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Digital nomads start entering Greece, nearly 3,000 applications submitted

According to data obtained by Business Daily from the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum, so far 2,918 visa applications have been submitted by digital nomads. Of these, 1,693 have already been approved, while 1,225 remain pending.

Government efforts have started to pay off in attracting digital nomads, who could provide a significant boost to economic growth in an issue high on the agenda of the government, which changed the tax regime earlier this year and introduced a separate visa for high-income workers in September.

According to data obtained by Business Daily from the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum, so far 2,918 visa applications have been submitted by digital nomads. Of these, 1,693 have already been approved, while 1,225 remain pending. These numbers do not justify enthusiasm, but show that mobility has begun to develop, creating expectations for the future.

As the Deputy Governor of the Bank of Greece, Theodoros Pelagidis, pointed out a few days ago, Greece is currently being offered a great opportunity to attract digital nomads. "About 80% of Europeans want to live in a different place from where they work, while about 1/3 of German and French workers will work remotely in 2022 and this is an opportunity for Greece in terms of attracting them." said Pelagidis.

Digital nomads are high-income workers, with one in six reportedly earning more than $75,000 a year. It is estimated that almost 4 million people worldwide live as digital nomads, a number that is projected to skyrocket to 1 billion by 2035. According to an MIT survey, if Greece manages to attract 100,000 digital nomads who will remain in the country for at least six months , then the economy could be strengthened by 1.6 billion euros a year.

The government introduced rules for digital nomads, which will ensure that they offer their services as workers abroad, so as not to compete with Greek workers for jobs in our country. "Those applying for the digital nomad visa will have to prove that they have at least a monthly income of 3,500 euros, and the corresponding work guarantees, to ensure that they actually come to Greece to offer services to an employer abroad," Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Miltiadis Varvitsiotis previously told Business Daily in an interview..

According to the framework for the digital nomads visa, this will be granted for a period of 12 months, and it is necessary for applicants to work remotely with employers or clients outside Greece. In addition to the other supporting documents, the applicant must provide evidence that he or she has sufficient resources, at a stable income level, to cover his / her living expenses during his / her stay in the country, without burdening the national social welfare system. The amount of sufficient resources is set at three and a half thousand (3,500) euros per month and must be proven.

The new legislation allows third-country nationals to be accompanied by their family members, but as long as they live in Greece, they are not allowed to engage in any form of economic activity in the country. In this case, the required "adequate living resources" are increased by 20% for the spouse and by 15% for each child. The Digital Nomads Visa is valid for up to 12 months, while, if the legal conditions are still valid, a two-year residence permit can be granted upon application before the expiration of the national visa.

STEFANOS TSOULAKIS

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