The Greek Digital Nomad Visa was initially unveiled by the Greek government in the summer of 2021 and allows remote workers and online entrepreneurs to live and work in Greece for up to twenty-four months.
According to the government, Greece would be “welcoming digital nomads to live in the country for up to two years if they meet the requirements.”
In recent years, there has been an uptake in remote work facilitated by improvements in communications technology. The COVID-19 lockdowns also necessitated innovation in this area during a prolonged period when many people were unable to attend in-person workspaces.
Requirements for the Greek Digital Nomad Visa
The Greek Digital Nomad Visa is available to all non-EU citizens who meet the specific criteria. EU citizens do not need to obtain the visa because they are entitled to employment in other member states in the European bloc.
There are certain financial and legal requirements for any would-be digital nomad planning to live in Greece. An income of at least €3,500 per month is necessary in addition to proof of remote work. Those hoping to bring a spouse and/or one dependent along must have a higher monthly income of at least €4,200.
Also required for the Digital Nomad Visa is a valid passport, a clean criminal record, proof of health insurance, and an address for accommodation.
The application must be submitted in person at a Greek consulate or embassy. Applicants will need to schedule an appointment and bring along all necessary documents. Successful applicants will then need to register for a residency permit upon arrival in Greece.
Paperwork for the residency permit should be submitted to the nearest Aliens and Immigration Department of the Decentralized Administration office. Successful applicants should find one of these offices in their residence district where they can submit the required paperwork.
The Digital Nomad Visa is initially valid for one year but can be extended by another twelve months.
Greece and remote work
Greece has an established reputation as a popular tourist destination, but the Greek government is hoping that the Digital Nomad Visa will encourage professionals to visit the country more frequently.
Last year, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said “And of course, with COVID lots of people choose to work from Greece. So what is interesting is that in a more fluid and mobile work environment, we make it very easy for digital nomads to obtain visas so you can work from anywhere.”
Digital nomads could provide a significant boost to the Greek economy. According to a study conducted in 2021 by the MIT Enterprise Forum, by attracting one hundred thousand digital nomads for a period of just six months, the Greek economy could benefit by approximately €1.6 billion.
Greece was initially slow to facilitate remote work options for employees. A study by the Hellenic Federation of Enterprises (SEV) found that only five percent of the Greek workforce was working from home in 2019. This put Greece well behind other EU countries at the time.
However, since then, the Greek government has introduced legislation to make remote online work easier for Greek workers. Now, the government is also hoping to attract remote workers from abroad.
Last year, the Greek Tourism Ministry partnered with the telecom company Wind to provide better internet connection as part of efforts to attract more digital nomads.
The Greek government also expects that Greece’s renowned natural beauty, culture, and way of life will inspire more professionals to apply for the Digital Nomad Visa and work remotely from Greece.