1. Im from Lebanon, i absolutely have no idea how to open a bank account in Greece noticing that i only have a lebanese passport . & Im a resident in Lebanon, i dont have any address in Greece yet.
    Im a freelancer in Lebanon & i have a lebanese bank account & some few cash $$$.
    Can you help where to start from & proceed.
    Thank you

  2. Hi,
    Can these documents be mailed or do you have to physically present yourself at a bank? I have a bank account in Greece, I need to update some information.

    1. Alex yes it is – hence why this entire post was written, to help foreign citizens open bank accounts in Greece. Did you not read the article or the very obvious title? or were you just using this comment section as a way to try and promote your own link and blog which I have now removed?

  3. Yassu, wonderful informative blog. Im in the process of making my.dream reality~ moving to ellada! I am on limited time scale due to brexit. Your info is invaluable. I have lived/worked in athens but only seasonal so.never gone for resedency.. Im english, tefl & media degree holder. Ive also written for ex pat mags. Be great to meet up in Greece. I hope to based on Kos island but will go to athens frequently to do paperwork im sure haha… hugs, luci

  4. Hi Melissa

    Super informative blog about opening a bank account. Last I tried to open a bank account [that was due the crisis] I needed to transfer 3.000 EUR to the bank account from outside Greece before I they would let me open the account. That’s the only time I have been inside a Greek bank. That’s it’s easier now is good news.

    They also now offer a 7% tax heaven for Nordic old timers. Worth to look into as well.

  5. I came to Thessalonica in 2017 to help my daughter with a highly allergic grandson. My daughter is married to a Greek and has been there for 25 years.
    I have an Austrian passport and was told that, in order to open a bank account I had to put in $10,000! I have a secure, but small pension and was 68 years old at that time. I am also American and had just recently returned to Europe after 20 years. I couldn’t believe that. There was some rule that anyone coming from outside of Greece had to have a substantial sum of money to put into a Greek bank, and that was officially listed at $11,000. I was appalled. I can open a bank account in the US for $20!!! Besides that, even as a tourist and non-Greek, I was not allowed to take more than $400 out per week at the ATM, even after restrictions were loosed, theATM still gave me that message. The transaction fees required by the Greeks from my US account are OUTRAGEOUS–highway robbery at the least!! From my small pension I took out $300, and had a transaction fee from the Greek bank for $125!!! Besides all that, every time anyone buys anything, there is a 25% tax, and even on foodstuffs! The people in the shops always over-charge or short change, besides being extremely impolite. I have even been refused service numerous times. The coffee houses here don’t even have coffee by 11:00AM-12:00PM! Table tops and toilets are filthy, as well as the streets. As far as my daugher’s Greek in-laws–yes, they are horribly impolite, only value anyone who is a true Greek, and make continual snide, nasty remarks about the “Barbars”, and have tried to pit my two beautiful grandsons against me, for no apparent reason, other than that I am American/Austrian. This is no place for me. There is absolutely no international activity here because of the hatred and impoliteness of the Greeks. I wouldn’t stay here for two days, if it weren’t for my grandson. I have travelled a lot and can truly say that I have never experienced conditions like this anywhere, neither in Europe nor in the US! People tell me that it gets even worse in the Balkans, but I have no intent whatsoever to go there, either.

  6. Hi Melissa ,
    We are retired and live near Rethymnon on Crete and Bank with Alpha.We send money over from out UK account via a transfer provider [ if that’s the right word] who give decent rates. I read an article in one of the tabloids today saying that some European countries are going to start charging for transfers post Brexit. Do you know if this applies to Greece ?


  7. Hi Melissa!
    I live in the UK, and I’m wanting to visit family friends in Skiathos for 6 months (April -Octobet 2021). I have an authorised invitation letter from them, and waiting to get an appointment with the Greek embassy in London.
    I am trying to get a long term D Visa as a financially independent person, as I am now retired and receive a monthly pension.
    What implications apply to this?
    Would I have to open a Greek bank account, pay tax, how often would I be able to return to UK, and any more tips would be greatly appreciated!
    I just want to visit family friends for now, with a hope of perhaps moving eventually.
    Many thanks xx

    1. Hi lm 68 .l am in the same situation. A visa (d) may require you to show regular monthly income of aprox 2200 euro pm, this may be more than your pension, also full medical insurance plus more !!
      My advice just stay 90 days . The greek authorities will run you round in circles while emptying your wallet, (its a national sport)
      Regards and enjoy your 90 days.ps late reply but holds true

  8. Hi Melissa,
    Can you provide any insight into whether or not a US Passport and other documents in English need to be translated to obtain the AFM number and open a bank account?

    Thank you!

  9. Hello Mrs. Melissa Douglas,

    I am writing from an International Private College here in Athens and i am the admissions executive for International students. I help students from abroad come to Athens for studies for a European or American degree. My major concern is that the students want to open a bank account but the papers they sign are in the Greek language. Do you know a bank that provides its services in the English language?

    Your reply is highly appreciated

    Best Regards

  10. Hi, Melissa,

    I would appreciate your thoughts on this. We lived in Crete for 8 years, leaving in 2014 to live in France. Last year we went back to Crete on holiday and decided to reopen our bank account. I sent them all the requested paperwork but have been told that the account is locked as I am in a dispute with the tax authorities over an unpaid bill. Can they do this?
    Secondly, we approached another bank regarding opening a new account and again I supplied them with the relevant documents but now they want our French Tax return translated even though it is self-explanatory. Does this make any sense (the other bank didn’t require a translation)?

    kind regards,


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