Virginia, US

Jul 02 2019

Strike Delays Local Hires’ Work Authorization Process

Greece

At a Glance

  • The Social and Health Insurance Department in Greece has been on strike since June 21, affecting foreign nationals under local contracts (known as local hires) applying for residence permits.
  • Local hires cannot start work during the strike because the Social and Health Insurance Department issues a social security registration number that each local hire must submit before they can obtain a residence permit, which is required to start work. 
  • The strike is expected to dissipate during the upcoming national election on July 7, 2019, but it may then be reinstated once the election ends, which would delay start dates by at least three weeks or the duration of the strike.

The situation

Since June 21, 2019, the Social and Health Insurance Department in Greece has been on an indefinite strike and is not issuing social security registration numbers.

Impact for foreign nationals

Social security registration numbers will not be issued during the strike. Foreign workers under a local employment contract (also known as ‘local hires,’ a popular work authorization category in Greece) applying for a residence permit will not be able to start work until the Department starts issuing these numbers again.

Impact for employers

Employers will be unable to hire local hires who do not receive a social security registration number due to the strike.

Background

  • Social security registration number. Local hires who apply for residence permits in Greece must typically apply for a social security registration number and receive a receipt from the Social and Health Insurance Department, and must submit this receipt with their residence permit application. The foreign national cannot start work until they have an approved residence permit.
  • National strikes. Various national departments in Greece have gone on strike over the past year. Strikes which are announced as indefinite often end within a few weeks and dissipate during national elections.

 

Looking ahead

The strike is expected to dissipate during the upcoming national election on July 7, 2019, though it may then be reinstated once the election ends. If the strike does continue past the election, the impact on hiring local hires will be severe as the delays will push back start dates by at least three weeks or the duration of the strike. Fragomen will continue to monitor developments and publish updates.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to eacoordination@fragomen.com.