Greece

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.

 

THE COUNTRY

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.


RESIDENCY PROGRAM

Requirements:

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.

BENEFITS

  • 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.
  • No need to reside in Greece.
  • Obtain European Member status with Greek Residency in as little as 2 months.
  • For residency, there are no language tests, no business experience requirements and no medical tests.
  • Tourism is a major source of foreign revenue, therefore there is a high demand for rental properties.
  • If the resident sells the 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).
  • Citizens have the right to attend schools and universities within any EU country; citizens for free or at heavily subsidized ‘EU national’ rates. Residents have full access to the Greek education and healthcare system.
  • Strategically located in southeastern Europe, beautiful natural environment and a sunny Mediterranean climate.
  • Open to all Nationalities.
  • Open bank accounts and expand investments worldwide.

DEPENDENTS

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.

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

  • The application process takes approximately 40 days from the time of investment until the Residency Permit is issued.
  • 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.
  • A typical application involves an initial discussion with a member of our team followed by a 3 -7 day 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.
  • 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.
  • 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

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.

BECOME A world citizen

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