Residence permit for exceptional reasons - What is it?

A residence permit for exceptional reasons (in Greek: Άδεια Διαμονής για εξαιρετικούς λόγους) can be granted to persons currently residing without any legal documents in Greece but can prove their residence in Greece for 7 consecutive years before applying with documents of a specific date. Please note that you need to be undocumented at the time that you submit the relevant application. The residence permit is granted by a decision of the Secretary of the Decentralized Administration. It provides the right of access to the labour market, and it is issued only once and is valid for 3 years.

Important Note: You need to apply before its expiration for a different kind of residence permit -if you meet the criteria- of another category, and the residence permit, for exceptional reasons, cannot be renewed on the same grounds as the initial permit. 

How can you apply?

When you submit your application, you will receive a certificate stating that you are protected from a return decision for the time required until the examination of the request. 

The relevant application can be submitted online through the Ministry of Migration and Asylum portal. 

Click on “residence permit first issue” and then on “residence permit for exceptional reasons.”

What are the documents that I should provide? 

The documents required are the following:

  1. 4 photographs (passport/ID type) 
  2. Photocopy of all the pages of the passport. It is a prerequisite for granting the residence permit the possession of a passport, even if it has expired. A residence permit shall also be granted in cases where it is established that it is objectively impossible for the applicant to issue a passport. If you cannot issue a national passport, you can submit a reasoned request explaining why you cannot possess a passport. In that case, you will be provided with an attestation following an opinion by the competent Immigration Committee.
  3. An administrative fee ("paravolo" in Greek) of 300 euros. You can issue the paravolo (administrative fee) online here or go to a KEP. Then you need to pay it at the bank and keep the receipt or pay it via web banking and print the proof of the transaction. If you pay it via web banking, you will find the payment by using the code of the paravolo "2108"
  4. Administrative fee of 16 euros. You can issue the paravolo (administrative fee) online here: or go to a KEP. Then you need to pay it at the bank and keep the receipt or pay it via web banking and print the proof of the transaction. If you pay it via web banking, you will find the payment using the paravolo code 2119.
  5. Documents of a certain date proving the consecutive residence of the person in Greece. The documents should be scanned and uploaded to the platform when applying for the application. 

Documents that are valid and can be used as proof of your consecutive residence can be the following:

  • Certificates of attendance in public educational institutions in Greece by the applicant or their children
  • Certificates of attendance of Greek language courses
  • Applications for any type of residence status or international protection
  • Copies of rejection decisions regarding applications for acquisition or renewal of residence permits
  • Previous residence permits, regardless of the issuing authority
  • Copies of previous tax declarations
  • Copy of fiscal code acquisition (AFM)
  • Insurance certificate by a public social insurance organization.
  • Health booklets
  • Any bills (electricity, telecommunications etc.) in the name of the applicant
  • Bank bills
  • Receipts of international transactions
  • Judicial decisions 
  • Deportation decisions
  • Copies of previous passports (all the pages)
  • Declarations from the registry office
  • Documents which prove hospitalization 
  • Notarial acts which were composed in the presence of the applicant
  • Police note ordering deportation
  • Extract of the crime and offences book kept by the police stations
  • Certificate for the issuance of an urban transport card
  • Any other document issued by a public authority
  • Other private documents (except solemn declarations) might be acceptable if certified by a notary public or other public official regarding their date of issuance.

Once your application is successfully submitted, you will receive by e-mail a receipt of submission. Within 40 days, the competent service of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum will examine whether your application is complete, and if yes, you will receive an e-mail informing you that you are able to download the Certificate of registration of your application via the portal of the Ministry. This certificate allows you to legally reside in Greece while the examination of your file is pending,

Please be careful!

  1. Only a period of absence of up to 6 months from Greece is accepted within 7 years. 
  2. If you do not meet the criteria in order to be granted the residence permit for exceptional reasons, you are advised not to submit the application. Otherwise, for example, if one submits forged documents or provides false information, not only will the application be rejected, but there might be serious legal consequences, including criminal charges and deprivation of the right to submit a new application for five years.
  3. According to the latest migration law, the time an individual has submitted an asylum application and awaited a decision won't be counted in the total of 7 consecutive years of stay. This will take effect on 31 March 2024 instead of the initial date of 1 January 2024. So, if you came to Greece before 1 April 2017 and can prove you've been here for seven years with specific documents, you can apply for this special residence permit, even if you were seeking asylum during that time.

Please note that there are more categories of residence permits under the Migration Law, but we cannot provide a complete list, as the relevant Migration Legislation is quite complex. It is, therefore, advised to consult with a legal advisor to examine whether you could fall under any of the categories.