Internship Legislation and Student Visa in Greece

Guide to Seamlessly Maneuvering Internships and Student Visas in Greece

In Greece, Piktalent continues to be a reliable resource, offering a variety of business internships. These opportunities are designed to help individuals start their career journey in a country that balances historical richness with contemporary advancements.

Whether you’re an EU citizen or coming from outside the EU, it’s essential to comply with Greece’s legal requirements for visas and work permits. This ensures a smooth and lawful experience during your educational or professional stint in Greece. With its unique cultural and historical backdrop, Greece offers a distinctive environment for learning and professional growth, making it an ideal destination for ambitious students and interns.

EU citizens

1. Duration and Conditions

Internships in Greece offer diverse opportunities across various sectors. Duration varies depending on the sector and the nature of the internship. For example, hospitality and tourism positions typically range from 8 weeks to 6 months, whereas business sector placements can last from 3 to 12 months. Summer placements, found through University Career Offices, have a minimum and maximum duration of 4 to 10 weeks and usually occur from June to August. The duration and working hours for these traineeships are defined by special regulations. Participation in traineeships is available to Greek citizens or nationals of any EU, EEA, or Swiss member states, without specific educational level requirements.

2. The Internship Contract

Internships, especially those under programs like Erasmus, require a training agreement endorsed by both the home Higher Education Institution (HEI) and the host organization. This agreement outlines the program of the placement period​.

3. Understanding Remuneration

Remuneration for internships in Greece varies by industry and company, as well as the intern’s work experience and duration of stay. In some sectors, like hospitality, companies may offer housing or transportation assistance and a modest stipend, although this is reviewed on a case-by-case basis. Generally, student placements and internships are not typically paid, but this can depend on the specific industry​.

4. Navigating Greece as an EU Citizen
  • Planning: Due to Greece being a bureaucratically intensive country, it’s advisable to plan well in advance, particularly for paperwork.
  • Student Mobility Grants: As part of the Erasmus program, these grants allow students to spend 3 to 12 months in an organization in another participating country. The grants are usually managed by the home university’s Erasmus coordinator.
  • EU/EEA/Swiss nationals can freely travel, work, and reside in Greece with either their passport or ID card. However, if staying for more than three months, they must register with the Police and obtain a “Registration Certificate as EU citizen”.
    The freedom of movement for EU citizens and their family members is regulated by Presidential Decree 106/2007.
5. Social Security Contributions for Interns
  • Contribution Rates: Reductions in social security contributions have been implemented. For instance, unemployment contributions are set at a rate of 2.40%, distributed equally between employer and employee. Other contributions include Employer’s Insolvency Protection Account and Single Account for the Implementation of Social Policies​.
  • Debt Settlement: Overdue debts to social security funds can be regulated and paid in instalments.
  • Incentives for Full-Time Employment: A program subsidizes social security contributions by 40% for companies converting part-time contracts to full-time for a year​.
6. Medical Coverage Insights

European Health Insurance Card (EHIC): EU students should have this card, which covers basic medical care in European member states. It’s advisable to also have private medical insurance for any additional healthcare needs.

Private medical insurance is advisable for additional healthcare needs.

All employees in Greece, including foreign nationals, must be insured in the mandatory Greek social security system, which provides public and free healthcare.

7. Key Steps for a Seamless and Enjoyable Stay
  1. Identify Appropriate Internship Opportunities: Explore options like Erasmus placements, industry-specific internships, or research-based opportunities for advanced students.
  2. Secure Funding and Grants: Investigate available student mobility grants, especially if participating in the Erasmus program.
  3. Ensure Proper Health Coverage: Obtain the EHIC and consider additional private health insurance.
  4. Complete Necessary Registrations: Register in the municipality and obtain a student citizen number upon arrival.
  5. Understand Your Financial Obligations: Be aware of social security contributions and potential payment structures for your internship.
  6. Understand the Remuneration Norms: Familiarize yourself with the remuneration laws and the possibility of unpaid internships, depending on the industry.

Non-EU citizens

Greece offers a wealth of internship opportunities across various industries. While EU/EEA citizens have a straightforward process, non-EU citizens must navigate a more complex set of rules to undertake an internship in Greece. This article provides an updated guide on the legislation governing internships for non-EU citizens in Greece as of 2023/2024, focusing on the key areas of work during the internship, post-internship opportunities, and vital steps for a seamless stay.

1. Visa Requirements

Non-EU and non-EEA citizens require a visa to enter or transit through Greece. For internships, a National D-type visa is typically needed, and applicants must provide various documents, including a valid passport, passport photos, a criminal record certificate, a medical certificate, international health insurance, and documentation from the employer detailing the internship. The cost of the Greece National Long Stay Visa (Type D) is now €180. The processing time ranges from a few weeks to a month.

New Information: Non-EU nationals are eligible for work permits that include residence permits. This simplifies the process for those seeking internships as they can obtain both work and residence permits simultaneously.

2. Residence Permit for Internships

If the internship exceeds 90 days, non-EU citizens should apply for a residence permit upon arrival in Greece. The permit application should be submitted within two months of arrival.  The required documents for this permit include passport-sized photos, a photocopy of the passport, medical insurance certificates, a clear health check (in some instances), proof of address in Greece, and proof of employment or sufficient funds. The cost for a one-year residence permit is €150.

Clarification: The residence permit is available for work, studies, and volunteer work, providing more options for non-EU citizens.

3. New Procedures

A new Greek Immigration Code will be implemented on January 1, 2024. It introduces the possibility for highly skilled third-country nationals to apply for Blue Cards. 

4. Work Permit Requirements

To work during an internship, non-EU citizens need a work permit, which involves:

  • Finding a job in Greece and signing a contract with an employer.
  • Applying for a type D visa.
  • Getting a tax number and a social security number upon arrival in Greece.
  • Applying for a work permit within 30 days of arrival, requiring:
    • Passport and passport-style photos.
    • Employment contract.
    • Proof of legal residency and sufficient funds.
    • Medical certificate.
    • No fee is required as the employer covers it (approximately €300).
5. Post-Internship Options

After the internship, if a non-EU citizen wishes to continue working or staying in Greece, they must apply for the appropriate visa or residence permit. The specifics depend on the individual’s circumstances, such as the type of work they intend to pursue and their nationality.

6. Vital Steps for a Seamless Stay

For a smooth experience during the internship in Greece, non-EU citizens should:

  • Ensure all required documents are prepared and translated into Greek if applying within Greece.
  • Apply for visas and permits well in advance to account for processing times.
  • Be aware of the validity period of each document and the need for notarization or apostille where necessary.
  • Stay informed about any changes in legislation or requirements that might affect their status in Greece​.
Navigating the internship legislation in Greece as a non-EU citizen requires thorough preparation and an understanding of the legal requirements. By following these guidelines, interns can ensure a rewarding and legally compliant experience in Greece.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Internships in Greece vary in duration by sector. Hospitality and tourism internships last 8 weeks to 6 months, business internships 3 to 12 months, and summer placements through universities 4 to 10 weeks.

Yes, internships, especially under programs like Erasmus, require a training agreement endorsed by both the educational institution and the host organization.

Internship remuneration in Greece varies by industry and company. Hospitality might offer stipends and benefits, but generally, student internships are unpaid.

EU citizens can freely work in Greece but must register for a “Registration Certificate as EU citizen” if staying over three months.

Interns contribute to social security, with reduced rates such as unemployment contributions at 2.40%, shared between employer and employee.

EU interns should have the European Health Insurance Card for basic care, and additional private insurance is advisable. All employees, including foreigners, are covered by the Greek social security system.

Interns should explore internship opportunities, secure funding, ensure health coverage, complete necessary registrations, and understand financial and remuneration norms.


Non-EU citizens require a National D-type visa, costing €180. It involves submitting a passport, photos, criminal record certificate, medical certificate, health insurance, and employer documentation.

Apply within two months of arrival if the internship exceeds 90 days. Required: passport photos, a copy of the passport, medical insurance, health check, proof of Greek address, and employment or funds proof. Cost is €150 for one year.

Yes, starting January 1, 2024, highly skilled third-country nationals can apply for Blue Cards under the new Greek Immigration Code.

Secure a job, apply for a type D visa, get a tax and social security number in Greece, and apply for a work permit within 30 days of arrival with necessary documents. Employers cover the fee.

Apply for the relevant visa or residence permit, depending on the type of work and nationality, to continue working or staying in Greece.

Prepare and translate documents into Greek, apply for visas and permits in advance, be aware of document validity and legalization needs, and stay informed about legislative changes.

If you are interested in finding a job or internship in Greece

Be sure to check out our board of vacancies.

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