A major innovation in Greek immigration legislation was the institution of a new category of national entry visa (visa type D) for digital nomads pursuant to Law 4825/2021. With the provision of this specific category, the Greek Government aimed to attract high-end professionals to Greece, who were given incentives to transfer their tax residence here.
Digital nomads are the citizens of foreign countries who are self-employed, freelancers or employees and who work remotely using Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) with employers or clients outside Greece.
According to article 68 of Law 5038/2023, it is stated that these citizens have the possibility to request to be granted a national entry visa (visa type D) under specific conditions. More specifically, the interested party must present the following documents either in person or by e-mail or by registered letter to the competent Greek consular authority:
A) An official signed declaration, with which he will declare that he wishes to stay in the country under the regime of the national entry visa for the provision of remote work and that he undertakes not to provide in any way work or services to an employer located in Greece.
B) 1) A work or project contract or some evidence of an employment relationship with an employer, who can be either a natural person or a legal entity, but only established outside the Greek Territory and on the condition that this contract, in case it is for a certain period of time, covers the period of the granted national visa,
2) Or indefinite-term employment or project contracts or fixed-term employment with a remaining period that covers the period of validity of the national visa, in the event that the citizen of a third country is self-employed with more than one employer, who are established outside the Greek Territory,
3) Or in the event that the citizen of a third country is self-employed in his own business and/or company, which is physically located outside the Greek Territory, information about the status of the applicant in the business and/or company, as well as information concerning the business itself, such as name, headquarters, field of activity, corporate purpose.
C) Evidence proving that the applicant has sufficient financial resources through a stable income that will provide him with the necessities of life throughout his stay in the country, without burdening the national social welfare system. The sufficient resources have been determined through the law itself and amount to three and a half thousand (3,500) euros. This amount should be supported either by the contract of employment or project or proof of employment relationship, in the case of dependent work, services or project (but net income after payment of the required taxes in the country where the services are provided) or by a bank account. Also, it is important to emphasize that this amount is increased for the spouse or partner by twenty percent (20%) and for each child by fifteen percent (15%).
D) National visa fee of seventy five (75) euros.
Third-country nationals who fall into the categories analyzed above may be accompanied by their family members, who must apply for a separate individual visa that expires at the same time as the dependent visa. During their stay, they are not allowed to carry out any financial activity in Greece. More specifically, family members are defined as: a) the other spouse or cohabitant with whom the third country citizen has entered into a cohabitation agreement, b) the unmarried common children of the spouses or cohabitant under the age of eighteen (18) years of age, including those who have been legally adopted by a foreign court decision that is automatically enforceable or has been declared enforceable or has been recognized as res judicata in Greece and c) the rest, under eighteen (18) years of age, unmarried children of the maintainer or of the other of the spouses or cohabitants, as long as custody has been legally assigned to him/her for the children of the maintainer, and for the children of the other spouse or cohabitant to him/her.
Up to this point, no differences are observed from the regime that was in force until today, based on Law 4251/2014. Differences are observed at the stage of issuing a residence permit (residence card) for staying in Greece beyond one (1) year based on the national (type-D) entry visa. Specifically, article 68 par. 4 of Law 5038/2023 stipulates that as long as the conditions laid down by law on the basis of which the national (type-D) entry visa was granted are still met, by decision of the Secretary of the Decentralized Administration, a third country citizen and his family members may be granted a “residence permit for applicants with sufficient means of living” of Article 163 par. 8 of the aforementioned Law (residence permit type “I.8”), valid for two years, following an application submitted before the expiry of the validity of the national entry visa.
This means that the category of residence permit for digital nomads that was in force under Law 4251/2014 is now abolished and digital nomads are included in the residence permit of citizens of third countries with sufficient means of living (former category of residence permit for financially independent persons), necessarily requiring the possession of a national entry visa (Visa). However, it is stil possible for a digital nomad to apply for a digital nomad residence permit while in Greece as a tourist, based on a tourist entry visa (Visa), as was the case under the previous legislative regime, on the condition that he can show either a lease contract or a property purchase contract here in Greece (Article 12 par. 7 of Law 5038/2023).
The competent service for examining residence permit requests is also changing, since the Aliens and Immigration Directorates of the Decentralized Administration of the applicant’s place of residence are now designated as competent, while until now the competent service was the one-stop service of the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum in Athens.
Want to assign your digital nomad visa or residence permit application to our office? You can press here and use our online services for this purpose.
*Our office has extensive experience in immigration law and international law (residence permits, citizenship, naturalization, deportation, asylum applications, etc.). For more information or legal advice, please do not hesitate to contact us at +30 2313 079293 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org*
Dafni I. Siopi
Attorney at Law, LLM
52 Tsimiski Str, Thessaloniki
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