021 setting the maximum number of residence permits for work of third country nationals for the years 2021 and 2022 (GG B’ 430).