For many expats, the notion of relocating to Greece is appealing. Greece is a thriving country known around the world for its year-round pleasant temperature, rich history, gorgeous architecture, and distinctive culture. In general, Greece is a pretty safe country with very little major crime. Although cities such as Athens are normally more expensive than the rest of the country, they have one of the lowest cost of living in the European Union. Greeks are known for their warm hospitality and friendliness. Greece is dominated by the Greek Orthodox Church, which is followed by 99% of the population.
In this article, we offer a few pointers on relocatin to Greece.
In 1981, Greece became a member of the European Communities (EC), the precursor of the European Union. Prior to this, Greece was still very much a developing country, with expats frequently having to wait over two years for a phone line and cars rarely seen on the road.
Membership in the EU improved living conditions and made life easier, even if it came at the expense of Greece’s formerly pristine natural environment.
The notorious financial crisis began in 2009 when the government’s budget deficit was revealed to be at 12.7%. Greece then requested international assistance and underwent debt restructuring, further impacting its economy: it went from private market to public market ownership, with the IMF and the EU purchasing more than 80% of the debt. However, Greece’s condition was not improving: the country’s GDP fell from €355 billion in 2008 to €235 billion in 2015, according to the World Bank, and the government was forced to increase taxes and reduce government spending in response to creditors’ demands.
The economic and political situation appears to have gradually stabilized since 2015, but the unemployment rate remains alarmingly high at 24%.
Cost of Living
Greece’s cost of living is far cheaper than that of France, Germany, or the United Kingdom in general. If you want to relocating to Greece, you will have to decide whether you want to live on the mainland or on one of the Greek islands. Rent prices in Greece are 135.39% percent lower than in the United Kingdom, while grocery expenditures are 15.78% lower. Food is extremely inexpensive in Greece, particularly on Rhodes, where there are no import charges, making it a cheaper location to live than many other European countries.
Prepare to spend extra for everything, from groceries to apartment leasing, in the latter instance. You’ll have to pay €150 per month for energy bills, €30 for Internet, and €35 for a restaurant supper for two.
Assess your eligibility
Non-EU citizens are referred to as third country nationals, which also includes British nationals as of January 1, 2021. It is critical to contact the Greek Consulate in your country if you intend to relocate to Greece.
The alternatives available to third-country nationals wishing to relocate to Greece are listed below:
- A Golden Visa, which requires an investment worth €250,000
- Visa for a financially independent individual, who has a monthly income of €2,000 monthly.
- Marrying a Greek national.
- Greek heritage
- A job offer in Greece
Working in Greece
It can be difficult to get work in Greece, and in most cases, local workers take precedence. Furthermore, fluency in modern Greek is a huge plus. EU and EEA residents can live and work in Greece without a work visa, but they must register with a local Department of Aliens and get a Certificate of Registration if they plan to stay longer than 90 days. All other expats must get a visa to live and work in Greece, which can be difficult to obtain unless you are married to a Greek citizen or have proof of Greek ancestry.
The government welcomes foreign employees, and due to the country’s significant promotion of tourism, there are generally chances in this area, such as starting a business, becoming a tour guide, or managing hotels.
Following the financial crisis in 2010, Greece implemented a Golden Visa scheme to aid the country’s recovery. Non-EU expats are encouraged to take advantage of fast-tracked residency in exchange for a financial investment under the scheme. Third-country nationals who purchase property in Greece valued at €250,000 or more will be awarded a five-year residency permit, allowing them to migrate to Greece with their family.
Greece provides numerous prospects for investors and entrepreneurs considering relocating to the country to live and work, particularly in the tourism business. This sector’s infrastructure might be expanded to make Greece a more popular tourist destination all year. Growing integrated resorts and residential real estate, improved and new marinas, conference centers, and other infrastructure, as well as developing tourism in many areas, such as the wellness and health industry, are all areas of interest.
In January 2016, a new law was established to encourage investment and incentives in the tourism sector. For example, it provides a seven-year fixed tax on investments above twenty million euros and simplifies the licensing procedures for tourism facilities.
If you are interested in relocating to Greece, Orience has a team of experts available for consultation who can assist you with your move.