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How to Relocate to Greece from Nigeria: Step-by-Step Guide

Are you considering moving to Greece from Nigeria? Whether it be for work, study, or a change of scenery, navigating the logistics of relocation can be overwhelming.

This guide will provide you with a step-by-step breakdown of the process for relocating to Greece from Nigeria. From visa requirements to cultural considerations, this guide has you covered on all fronts.

Key Takeaways

  • Relocating to Greece from Nigeria requires careful planning and preparation.
  • Visa requirements for Nigerians moving to Greece include obtaining a residence permit and completing the application process.
  • Finding suitable housing in Greece requires research and knowledge of the local rental market.
  • Job opportunities in Greece for Nigerians exist in various industries, but a work permit is necessary.
  • The healthcare system and education system in Greece are important considerations for families with children.
  • Greek culture and language should be understood to fully integrate into the local lifestyle.
  • Financial considerations such as banking, taxes, and currency exchange are important when relocating to Greece.

Visa Requirements for Moving to Greece

If you are a Nigerian planning to move to Greece, you will need to obtain a visa to enter the country. The visa requirements depend on the purpose of your visit, the length of your stay, and your nationality.

For Nigerians, the first step is to obtain a National Visa, also known as a Long-Term Visa, which permits a stay of more than 90 days. This visa is required for those planning to work, study, reunite with family members, or join a spouse in Greece. The application for the National Visa must be submitted to the Greek Embassy in Abuja, Nigeria, or the Greek Consulate in Lagos, Nigeria.

When applying for a National Visa, you will need to provide the following documents:

Required Documents for National Visa
  • Completed visa application form
  • Valid passport with at least two blank pages and validity of at least three months beyond the intended stay
  • Two recent passport-size photos
  • Proof of accommodations (hotel reservation or rental agreement)
  • Proof of financial means to cover the costs of your stay
  • Health insurance coverage for the duration of your stay
  • Certificate of criminal record
  • Proof of purpose of visit (employment contract, letter of acceptance from a Greek university, etc.)

It is important to note that the visa application process may take up to two months to be processed, so it is recommended to plan accordingly. Once approved, you will receive a visa sticker in your passport, which must be presented to the Greek border authorities upon arrival.

If you plan to stay in Greece for more than a year, you must apply for a Residence Permit within the first two months of your arrival in Greece. This permit will grant you legal status to live and work in the country. To apply for a Residence Permit, you will need to provide additional documents, including a valid National Visa, a tenancy agreement or proof of ownership of a property, and proof of income or employment in Greece.

Overall, the visa requirements for moving to Greece from Nigeria can be complex and require careful preparation. It is recommended to consult with a Greek Embassy or Consulate for updated information and guidance on the application process.

Finding Housing in Greece

As a Nigerian planning to relocate to Greece, finding suitable housing is an important consideration. Greece has a variety of housing options to fit different budgets and preferences. Below are some tips to help you find your dream home in Greece.

Popular Cities

Athens, Thessaloniki, and Crete are popular cities in Greece to consider when searching for housing. Athens is the capital city, and it offers various types of accommodation, ranging from apartments to single-family homes. Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece and is known for having a vibrant nightlife and cultural scene. Crete is the largest island in Greece and offers a quieter lifestyle, perfect for those who prefer a more laid-back atmosphere.

Rental Options

The rental market in Greece is competitive, so it's essential to start your search early. You can search for apartments and houses on websites like Spitogatos and HomeGreekHome. You can also work with a real estate agent to help you find suitable accommodation.

Another option is to consider short-term rentals on Airbnb while you search for a more permanent home. This can also give you a chance to explore different neighborhoods and get a feel for the local lifestyle.

Important Considerations for Nigerians

When looking for housing in Greece, it's essential to consider factors like the location, transportation, and accessibility to amenities. As a Nigerian, you may also want to consider areas with a significant Nigerian community, like Athens' Seikh Sou forest.

It's also important to note that some landlords may require a residency permit before renting out their property. Additionally, there may be language barriers, so it's helpful to work with a real estate agent who speaks English and Greek.

Job Opportunities in Greece

When considering relocating to Greece from Nigeria, one of the key factors is the job market. While the Greek economy has faced challenges in recent years, there are still opportunities for skilled workers, particularly in industries such as tourism, shipping, and IT.

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Before beginning your job search, it is important to note that as a Nigerian citizen, you will need a work permit to legally work in Greece. This can be obtained through your employer or independently through the Greek embassy in Nigeria.

Industry Potential Jobs
Tourism/Hospitality Hotel staff, tour guides, event coordinators, restaurant workers
Shipping/Logistics Freight coordinators, port workers, logistics coordinators
IT/Technology Software developers, IT support, network administrators
Education English teachers, university professors, private tutors

Networking and building connections can be a valuable way to secure employment in Greece. Joining professional organizations or attending industry events can help you meet potential employers and make valuable contacts.

Additionally, learning the Greek language can be beneficial in your job search, as many employers prefer candidates who have knowledge of the local language and culture.

Overall, while the job market in Greece may present some challenges, there are opportunities available for skilled workers who are prepared to navigate the process. With the right skills, connections, and language abilities, Nigerians can find success and build satisfying careers in Greece.

Education System in Greece

Greece has a strong and diverse education system that is highly valued by both locals and expats. The country offers a wide range of educational opportunities, including preschool, primary, secondary, and tertiary education.

For those moving to Greece with children, it is important to note that education is mandatory for children aged between six and fifteen. Greek state schools are free, but many parents choose to send their children to private schools for a higher standard of education or to international schools that offer instruction in English.

The Greek higher education system is also highly respected, with several world-renowned universities to choose from. The University of Athens and Aristotle University of Thessaloniki are among the top institutions in the country, offering degrees in a range of subjects.

It is important to note that international students may need to meet certain language and academic requirements to enter Greek universities. However, there are also many English-taught degree programs available for those who do not speak Greek.

Healthcare System in Greece

The healthcare system in Greece is considered to be one of the best in the world. Greece has both public and private healthcare options available, with the public system providing free or low-cost medical services to all residents, including foreigners.

Accessing Medical Services Health Insurance
To access medical services, you can visit any public hospital or clinic with your national ID card or health insurance card. For emergencies, dial 166 or go to the nearest hospital. If you are a legal resident in Greece, you are eligible to apply for the national health insurance scheme. This will give you access to the full range of medical services, including prescription drugs, specialist care, and hospitalization.

It is important to note that some medical services may require additional fees or co-payments, even with health insurance.

Considerations for Nigerians

Nigerians relocating to Greece should be aware that the healthcare system may differ from what they are accustomed to. It is recommended to learn about the available services, including how to access emergency care and specialized treatment.

Additionally, it may be helpful to research private healthcare options, which can provide more personalized care and shorter wait times for appointments.

Cost of Living in Greece

When considering a move to Greece from Nigeria, it's important to understand the cost of living in the country. The cost of living in Greece can vary depending on the location and lifestyle you choose. Here's a breakdown of some of the common expenses you'll encounter in Greece.

Housing

Renting an apartment in Greece can range from €300 to €800 per month, depending on the size, location, and quality of the property. For a family-sized home, the cost can range from €800 to €1,500 per month. Utilities like water, electricity, and gas will cost around €120 per month.

Transportation

The most affordable way to get around in Greece is by using public transportation. A single ticket on the bus or the metro will cost around €1.40. Monthly passes are also available for around €30. Taxis are more expensive, with an average fare of €3.50 per kilometer.

Groceries

Grocery shopping in Greece can be affordable, with a basket of basic items such as bread, milk, and eggs costing around €30-€40 per week. Fresh produce is also relatively cheap, with fruits and vegetables being sold at local markets for around €1 per kilogram.

Dining Out

Going out to eat in Greece can range from affordable to expensive, depending on the restaurant. A basic meal in a local taverna can cost around €10-€15 per person, while dining at a high-end restaurant can cost upwards of €50 per person.

Conclusion

Understanding the cost of living in Greece is an important part of planning for your move from Nigeria. Keep in mind that prices can vary greatly depending on where you choose to live and the lifestyle you lead. By budgeting carefully and doing your research, you can make your move to Greece a success.

Cultural Considerations and Integration

When relocating to Greece from Nigeria, it is important to be aware of the cultural differences and take steps towards integration. Greeks are known for their warm hospitality, and building relationships with locals can greatly enhance the experience of living in Greece.

Language

Greek is the official language of Greece, and while many Greeks speak English, learning some basic Greek phrases can go a long way in building connections and showing respect for the local culture. Consider enrolling in a Greek language class or using language-learning resources to improve your language skills.

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Customs and Etiquette

Greek customs and etiquette may differ from what Nigerians are accustomed to. For example, Greeks may greet each other with a kiss on the cheek, and it is considered impolite to leave a table without finishing your meal. Take the time to learn about local customs and show respect for them.

Adapting to the Lifestyle

Greece has a relaxed and laid-back lifestyle, with a focus on family, friends, and enjoying life. Nigerians may need to adjust to the slower pace of life and take time to appreciate the small moments. Embrace the Greek way of life and enjoy the beautiful scenery, delicious food, and vibrant culture.

Greek Language Basics

Learning Greek can greatly enhance your experience living in Greece. While English is widely spoken in the major cities and tourist areas, learning some basic Greek phrases can help with daily interactions and show respect for the local culture.

Here are some useful Greek phrases to get you started:

Greek English Translation
Γεια σου (Ya su) Hello
Ευχαριστώ (Efcharisto) Thank you
Παρακαλώ (Parakalo) Please
Συγγνώμη (Sigg-nomi) Excuse me/Sorry
Ναι (Neh) Yes
Όχι (Ohi) No
Πόσο κοστίζει; (Poso kostizi) How much does it cost?
Δεν καταλαβαίνω (Den katalavaino) I don't understand

There are also several resources available for learning Greek, such as language classes and online courses. Consider enrolling in a language course before your move, or take advantage of language exchange programs to practice speaking with native speakers.

Navigating Greek Bureaucracy

Relocating to Greece from Nigeria requires navigating through the country's bureaucracy. The process can be daunting, but with the right information and preparation, it can be made much simpler.

Greece Immigration Requirements for Nigerians

Before moving to Greece, Nigerians must obtain a visa. The type of visa required depends on the length of stay and the purpose of the visit. Nigerians can obtain either a short-stay or a long-stay visa for Greece.

To obtain a visa, Nigerians must apply at the Greek embassy in Abuja or Lagos. They must provide the necessary documentation, including a valid passport, proof of accommodation in Greece, proof of sufficient financial means, and a medical certificate.

Greece Immigration Process from Nigeria

Once in Greece, Nigerians must obtain a residence permit. The process involves several steps, including applying for a tax identification number, opening a Greek bank account, and registering with the police. Nigerians must also provide proof of health insurance and a rental agreement or proof of property ownership.

The process of obtaining a residence permit can take time and requires patience. It's best to hire a lawyer or an immigration specialist to help with the process.

Greek Cuisine and Food Culture

Greece is well-known for its delicious cuisine, which features a variety of fresh ingredients, bold flavors, and unique combinations. Greek cuisine is heavily influenced by Mediterranean and Middle Eastern flavors and is characterized by the use of olive oil, herbs, and spices. Here is a closer look at some of the country's most popular dishes:

Dish Description
Moussaka A layered dish made with eggplant, potatoes, minced meat, and béchamel sauce
Tzatziki A dip made with yogurt, cucumber, garlic, and olive oil, typically served with pita bread
Gyros A popular street food made with shaved meat (usually pork or chicken) served in a pita bread with tomato, onion, and tzatziki sauce
Souvlaki Grilled meat, typically pork or chicken, served on a skewer with vegetables and pita bread
Dolmades Grape leaves stuffed with a mixture of rice, herbs, and sometimes meat

In addition to these classic dishes, Greek cuisine also features a variety of fresh seafood, including octopus, squid, and shrimp. Feta cheese is a staple ingredient in many dishes, as are olives and other regional produce. Greek desserts are also a highlight, with popular dishes including baklava (a sweet pastry made with layers of phyllo dough and honey) and loukoumades (small fried doughnuts soaked in honey syrup).

When dining out in Greece, it is common to order several small dishes to share, known as mezedes. This allows diners to sample a range of flavors and textures and make the most of the diverse cuisine on offer.

Exploring Greek Attractions

Greece is a country steeped in history and culture, renowned for its stunning scenery, beautiful beaches, and ancient landmarks. Here are some of the top attractions to visit in Greece:

The Acropolis of Athens

The Acropolis of Athens is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most famous landmarks in Greece. This ancient citadel features several buildings, including the Parthenon, the Temple of Athena Nike, and the Erechtheion, all of which offer insight into the country's rich history.

The Island of Santorini

Santorini is a picturesque island that boasts stunning views of the Aegean Sea. Visitors can enjoy exploring the island's unique architecture, including its iconic white buildings with blue roofs. Other attractions include the ancient city of Akrotiri and the stunning beaches of Perissa and Kamari.

The Palace of Knossos

The Palace of Knossos is an archaeological site located on the island of Crete. It is believed to be the center of the Minoan civilization, which flourished between 2700 BC and 1450 BC. Visitors can explore the ruins of the palace and learn about the ancient culture and way of life.

The Meteora Monasteries

The Meteora Monasteries are a group of Orthodox monasteries situated on tall rock formations in central Greece. These monasteries date back to the 14th century and offer breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.

The National Archaeological Museum of Athens

The National Archaeological Museum of Athens is one of the largest and most important museums in Greece. It houses a vast collection of ancient artifacts and provides insight into the country's rich history and culture.

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These are just a few of the amazing attractions that Greece has to offer. Whether you're interested in history, architecture, or natural beauty, Greece has something for everyone.

Safety and Security in Greece

While Greece is generally considered a safe country to live in, it is always important to take precautionary measures to ensure your personal safety and security. Here are some tips to keep in mind:

  • Be aware of your surroundings, especially in crowded areas and tourist spots.
  • Keep your valuables secure and avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Be cautious when using public transportation, especially at night.
  • Always lock your doors and windows at home, and consider installing additional security measures such as an alarm or security camera.

In case of emergency, dial 112 to reach the Greek emergency services (police, ambulance, fire department). It is also recommended to register with your embassy or consulate upon arrival in Greece, in case of any future emergencies or difficulties.

Financial Considerations for Relocating

Relocating to Greece from Nigeria involves financial considerations that need to be taken seriously to ensure a smooth transition. Here are some key financial aspects to consider before and after your move:

Banking Greece has a well-established banking system, and you should open a bank account as soon as possible. Ensure you have the necessary documentation, including proof of address, residence permit, and a valid ID. You can choose to open a Greek bank account or continue using your Nigerian one, although you may face higher transaction fees and currency exchange rates.
Taxes You will be required to pay taxes on any income earned while residing in Greece, including any income earned abroad. It is essential to familiarize yourself with the Greek tax system and seek professional advice if necessary to ensure compliance.
Currency Exchange You will need to exchange Nigerian Naira for Euro to meet your expenses in Greece. It is advisable to compare exchange rates and fees charged by different providers to optimize your exchange rate.

In addition to the above, it is essential to plan your budget carefully and take into account the cost of living in Greece, including housing, utilities, transportation, and groceries. You may also need to consider expenses such as healthcare, education, and leisure activities.

  • Ensure you have sufficient funds to cover your initial expenses, including travel, visa fees, and accommodation.
  • Consider opening a savings account to help you save money for emergencies or future expenses.
  • It is also advisable to check if your employer offers any relocation benefits and to negotiate such benefits if possible.

By taking into account the financial aspects of the relocation process, you can plan and manage your finances effectively and enjoy a seamless transition to your new life in Greece.

Conclusion

Relocating to Greece from Nigeria may seem daunting, but with careful planning and preparation, it can be a smooth and rewarding experience. Throughout this guide, we've highlighted the key steps involved in making the move to Greece, including visa requirements, finding housing, job opportunities, education and healthcare systems, and cultural considerations.

By taking the time to research and understand the bureaucratic processes involved, and by seeking out support from local communities and organizations, Nigerians can successfully integrate into Greek society and forge new opportunities.

While there may be challenges along the way, such as language barriers and adapting to a new culture, the rewards of exploring the beautiful Greek landscape, enjoying delicious cuisine, and embracing the rich history and traditions are sure to make the journey worthwhile.

Ready to make the move?

We hope this guide has provided valuable insights into what to expect when relocating to Greece from Nigeria. Remember to do your own research, consult with professionals when necessary and plan accordingly. With the right approach, relocating to Greece can be a life-changing adventure full of new experiences and opportunities.

FAQ

Q: How to Relocate to Greece from Nigeria: Step-by-Step Guide

A: This section provides an overview of the guide and introduces the steps involved in relocating to Greece from Nigeria.

Q: Visa Requirements for Moving to Greece

A: This section outlines the visa requirements for Nigerians planning to move to Greece, including information on residence permits and the application process.

Q: Finding Housing in Greece

A: This section provides guidance on finding suitable housing in Greece, including information on popular cities, rental options, and important considerations for Nigerians.

Q: Job Opportunities in Greece

A: This section explores job opportunities in Greece for Nigerians, including information on the job market, work permits, and potential industries to consider.

Q: Education System in Greece

A: This section provides an overview of the education system in Greece, including information on schools, universities, and considerations for families moving with children.

Q: Healthcare System in Greece

A: This section discusses the healthcare system in Greece, including information on accessing medical services, health insurance, and considerations for Nigerians.

Q: Cost of Living in Greece

A: This section provides insights into the cost of living in Greece, including information on expenses such as housing, transportation, groceries, and utilities.

Q: Cultural Considerations and Integration

A: This section explores the cultural aspects of living in Greece as a Nigerian, including tips on integration, language, customs, and adapting to the local lifestyle.

Q: Greek Language Basics

A: This section provides some basic information on the Greek language, including useful phrases, resources for learning, and tips for language acquisition.

Q: Navigating Greek Bureaucracy

A: This section guides readers through the bureaucratic processes involved in relocating to Greece, including information on immigration requirements, documentation, and administrative procedures.

Q: Greek Cuisine and Food Culture

A: This section dives into the delicious Greek cuisine, highlighting traditional dishes, food culture, and popular ingredients Nigerians should be aware of.

Q: Exploring Greek Attractions

A: This section showcases the beautiful attractions and landmarks in Greece, providing recommendations on places to visit, cultural experiences, and tourist destinations.

Q: Safety and Security in Greece

A: This section addresses safety and security concerns in Greece, offering tips on staying safe, emergency services, and precautions to take as a resident.

Q: Financial Considerations for Relocating

A: This section covers important financial considerations when relocating to Greece, including banking, taxes, currency exchange, and managing finances abroad.