- Visa and Residence Permit
- After Arrival
- Employment Initialization and Salary
- Working Hours and Holidays
- Social and Health Insurance
Visa and Residence Permit
In order to be employed by the University of Crete as a researcher, if you are coming from a country not from EU, you must obtain a residence permit for researchers under the law nr. 4251/2014 visa type (type D.3.1, for research for long-term residence). Therefore, the first step you need to do before coming to Greece is to apply for a long-term visa, type D.3.1 for research under the law nr 4251/2014, at the Greek Consulate in the country of your residence or origin.
Since the procedure might take 1 to 2 months until the visa is issued, it’s preferable to contact with the ELKE Office (ELKE Office: Special Account for Research, it is typically the authority that administers research grants in the University of Crete) or the CCTP secretary at least three months before you enter the Greek borders. The University of Crete will send you by post an official invitation letter and the hosting agreement (contract), which describes the terms and the duration of the cooperation between the researcher and the institution. Documents required by the Greek Consulate may vary from country to country, so you need to contact personally for any case. Normally, the justifications needed are the following:
- Copy of the researcher’s university diploma lending access to a doctoral program of his specialty
- The Hosting Agreement (contract) with the University of Crete / Physics Department
- An Invitation Letter from the University
- The Application form filled out and signed
- A recent color photograph (40mm x 60mm)
- Copy of the criminal record
- Valid passport for at least 3 months after his intended departure from Greece
- Medical record certifying that the person is healthy and not a bearer of diseases.
In case they ask for anything else, our staff will contact directly with them to settle it down.
When you enter Greece, you will apply for a residence permit at the Immigration Office. One of our staff will accompany you wherever necessary. The final residence permit " Unfortunately, the residence permit might take one to one and half months to be issued. Meantime, the applicant is provided with a temporary certificate with which he is able to travel legally to his country of origin and back.
Note: If your family comes to live with you in Greece, then all family members should obtain a visa under the Presidential Degree No 128/2008 and a dependent’s residence permit. Therefore, the original marriage and birth certificates of the children, officially stamped (APOSTILLE stamp) for originality by the authority that issued the certificates, are required. The APOSTILLE stamp (Hague convention) is absolutely necessary for the Greek public services. The place where one can obtain an Apostille stamp varies from country to country, it is therefore important to ask the local services for more information.
For EU citizens the residence permit is not required. Instead, a labor permit is needed for being employed by the
university. The working permit is issued by the Police after application is being submitted. Our staff will
accompany you wherever necessary.
Find out more about visas from the Hellenic Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.
Renting an apartment
We will help you find an apartment through a real estate agent or through a newspaper. Give us information about your preferences and we will come up with the best solution. Before signing the rental contract, you need to obtain a tax registration number (ΑΦΜ) from the local Revenue Service. After the rental contract is signed, we will help you open a bank account.
To open a bank account, a tax registration number and a valid local address are needed. The ELKE Office asks from the researchers to have a bank account either with Piraeus Bank (http://www.piraeusbank.gr/) or National Bank of Greece (http://www.nbg.gr/) in order for their salary to be deposited.
A foreigner who stays in Greece for a period more than three months, needs to acquire a residence permit from the Immigration Office in order to be legal. Researchers in order to travel to countries outside of Greece need to have the final residence permit in their hands. Unfortunately, the residence permit might take four to five months to be issued. For speeding up the procedure of residence permit issuance, the applicant could submit an expedition application form to the Immigration Office, accompanied by a letter from the University, explaining the reasons he needs to travel. Meantime, the applicant is provided with a temporary certificate with which he is able to travel legally to his country of origin and back.
Employment Initialization and Salary
Researchers working for the University of Crete are considered as external experts, therefore they are not employed as depended employees, but they are hired as self-employed individuals. That means that they have to become free-lancers before they make a contract with the University. Becoming a free-lancer is a multiple-step procedure which takes several days to be completed, after passing through many public services, such as the Tax Office, the Social Insurance Organization etc. Since it is very hard for a not Greek-speaking foreigner to pass through this procedure by himself, the University provides an employee to accompany the researcher to all services necessary.
Payments are made on a monthly basis, after the researcher issues an invoice from his personal invoice book. Paychecks are equal each month, so that doesn’t make them very different than a salary. According to the Greek labor legislation, invoices that are issued by researchers working as free-lancers are subjected to a tax deduction of 20%. For instance, if your gross wage is 2,000€, you will receive 1,600€ in hand, after taxes are deducted from the income. At the end of the year, the ELKE Office (ELKE Office: Special Account for Research, it is typically the authority that administers research grants in the university) provides a tax certification to each researcher, which certifies all the tax deductions been made on a year basis. With this document the researcher can reclaim a portion of the taxes been paid so far, when making an income declaration at the end of the year. Note that there might be tax treaties between Greece and other countries for avoiding double taxation.See below
Working hours and Holidays
There is no particular regulation regarding daily working hours for researchers. You can choose your own starting and finishing time each day. The University of Crete is closed on Saturdays, Sundays, national holidays, the Christmas (from December 25th to January 6th) and Easter holidays (moving days in spring time).
Normally, researchers who work as free-lancers (independently) are not entitled to
a particular number of days off per year. If they want to leave for special occasions,
such as death or birth of a family member, get married, coping with a natural disaster
or being sick, they need to get permission from the project manager for whom they work.
Summer holidays are defined by him as well.
Below you may find the Greek holidays.
|January 1||New Year's Day||January 6||Epiphany||Moving Day||Lent Monday||Moving Day||Independence Day||April 22-25||Orthodox Easter||May 1||Labour Day||Moving Day||Holy Spirit Day||August 15||Assumption Day||October 28||OHI Day||December 25||Christmas Day||December 26||1st Day after Christmas|
Social and Health Insurance
oining the social and health insurance program is mandatory when working in Greece for one month or longer. Researchers, who have an independent relationship with the University of Crete, obtain the social insurance that is for self-employed professionals by the Freelancers Insurance Fund (OAEE).
Individuals who want to be exempted from the Pension or the Health program of OAEE they should provide the E101 Community Form including the item 14a2 or the E101 Community Form including the item 14ca respectively. They should request those forms only if they can prove that they pay insurance contributions in their own country; therefore they don’t need to pay in Greece as well.
All insured individuals are entitled to receive a health book, 4 months after their registration to OAEE, provided that they have paid all required insurance contributions. Dependent family members are also covered by the health book of the direct insured individual. The health book is absolutely necessary when visiting an OAEE doctor at his office or a public hospital.
In the event the insured individual stops exercising his/her profession, he/she is entitled to receive health benefits for one year from that date.
The cost of the insurance is the same for every direct insured individual and it is not related to the level of his income. It increases, though, through the years. Payments are made every two months by the insured.
The health insurance program provides a package of benefits when getting sick or injured, having a baby, being hospitalized, becoming disabled or die. For instance, the package includes free of charge visits to OAEE doctors at their private office at the time schedule they announce beforehand, laboratory tests and special treatments, prescribed medications the cost of which is covered by 75% by OAEE and 25% by the patient, public hospital treatment, birth allowance, funeral expenses, benefit for a working accident and money provision for medical items such as glasses, breathing devices, orthopedic shoes etc. Note that the room cost of private clinics is not covered by this insurance. There are also some rules on the types of treatments that are covered. For more information please consult the OAEE office of your residence area.
You can also request reimbursement from OAEE for the medical expenses that you paid while traveling abroad. For that, you first need to apply for a medical insurance card before you travel. The card is issued 5 days after the application is submitted and it is valid only for European countries. For reimbursement, the invoices from the hospitals or the prescribed medications are necessary.
For more information you may consult the Freelancers Insurance Fund website. Unfortunately, there is only a Greek version of it.
The University is also in the process of finding and suggesting private insurance coverage for the 4 months that you won’t be covered by OAEE. You must bear the cost though of any additional coverage by any private insurance. Of course, it is optional.
The taxation of the income of natural and legal persons in Greece is regulated by Law 2238/94 and its modifications.
A researcher who works as a freelancer for the University of Crete is subjected to the income taxation for legal persons. The national tax rate for self-employed professionals ranges from 18% to 45% depending on the taxable income, which is the income that remains after the deduction of allowances and expenses (insurance payments, medical expenses etc.). There is also a tax-free limit of 12,000€ for which no tax is paid as long as the tax payer provides receipts for expenses up to 10% of the 12,000€ and 30% for the exceeding amount.
Below you can find the different income tax brackets to which different rates correspond:
Income up to 12,000 euros is tax free,
from 12 - 16,000 euros, the tax rate is 18%,
from 16 - 22,000 euros, the rate is 24%,
from 22 – 26,000 euros , the rate is 26%,
from 26 – 32,000 euros, the rate is 32%,
from 32 – 40,000 euros, the rate is 36%,
from 40 – 60,000 euros, the rate is 38%,
from 40 – 60,000 euros, the rate is 40%
for the exceeding income, the rate is 45%.
Note that there might be tax treaties between Greece and other countries for avoiding double taxation. Details differ from country to country. For instance, in the case of Chinese residents who work as researchers in educational institutions in Greece, the tax treaty allows them to choose to pay taxes in China up to two years without paying any Greek income tax. For those cases, a form supplied by ELKE Office has to be completed by the tax payer and be signed by the tax office of his country, provided that he is a permanent resident of the country of his origin. Then, this document must be submitted to the Tax Office in Greece, where the tax payer belongs to, in order to avoid paying taxes in Greece.
More information about the tax treaties, you may find in the following link.
The Value Added Tax (VAT) is another form of income taxation (indirect), which is levied on consumption. The consumption tax is charged at a rate of 23% for most goods, apart from the following, which are taxed at a lower rate:
- Newspapers, magazines, books and theater tickets (5.5%).
- Goods considered being essential items, e.g. fresh products, pharmaceuticals, transport, electricity and various professional activities, such as services furnished by hotels, restaurants, writers, artists, etc.) (11%)