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Economy

To Lure Skilled Digital Nomads, Greece Will Offer Special Visa

February 21, 2021

ATHENS – With professionals having computer skills able to work almost anywhere in the world – further shown during the COVID-19 pandemic with remote work – Greece is planning a special visa to attract them.

That comes after an agreement reached between Greece’s Ministers of Migration and Foreign Affairs to help remote workers through this new innovative trend, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

“We must create an organized, attractive environment for people that choose this advanced way of working,” Migration and Asylum Minister Notis Mitarachis pointed out.

Some 22 of the European Union’s 27 members are in the Schengen Area which abolished international borders to allow for visa-free and unrestricted movement between them, apart from Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Cyprus and Ireland.

Four non-EU countries – Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Iceland – are members of the area. Countries outside of the area impose border checks on travelers coming from the Schengen Zone, but many have visa-free travel arrangements as EU members or countries that have signed visa-free travel agreements with the Schengen states.

Mitarachis said the digital nomad visa could be combined with tax incentives, which would attract permanent investments Greece is seeking to help spur an economic recovery if the pandemic ends.

Alex Patelis, Chief Economic Adviser to Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, stressed that among Greece’s advantages are “a strong currency, the euro, and the safety of the EU institutional framework.”

Patelis stressed that “5G networks are already operational in major Greek cities (and they’re coming to some Greek islands too: read on) and that “tax incentives are targeting those who relocate to Greece,” the site added.

In December 2020, Greece introduced legislation that includes encouraging tax treatment of nationals of foreign countries who wish to transfer their tax residence to Greece if they invest in the country.

The recent tax initiative would tax only half the income for those who are self-employed in positions created in 2021. As for now, the country applies a tax rate of 44 percent for earnings over 40,000 euros ($48,472.96.)

He earlier told the newspaper Proto Thema, “We must create an organized and at the same time attractive environment for the mass arrival of people who choose this technologically advanced form of employment."

The introduction of a special purpose residence permit, "a digital visa", as he characterized it, "will be combined with tax facilities that will lead to more permanent investments.”

He said that beneficiaries must meet criteria including on income and that, “The legislative initiative will result in the inflow of know-how, financial and intellectual capital in our country.”

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