Greece Unveils New Work Visas to Attract Global Talent and Boost Economy

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Greece is introducing two new types of work visas for non-EU nationals in a bid to attract talent and upgrade the country as an academic, research, and investment hub, in a bill presented to the cabinet the previous week by Migration and Asylum Minister Dimitris Kairidis.

The soon-to-be-introduced TalentVisa and TechVisa seek to allow graduates from countries outside the European Union, with degrees from some of the world's foremost universities, as well as skilled workers and high-ranking business executives, to work in Greece through legal and controlled immigration, which is a strategic priority for the ministry.

The 'Greek Tech Visa for Outstanding Talent' is a simplified and rapid program for employees, investors, and founders of businesses and start-ups outside the EU to obtain a residence permit in Greece and work at businesses in the national startups register (Elevate Greece). It will be issued for one year and allow holders to work, change employers, or become self-employed. It can be extended to immediate family members. Upon expiration, holders can either apply for renewal or for permanent settlement in Greece.

Similar visa programs have been adopted in many other European countries and the United States to make their economies competitive and attractive for highly skilled individuals in a more flexible, decentralized, and high-tech world.

The Talent Visa is a new one-year visa for talented graduates of prestigious universities abroad and can be issued without first obtaining a firm job offer, allowing the holder to seek work once they arrive in Greece. It is open to those who have a degree or have completed a postgraduate course in the last five years at one of a list of top universities, such as Harvard, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, Imperial, Beijing, and others in Asia, Europe, and America. Knowledge of Greek is not essential, but prospective applicants must demonstrate that they can read, write, speak, and comprehend English with a medium level of competency unless they are a citizen of an English-speaking country or have a degree in a course taught in English.

Applicants must also demonstrate that they can support themselves financially without relying on public funds, having sufficient funds upon arrival. They can also bring dependents, again with the proviso that they can be financially supported.

The new visa aims to attract new graduates to Greece, who will have an opportunity to get to know the country and its culture for one year, explore Europe, and the available economic opportunities. If they secure a job offer during the visa's duration, they can then switch to one of the other work and residence permits offered by the Greek state, which in this way allows highly specialized talents to become familiar with the country and have a real impact on the Greek economy.


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