Greece – Highly-qualified worker

Are you a non-EU citizen wishing to work as a highly-skilled employee in Greece? You can find information below on the conditions to fulfill and procedures to follow, as well as the rights you can enjoy during your stay.

To apply for a EU blue card you should meet the following preconditions:

  • have a valid passport and a visa for the purpose of highly-qualified employment;
  • have a valid work contract for a highly-qualified post for at least one year, guaranteeing that the remuneration corresponds to the minimum remuneration for highly-skilled employment as this is set by the Ministry for Migration Policy, amounting to 1.5 of the average gross annual remuneration in Greece based on the Greek Statistics Authority data;
  • in case of a regulated profession, you should fulfill the relevant prerequisites;
  • in case of unregulated professions, you need to prove highly-specialized professional qualifications either through studies or through a minimum of professional experience, if provided by national law;
  • have full medical care;
  • you do not constitute danger for public order and security or public health.

Where and how to apply

For the admission of non-EU nationals for the purpose of highly qualified employment the same procedure of volumes of admission is implemented as for employed workers.

Once the relevant procedure has been followed and you enter the country, you should apply to the Ministry for Migration Policy before your national visa for highly-qualified employment expires. It should be noted that a maximum number of admissions is applied.
Documents requiredAll documents necessary, in accordance to the above preconditions, will be described in a ministerial decision to be issued according to the new Code for Migration and Social Integration.

Duration of validity of permits

EU Blue Cards are valid for two years. If your employment contract is of a shorter duration, then your EU Blue Card is of the corresponding duration plus three months.

To renew your EU Blue Card, you should re-apply and submit all relevant documents before your initial Blue Card expires.
AppealsAppeals against reasoned decisions may be lodged to the administrative court, as well as to the administrative authority that issued the decision originally.
Further informationMembers of your family may visit you or accompany you, under the precondition that you can provide for their stay. Your family members’ residence permits are issued within six months after the applications are submitted and these are of the same duration as your own EU Blue Card, provided that their travel documents cover this time.



Non-EU citizens legally residing in the country as EU Blue Card holders enjoy equal treatment with Greek nationals in the following manner:

  • free movement and settlement across the country;
  • access to social security organizations and insurance rights;
  • working conditions, safety and security at the workplace;
  • the right to association, participation in trade unions and sharing of any respective rights;
  • access to education and vocational training;
  • recognition of typical qualifications and professional skills certifications;
  • pension rights taking into consideration
  • bilateral agreements, national and EU legislation;
  • access to goods and services for the provision of goods and services for the public, including access to housing, information and consulting by employment services.

In certain sectors, certain restrictions apply according to national legislation

UnemploymentUnemployment in itself shall not constitute a reason for withdrawing an EU Blue Card, unless the period of unemployment exceeds three consecutive months. If you become unemployed more than once during the period of validity of an EU Blue Card, its duration should not exceed three months in total.

Change of employment

For the first two years of the EU Blue Card, you should be employed as a salaried highly- specialized employee.

If you wish to change employer during the first two years since your EU Blue Card was issued, you need a written approval by the Department issuing your this card. After the first two years, you should notify competent Authorities on any change of employer and other conditions of your employment.

Long-term residence

Long-term resident permit

If you have resided in Greece lawfully and continuously for five years before submitting your application, you can apply for a long-term resident permit provided that:

  • you have your own income for the sustenance of your family which cannot be lower than the annual minimum wage, increased by 10 % for all dependent members of your family, including any unemployment benefit received. The contributions of the family members are taken into consideration for the calculation of the income;
  • you have full social security for yourself and the members of your family; and
  • you fulfill the requirements for integration into Greek society, that is, you have:
    • evidence of adequate knowledge of the Greek language and elements of Greek history and culture, as defined in national legislation; or
    • you have a residence Card as member of the family of a Greek citizen; or
    • a Citizenship Committee has a positive opinion; or
    • you have legally resided in Greece for twelve (12) years.

In case the EU Blue Card holder has exercised the right of mobility, he/she is allowed to cumulate periods of residence in different Member States in order to fulfil the requirement concerning the duration of residence, if the following conditions are met:

  • five years of legal and continuous residence within the territory of EU as an EU Blue Card holder;
  • legal and continuous residence for two years immediately prior to the submission of the relevant application as an EU Blue Card holder within the territory of the Member State where the application for the long-term resident’s EC residence permit is lodged.

Periods of absence from the territory of the Community shall not interrupt this period if they are shorter than twelve consecutive months and do not exceed in total eighteen months within this period.

You must submit your application to the authority that issued your last/previous residence permit, and meet all necessary conditions. The decision should be issued within six months, which can be delayed for an additional three month period.

The long term residence permit is valid for five years and is renewable for five years.

In case of EU Blue Card holders who are EU long- term resident permit holders, the period of absence from the territory of the EU which is allowed to them is extended to 24 consecutive months.

A long-term resident enjoys equal treatment as Greek citizens in the following:

  • access to salaried employment and non – salaried work, terms of employment, remuneration and dismissal;
  • access to education and professional training;
  • recognition of vocational degrees, certificates and other documents;
  • social security and basic social protection;
  • tax relief;
  • access to public goods and services housing procedures;
  • free movement and settlement in the territory.



No information available