Living and working in Greece is synonymous with a good quality of life. The local business culture, tourism opportunities, and a multinational environment are just a few reasons the country attracts foreign talent.
If you want to work in Greece, this article can help you. The following guide explains the requirements for some of the work visa types in Greece you can apply for, including a checklist of documents and a general application procedure.
Do I need a work visa in Greece?
You don’t need a visa if you’ll be staying in Greece for a maximum of 90 days for the following activities:
- a job interview
- a meeting with the board, a client, a vendor, or with colleagues
- negotiating contracts or deals
- attending a fair or speaking at a conference
- hold an EU intra-company transfer permit
For long-term work of over 90 days, however, it would depend on your nationality.
Citizens of EU member states can freely enter Greece to work and need to register with local authorities. Any non-EU national intending to work in Greece must apply for a type D visa (or National Visa).
What are the requirements to apply for a work visa in Greece?
The National Visa (D Visa) allows you to work and live in Greece exceeding 90 days up to a year, as long as the conditions are satisfied.
It is issued for the following types of occupation.
National visa for temporary work:
- Seasonal work of six months
- Specialized technical service provider for six months
- Athlete, coach, or sports staff for six months
- Tour guide for eight months
- Aircraft forest fighter for eight months
- Fisherman for 11 months
- Member of an artistic group for 12 months
National visa for long-term residence:
- Under a contract for a company in Greece
- Transfer to the Greek branch of a UK-based company
- Professional sports
- Arts and entertainment
- Teacher at a non-Greek school
- Press correspondent
Whichever visa type you fall under, you need to prepare the following requirements:
- Fully accomplished and signed visa application form
- Travel document or passport with at least two blank pages, and valid for three months after your stay in Greece
- Two recent passport photos that meet the standards of Schengen visas
- Proof of no criminal record (legalized criminal record certificate)
- Proof of accommodation in Greece
- Medical certificate from a recognized private or state doctor
- Travel health insurance for your entire stay
- Employment contract
For seasonal work
- Approval from relevant administration for the type of seasonal work
- Approval from relevant administration for fisheries work
For artistic groups
- Proof of membership or registration from a relevant organization
For technical staff
- A certificate detailing conditions of work
- Service contract
For tour guides
- Approval certificate from Tourism Service in Greece
- Approval certificate from Greek federation for your particular sport
For aircraft forest firefighters
- Recommendation letter from a relevant organization
For intra-company transfer
- Proof of qualifications
- Proof of association or assignment agreement with the Greek company
- Proof of educational and professional qualifications
- Invitation or agreement with a research organization
For contract work and other long-term residence purposes
- Proof of educational and professional qualifications
- Proof of meeting minimum salary requirements
- Proof of highly skilled work of at least one year
- Proof of being a board member or position at a managerial level, if applicable
All documents submitted to Greek immigration authorities must be translated into Greek or English, so prepare translations made by accredited translation organizations.
Steps on Applying for a Work Visa in Greece
You shall submit your national work visa application for Greece no earlier than three months before your intended travel date.
You can follow the steps below:
1. Obtain a work contract or professional agreement
You need to obtain a contract, letter of invitation, or similar document demonstrating your purpose of travel to Greece, whether your work is short-term or long-term.
For most occupations, it comes in the form of a work authorization form from your employer. It discloses that they have done a market test and found no Greek national available for the job position. Hence the need to employ a foreign worker that satisfies the condition of the job.
For special occupations, you need to request approval from relevant Greek organizations for your profession (i.e., sports, arts, tourism, etc.)
2. Complete the visa application form
Accomplish the Greek long-stay work visa application form. You will fill out personal information, family information, details on your purpose of stay, professional qualifications, and employment information. Have it printed and affix your signature.
Complete your visa application package by preparing original and copies of the documents listed above, as applicable for your case. If possible, all documents must be at least three months old from your date of submission.
3. Apply for a visa at the Greek embassy
Book an appointment with a Greek diplomatic mission, embassy, or consulate in your country of residence. The list of foreign missions is found here. On the scheduled appointment date, submit your application package, as well as some biometric data (i.e., a photograph and individual scan of fingerprints).
4. Pay the administrative fee
Your national visa application will incur administrative costs, so you must settle certain fees for a diplomatic mission to process your application. In general, a Greek work visa application will cost you 80 EUR or 92 USD.
Note that while the mission is reviewing your application, they have the right to ask you for additional documents or call you in for an interview.
The visa processing time is anywhere from 15 calendar days from your appointment date up to 30 days. In specific cases, it may take up to 60 calendar days. The consular officers will notify you of the result of your application between these dates.
5. Collect your residence permit in Greece
Once your application is approved, you may travel to Greece and perform arrival procedures. The validity of your Greek work visa depends on the respective residence permit regulations for your occupation type. This timeframe is several months to a year. However, it is not extendable.
You may collect your residence permit upon arrival from regional immigration offices or police stations in Greece as well. Its validity varies from one to five years.
I hope this article on how to get a work visa in Greece was informative and insightful. Make sure to also check out the Available Programs in Europe!