The Ultimate Guide to Greece Golden Visa 

The Ultimate Guide to Greece Golden Visa 

What is Greece Golden Visa?

Greek 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.

Greece Golden Visa Statistics

The Ultimate Guide to Greece Golden Visa Eligibility Criteria for the Greece Golden Visa

First of all, the applicant needs an entry visa to the country to be able to obtain a residence permit.

Possible beneficiaries of the permit are:

a) third country citizens who own real estate property in Greece, either personally or through a legal entity of which they own the total of the company shares, provided the minimum value of the property is €250.000;

b)third country citizens who have signed a timeshare agreement (lease) – for a minimum of 10 years – 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) third country citizens who either reside legally, with a residence permit, in Greece, or wish to enter and reside in the country, and who have 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)third country citizens 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 a residence permit in this case can only be exercised by the receiver of the donation or parental concession.

e) third country citizens who purchase a plot of land or acreage and proceed to erecting a building, provided that the cumulative value of the land purchase and the contract with the construction company is at minimum €250,000.

f) third country citizens who have signed a ten-year timeshare agreement (lease), based on the provisions of Law 1652/1986. A time share 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 of time according to the contract, and the lessee must pay the agreed rent.

g) family members of the third country citizens described above

The following conditions must be fulfilled to receive a permanent residence permit of investor, which shall be renewed every five (5) years:

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 residence permit 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 residence permit is also granted in cases where the third country citizen 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 the country with a type D visa, the documented intention to own property should be supported by documentation which prove the financial capacity (e.g., certificate of an A-class certified bank, or other recognised financial institution), which certify 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 third country citizens who have signed a lease of at least 10 years 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 lease for the equivalent of the ten year leasing of the property.

Investment Options of Greece Golden Visa

         There are several options of investment to acquire Greece Golden Visa. Here is the list of possible investments:

  1.     Purchase of a property with a minimum investment value of € 250,000
  2.     10 years of lease agreement signed for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts
  3.     €800,000 investment for Greek government bonds, kept for five years
  4.     €400,000 investment for bonds or shares of real estate investment companies, kept for at least three years
  5.     €400,000 investment in bank deposits

Greece Golden Visa Application Process

Greek Golden Visa application process has a fairly straightforward order. As the first step, the applicant must submit an application 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 documents must be submitted 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, using their entry visa. 

Required Documents

The following documents are required for a successful Golden Visa application:

  • Two copies of the application document;
  • Four recent colour photos (passport type, printed as well as in Compartible Disc form);
  • Certified copy of a valid passport or travel documents recognised by Greece and with the relevant valid entry visa, 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 hospitalisation and medical care. To certify that this condition is fulfilled, the following are accepted:

– Insurance contracts which have been signed outside 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, additional documentation may be requested by the authorities:

  • Residence permits for third country citizens who own and posses, either wholly or jointly, property in Greece.
  • Residence permits for third country citizens who own property in Greece through a legal entity, where the applicant owns all shares
  • Residence permits for third country citizens who have a lease – for a minimum of 10 years – 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 third country citizens who have purchased real estate property in Greece before Law 4146/2013 came into effect:
  • Residence permits for third country citizens who purchase plots of land or acreage and erect a building. The following additional documents must be submitted:

i. Contract for the purchase of the plot of land or acreage, and

ii. Contract with the construction company for the erection/restoration of the residence, which has been submitted to the tax office according to the law

iii. Building permit in the name of the applicant

iv. Invoices by the contractors and the corresponding proofs of payment. 

  • Residence permits for third country citizens who have a timesharing lease of at least ten year duration, for hotel accommodations or tourist furnished accommodations in integrated tourist resorts. The following additional documents must be submitted:

                 i. Contract for the timeshare of at least ten years duration, which states the exact amount to be paid every year.

                ii. Proof of title transfer from the competent land registry

iii. 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 third country citizen

Submitting the Application

If the investor submits their application in person or accompanied by his attorney, they will be called to submit the additional following 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, paid through the “e-paravolo” online payments platform
  • Completion of the fingerprinting process (for two fingers)

Greece Golden Visa Renewal Process

The residence permit is permanent. The holder of the residence permit is however required to renew it every five (5) years. To renew the residence permit, the following conditions must be met:

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

The renewal of the residence permit requires different documents, including:

In all cases:

  • A filled-in application
  • Four recent colour photos (passport type, printed as well as in Compartible Disc form);
  • A true copy of a valid passport or travel documents recognised by Greece.
  • A certified copy of the previous residence permit, only in cases where the permit is not attached to the passport that is submitted
  • Certification by an insurance agency for the cost of hospitalisation and medical care. To certify that this condition is fulfilled, the following are accepted:

– Insurance contracts which have been signed outside 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.

Additionally, and depending on the case, additional documents may be required to renew a residence permit.

Frequently Asked Questions

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

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

2. Who is considered a family member?

According to the law, family members of third country citizens entering the country are:

  • Spouses.
  • The direct descendands 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 the investor travel to other countries within the EU with the residence permit for owners of real estate?

Yes. The residence permit and long-term visas are valid as far as the free movement of the person in the Schengen area is concerned.

5. Can the residence permit be considered as a work permit?

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

6. Does the residence permit 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 naturalization.

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 include 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 or greater than € 250.000?

The investors of the program are allowed to invest in more than one property. As long as the combined value 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 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 in order to receive a loan?

Yes.

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

The income of the applicant must be proven by documentation which proves their capacity. The existence of bank accounts or other transferable securities, especially shares or bonds must be certified.

12. If third country citizens jointly buy a property for €2.000.000, are all the joint owners entitled to a residence permit?

Yes, provided that 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 of when their residence permit is valid?

This leads to the revocation of the residence permit.

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

Third country citizens who own real estate have the right to rent their property

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