Your Guide to Greece Golden Visa
At Get Golden Visa, we worked with investors and families from all over the world interested in getting a Golden Visa in Greece.
Contact us and speak to our independent advisors who can assist you with all questions regarding Greece Golden Visa.
What you will find in this article:
- What is Greece Golden Visa
- Golden Visa Greece Benefits
- Greece Golden Visa Statistics
- Eligibility Criteria for the Greece Golden Visa Program
- Investment Options of Greece Golden Visa
- Golden Visa Greece Program Steps and Timeline
- Get Golden Visa: Who We Are and What We Do
What Is Greece Golden Visa?
Launched in 2013, the Greek Golden Visa Program grants a five-year residence permit in exchange for as low as a €250,000 real estate investment in Greece. You can include your family in the residency program. The Greek Golden Visa allows you to live in Greece and travel across the Schengen region, without a visa. At Get Golden Visa, we’ve helped hundreds of families find the right property in Greece and get their Golden Visa, providing us with expertise in the market. Take the first few steps of your journey by finding out just what the Greece Golden Visa program is, who is eligible to apply, what are the investment requirements, and all the other details before you make a decision. Let’s get the ball rolling.
Greece Golden Visa Highlights
Minimum Investment Amount: €250,000
Processing Time: Six months
Minimum Stay Requirement: None
Golden Visa Greece Benefits
Right To Live in Greece
The Greek Golden Visa allows you and your family to live in Greece. There is no limitation to how long you can stay. As a matter of fact, there is no minimum stay requirement either. The right to live in Greece comes with public healthcare and education benefits as well.
Visa-Free Travel With Greece Residence Permit
The Golden Visa gives you the freedom to travel across the Schengen zone without the need for an additional visa. The Schengen zone consists of 26 European countries that have officially abolished visas and border control at their mutual borders.
Can your family join you? They sure can. The residence scheme allows you to include your spouse and children under the age of 21 in the program. This means that all these family members can also receive and enjoy all the benefits of a Golden Visa card. In addition to the other Golden Visa programs, the Greek program provides an Extended Family benefit. This means that the principal applicant’s parents and parents-in-law can also receive cards without any further requirements.
Low Investment Threshold in a Promising Real Estate Market
Among the Golden Visa programs in Europe, Greece has the lowest investment threshold. You can invest as low as €250,000 in Greek real estate in order to qualify for the program. The Greek property market took a big hit in the 2008 financial crisis and suffered for more than a decade. As of 2022, the Greek real estate market is expected to adjust in an upward trend.
The Double Taxation Treaty
Depending on your country of residence and the amount of time you spend in Greece, it is likely that your international income may not be subject to taxation in Greece. In that case, you may maintain your business activities outside of Greece and enjoy some tax benefits. Greece also provides tax benefits to foreigners living in the country as tax residents. There are different incentive programs for retirees, digital nomads, and other particular expat segments. Make sure and check with your certified financial advisor to see if you can benefit from any of these incentives.
Greece Golden Visa Statistics
The highest number of applicants came from:
- China: 6,405 applicants
- Turkey: 618 applicants
- Russia: 596 applicants
- Lebanon: 304 applicants
- Egypt: 250 applicants
- Iran: 194 applicants
- Iraq: 135 applicants
- Ukraine: 112 applicants
- USA: 103 applicants
- Jordan: 86 applicants
- Other nationalities: 807
Eligibility Criteria for Greece Golden Visa Program
In order to qualify for a Golden Visa in Greece, you must meet the following requirements:
- Be a non-EU/EEA 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
As of 2021, you no longer need to visit Greece in person in order to start your application. Learn more about how to apply remotely for Greek Golden Visa.
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Investment Options of Greece Golden Visa
There are several investment types that qualify you for a Greece Golden Visa. These include real estate and government bonds investment.
Real Estate Investment
- A minimum of €250,000 purchase of a real estate property in Greece
- 10 years of a lease agreement, whether signed for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts
Other Investment Options
- A minimum of €400,000 investment in
- Greek government bonds
- Bonds or shares of real estate investment companies in Greece
- Shares and bonds of venture fund and private equity which have headquarters in Greece
If you chose to proceed with the purchase of a property:
- The real estate property must be owned by and still in possession of you;
- If you’ve acquired the property through a legal entity, you must own 100% of the company shares.
If you’ve opted to sign a lease of a hospitality accommodation:
- The contract must cover a minimum duration of 10 years and €250,000 in rental amount;
- The contract must require a single payment of the rent for the equivalent of the ten-year leasing of the property.
You may renew your Golden Visa residence permit every five years. You must fulfill the above conditions to be able to renew at the end of each five years.
Golden Visa Greece Program Steps and Timeline
The Greek Golden Visa application process has a fairly straightforward order.
Step 1: Selection of the Investment Route and Property
To complete this step, you’ll need to determine the investment criteria and select the property you’d like to invest in. You can choose various features to invest in. So long as the added value thereof is equal to or above €250,000.
Step 2: Legal Steps
This step can be completed by obtaining a Greek Non-Resident Tax number and opening a Greek bank account. And as an optional step, you can have the execution of power of attorney.
Step 3: Acquisition of the Property
This step consists of executing the ‘Legal Due Diligence’ of the property by a lawyer on your behalf. Afterwhich, you’ll need to acquire the promissory sale and purchase agreement and the execution of a public deed.
Step 4: Pre-Submission
To get through this step, you’ll need to prepare all the required documents regarding the Golden Visa application. Usually, hiring a lawyer is a smart idea because this might be overwhelming.
Step 5: Visit Greece
Here you’ll need to submit all the biometric data to the relevant authorities in Greece.
Step 6: Greece Golden Visa Approval
The authorities do this step, your Golden visa application will be approved, and then you’ll be issued a Golden Visa Residence Card.
Step 7: Renewal of Golden Visa in Greece
Every five years, you can apply to renew your Golden Visa residence card, making it easy to access the permanent residence.
Step 8: Applying For Citizenship
Living there for seven years and paying taxes would make you eligible to apply for citizenship and a Greek passport. However, this is an opportunity with not much information on it.
Get Golden Visa: Who We Are and What We Do
Get Golden Visa is a full-service investment immigration agency and investment advisory company. We provide end-to-end solutions on residence and citizenship by investment programs in numerous countries worldwide.
We have a local office in Athens, Greece with legal professionals and chartered real estate professionals in our team.
We work with clients from all around the world, interested in obtaining Greece Golden Visas or in making real estate investments in Greece.
Contact us and talk to one of our experienced team members to help you with any and all your questions.
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Required Documents for Greece Residency by Investment
A successful Golden Visa Program application requires the following documents:
- Two copies of the application document
- Four recent color passport-type photos
- Certified copy of a valid passport or travel documents recognized by Greece
- A fee paid and obtained through the “e-Paravolo” platform
- Roughly amounts to €500 for residence permits of up to a five-year duration
- A processing fee paid and obtained through the “e-Paravolo” platform
- Roughly 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;
- Insurance contracts that are 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 that have been signed in Greece.
In some cases, the authorities may request additional documentation.
Submitting the Application
You may submit your application yourself or through a Greek lawyer.
Greece Golden Visa Renewal Process
The Greek government issues the Greece Golden Visa cards valid for a period of five years at a time. Every five years, you are required to renew your residence permit. In order to renew the permit, you must meet the following conditions:
- The real estate property must remain in the full ownership of yourself, the main applicant
- The relevant leases/contracts still be valid and satisfactory of the requirements
You will need the below documents in order to renew your Greek Golden Visa residency permit:
- A filled-in application
- Four recent color passport photos
- A true copy of a valid passport or travel documents recognized by Greece
- A certified copy of the previous permanent residency card
- Certification by an insurance agency for the cost of hospitalization and medical care;
- Insurance contracts that 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.
As of 2021, the Greek Government introduced many tax incentive programs for non-residents in Greece.
As a non-Greek tax resident, you should appoint a tax representative and file tax returns with the Non- Greek Resident Tax Office, provided that you earn actual Greek source income.
Obtaining Greek Citizenship by Investment
The Greece Golden Visa program is not a citizenship by investment program. However, you may be eligible to apply for naturalization in Greece at the end of seven years, provided that you meet a set of criteria.
Below are the requirements to apply for Greek citizenship:
You need to:
- Live in Greece for a minimum of seven years
- Be a tax resident in Greece during this period
- Enter and pass a Greek Language test
- Have a real interest or connection to Greece and the Greek culture
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Greece offer Golden Visa?
Yes, Greece is one of the countries that offer a Golden Visa which grants residency in the country. Greece Golden Visa is available through real estate acquisition, government bonds, or shares. Greece’s Golden Visa is very popular among US, British, and Turkish citizens.
How much does a Golden Visa cost in Greece?
The minimum amount to get a Greece Golden Visa is €250,000. This is the required amount for real estate acquisition. For government bonds or shares, the amount is €400,000.
Can I get a residency in Greece if I buy a house?
Yes, you can. However, the house you’re going to buy should be €250,000 minimum to be able to qualify for Greece residency. If the house you’re buying costs less, you’ll not be able to apply for Greece Golden Visa program.
How can I get permanent residency and citizenship in Greece?
Greece Golden Visa is one of the most popular methods to get permanent residency in Greece. You don’t have to live in Greece to maintain your residency status. However, if you want to apply for citizenship, you should live in Greece most of the year. If you do, you can be eligible to apply for citizenship at the end of seven years. To get citizenship, you’ll need to pass a language and culture test.
Who is eligible for a Greek residency permit through investment?
The first requirement is that you’re a non-EU resident. Also, you’re required to have a clean criminal record.
Your spouse, children under the age of 21, and parents are also eligible to join you.
Is it necessary to hire a lawyer to collect the documentation?
It’s not legally required, but it’s always a good idea to consult a professional.
Who is considered a family member?
According to the country’s law, family members of foreign investors entering Greece are:
- The direct descendants of the spouses, who are under the age of 21,
- The direct relatives of the spouses in the ascending line.
Are unmarried partners entitled to a residence permit?
Family members do not include unmarried partners.
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.
Can the investment permit in Greece be considered a work permit?
In no case does the permit provide access to any type of employment in the country.
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.
Is it possible to get Greece citizenship by investment?
It is not possible to obtain Greece citizenship by investment directly. However, it is achievable to become a resident of Greece by investing at least €250,000 in Greece real estate. The Greece residence permit holders can then apply for citizenship after a minimum of seven years.
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.
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.
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.
Can the applicant take a mortgage out on the property to receive a loan?
Applicants are not allowed to take a mortgage out on the property for their Golden Visa application in Greece.
Is it required of the buyer to prove economic capacity?
The applicant must prove their income by documentation that proves their capacity. They must also certify the existence of bank accounts or other transferable securities. Especially shares or bonds.
If investors jointly buy a property for €2 million are all the joint owners entitled to the Visa by investment program?
Yes, if the amount invested by each one is €250,000.
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.
Is it possible to rent the real estate property to third parties?
Investors who own real estate have the right to rent their property.
Do I need to travel to Greece to apply for a Golden Visa or Can I apply remotely?
Thanks to a change made in the Greek Golden Visa program on December 23rd, 2020, you can now make a remote application for Greek Golden Visa program. You need to provide your law firm in Greece with a Power of Attorney (PoA) to be able to do this. 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 seven years.
Can UK Citizens apply for Greece Golden Visa after Brexit?
Yes, as of January 1st, 2021, post-Brexit, British citizens from the UK can now apply for Golden Visa in Greece. For further information, check out our Greece Golden Visa for UK citizens article.
Can Americans apply for Golden Visa in Greece?
Yes, Americans, just like citizens of every non-EU nation, can apply for a Golden Visa in Greece as long as they meet the eligibility criteria. For further reading, please refer to our Greece Golden Visa for Americans article.
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, contact us.