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Greece

Permanent Residency

GOLDEN VISA GREECE

Permanent residency without citizenship

Launched in July 2013 the Greek Golden Visa Law, as amended in 2014, offers the lowest cost option for residency in Europe by granting a five-year residence permit in return for a real estate investment of a minimum value of 250,000 Euros. The investment may consist of more than one properties, residential or commercial, and there are no restrictions regarding the location, the age or the exploitation of the assets.

The Golden Visa is granted for five years and is renewed every five years, provided that the ownership of the assets is maintained. The application practically covers three generations (investor and spouse, parents of both the investor and his/ her spouse and any children up to the age of 21).

There is no minimum stay requirement for applicants to retain or renew the residence permits. Greece is a member of the EU Schengen Zone, so the holders of the Greek Golden Visa enjoy the privilege of free movement within the Schengen Zone, without any requirement for further visa applications.

The stay in those countries cannot exceed 90 days in each 6-month period and the RP holders have access to health or education services, just like any European citizen.

The Schengen Area

Twenty-two of the European Union (EU) member states and the four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states participate in the Schengen Area.

Of the six EU members that are not part of the Schengen Area, four –Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania– are legally obliged and wish to join the area, while the other two –the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom– maintain opt-outs.

The four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states –Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland are not members of the EU, but have signed agreements to comply with the Schengen rules.

Three European microstates – Principality of Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City– can be considered de facto participants.

KEY FACTS

Permanent Residency
  • Investment in property from €250,000
  • Full family residency.
  • Flexible. No requirement to reside.
  • EU Schengen visa travel
  • Citizenship requires residency

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

Beneficiaries

According to the law, family members of third country citizens entering the country include:

  1. the direct ascendants of the investors and/or their spouses (parents).
  2. the direct descendants of the investors and/or their spouses, who are under the age of 21 (children).

The applicants’ children, who have originally been admitted to the country under the terms and requirements of the Golden Visa, are provided with a residence permit for family reunification until the age of 21. After that, they can apply for a renewal in the form of an independent residence permit until they reach the age of 24 and then it is possible to renew it further according to pertinent immigration legislation.

Citizenship option

The holders of the Golden Visa may apply for Greek Citizenship and a European Passport after seven (7) years of lawful residency in Greece.

Greek citizens enjoy visa-free or visa on arrival access to 171 countries and territories, ranking the Greek passport 7th in the world. Once applicants have acquired citizenship, they can dispose of their investment in Greece as no further visa renewals are required.

In case one of the parents successfully applies for the Greek Citizenship, the children are automatically granted the citizenship, provided they are not married and still under 18.

Requirements

The following conditions must be fulfilled to receive a residence permit:

a) The real estate properties must be owned by and be in possession of its owners.

b) In cases of joint ownership, where the value of the property is €250,000, the residence permit is only granted if the owners are spouses with undivided ownership of the property. In all other cases of joint ownership, the residence permit is only granted if each of the joint owners has invested a minimum amount of €250,000. (i.e. two investors are required to purchase a property of a minimum value of €500,000).

c) If the owner has acquired the property through a legal entity, the applicant must own 100% of the company shares.

d) The residence permit is also granted in cases where the third country citizen is the owner, either directly or through a legal entity, of more than one real estate properties, provided the minimum value of the total real estate investment is €250,000.

e) In the case of third country citizens who have signed a lease of at least 10 years for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts provided the minimum value of the lease is € 250,000, the contract must require a single payment of the lease for the equivalent of the ten-year leasing of the property.

In all cases outlined above, the value of the real estate property shall be determined based on the value of the property, or the lease, as indicated in the contract of purchase. The value of the property is determined as the amount stated explicitly on the contract regarding the purchase of the real estate properties.

The objective, or assessed, value of the property is not relevant, unless it corresponds to the amount which was, according to the contract, been paid for the purchase of the property.