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Unveiling the Nuances of Greece’s New Immigration Law: A Focused Analysis for HighSkilled Non-EU Nationals | Insights by Amoiridis Law Services®

By 16/12/2023 No Comments

Introduction: A Paradigm Shift in Greek Immigration Policy

Greece, a country known for its rich history and strategic geographic location, is entering a new phase in its immigration policy with the implementation of Law 5038/2023, the updated Immigration Code. This law, replacing the previous Law 4251/2014, ushers in significant changes for non-EU nationals seeking to work, invest, and reside in Greece. As experts in immigration law, Amoiridis Law Services® delves into the nuances of this legislation, offering comprehensive guidance to navigate this new legal landscape.

Understanding the New Immigration Code

The enactment of the new Immigration Code (L. 5038/2023), signifies Greece’s commitment to fostering a favorable investment environment. It introduces revamped procedures and criteria for the residence of non-EU nationals, emphasizing investment and business-related immigration. The key focus lies on residence permits for investment purposes, adapting to the evolving global investment trends.

Key Highlights of Law 5038/2023

Investment Incentives: The new law delineates various categories of Type B residence permits, each catering to different investment needs. This includes permits for strategic investors, business establishment, company executives, financial investments, and real estate investments. Each category comes with specific criteria, such as minimum investment thresholds (e.g., €500,000 for business establishment) and targeted economic impacts.

Electronic Application Process: Embracing digital transformation, the law validates the electronic submission of applications for residence permits, simplifying the process and enhancing transparency.

Flexibility in Residence Permit Types: One significant reform is the provision allowing non-EU nationals legally residing in Greece to request a change in their residence permit type, offering greater flexibility to adapt to changing personal and professional circumstances.

Comprehensive Legal Framework

The Immigration Code is just one facet of Greece’s immigration framework. Other key legislations include Presidential Decrees (106/2007, 30/2021, 101/2016) and the Greek Citizenship Code (Law 3284/2004). These statutes collectively govern the conditions for obtaining Greek citizenship, the freedom of movement for EU citizens, and the requirements for employee postings. Understanding these interrelated laws is crucial for navigating Greece’s complex immigration landscape.

Business and Corporate Immigration

The new code also brings noteworthy changes for business visitors and corporate immigration:

Business Visitors: Under the new regime, business visitors can enter Greece on a Schengen Visa or a Business Invitation Visa, allowing participation in professional activities like conferences and training. However, these visas do not permit substantive employment in Greece.

Corporate Immigration Compliance: Employers hiring foreign nationals must adhere to stringent compliance measures, including verifying the validity of work permits and ensuring adherence to labor market regulations.

Ensuring Compliance and Avoiding Penalties

Compliance with the new law is critical. Employers must be vigilant in recruiting foreign nationals, adhering to the requirements set forth by the Labour Inspectorate and the Police. Failure to comply can result in substantial fines and legal repercussions.

Investment and Business-Centric Immigration Reforms

Central to the new law is the redefined framework for Type B residence permits, tailored to various investment profiles. This includes strategic investors, business establishment, company executives, financial investments, and real estate investments, each with specific investment thresholds and conditions. These changes underscore Greece’s commitment to fostering a conducive environment for international investment.

Introduction: A New Era for Immigration in Greece

Greece’s Law 5038/2023 represents a groundbreaking shift in the country’s approach to immigration. This modern legislation, replacing Law 4251/2014, introduces a range of new provisions aimed at attracting non-EU nationals, from investors and skilled professionals to corporate entities. Amoiridis Law Services® offers an extensive analysis of these changes, highlighting the law’s potential impact on the Greek economy and global talent mobility.

1. The EU Blue Card: A Gateway for Global Talent (Article 45)

Central to Law 5038/2023 is the EU Blue Card system, offering a robust framework for highly skilled non-EU nationals. This system aligns with Article 21 of Directive 2021/1883/EU and facilitates enhanced mobility within the EU. Key aspects include:

• Eligibility and Mobility Benefits: Non-EU nationals with a minimum of 12 months of legal residency in another EU state can leverage this provision to work in Greece’s specialized sectors. This rule enhances the mobility of skilled professionals across the EU, fostering knowledge exchange and economic growth.

• Application Process and Requirements: The law stipulates a streamlined application process, where applicants must submit their requests within one month of entering Greece. This includes presenting a valid EU Blue Card from the first member state and fulfilling the conditions of Article 31, ensuring a smooth transition for professionals and employers alike.

Article 31: Conditions for Residence Rights Eligibility Criteria for EU Blue Card Applicants:

• Valid high-skilled employment contract for at least 6 months in Greece, with a salary not less than 1.6 times the average gross annual salary in Greece.

• For non-regulated professions, proof of relevant high professional qualifications is needed.

• For regulated professions, compliance with the conditions for professional qualifications recognition as per Greek law.

• Valid travel document and national entry visa for high-skilled employment.

• Proof of sickness insurance covering all risks as for nationals.

• No threat to public order, security, or health.

• Providing a residential address in Greece.

Compatibility with Existing Legal Provisions and Practices:

• This chapter does not affect existing legislation, collective agreements, or practices in professional sectors for high-skilled employment.

Simplified Requirements for Current National Permit Holders:

• Applicants already holding a national residence permit for high-skilled employment in Greece may not need to resubmit certain documents.

Article 32: Determining the Number of High-Skilled Workers

The number of third-country nationals entering Greece for high-skilled employment is carefully monitored and determined in accordance with Article 26 of Law 5038/2023. This ensures a balanced approach, aligning with Greece’s labor market needs and economic goals.

Article 33: EU Blue Card Applications

Application Process:

1. Employers must apply for a national entry visa on behalf of the third-country national if they are outside Greece.

2. Following entry into Greece, and before the expiry of the national entry visa, the individual must apply for the EU Blue Card.

3. Payment of any applicable fees is required.

Provisions for Third-Country Nationals Already in Greece:

• Those currently in Greece can apply directly for the EU Blue Card, provided they have an eligible employment contract.

Special Provisions for Permanent Residents:

• Permanent residents in Greece can apply for the EU Blue Card with a relevant employment contract.

Article 34: Issuance of the EU Blue Card

Eligibility for the Card:

• Granted to applicants meeting the criteria set out in Article 31 and without reasons for rejection as outlined in Article 35.

Validity Period:

• The EU Blue Card is valid for two years or the duration of the employment contract plus three months, whichever is shorter, but not exceeding two years.

Card Design and Information:

• The card is issued using a standard format, clearly indicating the holder’s work market access conditions.

Special Provisions for International Protection Beneficiaries:

• Specific annotations are made for beneficiaries of international protection in Greece or other EU countries.

Procedure in Case of Status Revocation:

• If international protection is revoked, the EU Blue Card is reissued without the special annotation.

Updating Information:

• The residence permit is reissued if responsibility for international protection is transferred to Greek authorities.

Annotation for Non-listed Professions:

• A special note is included for high-skilled professions not listed in Annex I of Directive 2021/1883/EU.

Rights of the Card Holder:

• The holder has the right to enter, re-enter, and reside in Greece and enjoy the rights recognized in this chapter.

2. Encouraging Investment: The “B.2” Type Residence Permit (Article 97)

Article 97 introduces the “B.2” type residence permit, tailored for foreign nationals intending to establish and operate a business in Greece. This permit is a significant incentive for entrepreneurs and investors from third countries. The key features include:

• Minimum Investment Requirement: The permit is available to those planning to invest a minimum of €500,000 in Greece, with the expectation of positive impacts on national development and economy.

• Eligibility for Legal Representatives and Partners: Up to three individuals from third countries, involved as board members, shareholders with at least a 33% stake, or legal representatives of the investing company, can apply for this permit.

• Operational Framework: The law facilitates the entry and residence of up to ten high-skilled employees of the investment entity, depending on the total investment volume.

3. Broader Immigration Opportunities

Law 5038/2023 goes beyond these primary categories, offering various other pathways for immigration:

• Provisions for Corporate Executives (Article 98): The law includes special regulations for non-EU nationals in executive roles in Greek or multinational companies in Greece, fostering an environment conducive to international business and trade.

• Financial Investments and Real Estate (Article 99): The law introduces opportunities for non-EU nationals to invest in financial instruments and real estate, with specific criteria and associated benefits, enhancing Greece’s appeal as an investment destination.

4. Corporate Compliance and Business Visitors

The new legislation underscores the importance of compliance with immigration regulations for businesses employing foreign nationals. It emphasizes the need for meticulous adherence to these rules, ensuring seamless business operations and legal integrity.

Navigating Legal Complexities with Amoiridis Law Services®

The new Greek Immigration Law (L. 5038/2023) represents a significant shift in the country’s approach to immigration, particularly for investors and businesses.


At Amoiridis Law Services®, we understand the complexities of the visa and permit process, and our dedicated team is here to provide guidance and support, ensuring your experience in Greece is smooth and hassle-free. For further information and personalized assistance tailored to your needs and profile, contact our legal team.

For any further information and clarifications please do not hesitate to contact our qualified legal team, ready to provide you with further personalized information tailored to your needs and your profile.

You can email us:  or call/text us directly at: +306908351705 (WhatsApp/Viber)

Athens, December 2023

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