The rise of “digital nomads” in Greece

The new reality, introduced by the consecutive lockdowns due to the COVID-19 pandemic, in combination with the robust network infrastructure, through the completion of the 5G networks licensing process, as well as the broader technology ecosystem in Greece has paved the way for the exponential growth of the digital nomadic population.

According to a large study on digital nomads carried out in 2020 by Emergent Research and MBO Partners, the number of digital nomads in the United States has increased from 7.3 million to 10.9 million, an increase of 49%. Even though this study is based on American data, it certainly reflects a new global trend for the professional world.

In a constantly evolving technological environment, Greece has therefore taken important steps, becoming one of the first countries to transform itself into a digital innovation destination, by introducing a new law attracting “digital nomads”.

Law 4825/2021, which introduced the concept of digital nomad into Greek immigration law with Article 11, allows workers from third countries to work remotely from Greece. The law outlines the process and criteria for the digital nomad visa, providing an important rationale for economic development for communities of all sizes and providing a better quality of life for remote workers.

Large technological investments, such as the expansion of the Space X and Tesla satellite network for the whole country, the CISCO digital transformation center and the Pfizer research center in Thessaloniki, as well as the research and development of TeamViewer in Ioannina, put Greece on the radical digital map. developments.

The clause 11 provision was introduced when the tech ecosystem in Greece was mature enough to accommodate new digitally friendly policies. A regulatory framework for the licensing of digital portfolio companies and the crypto-asset exchange was recently introduced, highlighting Greece’s approval of cryptocurrencies and digital technologies.

In general, the new digital nomad regime in Greece has low administrative costs, as shown below, and an expedited process (around 10 days) before the relevant Greek consular authority to which individuals must apply for the visa. The required documentation, which is explicitly prescribed by law, could be sent in advance for the filing of the relevant application, while a local bank account could be opened after registering the person’s TIN.

The issuance of the digital nomad visa depends on the submission of the following documents:

  • Work or employment contract with a counterparty established outside Greek territory;
  • Solemn declaration indicating the intention of individuals to reside in Greece and their commitment not to work for an employer or client based in Greece;
  • Confirmation of the position held by the person as well as the details of the company;
  • Proof of income, proving that the individual has sufficient regular financial compensation. Adequate financial income is set at a minimum net amount of € 3,500 / month. This amount is increased by 700 € for any spouse / partner and by 525 € for each child;
  • National visa fee of 75 €; and
  • Administrative costs of € 1,000.

Holders of a digital nomad visa are granted the right of legal residence on Greek territory, without however having the right to access Greek salaried employment or commercial activity in Greece for 12 months. This does not apply to short term rentals which are now very common in Greece.

Digital nomads could also bring their families, who, upon expiration of the residence permit, are all eligible for a two-year residence permit extension, depending on the relevant application filed before the visa expires.

Finally, it should be noted that in anticipation of the publication of detailed guidelines by the Independent Revenue Authority regarding the tax residency of digital nomads, all related issues raised are governed by the general tax residency rules and guidelines. OECD on a case-by-case basis.

Konstantinos Nanopoulos

Management partner

Victoria Iliopoulou

Partner

Nicolas Demiroglou

Partner

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