The Covid-19 pandemic has introduced new schemes of employment, making teleworking the new normal. Greece has read into this situation a golden opportunity to attract employees who wish to combine the friendly and warm environment of Greece with remote work. Hence, the Greek Government has introduced a new Visa Scheme that covers the necessity for a flexible employment environment that is described with the umbrella term “digital nomads”.
The term “digital nomad” is used to describe people who work remotely from a country other than the country where their employer is located. Law 4825/2021 enables these third-country nationals (it does not apply to EU citizens), wishing to work remotely from Greece, to apply for a Digital Visa. This visa grants a residence right of 12 months in the country and is addressed to salaried employees, freelancers or self-employed.
The applicant has to produce proof in the form of an employment or services agreement that demonstrates that he/she has sufficient resources to cover living expenses, without burdening the national social welfare system, throughout the 12 –month period, which is set at a minimum of €3,500 per month. Further, the interested party has to declare that he will not work for a Greek employer or for clients based in Greece.
The digital visa may be extended to the applicant’s family members, on the condition that they are not employed in Greece and do not carry out any economic activities there. In this case, the amount of sufficient resources is increased by twenty percent (20%) for the spouse or cohabitant and by fifteen percent (15%) for each child.
If the third country national estimates that he/she shall continue to be eligible following that period, then prior the expiration of the Visa he/she may apply for the issuance of a Digital Nomad residence permit, with a 2-year period of validity (with option of renewal). In that case also, family members are eligible.
Regarding the procedure to acquire such a Visa, the Law provides for a fast “one –stop-shop” procedure before the Greek consulate of the place of main residence of the applicant. The procedure is to be concluded within 10 days. The Digital Nomad residence permit is issued by the competent authority of the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum.
In case a third country citizen is already residing in Greece under another type of Visa or under a visa waiver regime and meets the conditions to apply for a Digital Nomad Visa, he/she can within the period of validity of their existing Visa, to apply to the one-stop service of the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum for the issuance of a Digital Nomad residence permit. In this case, they shall also be required to submit documentation proving their residence address in Greece.