Between the ancient ruins, white sand beaches, and delicious cuisine, Greece is an ideal vacation destination. However, the affordable cost of living and excellent healthcare system also make it a great place to live.
Greece’s new digital nomad visa makes moving there easier than ever for Americans — and also offers some serious tax benefits. Those who stay there for less than six months are exempt from paying taxes in Greece, while those who remain could pay taxes at a 50% reduced rate for the rest of their visa period.1
Below, we’ll go over the details of the Greek digital nomad visa, how to apply for it, and more.
Snapshot of expat life in Greece
- Population: 10.64 million
- Capital city: Athens
- Currency: Euro
- Official language(s): Greek
- School-year calendar: Mid-September to mid-June
- Best time to move abroad: Late spring or early fall
Shoring up the tourism industry – why the Greece digital nomad visa exists
Tourism makes up about 18% of Greece’s GDP2 — so when it took a nosedive during the pandemic, the economy took a significant hit.
As the pandemic lessened in severity and restrictions eased up, worldwide tourism slowly increased — especially among newly remote workers. In an effort to rebuild their economies, many countries, including Greece, began to court such workers.
In the summer of 2021, Greece officially launched its digital nomad visa.3
How to become a digital nomad in Greece
To be eligible for Greece’s digital nomad visa, you must:
- Work for a company outside of Greece
- Be able to work remotely
- Earn a minimum monthly income of €3,500 (€4,200 if you’re bringing a spouse).4
Based on our research, these minimum monthly income figures appear to be the requirement after tax. (5)
Visa requirements & duration
Greece’s digital nomad visa requirements include the following documents:
- A completed application form6
- A passport that will remain valid until at least three months after the visa ends
- 2 passport-sized photos
- Proof of employment (e.g. offer letter, employment contract) confirming you can work remotely
- A declaration letter confirming your intent to live and work in Greece and providing details on your job, company, and finances
- Proof of income (e.g. bank statements, offer letter)
- Proof of accommodation, (e.g. hotel/hostel/Airbnb booking, rental contract)
- A return flight ticket
- A clean criminal record certificate
- A medical certificate
- Proof of health insurance offering full coverage for the entire duration of your visa
You have the option of purchasing an insurance plan from a private provider in Greece or a company that offers coverage specifically for digital nomads, such as SafetyWing.
The Greece digital nomad visa lasts for an initial period of 12 months, at which point holders can apply for a digital nomad residence permit that is renewable every two years. (7)
Greece digital nomad visa application process
The process for Greece’s digital nomad visa is quite straightforward:
- Gather the required documents
- Make an appointment at your nearest Greek consulate/embassy
- Submit your documents in person
- Pay the €75 application fee
- Receive approval (typically within 10 days of submission)
- Book your travel to Greece
- Wrap up your life in the US, or your current country (we know, this is much easier said than done!)
- Apply for a residency permit at the nearest Aliens and Immigration Department of the Decentralized Administration office
Best places to live in Greece
From big cities to rural villages to beach towns, there are plenty of incredible destinations in Greece. But a few stand out from the rest as great places for digital nomads to live.
Note: All data on cost of living in each city sourced from Numbeo8
Greece’s capital offers the best of a modern city, with great options for dining, nightlife, shopping, and culture. But with ancient ruins like the Parthenon and historical museums, you can also immerse yourself in Athens’ storied past.
How much does it cost to live in Athens?
The average monthly expenses (excluding rent) for a single person in Athens are about €802 (~$864 USD). Meanwhile, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center comes out to an average of €508 (~$547 USD).
Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, is home to a growing digital nomad community. It’s known for its stunning ocean views, diverse population, top-notch street food, and vibrant culture.
How much does it cost to live in Thessaloniki?
The average monthly expenses (excluding rent) for a single person in Thessaloniki are about €783 (~$843 USD). Meanwhile, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center comes out to an average of €451 (~$486 USD).
If you’re looking for island living with modern conveniences, look no further than Chania in Crete. Home to a large digital nomad community, Chania is known for its beaches, charming Old Town, and mountain views.
How much does it cost to live in Chania?
The average monthly expenses (excluding rent) for a single person in Chania are about €807 (~$869 USD). Meanwhile, rent for a one-bedroom apartment in the city center comes out to an average of €454 (~$489 USD).
Digital nomad life in Greece
5 things that should be on your Greece bucket list
Living in Greece as a digital nomad offers many different destinations to visit, sites to see, and activities to do — but these five should be prioritized:
- Explore the Acropolis and its museum for a glimpse into Ancient Greece
- Watch a breathtaking sunset in Santorini
- Soak up the rays and swim in the ocean at Crete’s famous Elafonisi Beach
- Party in Mykonos, Greece’s nightlife capital
- Tour Olympia, home of the original Olympic games
Greece expat community – how to find your people
It’s normal to feel unsure and even a little lonely when you move to a new country. Fortunately, Greece is bursting with opportunities to get out and meet new people -you’ll be making new friends in no time. A few ideas to get you started:
- Move into a co-living space
- Stay in a social hostel (or visit one to learn about upcoming events in the international community)
- Take a class in something unique to Greece (e.g. sailing, cooking, etc.)
- Attend events on Meetup & Couchsurfing
- Join local expat groups on Facebook
- Attend a language exchange
- Volunteer in your community (there are many cats in Greece and many associations8 are looking for volunteers and/or fosters)
Moving to Greece
Before making the leap to becoming a digital nomad in Greece, make sure you cross the following off of your to-do list:
- Gather all of your important documents (passport, visa, etc.)
- Set up a doctor’s appointment to get any vaccines or medications you might need
- Buy tickets for your flights both into and out of Greece
- Book accommodations for your arrival (you may start out in an Airbnb or hostel)
- Research what to bring, create a list, and pack your bags
- Alert your bank to your travel plans, so they don’t mark purchases abroad as suspicious
- Ensure you have a healthy supply of cash on hand (in Euros) in case of emergency
- Organize a forwarding address for your mail, if necessary
- Connect with other digital nomads in Greece for advice – Reddit or Facebook are great places to start
Still deciding on a digital nomad destination? Check out: The Top 7 Countries For Digital Nomad Visas (Updated for 2023!)
Do digital nomads pay taxes in Greece?
If you stay in Greece for less than 183 days, you will not be subject to Greek taxes as a digital nomad. However, if you stay for longer than 183 days, you will become a tax resident (as a silver lining here though, becoming a tax resident also entitles you to access public healthcare and educational services).
The tax brackets for tax residents in Greece are below.9
|Monthly Income||Income Tax|
📢 Key callout:
If you agree to reside in Greece for a minimum of two years, these tax rates are subject to an incredible 50% reduction for up to seven years while you reside in Greece on a digital nomad visa. The exact application may depend on your situation, but the potential for tax benefits is huge on this digital nomad visa. (10)
VAT in Greece
The standard VAT rate in Greece is 24%, with some services11 exempt.
Fun fact: In Greece; VAT is called Fóros Prastithémenes Axías (Φόρος Προστιθέμενης Αξίας) or under the acronym FPA (ΦΠΑ).
Do US digital nomads in Greece have to pay US taxes?
Not necessarily. However, all US citizens and permanent residents are legally required to file a federal tax return (provided that they meet the minimum income reporting threshold) – even if they’re living in Greece.
IRS expat tax provisions for Americans filing US taxes in Greece
Moving abroad may complicate your taxes and can feel overwhelming to navigate. Below are some of the additional reporting obligations tax breaks expats should read up on.
Foreign Earned Income Exclusion (FEIE)
The FEIE allows you to exclude a certain amount of foreign-earned income from taxation ($112,000 for tax year 2022, $120,000 for tax year 2023). To be eligible, you need to pass either the Physical Presence Test or Bona Fide Residence Test. If you qualify, you’re also eligible for the Foreign Housing Exclusion/Deduction, which allows you to write off qualifying housing expenses like rent and utilities.
Foreign Tax Credit (FTC)
The FTC allows you to subtract what you pay in income taxes to a foreign government from what you owe the US government in income taxes. With Greece’s digital nomad visa, however, you won’t be paying income taxes — so you wouldn’t be able to leverage this unless you eventually secure a Greecen visa that classifies you as a tax resident.
Foreign Bank Account Report (FBAR)
If you have $10,000 or more in foreign bank accounts at any point in the year, you’ll need to report the contents of those accounts to the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) via FinCEN Report 114.
Child Tax Credit (CTC)
If you have qualifying dependents living with you in Greece, you can claim the CTC just as you would in the US to get as much as $2,000 in partially-refundable credits.
Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA)
If you have over $200,000 in foreign assets by the last day of the tax year, or over $300,000 in foreign assets at any point during the tax year, FATCA requires you to file Form 8938. (Note that these thresholds are lower for those who reside stateside.)
- Always wanted to move to Greece? Find out if you’re eligible for its digital nomad visa
- For a Sustainable Tourism Industry
- How to Apply for a Digital Nomad Visa in Greece
- Greece Digital Nomad Visa: Full 2023 Requirements and EASY Steps to Apply
- Application for a visa for a long stay in Greece
- Greece Digital Nomad Visa 2023
- Le Cinquième Chat – The Fifth Cat | HelloAsso
- General cost of living in Greece and Greek cities as referenced from Numbeo.
- Digital nomads in Greece”: remote work visa and taxes
- Digital Nomad in Greece – Particular Credentials
- Greece VAT Guide | Taxback International