Program overview – Greek residency by investment program was launched in 2013 and is based on real estate acquisition. Golden visa program grants permanent residency (extendable each 5 years) with a single 3 – 4 days visit. Extremely short application processing period (40 days on average) makes Greek golden visa program one of the fastest and advantageous in EU.
Investors can choose acquisition or leasing of real estate. Required investment level starts at 250 000 EUR, regardless selected method. However, those selected leasing must enter a minimum 10 year contract with advance payment of full investment.
All property types – commercial and residential acquired on mainland or belonging islands qualifies for immigration. Multiple objects may be combined accumulating minimum investment sum. To secure resident status, purchased properties must be maintained until citizenship is obtained. Fractional ownership is allowed, yet investment of 250 000 EUR per person must remain. Real estate owners are also allowed renting properties to receive income, mortgage it after receiving permanent residence permit and once citizenship is obtained – refunded on sale.
Resident status allows free movement within Schengen area. After maintaining it for at least 7 years investors and their families are permitted applying for citizenship. Greek passport grants visa-free or visa on arrival access to more than 170 countries.
More about the program
Requirements – Golden visa program requires main applicant to be at least 18 years old. Having a clean criminal record, good health and medical insurance to cover any stay is a must. However physical presence for any residency period is not compulsory.
Family – Every investor is entitled to include their spouse, underaged children and adult children up to 21 if studying and dependent. Since 2014 program was extended and allows including parents regardless their age of both investor and spouse.
Living, Working, Studying and Traveling –
After resident status is obtained investors and their families are free to live and study in Greece. Setting up business is allowed, yet labour market is not accessible for neither main investor nor family members. Resident status grants visa-free movement within Schengen area for up to 3 months in half a year.
If citizenship is successfully received applicants can live, work and study in EU and Schengen countries. Moreover visa-free or visa on arrival destinations expands to more than 170 countries including USA, Commonwealth countries, Hong Kong and etc.
Financials and investment
Real estate – Minimum investment level of 250 000 EUR is required to purchase real estate or enter 10-year accomodation lease contract. Besides the principal investment government applies € 500 residency application fee per person.
Investors, buying real estate should as well on average fund 15 000 EUR to cover investment and governmental fees.
Program Investment costs
Taxes – Despite the value added tax on purchased real estate, Greek government applies income (derived within country) taxes on non-residents starting from 22%. Investors willing to rent their properties pay taxes on property income in range of 11 – 33%, deducted incurred expenses from gross income. Capital gains tax (in case of real estate sale) has 15% rate.
Timescale and Payment Outline
Step 1 (3 – 5 days)
Pre-due diligence allows avoiding possible issues and assure eligibility. It also allows ineligible applicants saving unnecessary costs, time and effort.
Step 1 requires:
In cases of questionable pre-due diligence outcomes, enhanced background checks may be required, including possible cooperation with the relevant authorities.
Step 2 (1 month)
Collection and preparation of documentation usually takes approximately 1 month to prepare all documents which must be translated to English or Greece and certified if applicable. At this step is also recommended to visit Greece and meet our lawyers, open bank account, view properties and authorize legal representative with local notarization to apply for residency permit on behalf of applicant.
Step 2 requires:
Step 3 (1 – 2 days)
After committing investment and collection of required documents application is submitted in the Alien and Immigration department in person or by legal representative. Application in person allows providing biometric data in advance so it will entitle us collecting residency cards once approval is issued (see step 5).
Step 4 (2 – 3 months)
Once documents are submitted, application processing takes up to 2 months. On average decision to approve, deny or request additional documents takes 40 days.
Step 5 (3 months)
Approval from immigration office. In case biometric data is provided during application process, ready-made cards might be collected by authorized legal representative and sent by courier. Collection in person is available as well.