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GREECE – Dependents Cannot Accompany Van Der Elst Visa Holders Under New Law

Under Greece’s new immigration law (No. 4251/2014), which came into force on 2 June this year, family members of Van Der Elst visa holders will no longer be issued with dependent visas. This change has been confirmed with the Ministry of Interior.

What Is the Van Der Elst?

The Van der Elst process is an immigration process whereby a non-EEA national who is employed and contracted by a home entity in the EEA country and sent on short term assignment to another EEA country no longer requires a work permit. However, a Van Der Elst (D) visa should be applied for prior to entry.

What Should Families Do?

Family members wishing to accompany Van Der Elst visa holders to Greece will need to enter as tourists, in some cases needing to apply for short term Schengen Type C visas, which are issued at the discretion of the consulate. Visits will, in all cases, be limited to stays of 90 days out of a 180 day period in the whole of the Schengen area (which encompasses most of the EU and EEA, excluding the UK, Ireland, Romania, Bulgaria and Croatia).

Other Changes from June 2014

As noted in our alert of 7 May, the new law introduced some changes to visa rules for non-EU nationals.

  • Non-EU nationals holding a Van Der Elst visa (employed by a company in another EU or EEA member state), or a short-term D visa (employed outside the EU and EEA) can no longer renew their visa. Previously, these visas were renewable once for a period of six months.
  • Furthermore, holders of Van Der Elst or D visas are no longer required to obtain a medical certificate or a residence permit during their stay in Greece.
  • Finally, senior managerial level employees may be locally hired by Greek entities. Previously these employees could only be hired by Greek multinational companies where more than 50% of the shares were foreign owned.

Action Items

  • Note that the new Greek immigration law is now in force.
  • Note that Van Der Elst visa holders may no longer bring dependents with them to Greece, and that Van Der Elst and short-term D visas may no longer be renewed.

This alert was prepared using information provided by Corporate Relocations Greece Ltd.

DISCLAIMER: The information contained in this immigration alert has been abridged from laws, court decisions, and administrative rulings and should not be construed or relied upon as legal advice. If you have specific questions regarding the applicability of this information, please contact Peregrine © 2017 Peregrine Immigration Management Ltd.