Topic 1 Steps & tips on how to set up a business in Greece / legal framework for starting up a business in Greece as a TCN

Legal Framework for the TCN’s rights on labor market and business activity

Legal Categories:

  1. Beneficiaries of International Protection
    • Refugees
    • Beneficiaries of Subsidiary Protection
  1. Asylum Seekers
  2. Migrants – Third-country nationals with residence permit
  3. Temporary Protection (Ukraine)
  • Recognized Refugees: residence permit for 3 years 
  • Beneficiaries of Subsidiary Protection: 1 + 2 years

Recognized Refugees and Beneficiaries of Subsidiary protection in Greece:

Have the right to work as self-employed, freelancer or to start up a business in the country, if they have the necessary qualifications and requirements for practicing each profession separately.

Asylum seekers, after 6 months and after having completed the process of submitting the application for international protection and holding a valid “international protection applicant card”, have the right to access paid employment, provision of services or execution of works.

However, asylum seekers do not have the right of self-employment or starting their own business.

In order to work legally, the asylum seeker card needs to be valid.

To be able to work legally, asylum seekers must have a Tax Identification Number – Αριθμός Φορολογικού Μητρώου (ΑΦΜ) (from Asylum Agency-Yphresia Asylou) and PAAYPA (temporary social security nymber). If someone becomes a recognized refugee, they  have  to go to Citizen Service Center (known as KEP) to turn PAAYPA into AMKA). They have one month after they receive the positive answer to do that.

Third-country nationals with residence permits have the right to work as employed, self-employed or to start up a business.

There are seven (7) categories of residence permits for third-country nationals:

  1. Residence permit for work and professional reasons
  2. For humanitarian, exceptional and other reasons
  3. Studies, voluntary work, research and vocational training
  4. For victims of human trafficking and illegal migrant trafficking
  5. Family reunification
  6. Long-term residence permit
  7. Special certificate for legal residence.

More precisely, there is a specific paragraph in the Greek legislation that gives the right to third-country nationals to start an investment activity.

Temporary protection is activated by the EU countries in specific cases, such as the current war in Ukraine. It is valid for one year and it can be renewed.

Beneficiaries of Subsidiary Protection have the right to work as employed or self- employed as well as undergo vocational training. They must enjoy equal treatment with employees from the Member States in terms of payment and labor conditions.