The Greek government had announced about one year ago that it was working on a Greece Digital Nomad Visa, which would allow non-EU citizens a right to live and work remotely in Greece. Now more details of the program are starting to emerge and we will explain in more detail what it involves.
Greece has been working on two different programs. The first one which has been active since the start of 2021 was a program to offer tax incentives of 50% to attract foreign workers to set up in Greece for the longer term.
50% Tax Break Program
This program was set up to reverse Greece's brain drain after years of austerity following the Greek debt crisis of 2011. Greece has seen its GDP shrink by 25% and which led to a migration of 800,000 Greeks who have left their country.
The requirements of the program application are:
- Not been a tax resident in Greece for the previous 5 out of 6 years.
- Available to EU/EEA citizens relocating to Greece. It also includes countries with which Greece has agreements on the cooperation of tax issues. This could include all the double tax treaties countries.
- Take on a “new employment position” to a Greek legal position or provide services to a greek branch of a foreign company. This includes freelancers or remote working positions.
- Declare to stay for a minimum period of two years.
On successful application you will get the following benefits:
- Greek tax resident, with a special tax regime
- 50% cut in income tax and social security contributions, the top tax rate for someone earning 40K was 44% and will now be 22%.
- Tax exemption on residential property and personal car use.
This program looks like it was going to run only till 2021, but it looks to be extended, Nomad Girl will keep you updated. It is hard to find anywhere up to date information regarding this program.
This program is targeted at Digital Nomads that want to commit to Greece for the longer term, 2 to 7 years.
Greece Digital Nomad Visa for non-EU / EEA citizens
This program is for digital nomads that are non-EU / EEA Citizens and want to stay longer in Greece than you can on a Schengen tourist visa which allows for a maximum of 90 days per 180 day period. This is ideal for UK citizens that have lost the right to stay longer than 90 days in Greece due to Brexit.
- Minimum income requirement of 3,500 euros per month for the main applicant and 20% additional for spouse/cohabitant and 15% additional for each child. So far a family of 4 this would be 5,250 euros.
- The applicant is required to provide documentation proving that he/she is a dependent employee or self-employed person working remotely with employers or clients outside Greece, covering the validity period of the Digital Nomad Visa.
- The digital nomad visa has a duration of up to 12 months. After that, you can apply for the digital nomad residence permit, with a validity of an additional year. This one can be renewed again for a total stay of 3 years, which is longer than most other digital nomad options in Europe, like Croatia which is only 12 months.
Greece is not the only country with a digital nomad visa, we have compiled a list of other countries that have done so too.
Where to Apply for the Greece Digital Nomad Visa?
At the moment there is no English web portal explaining the process for the Greece Digital Nomad Visa and all the additional bureaucratic processes of getting registered with the tax office and local health services. The visa fee is 75 euros per applicant and the application can be done at Greek embassies as well as in Greece. Once approved you will have a work visa that allows you to do remote work in Greece.
Do I have to pay income Tax with the Greece Digital Nomad Visa?
Yes, you will have to pay income tax and social security contributions with the Greece Digital Nomad Visa when you become a tax resident. You will become a tax resident when you stay for more than 183 days in a 12 month period in Greece. What is not clear at the moment is how the digital nomad visa and the 50% tax break work together. The Digital Nomad Visa is only valid for 12 months and the 50% tax break is only working for people that commit to at least a 2 years stay.
- Up to 183 days in a 12 month period – No taxation in Greece
- 184 days up to 2 years – Full Greek taxation
- 2 years up to 7 years – 50% income and social security tax reduction, full taxation on other taxes.
What About EU/EEA Citizens?
For European Union and EEA passport holders, you can live and work in Greece without the need for a special visa. The only requirement is that after 3 months you will need to register with the authorities and that after spending 183 days in one tax year you will have tax residence in Greece. You can get the 50% tax break as an EU/EEA Citizen if you commit to a minimal 2-year stay in Greece.
8 Popular Places for Digital Nomads In Greece
Greece has abundant hours of sunshine, a history that goes back thousands of years, amazing cuisine (rated better than the Italian cuisine by celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay), and a total of 227 islands waiting there to be explored. As a digital nomad, you can enjoy a good quality of life with the cost of living having a reasonable ranking of 39th out of 139 countries by Numbeo.
Internet connectivity is decent with the average fixed broadband speeds of 39.08 Mbps across the country and an average internet speed of 92.54 Mbps for mobile networks. The rule of thumb is that in big cities and bigger islands the Internet speeds tend to be faster and on smaller remote islands a lot slower.
The Greek capital makes an excellent destination for digital nomads, especially outside the scorching hot summer. For a Western European capital, the cost of living is low, if your earn at least 1,500 euros you can have a good time in Athens. It has plenty of things to see and do, from visiting the Acropolis where you can find the Partenon, the Erechtheion and the Odeon of Hercules, to shopping in Ermou street in the Plaka neighbourhood.
With the port of Pireus close by there are plenty of Greek islands that can be explored with Athens as your base. Athens international airport is close by and offers major connectivity to the rest of the world.
The coworker.com lists a total of 39 coworking spaces in Athens. Popular ones are:
- Stone Soup is located in the centre and has a daily rate starting at €12, weekly €45 and monthly €130.
- Impact hub Athens, which is part of the 120 location strong Impact hub network.
Thessaloniki is the second-largest city in Greece with a population of over 315,000. It is home to fine food, rich history, stunning coastlines, and so much more. Thessaloniki houses Byzantine landmarks scattered through its ancient, yet modern terrain. A student town with Greece's largest university, Aristotle Unversity, guarantees a vibrant and youthful city with plenty of bars and nightlife.
Whilst Thessaloniki has beaches of its own it is not as well connected to other Greek islands like Athens.
Coworker lists a total of 6 coworking places in Thessaloniki.
- i4g PRO seems to be one of the cheapest options in town with a daily hotdesk rate of only €5 per day and €50 a month
- COHO is a modern shared workspace in the centre of Thessaloniki.
The island of Rhodes is one of the larger islands in Greece with a population of 115,000 it is also a major tourist destination with visitors coming for the charm of Rhodes old town as well as the many beaches around the island. As you are competing here with tourists as well as seasonal workers prices get high in the summer months as well as the months before and after.
Outside the season flights dwindle and things close down, but prices get a lot cheaper. With a decent population size, it will never feel completely dead. The island is actively trying to promote digital nomadism which was singled out by Mr. Charis Theoharis the minister of tourism for Greece.
At the moment there are no coworking spaces in Rhodes.
4. Chania, Crete
Crete, the largest Greek island is a major digital nomad hub. Whether in Heraklion or Chania, the island has everything to offer. Great internet, water sports, hiking, diving, amazing weather all year round and the best Greek food. Chania is a more touristy place and seems to have an active digital nomad community.
The size of the island makes it ideal to visit outside the tourist season as there is still plenty to do and there is enough connectivity in terms of flights.
Workhub Chania is a multifunctional coworking space. It is situated in the beautiful area of Dikastiria.
Patras is the third-largest city in Greece with a population of over 165,000. The city is built at the foot of winter snow-capped mount Panachaikon, overlooking the Gulf of Patras. This city has three universities with a large vibrant student population. This European capital of culture in 2006 is host to one of Europe's largest carnivals every February.
Patras and its region is home to various Ancient Greek, Roman and Byzantine Monuments, including the Fortress of Rio, the Roman Odeon and the Fortress of Patras.
Patras is located on the Peloponnese and a 2-hour drive away from Athens and its airport. As Port city, Patras has ferry connections to Kefalonia and Brindisi in Italy.
The coworker has listed two coworking spaces in Patras.
6. Rethymno, Crete
Rethymno is another popular destination with digital nomads, Its old town has a Venetian harbour which is filled with bars and restaurants. It is famous for its lighthouse as well as the 16th-century citadel. It has amazing beaches at its doorstep.
The only coworking space in town seems to be Aristea Coworking Lounge which is part of a hotel and seems to be rather pricey at €50 a day. This price may include pool access.
Santorini is one of those bucket list destinations with stunning white hillside villages with a backdrop of an azure blue sea. It has a volcano and a beautiful interior with traditional villages and vineyards. It is one of those islands that shows up in almost everyone's Instagram feed. If you visit outside the summer months of June – September you will be treated to a lot quieter island and cheaper pricing.
There is an excellent guide on Santorini for Digital nomads from a guy who has lived there for years. There is includes an excellent list of bars and coffee shops where you can work remotely via WiFi.
Mykonos is an island that is known for its summer party atmosphere. Its beaches such as Paradise and Super Paradise have loud music everywhere coming from the bars. There are massive dance clubs that attract the worlds best DJs. Most digital nomads that come here come to party and do as little work as possible. There are plenty of digital nomads that want to party for a few weeks, Mykonos is not a longer-term DN destination.
Does Greece have a digital nomad visa?
Yes, Greece has a Digital Nomad visa that allows remote workers to legally work for their employer or own a foreign registered company. This is stated in a new law 4825/2021.
Is Greece good for digital nomads?
Greece has all the ingredients that digital nomads like: a reasonable cost of living, plenty of sunshine, great food, decent internet speeds and plenty to see and do. With the Greece Digital Nomad visa program, they want to get the message out that Greece wants you.
Which Greek island is best for digital nomads?
If you want to be a digital nomad on a Greek island we recommend you to go for the island of Crete. This is especially true if you want to stay longer term. Crete offers plenty of things to see and do. It is not completely dead outside the tourist season. There seems to be an active digital nomad community and best of all the Crete local government is promoting Crete as a digital nomad destination with the Work From Crete program for remote workers.
The Greece Digital Nomad Visa is ideal for people outside the EU/EEA area that want to stay and work remotely longer than 90 days and not more than 183 days. You can enjoy all the months with sunshine in Greece, do some island hopping whilst working.
This visa is also good for people that love Greece and want to stay a couple of years and do not mind the bureaucracy and taxation that come with living in Greece. The Croatia Digital Nomad Visa is better for those on a lower income and for stays up to 1 year.