Moving to Greece... A guide to relocating to Greece
There's a lot to think about when you're planning your move to Greece. Relocating permanently means that you'll need to know about everything from from residency to visas, schooling to healthcare and more! And because there's a lot to think about and prepare for, we've put together some of the information you'll need - read through the sections below to get prepared to make that move to Greece.
Greece & Brexit
The UK has now left the EU which means there are limits on how long you might spend in Greece. Unless you have a visa or Greek residency you can spend a maximum of 90 days in each 180 in Greece every year. But there are a fast-increasing number of options that Greece is introducing to attract investors to Greece after Covid-19. Along with the Golden Visa programme – residency with the purchase of a residential property for €250,000 or more – there is a new tax regime for foreign retirees, offering a flat 7 per cent tax rate on overseas earned pension income. Greece also has a non-dom tax T Greece & Brexit regime for HNWIs – offering a flat 10 per cent tax rate – whilst it is formulating a new ‘digital nomad’ visa, offering the right to reside if you work remotely in Greece.
If you live in Greece for more than 183 days a year, you have a legal obligation to apply for Greek residency and submit a tax return on worldwide assets and income the year after you become a resident. Holding a Greek residency card will permit British nationals to travel freely across Greece and access their healthcare system. Britons over the age of 65 can still access the healthcare system. They must obtain an S1 form from the UK social security department. But note not everything is free in the Greek healthcare system, and many people top up with private healthcare cover.
Although Greece’s official tax rates are about the same as in other European countries, endemic tax avoidance among Greece’s many self-employed people has been a principal reason for the Greek debt crisis. Now the authorities are clamping down and we strongly advise foreign residents to play by the rules. Anyone with an income, a home or even a car in Greece must fill out a tax return. Most expats pay (usually less than €200 per annum) for professional help with their tax affairs.
To buy a house or car in Greece, and for many other transactions, you need a Tax File Number (AFM). Before buying a property you should transfer money A Tax into a Greek bank account (unless you are buying from outside Greece and to a non-Greek seller). If you pay for the property directly from the UK it would be assumed that the money was earned in Greece and you could be liable to pay tax on it.
Ongoing property tax amounts to €4 per square metre per year. So on an average 70 square metre two-bedroom property you are paying €23 per month. Swimming pools cost a little extra.
If you are living in Greece or moved there permanently before 31 December 2020, you’ll have life-long healthcare rights in Greece, provided you remain resident. State healthcare in Greece is not completely free. You may still have to pay to use some parts of the healthcare system. UK nationals usually access the Greek healthcare system in one of these ways: paying national insurance contributions if you’re registered to work in Greece; using a European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) or UK Global Health Insurance Card (GHIC) for temporary stays; registering a UK issued S1 form in Greece (if you are retired). Once you’re registered to work in Greece and make social insurance contributions, you’ll be entitled to state-run healthcare on the same basis as a Greek citizen. If you are not working and do not have a registered S1 form, you’ll have to take out private health insurance.
See www.gov.uk for more advice.