As the transition period of Brexit ends on December 31, 2020, millions of Europeans, among which thousands of Greek citizens who live in Britain, should get ready for the new reality of January 1, 2021.
London and Brussels managed to reach a last-minute deal, striking a free-trade agreement on December 24, something that will minimize the disruption between the two sides of the English Channel.
However, as the UK will now be fully independent and no-longer attached to the European Union, many things will change, affecting Greek citizens too.
First and foremost, the freedom of movement between the UK and the EU ends.
This means that Greeks, as well as every other EU and EEA citizen, will no longer be able to live, work, study, or retire in Great Britain just because he or she is a European citizen.
If someone wishes to do so, they will have to apply for a VISA, and meet certain strict criteria set out by London.
Touritsts will continue to be able to go to Britain without any issues, however, if someone plans on staying for more than 90 days, they will have to apply for a VISA too.
Greek students who wish to continue their academic paths in Britain will also see significant changes as well.
Firstly, they will now have to pay much higher fees, as they’ll be classed as ”overseas” students rather than ”home” students, who are entitled to much fewer tuition fees.
Additionally, they will no longer have access to the loan schemes of the British government.
Up until now, every EU citizen who studied in Britain was entitled to tuition loans granted by the state. Now, they will have to fund their studies by themselves.
On top of these, the UK will no longer be part of the very popular student exchange scheme called ”Erasmus.” This means that EU students will no longer be able to spend a part of their studies in a UK University, and vice-versa, meaning that British students won’t be able to do that in European Universities.
These changes, however, will not apply to Greek and any other European citizens who have applied for settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme (EUSS) in the United Kingdom.
It has to be noted that approximately 150,000 Greek and Cypriot citizens live in Britain, the majority of whom are students.
Anyone who was a permanent resident of the UK before December 31, 2020 and was granted either of these two statuses, will continue to enjoy the same benefits as he or she did before.
Of course, many changes will also come into effect for those who trade with Britain, as the country leaves the European Custom’s Union.
This means that business owners will have the additional hustle of filling in customs forms and declarations in order to keep trading with businesses over the Channel.
A series of other major and minor changes will apply in almost every aspect of the economic and professional lives of those dealing with the UK.
For more details, people can visit the dedicated website for Brexit created by the Greek government here.