Citizenship By Investment (Greece)
Citizens of countries, which are not European Union members, are eligible to apply under this program. Applicants can obtain residency of Greece through two options:
- Greek Residence Permit by Real Estate Acquisition Program
- Greek Residence Permit by Strategic Investment
Applicants are required to purchase real estate property whose minimum value should be €250,000.
This amount can be invested in one or more properties. Whether one or more properties, their total value must be at least €250,000.
The property/properties can be located anywhere on the Greek mainland or the islands and can be either residential or commercial.
The value of the property/properties is proved from the value mentioned on the purchase or the rent contract.
The property can belong to a legal entity as long as the company shares or the share holdings belong in whole to the person who requests the residence permit.
The value of €250,000 not only concerns the purchase of a real estate property and several alternative options exist:
Purchase of real estate property
Timesharing agreement with a duration of at least 10 years
Lease with a duration of at least 10 years of hotel facilities or furnished homes in combined tourist facilities
In order to purchase real estate property and subsequently request a Residence Permit in Greece, either a Type C Schengen visa, or a Type D National visa is required. The applicant should take into consideration the following:
No specific type of visa is required for the real estate property purchase or acquisition.
If the foreign citizen needs a long period for research or after the acquisition wishes to stay in Greece for an extended period of time, a Type D National visa is appropriate.
If 90 days per six month period is not long enough, and if the applicant wishes to request anew an entry visa for the next trip to Greece, then a Type C Schengen visa suffices.
In both cases, the application for a residence permit must have been submitted before the expiration of the visa. The applicant can also choose to submit the application through a proxy person.
Main features of Greek Residence Permit by real estate acquisition:
The duration of the Residence Permit is for 5 years. There is no minimum stay requirement and the Residence Permit can be renewed for another 5 years each time, provided that the applicant still owns the property.
Persons holding a Residence Permit do not have the right to work in Greece, however, they can own/set up a business in Greece.
The members of the applicant’s family may also request individual Residence Permits. They must however submit separate applications. Their own permit expires on the same date that the applicant’s permit expires. Qualifying family members include spouse and all children under 21 years of age. Children 21 years and over can qualify if studying and dependent. The Greek Residency Program was recently extended to the parents of both the applicant and his/her spouse.
Residence Permit is generally issued within 2 months from the day on which the application is submitted.
If the applicant comes from a country whose citizens are required to get an entry visa in order to come to Greece, he/she needs to obtain this entry visa before applying for a residence permit.
Applicants who live in Greece after obtaining the Residence Permit can apply for citizenship and a passport after seven years. Once applicants have citizenship, they are free to dispose off their investment as further visa renewals are not necessary.
Citizens of countries, which are not members of the European Union, are considered eligible for strategic investment in Greece.
Strategic Investments are realized by either the Government or individuals or through public-private partnership.
This type of investment is meant for multi-national companies.
The following persons can request for a Resident Permit –
The legal representative of the entity which implements the investment
Up to 10 persons, for which a Residence Permit is considered to be necessary in order to implement the investment
An investment is considered to be strategic when a relevant decision of the Interministerial Committee of Strategic Investments has been issued
Launched in July 2013 the Greek golden visa programme grants a five year residency visa in return for an investment in real estate. There is no minimum stay requirement and children up to the age of 21 are included in the family application. The visa is granted for five years and renewed every five years if the property investment is retained. It is not necessary to live in the country in order to retain and renew the investor visa. However citizenship can only be granted after seven years of residency.
Low Cost European Residency
Investors in real estate in Greece must also budget for the additional taxes on real estate at 3% – 24%. At €250,000 + taxes and fees (just over €300,000 in total) this program offers the lowest cost residency in Europe. The Greek residency program is relatively fast, taking around 40 days until a residency card is issued. There are also favourable family rules for dependents.
Resident Permit is issued for 5 years. It is easily renewable every 5 years as along as applicant holds the property
Property can be rented out to generate income
Resident permit can be obtained within 2-3 months
Spouse and children under the age of 21 years can be included in the application
Right to live in Greece. Applicant cannot work but can own and operate a business
No minimum stay requirements
Can apply for citizenship after seven years of obtaining Resident Permit and living in Greece
Can dispose off property after acquiring citizenship
Free travel to other Schengen countries without a visa for up to 90 days in each 6-month period
With the residency card, applicant and all qualifying family members can travel across the EU Schengen visa zone with ease.
Applicant and family members have access to health or education services, just like any Greek citizen.