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Greece, a part of the Eurozone and the European Union, offers a stable and well-managed economic environment. Over the last few years, the Greek government has implemented several reforms to improve the business environment and attract professionals and foreign investors.
Moreover, Greece's position for ease of business has dramatically increased recently, according to the World Bank's "Doing Business" report. This demonstrates the nation's dedication to fostering a more business-friendly atmosphere and open to all workers, including digital nomads. So, if you’re planning to move to Greece for work, it is high time to learn about the legal picture.
This comprehensive guide will answer all your questions about work permits in Greece, from visa requirements to application processing times.
Types of Greece Work Visa and Permits
Greece offers various types of work permits and visas, depending on the nature and duration of your intended employment. Here's an overview of the primary categories:
Short Stay "C" Visas
Short-stay visas, also known as "C" visas, are suitable for individuals planning to work in Greece for a limited time. These visas typically cover stays up to 90 days within 180 days. They are usually granted for specific purposes, including tourism, business meetings, or attending short-term training programs.
While short-stay visas allow you to engage in some professional activities, they may not suffice for long-term employment in Greece. If your work commitment exceeds 90 days, you must explore other options.
Long Stay "D" Visas
Long stay visas, or "D" visas, are designed for individuals intending to work in Greece for more extended periods, often exceeding 90 days. These visas cater to various categories, including employment, study, or family reunification.
The "D" visa category is an ideal choice for those focused on working in Greece. It encompasses work visas for both employees and self-employed individuals. To secure a long-stay work visa, you'll need to fulfill specific requirements and adhere to the application process outlined by Greek authorities.
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Requirements for Greece Work Permits and Visas
Obtaining a work permit in Greece requires meeting specific criteria set by the Greek government. Here are some key requirements:
Job Offer: Having a job offer from a Greek employer is a prerequisite for obtaining a work permit in Greece. It indicates that you contribute to the Greek economy.
Alternatively, if you plan to be self-employed, you should have the financial means to support yourself to get a Greek residence permit.
Clear Criminal Record: To secure a work permit in Greece, it's essential to maintain a clean criminal record. Providing the necessary documentation to prove a lack of any criminal convictions is a legal requirement for employment in Greece. It underscores your commitment to complying with local laws and regulations.
Health Insurance: Acquiring health insurance coverage during your stay in Greece is mandatory. This ensures that you have access to medical care and coverage for any unforeseen health issues. It also helps alleviate the potential burden on the Greek healthcare system, as foreign residents are expected to have their health insurance, reducing reliance on public services.
Financial Means: It's essential to prove that you can support yourself financially during your stay in Greece, even if you have a job offer. This guarantees that you won't become a financial burden on the Greek state and can meet your living expenses without relying on social welfare programs.
Valid Passport: A practical requirement is to ensure that your passport remains valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure from Greece. It's crucial for both administrative and legal purposes. A valid passport ensures you can travel within the Schengen Area and validates your legal status in Greece. This removes any unnecessary complications or disruptions to your stay.
The above-mentioned requirements may vary depending on the specific type of work permit or visa you're applying for.
How to Apply for Greece Work Permit
Applying for a work permit in Greece involves a structured process and requires careful attention to detail. Here's a simplified step-by-step guide to help you through the application process:
- Determine the Type of Visa: First, identify the category of work permit or visa that suits your situation. This could be a short stay "C" visa or a long stay "D" visa for employment.
- Gather Required Documents: Collect all necessary documents, such as your job offer letter, proof of accommodation, financial statements, health insurance, and a clean criminal record certificate.
- Complete Application Form: Fill out the visa application form. Make sure you provide all the required information and attach the requested documents.
- Pay Visa Fees: Pay the applicable visa fees, which may vary depending on the type of visa and your nationality. Greece work permit visa fees can change, so verify the current fees when applying.
- Submit Your Application: Submit your application to the Greek consulate or embassy in your home country. Ensure you follow their specific submission guidelines and provide all required documents.
- Biometric Data and Interview: In some cases, you may be required to provide biometric data or attend an interview at the consulate.
- Wait for Processing: The processing time for Greece work permits can vary, so be patient. During this period, authorities will review your application & employment contract, conduct background checks, and verify your eligibility.
- Receive Your Visa: Once your application is approved, you will receive your Greece work permit visa affixed to your passport.
Application Processing Time
The processing time for work permits and visas depends on various factors like your nationality, the type of visa you're applying for, and the current workload at the Greek consulate or embassy in your home country. Generally, it can take anywhere from a few weeks to several months.
It's essential to start the application process well in advance to ensure you receive your visa before your intended travel date. Additionally, staying informed about the processing times and requirements can help you navigate the application process smoothly.
Planning to Hire in Greece? Here's How Skuad Can Help
With Skuad’s all-in-one employment and payroll platform, you can easily hire, manage, and pay employees and contractors, compliantly.
When you partner with Skuad as your Employer of Record, we also advise you on the legalities around work permits, background checks, leave policy and more. Leave the complexities of hiring and payments to us so that you can focus on growing your teams in Greece and beyond.
Got questions? Speak to our experts today!
How do I get a work permit in Greece?
To get a work permit in Greece, you must secure a job offer from a Greek employer, meet specific eligibility criteria, gather the required documents, and submit your application to the Greek consulate or embassy in your home country. The exact process may vary depending on your nationality and the type of work permit you're applying for.
What are the maximum working hours in Greece?
In Greece, the maximum working hours for employees are typically set at 8 hours per day and 40 hours per week. However, variations may exist depending on the specific industry, collective labor agreements, and seasonal fluctuations in certain sectors.
How can a US citizen work in Greece?
US citizens wishing to work in Greece must follow the same general process as other foreign nationals. They must secure a job offer, meet Greece's work permit and visa requirements, and submit an application to the Greek consulate or embassy in the United States. Additionally, US citizens should be aware of any specific visa requirements that may apply to them based on bilateral agreements between Greece and the United States.
How much is a work permit for Greece?
The cost of a work permit for Greece can vary depending on several factors, including your nationality, the type of visa or permit you're applying for, and any applicable fees or processing costs.