There are many Australian expats living in Greece, and the rest of Europe, as well as a sizable population of Greek expats living in Australia. If you are planning to make the move between the two countries, you’ll undoubtedly find out how costly it is to send money from Greece to Australia, or from Australia to Greece. The big banks are notorious for charging high fees, but the problem does not stop there. They also offer the worst foreign exchange rates, far off from the mid-market rates. With capital controls still in place in Greece, it will be especially costly to send international transfers to Greece.
Investing in Greek businesses or real estate is still a very risky venture. The housing market is still sliding, even though prices are already extremely low. And, capital controls put in place during the height of Greece’s economic crisis have still not been completely lifted, so you won’t easily get your money out. The last restrictions are expected to be lifted in July this year. Until then, you’re unlikely to want to transfer money to Greece except for current necessities.
If you’re trying to transfer money into Australia from Greece, you’ll find that the banks make it even more of an exercise in frustration. As if Greek restrictions are not enough, you’ll end up losing a high proportion of your money with every transfer – and they’ll have to be regular transfers due to restrictions. A small amount can cost you AUD20 through a bank. Using FX transfer firms will save you most of that money, as well as explain to you all the ins and outs of money transfers to and from Greece.
Approximately 135,000 Australians live in Greece, 100,000 of whom live in Athens. The majority of Australian expats in Greece are Australians of Greek descent with dual citizenship. They generally have families in Greece and many have lived there most of their lives. In recent years, however, Australians have been moving back down under, as the Greek economic crisis and consequent austerity measures hit hard. You don’t need to apply for a Greek Visa if you’re touring. Getting a work visa is not difficult for Australian citizens, and especially easy if you are of Greek descent.
Australia has a long history of Greek immigration. After World War 2 especially, many Greeks moved to Australia, becoming an important demographic socially and economically. As of the 2011 census, there are 378,270 residents of Greek ancestry, and 99,939 born in Greece. Citizens of Greece always require a tourism visa, no matter how long they’re staying. For those wishing to work in Australia on a more permanent basis, there are options readily available. Applying to live in Australia as a permanent resident will take you some time. It is far easier if you have a close relative who holds Australian citizenship.
The EUR is the second most traded currency in the world, while the AUD is the fifth most traded. The exchange rate from EUR to AUD, and from the AUD to EUR, has been favorable towards the EUR for a range of reasons. AUD1 has been able to purchase in between EUR0.50 to EUR0.70. However, in 2010 the AUD made major gains on the EUR, reaching as high as EUR0.85 for AUD1 in 2012. Since then, the AUD/EUR pairing has remained between EUR0.64 and EUR0.73.
Approximately 135,000 Australian citizens are living in Greece on a long-term or permanent basis. If you plan on moving to Greece, capital controls will make transfer fees and exchange rates particularly significant. Using a bank will be very costly. On the other hand, FX transfer firms charge far lower fees as well as providing better exchange rates. They’ll also make the complicated economic situation far more understandable. Australia has long been a popular destination for Greek citizens, with a major flow of immigration after World War 2. Since the Greek financial crisis, Greek citizens are moving to Australia at a higher rate, along with Australians who have been living in Greece. The AUD/EUR pairing is one of relative stability, and since Greece is staying in the Eurozone, transfers between Greece and Australia should stay relatively stable. Over the past ten years, there have been a few big fluctuations, but in recent years volatility has been relatively low.
Greece had a really bad time after the 2008 recession hit the country. It went into a very restrictive control of the economy starting with the 2015 Grexit crisis and the flux of money going in and out of the country was limited. At some point, citizens were limited at withdrawing only 60 euros per day.
But since September 2019 those restrictions are lifted and everything is back to normal and people and companies can easily make money transfers from Greece to Australia without any further limitations. The only ones that are still valid, are the usual EU anti-money laundering laws available in all the EU members.
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