Working visa in Greece

Greece is one of the best locations in the world to get employed. On the one hand, its economy might be not as strong as that of most EU countries. On the other hand, what's considered "not so strong" by the EU criteria, is very impressive by global standards. This country is ideal for realizing your professional potential, making money and living a comfortable life.

In this article, we'll explain who needs a Greece work visa and how to obtain it. This permit is available in several variations, depending on the applicant's skills and goals. Plus, we'll pay special attention to the investor visa that enables you to run a business in this state.

Eligibility Criteria

The general requirements are:

  • Good health
  • Clear criminal record
  • Preliminary agreement with the employer

It shouldn't be a problem for you to find a job in this country if there is a deficit of specialists with your qualification. Otherwise, employers need to give priority to locals.

Who Needs a Working Visa for Greece

Non EEA and non EU citizens can't carry out professional activities in Greece without a dedicated visa. Expats from the EU/EEA area don't need this visa.

For instance, such a visa is relevant for Pakistani, Bangladeshi and Indian expats. People from UK need it too because this country isn't an EU member anymore.

Application Process

To apply for a work visa in Greece, stick to this algorithm:

  1. Find a job offer that suits you. You can do it on your own using websites and apps with vacancies. Or, you may rely on the services of an employment agency.
  2. Sign the contract with the employer.
  3. Let your employer apply for your work permit. This needs to be done in the city where the employer's office is located. The application will be approved if the quota for hiring non-EU specialists isn't yet reached.
  4. The employer sends the received approval to the Greek consulate or embassy in the territory where you live. You use it to apply for a work visa.
  5. Visit the consulate or embassy in person for the interview. Make sure to make an appointment in advance.
  6. Wait until the officials process your papers (normally, it takes up to 10 days).
  7. Collect your passport with the visa stamp.

After you arrive in Greece, get a tax identification number and a social security number as soon as possible. Apply for a residence permit — maybe, your employer will act as your sponsor.

Greece Work Permit

It's vital to apply for this permit before your visa expires. The required set of papers features:

  • Passport
  • Two passport-style photos
  • Employment contract with your indicated salary
  • Proof of having never violated the law
  • Health certificate
  • Documents that prove your relationships with your family members if you relocate together with them

It's your employer and not you who is supposed to pay for this service. The officials will take around 2 months to approve your permit. Depending on your individual circumstances, they can ask you to provide additional papers.

The permit is to be renewed in 2 years if you decide to stay in the country. The renewed version will remain valid for 3 years.

Don't forget to apply for the renewal at least two months before the current version expires. If you apply one month before the expiry date, this will involve a fine of around €50.


The set of required documents for the visa is not the same as for the permit. The former features:

  • Passport
  • Photos
  • Filled-in application form
  • Work permit
  • Employment contract
  • Medical certificate
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of having never violated the law
  • Biometrics
  • Proof of having somewhere to live
  • Proof of having sufficient income
  • Educational certificates
  • Work experience

The processing time might differ depending on where you live and how busy the embassy or consulate is at the moment. Normally, it takes around a couple of months.

The visa fees typically vary from €190 to €285, depending on where you obtain it.

Types of Visas for Professionals

To be allowed to carry out professional activities in this state, it's necessary to confirm that you have a relevant qualification and experience. It's impossible to come to this country and only then, start looking for a job on the spot. Make sure to secure a position for yourself before you set out to Greece. You should be ready to prove with documents your agreement with the employer. Below, we'll have a look at different types of visas for professionals and their respective requirements.

Transfer to a Local Branch of an International Company

This opportunity is valid for trainees, specialists and managers of international businesses. Trainees need to have worked for the company for at least 6 months and managers — for at least 1 year. You'll keep the contract with your employer in your homeland and will stay on their payroll.

You should obtain a special permit that enables such a transfer, which can take up to 8 weeks. The permit will be valid for 1 year. Then, you can extend it for a maximum of 2 years. For trainees, the extension is not available.

After spending a maximum of 3 years in the country, you'll need to leave it. In 6 months after your departure, you'll get the right to apply for a new permit.

Becoming an Employee of a Local Company

You can use this opportunity if you have at least 1 year of professional experience. It doesn't matter whether it's skilled or unskilled work. Plus, the offer is valid for selected C-suite specialists. Greece is particularly interested in experts in mining, drilling, extraction of hydrocarbons and offshore exploration.

It's essential to get an employment offer from a Greek company for at least 1 year. You'll be placed on a local payroll and earn at least the national minimum wage (for unskilled work) or the minimum wage for your occupation (for skilled work).

Unskilled employees obtain their visas within up to 8 weeks. Their skilled counterparts might need to wait for up to 8 months. In both cases, the visa will remain valid for up to 2 years, with the possibility of an extension.

Digital Nomads

This offer is for individuals who earn at least €3,500 per month thanks to remote work. They can either work for a foreign company or have clients in third-party countries. The authorities take up to 8 weeks to issue such a visa. It will remain valid for 1 year, with a possibility for an extension for one more period of the same duration.

Teaching at Foreign Schools

In Greece, there are many schools where teachers and students speak foreign languages and stick to foreign curriculums. To become a staff member of such an educational establishment, it's necessary to get permission from the local Ministry of Education and Religious Affairs. The officials might take up to 8 months to issue it. The permission will remain valid for up to 2 years, with a possibility for extension.

Work in Media

The target audience of this type of visa is journalists planning to work as foreign correspondents. To get it, be ready to wait up to 8 months. The permit will expire in 2 years but you'll be able to extend it.


Wealthy individuals can benefit from the Golden Visa scheme. There are two options: invest in real estate or securities.

If you opt for the former, be ready to spend at least €250,000 on a property. Starting with August 2023, the minimum threshold will become twice as high for selected locations. It's crucial to transfer the full price of the house or apartment to the previous owner or developer when signing the contract. Paying in installments isn't allowed.

The second way out is to buy securities or deposit funds in a local bank. You can do it either as an individual or through a legal entity. The minimum required amount is €400,000.

It's not mandatory to visit Greece to apply. Instead, you can ask an official representative to act on your behalf. You'll only need to visit the country in person within 1 year after obtaining confirmation from the authorities to submit your biometrics.

The authorities will take up to 4 months to review your papers and approve your visa. It will remain valid for 5 years. Then, you'll be allowed to extend it for another period of the same duration. The key requirement is to maintain your investment. The good news is that you may rent out your property and make money on it.

If you prefer securities, you may qualify for strategic investment. Please consult a legal expert about the details of the offer. In this case, your visa will be valid for 10 years. Then, you'll be able to renew it for another 10 years.

Here is the list of the dearest and nearest who can apply together with you:

  • Spouse
  • Partner with whom you have a cohabitation agreement in Greece
  • Sons and daughters aged younger than 21 if they aren't officially married
  • Your partner's kids in your custody aged younger than 21
  • Yours and your spouse's relatives in the ascending line

In total, you can take up to 9 people with you.

With the Golden Visa, you won't be able to get employed in Greece on any other EU state. The logic is obvious: if you can afford costly investment, why should you need a salary? However, you're allowed to launch a business here and cater to the whole EU market. The local population has a high paying capacity. The European economy is one of the stablest and most steadily developing in the world. You'll benefit from a modern infrastructure. The legal system will thoroughly protect your rights as an individual and entrepreneur.

Seasonal Work

To get such a visa, it's enough to sign a contract with an employer and get approval from the authorities for your stay in the country. Typically, it takes up to 5 working days to issue such a visa. It will remain valid for a period of 6 to 12 months. Selected occupations have different time frames: for instance, the visa of an aircraft forest firefighter can remain valid for up to 8 months and that of a fisherman — for up to 11 months. This type of temporary work permit isn't subject to extensions.

For EU Citizens

For EU citizens, the process is simpler than for foreigners from other parts of the planet. They have the right to freely spend up to 90 days in this country. Then, they need to obtain a registration certificate. The list of the required documents includes:

  • Passport or ID
  • 4 passport-style photos
  • Filled-in application form
  • Health insurance
  • Confirmation from your employer
  • Proof of having somewhere to live

Most likely, you'll get your certificate the same day when you apply for it. The biggest challenge is that some officials speak only their native language, so you may need to bring a translator with you. With the certificate, you won't need a work permit to get down to work.


When talking about each particular type of work visa, we mentioned that most of them can be renewed. Please check the previous passages of this article to discover the exact conditions. Repeated renewals can lead to permanent residence.

The moment when you're renewing your work permit is ideal for changing the employer if you want it. First, fulfill your obligations to the company that hired you initially. When your contract will be about to expire, find a new employer and let it apply for your new permit.

Foreign Pension in Greece

After relocation to this Mediterranean country, you'll be able to receive a pension from your homeland. Please check your homeland's laws to find out if you'll need to pay the tax on your pension both in Greece and the country where you're from. If your homeland has signed a dual taxation treaty with Greece, it will be enough to pay the taxes only in one territory.

The Greek government offers a lucrative tax regime for selected categories of expat retirees: they can pay a flat tax of 7% on their pensions for 15 years. This measure was introduced to attract wealthy retirees to a welcoming and picturesque country with a warm climate and relaxed lifestyle. To become eligible for this offer, it's necessary to be a tax resident of a third-party state for the previous 5 of 6 tax years and then, transfer your tax residence to Greece. The most important thing is that you should come from either the EU/EEA or a country that signed an agreement with Greece on administrative cooperation in taxation.

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