GreeceGOLDEN VISA PROGRAM
- MINIMUM INVESTMENT
- TIME TO RESIDENCY
- INITIAL RESIDENCY STATUS
- MINIMUM RESIDENCE REQUIREMENT
REAL ESTATE OPTION
- Purchase of a property with a minimum investment value of €250,000
- 10 years of lease agreement signed for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts
- €800,000 investment for Greek government bonds, kept for five years
- €400,000 investment for bonds or shares of real estate investment companies, kept for at least three years
- €400,000 investment in bank deposits
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GOLDEN VISA STATISTICS
July 2013 – 30 October 2018
- TOTAL INVESTMENT
- TOTAL NUMBER OF FAMILIES
- Total residence permit for family members
- *estimated number
STEPS & TIMELINE
Greece Golden Visa Process through Real Estate Acquisition
Do you need more information on the Greece Golden Visa Scheme and the real estate market in Greece?
WHY GREECEGreek citizens get visa-free access to 164 countries.
19.7% of GDP
Total contribution of travel & tourism
3rd Largest Coastline
63.7 Million Travellers
Landed on Greece in 2018 (historic high)
131,957 sq. km
Greece Golden Visa Program is a residency by investment program. It is one of the most preferred programs in Europe, particularly due to its low investment threshold. The program grants permanent residency to individuals who invest in Greek real estate for a minimum value of € 250.000.
What is the Greece Golden Visa Program?
Greece Golden Visa is a scheme that offers investors residency permits in exchange for an investment made in the country. This permit provides its holders with visa-free travel opportunity within the Schengen area. The program does not require staying or residing in Greece. As the scheme does not have any stay requirements, it allows the applicants to continue living where they are already based. With its recent record-breaking performance, the program details and its benefits are worth a closer look. As The Get Golden Visa team in Greece, we strongly advise you to go through our Greece Golden Visa Guide below.
What are the Benefits of the Golden Visa in Greece?
1-) Investors may include their family members in the program. According to family reunification rules:
Dependent children under the age of 21.
Main applicant’s parents and parents in law.
Can get permanent residency.
2-) As a member of the European Union, Greece offers visa-free travel to 164 countries, including the Schengen countries.
3-) Compared to other residency and citizenship programs, the application process in Greece is much quicker. Applicants may receive their residence cards within two (2) to three (3) months.
4-) Investors can renew their visas as long as they maintain their investment. The initial residency status is issued for five (5) years, and the residence permits can be renewed every five (5) years for infinite times.
5-) There are multiple investment options within the program, although the real estate investment of €250.000 is the most preferred option. Others include:
Sign a 10-year lease agreement for hotel accommodation.
Make an €800.000 of investment for government bonds.
€400.000 investment in bonds/shares of real estate investment companies.
The Get Golden Visa's Involvement in Greek Golden Visa Investments
Are you planning to apply for a Greek residence permit through property investment? Our team may guide you throughout the whole process. They can give you a thorough understanding of the Greek real estate investments as they are well experienced in the local market.
Our local team will provide you with customized solutions to select the most optimal real estate property based on your search criteria. Firstly, we shortlist the neighborhoods and properties in line with your preferences. Then, we recommend visiting properties and the areas with our team members. Once you select one or more properties to invest in, the process starts:
1-) You need to sign a reservation agreement for the property. The selected property is reserved once you transfer a reservation fee to the current owner of the asset.
2-) You need a lawyer to carry out the legal steps. They can represent you legally with a Power of Attorney all the way from the investment to receiving the Golden Visa cards.
3-) You have to obtain a non-resident tax number and open a bank account in Greece.
4-) You can complete the transaction of the asset once lawyers complete the legal Due Diligence of the property.
5-) The acquisition of Greek real estate takes place after signing the promissory sale and purchase agreement.
6-) The Golden Visa application starts with gathering all the required documents. Applicants are required to visit Greece by appointment to present their biometric data to the authorities. Residence permits are generally approved in two (2) to three (3) months. Once the Golden Visa application is approved, investors receive their Greek residency cards. The residence cards can be renewed every five years.
Greek Residence Program Application Order
Greek Residency by Investment Program has a rather easy to follow list of instructions. This is why it is one of the more popular Golden Visa programs.
First of all, the applicant must apply for an entry visa to Greece through the standard visa procedure. This is granted through the Greek embassy or consulate within the home country of the applicant. The entry visa allows investors to conclude the transaction of the investment and the legal process within Greece.
After the investor makes the Golden Visa oriented investment, the list of necessary documents must be collected. These documents will be submitted to the branch of the Alien and Immigration Department at the Decentralized Authority located near the subject property in Greece. Once the documents are submitted, the main applicant and dependents need to visit the country to provide their biometric data to the immigration authorities. Golden Visa cards will then be issued once the government approves the application. Golden Visa Greece has a list of criteria for eligibility, as stated below.
Eligibility Criteria of Greek Golden Visa Program: Who is an eligible investor?
Non-EU citizens around the world can apply for the program. The applicants may choose one of the listed investment methods to become a qualified investor. Transaction of 400,000 Euros in corporations as bonds, shares, or deposits at Greek banks, or a real estate acquisition of at least 250.000 Euros are among the qualified investments. You may check the whole list of qualified investment methods below. Family members of the main applicant are eligible for the application as dependents.
The Requirements for Greek Permanent Residency
How to apply for permanent residency? The authorities offer several investment options. The most preferred choice is the € 250.000 real estate investment. The permanent residency should be renewed every five years, and the applicants have the unlimited right to renew their permit. There is no minimum residence requirement to maintain the permit. The only requirement is to keep the initial investment in Greece to renew the residency card.
Investment types are as following:
Purchase of a property with a minimum investment value of € 250,000.
Ten years of the lease agreement signed for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts for a minimum value of € 250,000.
€800,000 investment in government bonds, kept for five years.
€400,000 investment in bonds or shares of real estate investment companies, kept for at least three years.
€400,000 investment in bank deposits.
What Does Greece Golden Visa Offer?
Visa-free travel within the Schengen area is one of the significant advantages that attract the increased applicants in Greece Golden Visa. Moreover, Golden Visa holders have the right to benefit from the public services as if they are Greek citizens. The applicants usually seek to enhance their global mobility, and upgrade their residence permit to a second citizenship. There has been uncertainty around whether it leads to citizenship or not.
Does Golden Visa Greece Lead to Citizenship?
This is one of the most frequently asked questions related to the scheme. The Greek Golden Visa Scheme should be considered as a residence permit program, not citizenship. It may lead to citizenship under certain circumstances. It offers the most affordable route to a permanent residence card in the EU. For this reason, this program is one of the most popular golden visa programs among investors. The applicants may consider the Greek residency visa an advantageous one because along with its relatively low required investment amount, it provides global mobility for the investors.
Citizenship: How to Get Greek Citizenship Through the Golden Visa Greece Program?
Golden Visa Greece Program is a very advantageous program and offers the most affordable route to European residency. According to Greek Nationality law, Greek citizenship can be received through naturalization after seven years of real residency. The applicants are required to succeed in culture and language tests. However, these may not be sufficient to become a citizen.
The authorities have to be convinced that the applicants have a vital interest in Greece for citizenship approval. Therefore, there is no exact way to specify the requirements for naturalization. However, becoming a tax resident in the country would be one of the effective ways to prove your interest in obtaining Greek citizenship. The minimum stay requirement for the naturalization can be accepted as six months per year. Still, it is the decision of the immigration authorities at the end of the day. Greek citizenship can be received through naturalization after seven years of real residency.
The Future of The Greece Golden Visa
Although it would be wrong to state that this program directly leads to second citizenship, it is legally possible if the applicants comply with the additional requirements. Most of the permanent residency investors have the desire to become a European citizen in the long term. Currently, there is no simplified route of naturalization available for residence permit holders in Greece. A process of naturalization integrated with the permanent residency by investment scheme remains as one of the future expectations. The professionals and investors are waiting for amendments in the future.
Investors of Greece Golden Visa in 2020 mainly come from China, Russia, and Turkey. Investors can apply for permanent residency if they invest in real estate in Greece. An application can be made after the necessary documents and conditions are completed. It is a unique country offering a delightful experience in all seasons. It may be a wise idea to invest in this country, which is becoming economically more robust each year.
Why Should We Invest in the Golden Visa and Real Estate Market in Greece?
Investors can obtain a residence permit in Greece and live with their families at European standards. Individuals with this residency have the right to move within Europe freely. The permanent residency holders can also benefit from public services in Greece, which are at the EU standards. Health care is well developed in the country, and investors can make use of it as they wish.
The debt crisis in Greece began in 2009. Since then, the country's economy has recovered dramatically over the years. The measures and incentives taken by the new government in Greece have positive developments in the marketplace. New policies seem to be successful at attracting foreign investors to this market. According to the new regulations, there are many tax advantages applied to foreign investors in 2020. The government encourages especially real estate investments. In these circumstances, it is very advantageous to apply for the Golden Visa program in Greece.
Greece is becoming a center of business again after its painful experience with the global financial crisis of 2008. Gradually recovering from its previous economic stance, Mediterranean beauty is now back in the competition. The country has a dynamic tourism sector, a restored economy, and a highly competent real estate market which is fuelled by the country’s hugely successful investor visa program.
Greece is again a top-rated destination among investors. Investors all around the world prefer this investment market for tourism investments due to the country’s popularity among tourists. Also, Greece offers an educated, efficient labor force for every sort of enterprise, which is another contributing factor to the attraction of investors towards the Mediterranean country. Emerging back out from the economic crisis of 2008, the local real estate market also regained its strength and continues to provide investors with incredible opportunities for profit and income.
Benefits of the Program
The Schengen Zone is the region that includes 26 countries in Europe. People who receive this visa are granted the right to travel freely within the Schengen zone and also member countries of the European Union. Also, with its location that is closely connected to many important business and tourism hubs, Greece offers short traveling times to popular destinations.
Greece is impressive for not only investment opportunities, but also for actually living. Although this program does not require its applicants to reside in the country at all, many people prefer to live in Greece thanks to its fantastic climate, which is also a boosting factor for its tourism. Mostly very famous for its long and hot summers, Greece also can provide its residents with snowy sceneries in the mountainous regions.
Although emphasized several times in this article, it is not possible to emphasize Greece’s current investment-friendly atmosphere enough. Due to its rebounding economy, Greece currently dusts itself off from the damages of the 2008 global crisis.
Technically living in Greece for seven years and being a tax resident there can make you eligible to apply for citizenship. There are, of course, some additional requirements for this application process, including a language test. There isn’t comprehensive information on this topic, since the citizenship requires seven years of residence and the program was launched precisely seven years ago (as of 2020)
A Greek Citizenship by Investment Program Could Arrive
Greek Golden Visas have been very popular among foreign investors for quite some time now. The program ultimately awarded its investors with a Greek residence permit but not citizenship. It is known that Greece is one of the harder countries to get actual citizenship. However, things are likely about to change as the newly elected Greek government may be working on citizenship by investment program.
Citizenship in Greece for 2.5 Million Euros?
It is speculated that the new program will start after the first quarter of 2020. Since citizenship is arguably a much better benefit than the accustomed permit that one would typically get from Greek Golden Visa programs, the price of the program will be adjusted accordingly. 2.5 million Euros is the number that goes around in the circle as an investment threshold for a potential Greek Citizenship by Investment Program. However, for the first three years of the program, Greek officials may cut the VAT out of this price, bringing it to the same level as the Cypriot citizenship program. Cyprus citizenship by investment program requires more than 2 million Euros of investment.
The Cypriot Citizenship by Investment Program May be Damaged
It is not clear whether the new government of Greece will go ahead with these rumours. Yet, one thing is clear that this potential citizenship program will steal some of the market share of Cyprus Citizenship by Investment Program. Cyprus’ CIP was one of the most lucrative programs in the world. If such a program becomes a reality, some prospective investors are expected to change the ways of obtaining Greek citizenship. Cypriot CIP officials are very confident that their ideas on the new Greek citizenship are firm with the investment program.
Plans to Launch Another Scheme is a Possibility but Not Confirmed
Cypriot authorities describe it as a strong possibility to introduce new Greek citizenship by investment program. Yet, no such announcement has been made by their Greek counterparts. Newsgroups and investor visa experts have tried to get answers from the Greek government to no avail. Obviously, the introduction of such a program will renew the interest among foreign investors to invest more in the country. It seems that this is the goal of the newly-elected government of Greece for a while. Timing the investments might further enhance the profits of the investors. Thanks to the momentum the country has gained after coming out of the financial crisis, investors are keen to take advantage of the numerous benefits provided by Golden Visa Greece. Now that the country is back in a trend of stable growth, investments promise bigger and steadier returns which ultimately make the country a highly desirable hub for investment of different kinds.