A Few Facts About Living In Crete
Today I want to share with you a few facts about living in Crete, this is actually a continuation of the post I wrote a while back About moving to Crete and the things you should know. But today I want to mainly concentrate on people who have already moved here and the things they need to know.
Obviously moving to and living in a new place comes with its own challenges, even if you move to a different area in your own country. But when you move to a whole new country, especially to an island, things get quite interesting to say the least. Add that to the fact that you probably don’t speak the language, then things can get pretty complicated. So Let’s take a look at a few facts about living in Crete.
Stamps Are Very Important In Crete
When sorting out any paperwork, a missing stamp can cause you lots of trouble, you could be driving all over the island from one office to another in order to get that precious stamp. And the problem is, information comes in small doses, so you could be sent to one office, then referred to another office, and so on and so forth.
Just recently we had an issue with my health insurance, and in order to sort it out we had to go from one office to another, then we were told that we were missing a stamp from the KEP office. In the end, we had to go to Sophia at the 1000 And 1 shop in Kalyves and bless her, she was able to sort it out for us.
By the way, if you live in the Apokoronos area and need help with any kind of paperwork, Sophia will be able to help you, and if she can’t she will refer you to someone who can help you, Sophia mainly deals with car insurance, and property insurance, but she is helpful with other issues too, like health insurance, driving license, residency permit, etc. She speaks perfect English, so communication is not an issue.
Back To The Stamps, I had To Get A Stamp From Nairobi When I First Moved To Crete
When I first moved to Crete, In order for me to apply for my residency permit, I had to submit lots of paperwork, considering I am from Kenya, which is considered a third world country ( I would like to know who does the grading of countries) So I collected lots of papers from my country before I came to Crete.
I spoke to the Embassy in Nairobi and they assured me that I had all the documents required for the residency application.
Well, I proceeded to go to the Police station in Chania, and they referred me to the immigration center in Souda. When I submitted my documents, they went through the papers, I remember it was a lady who went through the papers, and she kept saying very good, this is good, that is very good, poli orea(very good in Greek) she said.
But just as all looked so good, she pointed at one piece of paper and said aha not good! I said what? She said this is not good, it’s missing a stamp, I said OK, where do we go for the stamp? She said Nairobi.
Facts About Living In Crete, Wait There Is More
When I called the Embassy in Nairobi to ask them if I can send the piece of paper maybe with courier services, they said that is not possible because the paper needed to be handed in in person (where is a shocked emoji when you need one lol) Anyway I asked the Embassy to help me because I could not fly back to Nairobi to hand in the paper in person.
They told me to write a letter giving authority to one of my family members, then send the paper to the family member and then the family member can hand in the paper on my behalf, and then after its stamped, it can be sent back to me.
So as you can see, stamps are very important here in Crete, and Greece at large, and you must make sure you have all the papers stamped.
Facts About Living In Crete, The IKA Offices Open At 8 AM But You Need To Be There At 6 AM
If you need to visit the IKA office in Souda, Maybe to sort out your health insurance, you have to know that if you get there at 8AM you are not going to be served. We learned this the hard way. We had gone there at 8 a few years back and when we went to extract the number from the number machine, it was not working.
We thought maybe the machine was broken, then someone told us that we were too late, and the machine is closed. See, what we didn’t know, is that you need to get there early because they usually take out the number of people they are going to serve that day and then give out the numbers, and then close the machine.
So if you come later when the numbers have been given out, you are not going to be served.
But What Exactly Is IKA In Greece?
According to their official website IKA is the national social Insurance Institute that deals with health insurance. It also provides pensions to retired workers, and also deals with unemployment benefits claims.
IKA In Souda, Address: Λ. Κωνσταντίνου, Leof. Karamanli 99, Souda 732 00
You Never Get All The Information Required For Paperwork
We have had many occasions where we need to sort something out, and we ask about all the required documents, and then we are given the list but later we are told that there are additional documents required. Case in point, there was a time we needed a document to be renewed, and we asked what paperwork we need to bring, they gave us a list, we went and got everything ready, came back and submitted our application and all the supporting documents that they had asked for.
They told us to go and wait for 4 weeks and the document will be ready for collection, we waited and after 6 weeks we contacted them to ask if the document was ready for collection, they told us that there are some papers that we have not submitted and therefore the renewal process had not begun.
So be ready to submit additional documents, when applying for things, and be ready to go hunting for stamps because as we mentioned earlier, a missing stamp can delay things for a long time.
All Official Forms Are In Greek, So You Need Someone To Help You Fill Them Out
When you are given a form to be filled, it of course will be in Greek, So you probably won’t know how to fill it, so you might need to find someone who can help you, unless of course, you speak, read, and write Greek.
And again, remember to get all the necessary stamps, before submitting your forms.
As I mentioned, living in Crete has its own challenges, especially when it comes to paperwork. But once you are done with the paperwork, you can relax, and enjoy the island life.
OK, I am going to leave it there and let you share your views on this topic. Are you living in Crete and if so what are some of the challenges you have faced and how did you overcome them? Please Let’s help each other by sharing tips on how to live in Crete, and how to deal with the challenges.
Thank you so much for your time and for your comments.