Empowering the Freelance Economy

Greece entices international freelancers with tax breaks and residency in bid to replace lost tourism

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Greece’s parliament has passed a new law this month allowing digital nomads to half their income tax, which will likely attract more international freelancers and remote-working talent to the idyllic destination.

From January 2021, employed and self-employed workers will be welcome as temporary residents, however, there is a stipulation that you must not have previously been a tax resident of Greece, or replace an existing employee in the country.

“Following a raft of remote working visas unveiled by countries worldwide in the last six months, Greece and Croatia are the latest countries to roll out the red carpet for global remote workers with programmes designed to lure digital expats to their shores in a bid to replace the lost tourism dollars of the pandemic,” said a report by the Citizenship by Investment Guide.

Countries that have already launched similar programmes to attract new talent to their shores include the Caribbean (i.e., Cayman Islands, Bermuda, Barbados), European countries such as Georgia and Estonia and the Middle East (Dubai). The temporary residential programmes have been launched by countries long reliant on tourism and expats in an attempt to replace those lost tourism dollars due to the pandemic, according to the CBI Guude.

“Tapping into the digital flexibility being offered by today’s businesses (remote working), these programmes invite foreigners to reside in, and work from, their respective countries – to enjoy their climates, hospitality, laid-back lifestyles and cultures,” said the CBI Guide report.

Tax breaks, quality of life and an EU passport?

Details of Greece’s digital nomad visa are yet to be finalised, however, those interested could likely expect the Greek tax incentive programme to have a duration of seven years of tax breaks, which could attract highly skilled long-term residents. The CBI Guide also indicated that the programme could lead to Greek citizenship as seven years of residency does afford foreigners the opportunity to secure Greek citizenship (and an EU passport).

“With its year-long sunshine, sun-drenched islands, buzzing cities, cultural riches, excellent healthcare,  very low cost of living and decent internet (5G his expected to be rolled out in Greece’s major cities and towns in early 2021), living and working from Greece, if you can, is a bit of a no-brainer it seems,” said the report.

Another factor that could attract digital nomads is Greece’s relatively low number of COVID cases (reporting just 3,092 deaths to date (Sources: Wikipedia).

To learn more, visit Greece Visa Types, Requirements, Application & Guidelines (schengenvisainfo.com).

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  1. Mia says

    Thank you for the good news here… I am following the links provided but I am not finding evidence of the Greece Freelancers Residency or extensions on visas anywhere yet. Can you provide more information about where to go to apply?

    1. Katherine Steiner-Dicks says

      Your best bet is to contact the Greek Consulate in the UK or the country where you reside or hold nationality to get the latest forms.

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