ATHENS – Workers especially skilled in Information Technology and able to use computers to work anywhere in the world for their company and who want to do it in Greece as of Jan. 1, 2024 will have to apply in their home countries.
Authorities in Greece have announced that they will no longer allow in-country applications for the Digital Nomad Visa that is aimed at luring them, although if they’re already in Greece they’ll have to go home to apply and come back.
Starting then, applicants will be required to apply through Greek consular posts, meaning that applications must be filed in the applicant’s country of citizenship or residence. Processing times and documentary requirements differ from one country to another, reported SchengenVisaInfo.com.
The Digital Nomad Visa permits foreigners to legally live and work from Greece for companies or clients located outside the country, those in IT and high-technology fields able to live anywhere in the world and work remotely.
But to get the visa, they must be citizens from countries outside the European Union, and meet specific conditions such as proof they work as digital nomads, hold a valid employment contract registered outside Greece and have a monthly salary not less than 3,500 euros ($3,812,) among others.
Greece in 2021 – during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdown year – got only 10 applications but by 2022 when health restrictions were eased it had hit 595 and 70 more in the first two months of 2023, said Kathimerini.
In 2022 the majority of applications for this visa came from Russians, or more specifically 433 out of 595, while in 2023 from the total 70 requests submitted, another 48 were Russians, showing little interest from Americans.
According to a study from the MIT Enterprise Forum, Greece could gain more than 1.6 billion euros ($1.74 billion) if it could attract 100,000 digital nomads each year, with an average of six months.
The survey considered that such an amount is nearly the income generated by a week’s stay of 2.5 million tourists. The visa is valid for one year and can be extended a maximum of three years, requiring a residency permit.