Do you wish to immigrate to Greece? Our team of immigration lawyers in Greece can help you if you wish to relocate to this beautiful and culturally rich Mediterranean country. Our immigration lawyer offers complete pre and post-arrival immigration services as well as ongoing assistance whilst filling in the visa or the residence permit application forms. Are you interested in how we can help make your transition easier? Read below to find out more about how to move to Greece.
Like all other countries, Greece has a national migration policy that makes it mandatory for citizens of foreign states to comply with certain requirements. Because the country is a Member State, EU nationals will benefit from the free movement of persons law as well as the laws that protect the rights of workers within the Union. Other nationals will be subject to different conditions and understanding these is important prior to arrival in the country.
|Entry visa requirement (from EU) (Yes/No)|
Entry visa requirement (outside EU) (Yes/No)
Types of visas available
|Short-term visas and long-term visas for specific stays of maximum 1 year in most cases for those who wish to immigrate to Greece|
|Time frame for obtaining work visa (approx.)||15 working days|
|Validity of temporary |
1, 2, or 3 years for some types of permits
5 years for the investor residence permit
|Temporary residence permit renewal requirements|
Valid travel document, proof of lawful stay in Greece, proof of the motive for the stay (employment, study, business, etc.), proof of accommodation and sufficient financial means, health insurance, certificate of good conduct; other documents may be required according to the purpose of those who immigrate to Greece
|Documents for obtaining a residence visa||Valid travel document, photographs, evidence of continuing the purpose of stay, proof of accommodation and sufficient financial means, health insurance, police clearance, other documents as may be required by the authorities|
|Time frame for obtaining permanent residence (approx.)||Residence permits are issued in approximately 5 days in case of investment residence permits; longer processing |
times are possible
|Investor visa availability (Yes/No)||Residence permit for non-EU foreign nationals who invest in real estate in Greece or who invest in securities or make a bank deposit in Greece|
|Start up visa scheme availability (Yes/No)||No particular business visa programmes, however, foreign investors have access to many investment sectors in Greece under a business visa/residence permit|
|Sponsorship requirement (Yes/No)||No|
|Time frame for obtaining citizenship||7 years or less in some cases (3 years for those married to a Greek citizen with whom the applicant has a child)|
|Citizenship/ Residency by investment scheme availability (Yes/No)||Residency by investment through real estate purchase or investments in securities or a bank deposit; minimum investment amounts apply in all cases|
|Taxation of foreign citizens||Individual income tax rate for income derived from Greece at rates between 9% and 44% (for income of over EUR 40,000)|
Tax benefits for
|A special regime applies to individuals who transfer their tax residence to Greece (subject to particular conditions)|
A special regime also applies on the taxation of pensions derived from abroad, which is subject to favourable taxation (not affecting the validity of the applicable double tax treaty)
Your guide to applying for the right visa type
Our immigration services in Greece start with assistance for choosing the right type of visa and determining the documents that are necessary for the submission. Once you arrive in the country, our team will also be able to assist you with other information and services, as needed.
The visas that are awarded for long-term stays in the country (the type D national visa) include the following:
- Work: foreign nationals who wish to work in Greece can obtain a visa for this purpose; the visa can be granted for employment (regular and special purpose) as well as for an independent economic activity; after a number of years of lawfully living in the country one can also apply for Greek citizenship;
- Investment: for those who are willing to invest in the country and can prove that their business or activity will have a positive influence on the country’s economy (with the project being subject to expert evaluation);
- Financially independent persons: individuals with sufficient resources to cover their costs for living in the country can relocate to Greece; it can be an option for those who wish to retire in Greece and have pensions or other forms of income;
- Study: for foreign nationals who have been admitted to a higher education institution in the country and will attend full-time courses as their primary activity;
- Family reunification: allows the right to enter the country for family members of a foreign national who already has a residence permit in Greece.
The Ministry of Interior, more specifically the division for the Migration Policy as well as the Asylum Service deal with immigration cases. One of our immigration lawyers in Greece can provide updated information on the latest regulations as well as any legislative changes that may occur. We remind foreign nationals that the currency policy distinguishes between visa and visa-free countries. We can provide details on the requirements according to the individual’s country of origin.
Those who have been living in the country for a number of years can start the process to acquire Greek citizenship. In most cases, this minimum lawful residency needs to be of at least seven years before the foreign national can submit the application for naturalization. The conditions differ between EU and non-E citizens and are different for those able to make a minimum investment.
Assistance during the visa application process
As seen above, all those who are interested in immigrating to this beautiful country need to apply for the right type of visa and afterward for a residence permit in Greece that will grant them the right to stay and engage in specific activities.
The list of documents required for each type of visa will depend on the reason why one decides to move to Greece. This means that there are a number of basic documents, requested in all cases, and a set of visa-specific ones such as the employment contract, the proof of investment, the letter of acceptance for a Greek education institution or University or proof of family ties for reunification purposes. The number of supporting documents can differ according to the length and the scope of the stay, this is why we recommend getting in touch with one of our immigration lawyers in Greece as soon as you start to put together all of the documents. Our team can guide you so that you may know the exact requirements and reduce the chance of having your visa or residence permit in Greece application rejected on grounds that include incomplete submissions.
While currently no special type of visa is designed solely for those foreign nationals who wish to retire to Greece, our team can give you more details about the long-term residence permits that allow you and your spouse (if applicable) to relocate to this beautiful country once you retire. We provide personalized assistance during relocation and will also give you other essential information about the treatment of pension income from abroad.
If you wish to move to Greece, the video below summarizes the process:
Ongoing post-arrival assistance when moving to Greece
Obtaining the right type of visa that will allow you to live in Greece is just the first step after deciding to move here. Our team of immigration lawyers in Greece knows that there are many practical issues to be solved post-arrival and can provide assistance with the following:
- Renting or buying property: we can assist individuals who wish to rent or purchase real estate by guiding them throughout the mandatory phases and providing information about the lawful form for the rent or purchase agreement;
- Opening a bank account: this is a mandatory step after you move to Greece and we can guide those who are in need of further information or advice;
- Resolve tax matters: paying taxes and registering for taxation purposes may require assistance at first; our team of Greece immigration agents is here to help;
- Signing contracts: we can assist those who are interested in signing utility contracts and are unsure of the process or do not speak the language that well just yet;
- Others: when you move to Greece you will need to think about several additional issues; we can help you with information about how to enroll your children in a chosen school or kindergarten as well as offer advice on civic integration.
This is just a short guide of the services that our immigration lawyer in Greece provides for our clients. Please keep in mind that each visa application is as unique as the individual or the family who submits it and the requirements, although largely the same, may differ from one case to another. Our team is also able to assist those who are ready to apply for Greek citizenship.
Tailored services for investors in Greece
Investors can apply for a special type of residence permit in Greece when they are able to comply with the minimum investment values for property purchase or other types of investments. The Golden Visa Program is especially tailored for non-EU citizens who are able to purchase property, make capital contributions or purchase shares.
Foreign nationals who wish to relocate to Greece under the Golden Visa program can invest a minimum amount of 250,000 Euros in real estate property. When it is jointly owned, each party needs to have an ownership rate of at least 250,000 Euros in order to be granted residence. When the property is jointly owned and it is worth the same amount, the right to reside in Greece is only awarded to the spouse who has indivisible shares in the property.
Another option is for a non-EU foreign national to conclude an agreement for a ten-year lease (at least) of hotel accommodation or furnished tourist residences. He can also conclude a time sharing agreement. The minimum value of the contract for hotel accommodation or tourist leases is also 250,000 Euros.
The individual must have paid the amount in full and proof thereof is provided by means of a bank statement. The value of the property is evident from the contracts or lease agreements.
Our team of Greece immigration agents can give you more details about the conditions to purchase real estate, how the property is valuated, as well as when it is suitable to submit the residence permit/Golden Visa application. We can assist you in timing the application after you have made the investment. We can also provide you with more details on how your family members will benefit from the residence permits issued after the property purchase.
Entrepreneurs who prefer to make a capital investment or purchase shares or securities also have other options if they wish to immigrate to Greece, including:
- Capital contribution of at least 400,000 Euros to a company that is established in Greece, except for holding companies and real estate investment companies;
- Purchasing Greek Treasury Bonds, with a minimum acquisition value of 400,000 Euros and a residual duration at the time of purchase of at least 3 years (the purchase is made through a Greek credit institution that will also act as the custodian);
- A term deposit in a domestic credit institution, of at least 400,000 Euros;
- Purchasing shares of at least 400,000 Euros in a mutual fund established in Greece or in another jurisdiction that is solely concerned in investing in shares, corporate bonds or Greek Treasury bonds listed for trading or traded in Greece;
- Purchasing shares or stocks with an acquisition value of at least 400,000 Euros in an Alternative Investment Fund established in Greece or another Member State, which has the sole objective to invest in property located in Greece (also subject to other conditions which can be detailed by an immigration lawyer in Greece from our team).
Please note that the investment routes that can be used to immigrate to Greece are only briefly described herein. Our team can give you personalized information, as needed, and one of our agents will assist you during the process and the required submissions.
Assistance when applying for citizenship in Greece
Once foreign nationals have lived in the country for a certain period, they can consider applying for citizenship by naturalization. This is a process that is subject to a number of conditions and our team of immigration lawyers can provide you with complete assistance once you decide to apply.
Living in Greece for a minimum period of seven years is mandatory for those who with to immigrate to Greece and obtain citizenship here. Along with this important condition, the applicant is also required to provide evidence of Greek language knowledge, pass a written and an oral examination, and not be subject to any criminal investigation or have a criminal record.
Applying for citizenship with the help of our Greece immigration experts is straightforward. However, we do remind those interested that permanent residence before the application is compulsory. Another route to becoming a citizen is to marry a Greek citizen. This is also a case in which the applicant will need to prove that he or she has minimum knowledge of Greek history, culture, and political system and, as in all other cases, have a certain level of Greek language knowledge (B1 minimum). Foreign nationals who have lived in the country under a student visa, and have graduated from a university, are exempt from the examination for citizenship, however, they are subject to an interview. They will, however, need to provide adequate documents that prove the fact that they have graduated from a Greek university, postgraduate course, or studies.
Move to Greece
Greece is a country that is attractive to foreign nationals looking to work in tourism as well as other key investment sectors as well as for those looking to obtain residency by investment. Data from Eurostat reveals the following:
- in 2017, the total number of immigrants in Greece was 112,200;
- 17,200 were citizens of EU member states;
- 63,300 were non-EU-nationals;
- 31,700 were nationals.
Our immigration lawyer in Greece is ready to answer any questions and guide you throughout your important relocation phase.
Our experts are your partners throughout your journey to moving to Greece. We know that relocating to a new country has its unique challenges, but it also presents wonderful opportunities, depending on the reason for your relocation. With our help, you will be able to submit the applications in a proper and timely manner. Once you are in the country, we can also represent you in front of the authorities.
Contact us for more details about the services we provide to clients worldwide.
Greece is home to some of the most beautiful places in Europe. To influence next year’s ranking, vote now for your favorite destination in Greece. Stay tuned to find out the winner! Live
- Halkidiki31% 5 / 16
- Athens37% 6 / 16
- Santorini12% 2 / 16
- Corfu18% 3 / 16
- Mykonos0% 0 / 16
- Kefalonia Island0% 0 / 16