Greece

GREECE

The Greek residency permit is valid for travel throughout Western Europe and allows the holder the right to live and start up their own business in Greece. It will also allow the investor the right to travel freely within the Schengen zone for up to 3 months in every 6-month period. However, when it comes down to the amount of visa-free travel possible, that will still depend on the card-holder’s original passport.

Greece At-A-Glance

Currently, Greek citizenship can only be granted after 7 years of residency. And, there is a strict language test, which requires applicants to speak fluent Greek.

For this reason, it remains a good option for EU residency, but not so much for citizenship.

Historically the cradle of Western civilization, Greece is ranked as the 7th most visited country in the European Union and 16th in the world.

It is an EU member country and is also a member of important international organizations such as NATO, EBRD, EIB, IBRD, IMF, IMO, Interpol, OECD, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WHO, WTO, CERN.

Citizenship Programs

A minimum investment of €250,000 is required in Greece-based real estate. The property, which can be located anywhere on the Greek mainland or the islands, can be either residential or commercial. Any number of properties can combine to make up the €250,000 minimum investment. Joint buyers are also allowed to pool investments into one property. The applicant receives a permanent residence permit (PR) valid for 5 years, which is then renewable every 5 years if the property investment is retained. If the resident sells the property to another non-EU citizen, the Greek residency becomes transferable to the new investor.

Although there is no requirement to live in Greece and the application processing time is only an average of 40-50 days, citizenship can only be granted after 7 years of residency and passing a Greek language test.

Benefits

  • Once applicants obtain Greek citizenship, they are free to dispose of their investment as further visa renewals are not necessary. However, the option for citizenship is only available for those committed to living in Greece.
  • Because of the need to reside in the country, the Greek Golden Visa Program is considered a residency investment program rather than citizenship by investment.  Residents are welcome to travel freely within the Schengen Area for up to 3 months every 6-month period with the right of multiple entries. They are also free to live in Greece, but cannot be employed.
  • However, if you do not want to, you do not have to reside in Greece. Furthermore, opening bank accounts and expanding investments is easy, which is a plus point. You can obtain European Member status with Greek Residency in as little as 2 months. And, for residency, there are no language tests, no business experience requirements and no medical tests.
  • Since tourism is a major source of foreign revenue, rental properties are inhigh demand. Thus, if the resident sells their property to another non-EU citizen, the Greek residency becomes transferable to the new investor.
  • If citizenship is granted, citizens have the right to live and work anywhere within the 34 countries of the European Union (EU) andto attend schools and universities within any EU country for free or at heavily subsidized rates. Residents also gain full access to the Greek education and healthcare system.
  • This program is open to all nationalities. And, applicants can include spouse and children under 18. Children up to the age of 21 can qualify if they are studying and dependent. The Greek residency program has also recently been extended to the parents of both investor and spouse.

Taxation

  • Non-residents in Greece will pay tax on any income derived in Greece. but not on income from outside of the country. Income tax starts at a rate of 22%.
  • Rental income from property in Greece is taxed at rates from 11% to 33%. Certain expenses are deductible from the gross income. Capital gains tax (CGT) is charged at 15% on property sales.

Application Process

Basic Steps In The Application Process 

Note: The application process takes approximately 40 days from the time of investment until the Residency Permit is issued.

Step 1

The applicant needs to have made the property investment in Greece prior to applying for the visa. The appointed lawyer will ensure that the investor is able to meet all government requirements prior to the client making any property purchase.

Step 2

A typical application involves an initial discussion with a member of our team, followed by a 3-7 days visit to Greece to view properties, meet with lawyers and open a bank account. The application after this point can be processed within Greece by the clients’ lawyers under Power of Attorney.

Step 3

Once a property has been selected the appointed lawyers can take care of the entire application process, including conveyancing and all legal work for the property.

Step 4

Provided everything is done correctly at this stage the client will not need to visit again to collect their residency permit. The residency cards and National ID’s are issued to the applicant via courier anywhere in the world.

Fees and Costs 

Government, notary and lawyer fees for the property purchase and visa application will amount to around €15,000. In addition, there is VAT of 23% to pay in Greece on new property purchases.

Our experienced consultants and immigration lawyers will manage the entire application process with document preparation and validation and all government formalities. We partner with the best real estate developers and agents and will arrange for the client to view the properties and get the best possible investment opportunities. Please contact us and our team will be delighted to assist you.

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Properties


CITIZENSHIP PROGRAM

The Maltese Citizenship program has some of the world’s strictest due diligence standards and vetting of applicants in order to ensure that only highly respectable applicants will be admitted. Maltese Citizens can enjoy the right live, work and study in any of the 28 EU countries, including Switzerland.

Under the Individual Investor Program (IIP), investors must make all 3 of the following investments:

1.The National Development and Social Fund

Applicants must make a minimum contribution of €650,000, plus a €25,000 contribution for each spouse and each minor child and a €50,000 contribution for each dependent child aged between 18 and 26 and each dependent parent above 55 years of age.

2. Real Estate,

Applicants must also commit to retaining a residence in Malta for a period of at least five years, either through the purchase of a property, for which the minimum value must exceed €350,000, or through the leasing of a property, for which the minimum annual rent must exceed €16,000.

3. Government-Approved Financial Instruments

Applicants must make an investment of €150,000 in government-approved financial instruments, such as bonds or stocks, which must be maintained for a minimum period of 5 years.

Fees and Costs:

In addition to the 3 investments mentioned above, every applicant, including spouses and dependents, must pay the following due diligence fees:

  • €7,500 for the main applicant.
  • €5,000 for a spouse.
  • €5,000 for each dependent aged 18 – 25 years and each dependent aged 55 years and over.
  • €3,000 for each dependent aged 13 – 18 years.

Schengen Residence status for 1 year prior to issue of citizenship is issued on application.

In the first year, Malta requires a visit of a minimum of only 2-3 weeks’ time in order to complete various formalities with the government authorities.

The applicant and dependents must visit Malta for the Oath of Allegiance and in order to provide bio-metrics for the passports.

About 12 months after the application, the Maltese government will issue a ‘Certificate of Naturalization’, a document of proof which is essential for acquiring Maltese citizenship.

They have to apply for a Maltese passport in 13th month, attaching the naturalization certificate.

Additional Fees:

These range between €60,000 and €80,000 and are for legal costs associated with the lengthy processing of applications by an accredited law firm.

BENEFITS

  • Citizenship of a well-respected EU country.
  • The right to live, work and study in any of the 28 EU countries and Switzerland.
  • Irrevocable citizenship for your lifetime and your future generations’ lifetimes.
  • Dual Citizenship.
  • Visa-Free travel to 166 countries, including the including the United States, Canada, the European Union and the Schengen Area.
  • Access to state of the art healthcare and education.
  • Stable political climate in a highly-respected country.
  • Highly-respected jurisdiction for incorporating low-tax companies with low income tax, low capital gains tax and no inheritance tax. Citizens of Malta who are not domiciled in Malta are taxable on a remittance basis only.
  • Excellent banking centre with several major international banks.
  • Malta is an attractive place to live or to own a second home, and is strategically located, with excellent air links.

TAXATION

Taxes are on the basis of domicile and residence, and not citizenship. Domicile or residence means a stay of at least 183 days in any one year in Malta. Tax for non-residents is due only on income and capital gains generated in Malta. 12% Capital Gains Tax (CGT) is chargeable on a main-residence property which is sold within 3 years. However, if retained for 5 years, there is no taxation on the sale. There are no inheritance or death taxes and no net worth or wealth taxes in Malta.

APPLICATION PROCESS

The process of applying for citizenship is rigorous and requires careful preparation in order to gather all the information needed. Typically, it can take up to 1 year from the time the application is submitted to the Government to obtain Maltese Citizenship.

  • The application is prepared and is formally submitted to Identity Malta along with the essential supporting documents. The applicant is assigned a client reference number.
  • The Maltese Government will perform a detailed due diligence check, and, on completion, a decision to either grant citizenship, decline citizenship or request further documentation from the applicant will be made. A four-tier due diligence process is carried out directly by the government to assess applicants and to process and approve applications at various stages.
  • The applicants must travel to Malta to apply for legal residence and to acquire a residency card.
  • An approval-in-principal letter will be issued by the government if successful. This takes approximately 4 months.
  • Contribution to the National Development and Social Fund is made.
  • Identity Malta requests the payment of the remaining balance on of the contribution. This must be paid with 25 days of the final approval.
  • Within 4 months, you must show a copy of your property contract (lease or purchase), confirmation of acquisition of bonds/stocks, and proof that suitable medical coverage is in place and that the Property purchase funds and taxes have been transferred.
  • Applicants must demonstrate a “genuine link” with the island. This is important. The genuine link test ensures that the main and dependent applicants are able to demonstrate a genuine connection with the jurisdiction in their personal, social, and commercial activities.
  • The applicant and dependents must visit Malta for the Oath of Allegiance and in order to provide bio-metrics for the passports. The Maltese Government will issue the Certificate of naturalization.

Documents Required:

  • Copy of passport (certified copies).
  • Birth certificate*.
  • Police clearance certificate (all countries where you lived for more than 10 years. FBI clearance for the US must be less than 6 months old.)*.
  • Marriage certificate (translated to English)*.
  • Business connection documents.
  • Medical tests with HIV clearance (must be less than 3 months old).
  • References from bankers and lawyers.
  • Global health insurance coverage of 50,000 euros.
  • Proof of your source of income (bank statements).
  • Health certificate from a registered medical practitioner.
  • Proof of current residence (utility bills).
  • Personal details, family information, education information and employment information.
  • Tax statements from the country of origin.

*All original documents must have apostille seal.

Our experienced consultants and immigration lawyers will manage the entire application process with document preparation and validation and all government formalities. We partner with the best real estate developers and agents and will arrange for the client to view the properties and get the best possible investment opportunities. Please contact us and our team will be delighted to assist you.

BECOME A world citizen

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