Greece announced plans to introduce a special visa for digital nomads, becoming the latest European country to receive foreign remote workers within its borders.
The plan, which will be launched in the near future, was drafted by officials from the Ministry of Migration and Asylum and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece.
“We must create an organized and attractive environment for people who choose this advanced way of working,” said Migration Minister Notis Mitarachi, according to SchengenVisaInfo.com.
Mitarachi pointed out that the new digital nomad visa could be combined with a proposed tax incentive that would give remote workers a 50% income tax reduction for seven years if they moved their tax residency to Greece.
Under current rules, self-employed individuals, such as digital nomads and freelancers, pay a 44% tax rate on all earnings above € 40,000. That rate would drop to 22% with the proposed plan.
This tax cut and other tax incentives are expected to make Greece an attractive destination for digital nomads, remote workers, freelancers and foreign investors, according to Alex Patelis, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis’ chief economic adviser.
Patelis also promoted Greece’s temperate climate, ample sunshine, mountains, beaches, solid 5G networks, strong currency and position within the “security of the EU’s institutional structure” as reasons to move to the country.
Greece’s economy suffered a major blow in 2020 due to the global coronavirus pandemic, with the country’s gross domestic product falling 9%. As a result, the government saw digital nomadic visas as an excellent way to boost tourism, stimulate foreign investment and increase tax revenue.
Other European countries have also recently adopted the concept of digital nomadic visas.
In December, the Croatian government approved a digital nomad visa that allows remote workers employed by non-Croatian companies to live and work in the country for up to 12 months. The first visa was granted to an American woman in January.
Estonia also created a digital nomad visa in June, making it one of the first countries in the world to establish a specific visa for remote workers.
In the coming years, more and more countries are expected to introduce similar visas, hoping to take advantage of the remote work trend that emerged with the pandemic.
According to several studies and research, remote work inspires productivity, promotes a healthy balance between professional and personal life, saves money for employers and employees, is good for the environment and contributes to job satisfaction.
Meanwhile, experts estimate that remote work positions will double by 2021 and that even 70% of the US workforce will work remotely at least five days a month until 2025.
Countries that take steps to attract this rapidly growing segment of the workforce are likely to perform well in a post-pandemic world.