If you love food, wine and beaches, Greece is probably on your list of spots to visit. While debit and credit cards are widely accepted in Greece, especially...
Dreaming of working abroad? If you’re self-employed or a freelancer, all you need is an internet connection - and the world is your oyster.
Of all the places you can set up camp as a digital nomad, Greece has to be one of the most attractive. With friendly people, amazing food, a warm Mediterranean climate and thousands of beautiful islands to explore, it has something for everyone.
Greece is also a great choice for remote workers, provided you pick the right location.
Crete, Athens and Thessaloniki are major digital nomad hubs, thanks to good quality internet (at least, compared to the rest of Greece) and countless places to work. In fact, Crete even has its own program designed to attract digital nomads to the island, with a dedicated “Work from Crete” website.¹
In other parts of Greece, internet speeds may be slower, but the low costs of living more than make up for it.
But before you can jet off on your Greek adventure, you’ll need to get your paperwork sorted. In this guide, we’ll show you how to get a digital nomad visa for Greece. This will give you legal permission to live, travel and carry out remote work.
We’ll also show you a great way to get paid in nearly a dozen currencies and spend in the local currency all over the world - using the Wise multi-currency account.
For those unfamiliar with the concept, a digital nomad is someone who travels freely while working remotely.
Provided your employer lets you work remotely or you’re self-employed, all you need is a laptop and an internet connection. You can work where and when you want, exploring a new country and soaking up the local culture. And of course, earning money to support yourself as you go.
Digital nomads tend to work in coffee shops, co-working spaces or even public libraries. Some people stay in a destination for a while, while others travel around to see as much of the world as possible.
For both tax and visa purposes, there’s a difference between working remotely as a digital nomad, and actually having a job in Greece.
The first thing to know about is tax residency. This is where you’re considered to be a tax resident in a country if you live there for a certain number of days in a year.
Under Greece’s tax laws, you’re considered to be a tax resident if you stay for a period of 6 months or more within any given year. If so, you’ll need to pay income tax once you earn over €12,000 a year.²
The good news is that with the Greece digital nomad visa, you may be eligible to get a discount of 50% on your income tax. To apply for this, you’ll need to stay in Greece for a minimum of two years. ²
What’s more, the UK and Greece have what is known as a double- tax treaty.³ This means you won’t pay tax twice on the same income.
Greece is one of a number of European countries to introduce a new digital nomad visa. This is a dedicated visa targeting people wanting to live and work in Greece temporarily.
Previously, if you wanted to work in Greece, you’d need to apply for a tourist visa. Or you could apply for residency rights through one of the Golden Visas. But neither option was ideal for remote workers, who have quite a unique set of circumstances.
With its new specialist digital nomad visa, Greece is hoping to attract talented professionals and entrepreneurs to make the country their home - if only temporarily.
First launched in 2021, the Greece digital nomad visa is valid for 1 year. However, you’ll also have the option to extend it for another year before it expires.²
As well as giving you permission to legally work remotely in Greece, the visa also comes with a couple of other attractive benefits. These include:²
- A 50% income tax discount if you stay in Greece for at least 2 years
- Visa-free access to 26 European countries within the Schengen Area (although you must spend at least 6 months of your visa’s validity period in Greece).
However, there are some restrictions.
You can do any kind of work, but you can’t be working for a Greek employer or clients. There’s also a minimum income requirement, which is pretty high and may exclude some freelancers or remote workers.⁴ We’ll look at this and other eligibility requirements next.
To apply for the digital nomad visa in Greece, you’ll need to meet certain eligibility requirements. You must:²
- Be a non-EU national
- Have an income of at least €3,500 a month (€4,200 if you’re bringing a spouse, or €4,830 if you’re bringing a spouse and one child)
- Be able/allowed to work remotely
- Have a clean criminal background
- Take out health insurance.
To prove you meet the requirements above, you’ll need to provide the following documents as part of your application:²
- Your passport (original and copies).
- Recent passport-size photos of yourself.
- Proof of remote work and that you’re allowed to work remotely.
- Proof of income (that you meet the minimum income threshold)
- A clear criminal background check.
- A medical certificate showing you’re in good health.
- The address of where you’ll be staying in Greece.
- Evidence of sufficient health insurance cover.
Once you have your paperwork in order, it’s time to start your application. The only way to do this is in person, but you can do it before heading to Greece.
Here’s how to apply for the Greek digital nomad visa while still in the UK:⁵
- Find your nearest Greek embassy or consulate
- Make an appointment and get an application form
- Attend the appointment with your completed form and supporting documents to submit your application in person.
- Wait to hear the outcome.
- If successful, you’ll be able to register for a residency permit on arrival in Greece - at a branch of the Aliens and Immigration Department of the Decentralised Administration office.
The processing time for the digital nomad visa in Greece varies depending on which embassy or consulate you’ve applied at.
However, you should expect to hear back about your application anytime from two weeks to a month.⁵
To make sure there are no delays, it’s important to make sure you’ve submitted all the required documents and completed the application form carefully. Some documents may require some time to come through, such as the results of your criminal background check or proof of good health. So, it’s worth giving yourself enough time to get these sorted before applying for your visa.
Lastly but just as importantly, you’ll want to know how much it costs to apply for the Greek digital nomad visa.
The good news is that the visa fee itself is pretty low, at around €75. However, there is an additional application fee of €150 to pay.²
Got your Greek visa sorted? The next step is to plan your travel and book your flights. However, it’s also worth thinking about how you’ll manage your money while in Greece.
Getting paid is going to be a top priority when working abroad. You need a secure, reliable account in order for clients to pay you. What’s more, you don’t want to lose money to poor exchange rates if getting paid in different currencies.
So rather than opening a Greek bank account, you might want to check out Wise instead.
It’s quick and easy to open a Wise multi-currency account online. With Wise, you can manage your money in 50 currencies at once, including EUR and GBP.
It’s easy to get paid quickly and securely in your client’s home currency, and convert your earnings to your chosen currency using the mid-market exchange rate.
If you need to send money abroad, you can do it in just a few clicks - and all for low, transparent fees.
There’s even a Wise debit card for low-cost spending in 174 countries, including Greece and the rest of Europe.
With a Wise account, you’ll be able to spend like a local - wherever you are in the world.
This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.
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