Immigration. Travel. Living.

Greece: job guide for immigrants

Flag of Greece on Island

Greece is a very safe place to live with few records of serious crime. It also has one of the lowest costs of living in Europe, a high standard of living, and low tax rates for expats. Greeks are popular for being exceptionally friendly and cheerful.

If you plan on moving to Greece for employment, this is a very detailed guide that unveils all you need to know before you travel to Greece for work.

Work conditions

Since 2004, Greece has been making headlines for fiscal crisis, even the government has to implement harsh and unpopular austerity measures to put the economy back on track. With the unemployment rate as high as 24%, is Greece still a viable option for expats?

Yes, Greece is one of the best places to work in Europe, it has one of the most favorable policies for employees. First of all, you only have to work 37 hours/week. While worker employed in a shift system has a daily rest of 11 consecutive hours between the end and the beginning of the next shift.

Employees are also permitted to work up to two extra hours per day for six months [working hours must not exceed 48 hours/week] in a work year. New mothers also enjoy a total of 17 weeks of maternity leave: eight weeks before delivery, and nine after childbirth.

Finding a job

Most of the expats working in Greece arrive in the country through intracompany transfer. If you do not fall into this category, don’t let it derail you. You can easily find a job via local businesses and recruiting agencies.

There are daily updates on online job portals and classified sections of local newspapers. Looking for jobs online is a good way to start your search but is often not the best route for securing employment. Networking and referral are often the keys to landing a good job in the Hellenic Republic. Since your employer has someone he knows vouching for you.

As an immigrant in Greece, it can be difficult to get employed if you are not fluent in Modern Greek since over 72% of Greek residents use this language daily. Other predominant languages in the country are English language and French.

However, there are a lot of English-speaking multinational companies willing to employ none Greek-speaking expats. Greece’s biggest industries are within the service sector, which employs millions of people and makes the biggest contribution to the country’s GDP. Industries such as food processing, tobacco making, textile production, and chemicals are the biggest in the country.

Other popular jobs in areas for non-Greek-speaking expats are teaching, tourism, child care, civil service, manufacturing, and agriculture. If you plan on coming to Greece to teach, you must have a bachelor’s degree and TEFL qualification.

Greece’s tourism is also thriving, with millions of tourists from all over the world coming to see the marble statues, ancient architecture, monuments, and enjoy their vacation on holiday islands like Santorini and Mykonos. Starting a business in this niche is very lucrative.


Flag of Greece waving at pole at Santorino, Greece

Employment requirements

To work as an expat in the Hellenic Republic, you must adhere to the Greek immigration laws. These laws vary in regions and between nationalities. Two major laws dictate the employment requirements for expats. It applies differently to EU and Non-EU citizens.

1. EU citizens

EU citizens can easily move to Greece and start working immediately after arrival. Citizens of EU member states have the right to move, study, or work in Greece without any special document.

2. Non-EU citizens

Non-EU citizens must however register their presence before they arrive in Greece. The entire process needed to be completed is quite lengthy and stressful because it involves a lot of forms, documents, applications, and interviews. This category of the applicant must obtain a work permit before they can even travel & work in the country.


Taxpayer identification number

You automatically become a Greek tax resident if you stay for over 183 days in the country. You will only be taxed on your Greek source of income. After finding a job and relocating to Greece, you must apply for a taxpayer identification number [AΦΜ – ΑριθμόςΦορολογικούΜητρώου]. This unique ID allows you to do transactions such as opening a bank account, buying a house, or setting up your utilities in Greece.


Average salary

Like I said earlier, Greece is one of the best places to live and work. An average worker in Greece earns €2,788 every month. 25% of workers earn less than €1,428/ month. Salaries vary depending on skill, education, and experience.

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