Gateway to European Residency: Greece Golden Visa
Golden Visa, by definition, is a type of residence permit. What it essentially does is to let the holder live in the country and spend time towards naturalization.
The reasons why Golden Visas are so popular are quite simple. This particular form of residence permit does not have heavy requirements at all. Golden Visa does not require having a job offer or being married to a citizen. It also removes the need to start a business which comes with many chores and taxes. Therefore, it removes most of the headache.
Being an EU resident grants the Golden Visa owner visa-free travel in and of itself. There are several countries throughout the world that will grant visa-free access to permanent residents of the EU. These countries do not require passports from these residents to be given access. EU residency also provides more legitimacy when applying for visas in countries that still require the resident to obtain one.
Greece, having left behind a period of stagnation, is now an attractive investment location. Recovering from its economic crisis, Greece real estate is gaining its value back once again. With its geopolitical importance, Greece connects Asia, Africa and Europe. Connecting important business hubs around the globe, Greece offers new investment opportunities and thus becomes a great choice for investors.
What is Greece Golden Visa?
Greece Golden Visa Program is launched in 2013 by Enterprise Greece. The program grants five-year residence permit in exchange for a real estate investment. A family application includes children up to age 21 and requires no residence in the country. The permit is granted for five years and may be renewed every five years if the property investment is retained.
Greek residence permit is issued by the Greek authorities and it gives its holder the right to reside legally in Greece. It can be achieved by completing a real estate investment the value of which is more than €250.000. Different categories of residence permits exist, as well as different types of permit within each category. Employment rights depend on the type of permit issued.
Investment Options of Greece Golden Visa
There are several options of investment to acquire Greece Golden Visa. Here is the list of possible investments:
- 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
Generally, all non-European citizens may apply for Greece Golden Visa. However, of course there are some limitations and requirements. For instance, the applicant and dependents must have health insurance that is valid in Greece. They also must have a clean criminal record.
At the beginning of the process, a valid visa to enter Greece is required. Necessary documents listed by the Greek government must also be ready for submission. These documents must have the translations to Greek alongside.
Finally, of course, the applicant must provide the commission with the information about their clean sources of income. It should be stated that the investment is made through a legal source together with the proof of the clean transaction.
Timeline of Application Process
SELECTION OF THE PROPERTY
- Determining the investment criteria and selecting the property through the help of our local team
- (Optional) Visit of the properties and the short listed neighborhoods
- Reservation of the property: transfer a reservation fee and sign the reservation agreement
- Obtaining Greece Non-Resident tax number
- Opening a Greece bank account
- (Optional) Execution of Power of Attorney
ACQUISITION OF THE PROPERTY
- Execution of Legal Due Diligence of the Property by lawyer on your behalf
- Promissory Sale and Purchase Agreement
- Execution of Public Deed
- Preparation of all required documents regarding the Golden Visa application
VISIT TO GREECE
- Submitting the biometric data to the relevant authorities
GOLDEN VISA APPROVAL
- Approval of the Golden Visa applications
- Issuance of the Golden Visa Residence Card/s
Some Statistics of the Greece Golden Visa Program
According to Enterprise Greece’s reports, since its inception in 2013, Greece Golden Visa steadily increases its success. The program hit its peak in 2018, issuing 4419 Golden Visas in total (main applicants and dependents). However, as of the second quarter of 2019, Greece Golden Visa Program granted residence to 2687 Golden Visas to applicants and their families. Therefore, it can be safely assumed that the program will sustain its growth in 2019, too. With these new figures, the total number of visas issued by the program since its inception has reached to an impressive 12666.
Vast majority of the investors that obtain Greece Golden Visa are Chinese. These investors constitute 61% of the total main applicants and 62% of the total applicants. The second most interested country in the Greece Golden Visa is Russia by 9%. Russia is followed by Turkish investors by 7%.