To stimulate investment, the Greek government offers residency (Golden visa) on purchase of property within Greece to the minimum value of €250,000. The residency must be renewed every 5 years, but is credited to the holder so long as they remain owners of the property they purchased, or of a new property of equal or greater value.
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.
Acquiring Greek Citizenship: The Greek government does realize that most investors would rather have citizenship and a passport in return for their financial outlay rather than a residency card in return for the purchase of Greek property. As a result, they are now formulating their own Citizenship by Investment program compatible with those of Cyprus and Malta.
Currently 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.
Greece lies in southeastern Europe with plenty of islands throughout the Aegean and Ionian seas. Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. Due to its unique position one can reach within 1-hour flight 3 different continents and in 3 hours maximum to almost in any part of Europe. Historically, it is 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 the Greek investment residence permit allows for visa-free travel throughout the Schengen zone. It is also a member of important international organizations such as NATO, EBRD, EIB, IBRD, IMF, IMO, Interpol, OECD, UN, UNCTAD, UNESCO, WHO, WTO, CERN. The country is renowned for its high hospitality standards and long traditions in tourism. The official language is Greek, although large portions of the population speak fluent English.
Make a minimum investment of €250,000 in to real estate in Greece.
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 allowed to pool investments into one property.
The applicant receives permanent residence permit (PR) valid for 5 years and 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.
There is no requirement to live in Greece.
The application processing time is about 40-50 days.
Currently citizenship can only be granted after 7 years of residency and passing a Greek language test.
Once applicants have citizenship then they are free to dispose of the investment as further visa renewals are not necessary. 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. However, the option for citizenship is only available for those committed to living in Greece.
The application can include spouse and all children under 18. Children up to the age of 21 can qualify if studying and dependent. The Greek residency program was also recently extended to the parents of both investor and spouse.
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.
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.