The Ultimate Guide to Greece Golden Visa 

What is Greece Golden Visa?

 Greek Golden Visa Program was launched in 2013 by Enterprise Greece. The program grants a five-year permit to live in Greece in exchange for a real estate investment in the country. A family application includes children up to age 21 and requires no residence in Greece. The permit is granted for five years, and the investor can renew it every five years if they retain the investment.

The Greek Government issues The Greek Golden Visa. 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. The golden visa program offers various categories of residence permits. It also provides different types of permits within each category. Employment rights depend on the type of permit issued.

Golden Visa Greece Benefits

The Right to Live in Greece 

Greece boasts some of the highest tourism records in the world and for a good reason! Greece’s culture and heritage are a sight to behold. Add to that fantastic beaches, forests, and islands. The geographical and architectural phenomena are endless!

The Ultimate Guide to Greece Golden Visa The Freedom of Schengen Zone Travel

The Golden Visa gives you the freedom to live in this majestically enchanting country and to travel around the whole of the Schengen zone. Add to that healthcare and education, and this offer becomes irresistible. The Schengen zone is an area comprising 26 European countries that have officially abolished all passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders.

Family Reunification

What’s more important than family? Nothing. Having your whole family enjoy the unique mix of European and Mediterranean is precisely what this program can offer you. This program allows you to include your spouse and children under 21. And it provides the Extended Family benefits. This means that the principal applicant’s parents and parents in law can be covered without any further requirements. The application process is a small price to pay for the permanent residency for all your family.

Low Investment Threshold in a Highly Promising Real Estate Market

The Golden Visa Greece program is proud to have the lowest investment threshold in Europe. With 250,000 Euros, you can invest in one of the world’s highest growth markets, real estate! And not any real estate property, but one in Greece. Invest in a property on a mountain where nature grows unencumbered, or down by the beach where the beauty is everlasting. However you look at it, the opportunity is simply too good to miss.

The Double Taxation Treaty

The Greek Double Taxation Treaty states that income from outside Greece while residing there is not subject to taxation. Meaning that you can be maintaining any business you have outside of Greece while enjoying a tax-free external income. It sounds too good to be true, but it is.

Greece Golden Visa Statistic

The Ultimate Guide to Greece Golden Visa 

Eligibility Criteria for the Greece Golden Visa Program

First of all, the applicant needs an entry visa to the country to be able to get a golden visa in Greece. And they must meet the following requirements: 

  •  Be a non-EU country citizen.
  •  Be at least 18 years of age.
  •  Have a clean criminal record.
  •  Have medical insurance for yourself and your family.
  •  Be of good character.

Possible beneficiaries of the program

A) Investors who own real estate property in Greece, either personally or through a legal entity of which they hold the total of the company shares, provided the minimum value of the property is €250.000.

B) Investors who have signed a timeshare agreement (lease) for a minimum of 10 years. Whether for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts. According to article 8, paragraph 2 of Law 4002/2011 (Government Gazette 180 A’). Provided the minimum cost of the lease is €250.000.

C) Investors who either reside legally in Greece with a residence permit. Or those who wish to live in the country. And who has full ownership and possession of real estate property in Greece, which they have purchased before the enactment of law 4146/2013, provided that they had purchased the real estate property for a minimum of €250,000. Or the current objective value of their real estate property is at a minimum of €250,000.

D) Investors who fully and legally own real estate property in Greece, the minimum value of which is €250,000. And which they acquired through a donation or parental concession. The right to the program, in this case, can only be exercised by the receiver of the donation/parental concession.

E) Investors who purchase a plot of land or acreage. And proceed to erect a building, provided that the cumulative value of the land purchase and the contract’s worth with the construction company is minimum €250,000.

F) Investors who have signed a ten-year timeshare agreement (lease), based on the provisions of Law 1652/1986. A timeshare lease, according to the provisions of article 1 of law 1652/1986 is the commitment of the lessor to grant, each year, to the lessee, for the duration of the timeshare, the use of the tourist accommodation and to provide to them the relevant services for the determined period according to the contract. And The lessee must pay the agreed rent.

G) Family members of the investors described above.

 The applicant may renew the permit every five years. They must fulfil the following conditions to receive a permanent residence:

A)The real estate property 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 Golden Visa Greece is only granted if the amount invested by each of the joint owners is at least €250.000.

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

D) The Golden Visa is also granted in cases where the investor is the owner, either directly or through a legal entity, of more than one real estate property with a combined value of at least €250.000.

E) In cases where the applicant wants to enter Greece with a type D visa, the documented intention to own property should be supported by documentation. The documentation must prove the financial capacity (e.g., certificate of an A-class certified bank or other recognized financial institution), which verify the existence of bank accounts or other mobile assets, such as bonds or shares, which can cover the cost of the investment of at least €250.000. And which certify the intention of the applicant to purchase the property (contract with a law firm or with a real estate office).

F) In the case of an applicant who has signed a lease of at least 10 years. Whether 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 rent for the equivalent of the ten-year leasing of the property.

Investment Options of Greece Golden Visa

There are several options for 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 a lease agreement, whether signed for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts.
  • €400,000 investment in Greek government bonds, kept for three years.
  • €400,000 investment in bonds or shares of real estate investment companies.
  • €400,000 capital investment in bonds and shares of a Greek company in the Greek Stock Market.
  • €400,000 investment in shares and bonds of venture fund and private equity which have headquarters in Greece.
  • €400,000 investment in bank deposits.
  • €800,000 investment in corporate or government bonds.
  • €400,000 investment in stakes of Greek mutual fund investing only in the Greek estate market.
  • Acquisition of stakes with minimum worth of €400,000  of an alternative investment fund that invests in the Greek real estate market.

Golden Visa Greece Program Steps and Timeline

Greek Golden Visa application process has a fairly straightforward order. As the first step, the applicant must apply for an entry visa to the Greek consulate authority in their country of origin. Then, they should collect and provide the necessary documents. After that, the applicant must submit the documents to the one-stop service of the Alien and Immigration Department at the Decentralised Authority, where the property of the interested party is located. The applicant must submit all the necessary documents before the expiry date of the entry visa. Finally, the applicant should undertake legal acts and transactions with the competent authorities in the country, using their entry visa. Here’s a graph detailing the steps and timeline:

STEPS & TIMELINE

The Ultimate Guide to Greece Golden Visa 
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Required Documents

  A successful Golden Visa Program application requires the following documents: 

  • Two copies of the application document.
  • Four recent color photos (passport type, printed as well as in Compatible Disk form).
  • Certified copy of a valid passport or travel documents recognized by Greece. And with the relevant valid entry visa to the country, where required.
  • A fee paid and obtained through the “e-paravolo” platform. According to provisions of Law 4251/2014 article 132. Which amounts to €500 for residence permits of up to a five-year duration.
  • A fee paid and obtained through the “e-paravolo” platform. According to provisions of Law 4018/2011 article 1, which amounts to €16. Concerning the printing of the separate document (electronic residence permit).
  • Certification by an insurance agency for the cost of hospitalization and medical care. To certify that this condition is fulfilled, the following are accepted:
    • Insurance contracts which have been signed outside of Greece. Provided that they explicitly mention that they cover the interested party for the duration of their stay in Greece.
    • Insurance contracts which have been signed in Greece. 

 In some cases, the authorities may request additional documentation: 

  • Residence permits for investors who own and posses, either wholly or jointly, property in Greece.
  • Residence permits for investors who own property in Greece through a legal entity. Where the applicant possesses all shares.
  • Residence permits for investors who have a lease for a minimum of 10 years. Whether for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts.
  • Proof of title transfer from the land registry where the relevant lease contract has been transferred.
  • Residence permits for Investors who had purchased real estate property in Greece before Law 4146/2013 came into effect.
  • Residence permits for investors who purchase plots of land or acreage and erect a building. The following additional documents must be submitted:
  • Contract for the purchase of the plot of land or acreage. 
  • Contract with the construction company for the erection/restoration of the residence. Which has been submitted to the tax office according to the law. 
  • Building permit in the name of the applicant. 
  • Invoices by the contractors and the corresponding proofs of payment. 
  • Residence permits for investors who have a timesharing lease of at least ten-year duration. Whether for hotel accommodations or tourist furnished accommodations in integrated tourist resorts. The following additional documents must be submitted:
    • Contract for the timeshare of at least ten years duration. Which states the exact amount to be paid every year. 
    • Proof of title transfer from the competent land registry.
    • Certification by the Greek National Tourism Organisation that they have been informed of the establishment of this timeshare lease. 
    • Residence permits for family members of the investor.

Submitting the Application

The investor may submit their application in person or accompanied by an attorney. The authorities will call them to submit the following additional documents: 

  • 4 printed digital passport photos, also stored in digital form(CD).
  • A sample of his digital signature.
  • A fee of 16 euro, which covers the cost of supply, printing, and secure handling of the e-card. The applicant pays the fee through the “e-paravolo” online payments platform.
  • Completion of the fingerprinting process (for two fingers).

Greece Golden Visa Renewal Process

Greek Golden Visas are permanent. Yet, The holder is required to renew them every five (5) years. To renew the permit, the applicant must meet the following conditions: 

  • The real estate property must remain in the full ownership of the applicant.
  • The relevant leases/contracts must be ongoing. Absences from Greece does not impede the renewal of the permit. The resale of the real estate property during the period when the permit is valid to another investor, provides to the new owner the right to a permit, along with a simultaneous revocation of the seller’s permit.

 The renewal of permanent residency requires different documents, including in all cases: 

  • A filled-in application.
  • Four recent color photos (passport type, printed as well as in Compatible Disc form).
  • A true copy of a valid passport or travel documents recognized by Greece.
  • A certified copy of the previous permanent residency. Only in cases where the permit is not attached to the passport that is submitted.
  • Certification by an insurance agency for the cost of hospitalization and medical care. To certify that this condition is fulfilled, the following are accepted:
    • Insurance contracts which have been signed outside of Greece. Provided that they explicitly mention that they cover the interested party for the duration of their stay in Greece.
    • Insurance contracts which have been signed in Greece. 

In some cases, the authorities may require additional documents to renew the permit. 

Greek Taxes

Many new taxing laws have been introduced in the country to attract foreign investors. One of those laws is the double taxation treaty. Other than being in the ever-growing Greek real estate market and enjoying all the benefits that come with it. The Greek Double Taxation Treaty states that income from outside Greece while residing in the country is not subject to taxation. Meaning that you can be maintaining any business you have outside of Greece while enjoying a tax-free external income. 

Technically, if you don’t live in the country, you don’t have to pay taxes. But tax planning is still required, especially if you wish to become a citizen. In which case you must pay taxes for seven years. This process can become confusing, but with the right professional help, it becomes easier to navigate. 

Recently, the Ministry of Finance has tabled a law that will implement a flat income tax rate of 7% for foreign retirees. This law will benefit foreigners who transfer their tax residence there.

Obtaining a Greek Citizenship

Obtaining the Greek citizenship through this program might prove a bit complicated. There isn’t enough data on the Greek Citizenship. It requires the investor to live and be a tax resident for seven years to be eligible for citizenship. So far few investors got citizenship because Enterprise Greece launched the program precisely seven years ago (As of 2020).

 Below are the requirements to apply for Greek citizenship: 

  • Live in Greece for 7 years.
  • Be a tax resident in Greece.
  • Be able to pass the Greek Language test.
  • Have a real interest or connection to Greece and greek culture.

We are currently collecting more information on the Citizenship program and shall have a more comprehensive understanding of the Citizenship program soon. Then we will be able to offer more details.

Frequently Asked Questions

1- Is it necessary to hire a lawyer to collect the documentation? 

It is not legally required, but it is always a good idea to consult a professional.

2- Who is considered a family member? 

According to the country’s law, family members of foreign investors entering Greece are: 

  • Spouses.
  • The direct descendants of the spouses, who are under the age of 21.
  • The direct relatives of the spouses in the ascending line.

3- Are unmarried partners entitled to a residence permit? 

Family members do not include unmarried partners.

4- Can a non EU investor travel to other countries within the EU with the Greek permit for owners of real estate? 

Yes. The permanent residency and long-term permit offer total freedom of movement in the EU.

5- Can the investment permit in Greece be considered as a work permit? 

In no case does the permit provide access to any type of employment in the country.

6- Does the Greek permanent residency give the holder the right to apply for citizenship? 

It does not grant direct access to Greek citizenship. However, it allows its holder to become a long-term resident, which is a qualification required for obtaining citizenship.

7- Does the amount of €250,000 include the Value Added Tax? What should the value of the investment be if the ownership/sale document includes the name of both spouses? 

The amount of €250.000 refers to the price indicated on the contract. In cases of joint ownership of the real estate property by spouses, the residence right is granted to both spouses.

8- Is it possible to obtain more than one piece of property, the individual value of which is less than €250.000, if the combined value is equal to or greater than € 250.000? 

The investors of the program are allowed to invest in more than one property in the country. As long as the combined value of the investment is equal to or greater than €250.000, the application is valid.

9- Can the investor buy commercial property? Or a combination of commercial and residential properties or land? 

The country’s law states that €250.000 must be the stated price on the contract. It does not distinguish between commercial and residential properties.

10- Can the applicant take a mortgage out on the property to receive a loan?

 Yes.

 11- Is it required of the buyer to prove economic capacity?

The applicant must prove their income by documentation which proves their capacity. They must also certify the existence of bank accounts or other transferable securities. Especially shares or bonds.

12- If investors jointly buy a property for €2.000.000, are all the joint owners entitled to the Visa by investment program?

Yes, if the amount invested by each one is €250.000.

13- What happens in the cases where someone tarnishes their criminal record, either in their country of origin or in Greece. During the period when their Greek residence permit is valid?

This leads to the revocation of the permit.

14- Is it possible to rent the real estate property to third parties?

Investors who own real estate have the right to rent their property.

15- How long do I have to live in Greece?

 This program doesn’t require the investor to live there. However, if you wish to apply for citizenship, then you have to live there for 7 years.

16- If I obtain the Greek golden visa and become a resident, do I have to pay taxes there? 

You have to pay taxes only on the income you receive in Greece, thanks to the double taxation treaty. Of course, if you spend most of the year there, you become a tax resident in Greece and must pay taxes. Keep in mind that being a tax resident is a requirement to apply for citizenship. 

For further information on the Golden Visa Greece and a complimentary advisory session with our team, you can check this out.

Comments (49)

We have found a property that we want to purchase in Greece but have now been told that the sellers are uk citizens and want to be paid in Sterling, will it disqualify us from the visa program if the funds do not go through a greek bank account in euros. We have a greek lawyer and all the legal work is being done in greece. ( We are also uk citizens and waiting to find out if we can apply for the visa before the end of the Brexit transition period) Thanks for your help

Hello Jennifer, it would be best to proceed with your lawyer’s guidance regarding all the legal matters.

Where can I found the information about which countries are visa free when one gets the Portugal Golden Visa? And for the other countries that you have visa programs..

Hello Tomas, Portugal residents/citizens have visa-free access to 164 countries, for detailed information and the stay durations please check the official government website.

Who is considered to be immediate family if you buy property in Greece for the golden Visa program? I would like my aunt to be a part of the program with me. Is that possible?

Hello Tiffany, no, it is not possible to include your aunt in the application for the Greece Golden Visa. The main applicant can include their spouse, children under the age of 21, parents, and parents in law.

I think things go different for me and my family if I have a business investment. How can I get detailed information on this subject?

Hello Z. Eagy, please fill out the contact form on our website so one of our consultants can reach out to you regarding your inquiry. Thank you.

Hi
Thank you for all the information . We are British nationals, currently living in Greece . We are considering obtaining golden visas due to the uncertainty around Brexit. Could you advise on whether position if a golden visa would make taxation on our world wide income mandatory in Greece or can we continue to live in Greece but pay tax in to the UK system?

Hello Tracy, Greece has the Double Taxation Treaty which means that income received from countries outside of Greece is not subject to any taxation.

Hello, I heard that it is not allowed to apply for golden visa programs of some countries like Malta for Iranian citizens. Is Greece one of them?

Hi Greg, no, there are no nationality restrictions in the Greece Golden Visa Program. Every non-EU citizen can apply.

Can I only use this Schengen visa when traveling from Greece to other European countries? Or can I go directly from a non-European country to a European country?

Hi Arpaz, after obtaining the Greece Golden Visa, you are going to be able to travel visa-free within the Schengen area.

I try to evaluate all golden visa programs and decide which one is the best. I will also want to get residence permit for my children. It is important for me that visa to give them study and working permission. It is written in some countries that such a right is not given. I think my children can apply to universities in the country with the Greece Golden Visa program, but what about universities in other European countries?

Hello Talia, please fill out the contact form here: https://getgoldenvisa.com/contact so one of our consultants can help you decide which country’s Golden Visa program is the most suitable for your future plans with your family.

I was thinking Greece was the cheapest country to buy a real estate. But after purchasing the property, I want to live there. Many say that Cyprus is more affordable considering the cost of life. What would you think?

Hi! Is it possible to buy a property with a business partner and apply for a Golden Visa for both of our families? Thank you!

Hi Yakub, it is possible to do that, but since there are going to be two main applicants, please keep in mind that the minimum investment amount doubles as well.

I bought a property in Greece last year and my gold visa program started. It!ll be a year since my last visit to Greece in August, but I don’t want to travel during the pandemic. What should I do?

Thank you sharing all informations that we might need. Should I get in contact with your Athens office for more help?

Hi Kaanu, you may fill our form in https://getgoldenvisa.com/contact page, or send an email to [email protected]

Do I need to provide the documents of all family members or just for the property owner at the first stage of application?

Hi, if you are planning to include your family members into your application, you may apply together with them so that you can obtain your residence permits at the same time.

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my lawyer told me that it’d be better if I have more than one property which are equal more than 250,000€ rather than having one costs more than 250,000€? Do you think so? Thanks!!

Hi Olivia, it depends on your investment objectives. I would suggest talking to our team in Lisbon. They are well experienced in real estate investments in Portugal.

Hi! I am considering about Greece Golden Visa but I have a question. Does my wife and my step daughter will count as famil members? She is 20 years old now but probably will be 21 until we submit the documents. Thank you!

Once I get the property and the residence permit, can I rent the property?

Hi Shanon,
Sure, it’s possible to obtain a yield from your property in Greece within the Grece Golden Visa Scheme.

I want to apply for a Golden Visa Program. But I have a family with two childrens and I want them to have the right to study and work equally with any citizen in the country that we’ll move to. We are living in Egypt now. Is Greece the best country in that sense?

Hi Qwais, thank you for reaching out to our company. The Greek Golden Visa Program does not give you a right to work in Greece. Portugal Golden Visa Program could be an alternative solution in your situation. However, I would suggest having a more detailed conversation related to your inquiry before finalizing your decision. Could you please send us your contact information through email? Our team would gladly come in contact with you.

Does the golden visa apply to all islands of Greece. Can we buy in Corfu for Euro 250k and still get the golden visa.
If we have 2 daughters but they are older than 21 years of age. If we make them joint ownership we purchase for Euro250k for the property can they get golden visa citizenship.

Thank you

Hello Mark, that is right, Greece allows the proprty purchase to be in any of its islands as well. So, you may buy a property in Corfu and apply for the Golden Visa. As for your daughters, if they are each above the age of 21, then they each need to apply separately. That means getting a property of 250K Euro or more in value for each or getting one property of 500K or more in value jointly. Please feel free to email us at our above email if you have any specific questions we may help with.

I own a property in Greece through donation, value 90,000euro. If I purchase more, to a total of 250,000+, do I qualify or does the 250k have to be a single transaction? (ie, can I keep adding till I have 250k?)

I’m Jordanian living in Romania and I want to get golden visa, by deposit 400,000 euro in bank. What’s the next step to start with this option??

Can UK Citizens owning a property purchased for 250k euros in 2019 apply for a golden visa now even though the Brexit transition period lasts until the end of 2020 and the post Brexit rules are unclear

How long do i have to stay in Greece for citizenship?

I want to get residency because free movement but I don’t want to live in Greece permanently. Can i use my residence permit anyhow i want or do i need to enter Schen gen area only from Greece ? And is it the same days allowed if i do like former or latter, do they differ ?

Please note that after the residence permit has been issued, you may also travel to any Schengen country directly from your country. You do not need to go through Greece first.

İs it possible to reside in any other shengen country with Greek golden visa?

Hi Şebnem, it’s only possible to reside in Greece not in any other country with the Greek Golden Visa. It allows you to travel visa-freely within the Schengen area. Please, kindly come in contact with our team for more information.

Can i work in Greece with this program?

You can’t. The residence permit allows us to live but not to work in Greece sadly.
However you can set up business if you’d like to.

Hello, C.PALME. May I ask additional question by reading your answer to AADESHRAHI? Does “you can set up business”include freelance activity? In other words, may I start a single operated business by myself after getting golden visa in Greece? In that case, does it have to be under registered company? (Should I set up an official “corporation”?) Thanks in advance!

I want to apply for residence with my family. How will my income got taxed if we move to Greece? Please contact me.

Some people say you are considered as a tax resident of Greece once you spend more than 183 days per year in Greece but idk. It would be good if someone answers from company

If i get residence in Greece will my children have a right to study in eu univesities ?

It’s said that our children will have access to both state and private schools and universities. Since we are going to be greek resident , they also will have access to universities in other European countries.

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