Regardless of visa papers, every visitor should also apply for a residence permit, apart from tourist visits up to three months (90 days). Your application will be checked and processed on the local centre of permits.
Heraklion local centre of permits
For Heraklion, the address is here: Elefthernis & Suvritou 2, Heraklion, GR-71305, tel: +30 2810 264153
Getting a tax identification number (AFM)
Tax Identification Number AFM (in Greek ΑΦΜ, pronounced AFIMI) is equivalent to VAT identification number in English. AFM is essential for individuals and businesses in order to perform actions involving income from work, sales etc. It is also used as an identifier for individuals in certain actions as renting a place to live, opening a bank account, paying taxes or buying a property.
Obtaining an AFM in Greece has usually been a tiresome bureaucratic process, but recently some of the steps of the process have become digitalized and in some cases it could even be possible to apply for it from another home country, before visiting Greece. The primary step to obtain AFM in Greece is to complete the M1 form, which is provided in every local tax agency in Greece (called Eforia or AADE on the internet services), or through the following link which leads to an online form:
The form is available in English, however some drop-down menus may not be translated from Greek. In this case you can contact us to help you with the completion of the form.
After completing the form, please note down your application number. You can then use this number in an appointment with the tax services here:
- Heraklion tax office: Leof. Knosou 255, tel: 2813411268
- Rethymno tax office: Stamathioudaki 8, tel: 2831343428
or through an online appointment service which was created recently and it is available here:
Opening a bank account
In order to open a bank account in Greece, you can visit any local bank branch. You will be requested:
- valid passport or EU id
- AFM tax number
- Greek phone number
- Residence proof (renting contract , electrical bill, phone bill)
- letter of acceptance from hosting institution or contract issued by employee in Greece
Obtaining Cell-phone in Greece
It is useful to have a Greek cell-phone number (it’s necessary in order to obtain residence status like AFM and Bank account). You could use your EU cell-phone in Greece until you get settled and buy a local provider’s SIM card from a local store, if you plan to use it for more than emergencies.
Mobile telephones in Greece use the same GSM system as most EU countries, Asia and Australia. This means that you can use your European cell-phone in Greece without a problem. However, for a regular use the charges will be much higher, unless you have roaming services, i.e. company services that can be used in other countries. USA and Japan cell-phones are not compatible with the EU network.
For a Greek cell-phone number, you can visit a local service provider store with your passport and ask for a SIM Card for your cellular phone. The brands in Greece are: Cosmote, Vodafone, Nova, Q-Telecom. You will also need to verify ownership of the number, which is also done in the store. Another chain of stores that offers services from multiple provides is Germanos and has wide presence.
Online request for a sim card is also available for delivery by post, though you will need a Greek address and an available Greek cell number to verify the order.
Airports and ports
Plan your travel
The island of Crete has two airports and three ports. Airports are most common for international travellers, while ports are helpful for people visiting with ferry boats from Athens.
Heraklion airport (HER) named “Nikos Kazantzakis”
Chania airport (CHQ) named “Ioannis Daskalogiannis”