Greece is one of the countries that successfully implemented a residence by investment program, also known as the golden visa Greece. The key feature of the program is that it allows investors from third countries to gain a permanent Greek residence permit when they make a substantial real estate investment.
A minimum property value is important when discussing the manner of acquiring residence proposed in the program for the golden visa Greece. The permanence of the investment is also important: the owner will need to keep the property so that he will be able to renew the permit after it expires.
A residency by investment program can be a suitable manner for moving to Greece for non-EU foreign nationals who can comply with the minimum investment. Not only do they gain permanent residence for themselves, but they are also able to bring their family members to Greece.
When deciding to make such an investment, it is always advisable to start with a preliminary market research, followed by thorough property due diligence once a choice is made. These steps are important in order to guarantee the minimum value but also for ensuring that the property is a sound one, and one that could be used either for personal purposes or for rent, as this can also be an option.
Our immigration lawyer in Greece can help you apply for the golden visa program and comply with all of the ongoing requirements.
What are the most important conditions for the golden visa Greece?
The first and foremost condition for the golden visa in Greece is the minimum value of the purchased real estate. The residence permit will be granted for a period of five years to a third-country national who has complied with the following conditions:
- Legal entry: the investor has legally entered Greece with a type of temporary visa or is already a legal resident;
- Minimum real estate value: the golden visa is awarded to those investors who purchase a property with a minimum value of 250,000 euros;
- Full ownership: the foreign national needs to be the full owner of the real estate or, in case of joint ownership, the value of the applicant’s share must be worth 250,000 euros;
- Paid in full: the property needs to be paid in full when the permit application is submitted and this is shown by proper bank documents.
The permit can be renewed for another equal period, under the condition that the property remains in the possession of the third-country national. Our immigration lawyer in Greece can provide more details about these conditions, as well as the manner in which the applicant’s family can also obtain a Greek residence permit of the same duration.
The renewal of the residence permit is not hindered by absences from Greece.
If the property is sold to another third-country national during the validity period of the permit, the seller loses the residence permit and the buyer gains it.
When the property is purchased through a company, the applicant needs to fully own the said company (own 100% of its shares).
For the purpose of this type of permit, a family member is a spouse, a partner with whom the non-EU national has a cohabitation agreement with in Greece, the direct unmarried descendant under the age of 21, the direct unmarried descendant of the spouse/partner, when the sponsor has legal custody and they are under 21 years of age, or the direct relatives of the spouses (in ascending line – this includes parents and grandparents).
Options for real estate owners in Greece
Another option for obtaining a residence permit in Greece as a third-country national is to sign a lease agreement for hotel accommodations or tourist residences (furnished) in an integrated tourist resort. The lease needs to be signed for a minimum period of ten years and its minimum cost needs to be 250,000 euros (in a single payment).
Non-EU citizens who legally resided in Greece at the time the law for the Golden Visa Program was enacted, provided that they had purchased a property with a minimum value of 250,000 euros before this law was in place. It is also possible to apply for this permit when the foreign national purchased a plot of land and started to construct a property if the value of the land purchase and the contract signed with the construction company has a minimum value of 250,000 euros.
A third-country citizen who acquires a real estate property in Greece with a minimum value of 250,000 euros through intestate succession, a will, or a parental succession can also apply for this permit.
The Greek residence permit for third-country citizens can be obtained irrespective of the type of visa these individuals first entered the country with (a type C or type D). This residence permit can also be awarded to third-country nationals who are legal residents even if their current permit does not
What are the main documents required for the application?
For the purpose of applying for a golden visa in Greece, the documents that prove the investment and its value are indispensable. A list of general documents required for granting this type of visa includes the following:
- a valid passport or travel document;
- travel insurance covering the entire duration of the stay;
- criminal record certificate;
- medical certificate;
- documents related to the real estate investment (sale/purchase agreement, etc.).
The purchase agreement is essential for applying for this type of Greek residence permit. It must clearly state the contract is not subject to exceptions or conditions and that the amount has been paid in full. In addition to the agreement, the applicant will also provide the proof of transfer by the Land Registry and the certificate issued by the national cadaster agency which stipulates that no encumbrances are in place.
In case of leases for hotel accommodations or furnished residences for tourists, a notarized copy of the lease will be required. The lease will also clearly indicate that a single payment of 250,000 euros was made for this purpose. Moreover, the application will also include the fact that the hotel or the tourist residence has a relevant operation license as issued by the Greek National Tourism Organization.
When the permit application is submitted based on land purchase and the subsequent construction of the real estate, the applicant will submit the land purchase agreement as well as the contract signed with the construction company along with the invoices issued by the contractors and the building permit that was issued for the real estate that will be constructed.
Please keep in mind that additional documents may be required for the golden visa in Greece and the subsequent Greek residence permit. Our team of Greece immigration agents can help investors prepare the required documents.
Non-EU foreign nationals can enter Greece for the purpose of purchasing real estate only once. This is possible because they can choose to submit the application for the golden visa through a third party, such as one of our Greece immigration specialists, by using a power of attorney.
You do not need to worry when using this document. The power of attorney will be drafted by one of our lawyers and it will be a special power of attorney, meaning that it will be limited to handling only property-purchase matters in your name. Our agents will thus be able to negotiate with the seller, sign the pre-purchase and the purchase agreement in your name and, once the purchase is complete, submit the application for the golden visa on your behalf. We understand that traveling to Greece may not always be possible as a new purchase opportunity arises, especially with some of the travel restrictions still being in place in 2021 (or with the more complex requirements for health-status clearance when entering the country). This is why purchasing real estate through a proxy is an optimal solution for foreign, non-EU investors who are interested in this program.
One of our agents can even help send your Greek residence permit at home, with no need for you to travel to the country to receive it.
What are some other important issues to take into consideration?
Apart from the nationality conditions for applicants and the minimum real estate investment value, our team also recommends taking into consideration the application fees for the golden visa in Greece. These can include the following:
- the national entry visa required for investors is around 180 euros;
- the 2,000 euros issuance fee for the investment visa and an additional fee per each family member;
- the issuance fee for the electronic residence permit of 16 euros.
All of these costs can be added to the minimum investment value. We recommend checking any fee updates with our team of immigration lawyers in Greece.
The golden visa Greece program that also allows the individual to obtain a residence permit in Greece can be attractive for investors around the world, especially since Greece is a beautiful country with a rich culture and developed industries such as tourism and the food and beverage sectors, among others.
Purchasing real estate in the country under the golden visa Greece program can be a springboard for investors who are interested in entering the European market or for those who are simply interested in Greece immigration and thus obtain permanent residence for themselves and their families.
Non-EU/EEA nationals who are interested in investing in Greece can contact us for more information about the residence permit for investment activity. All other foreign nationals who wish to know more about the types of visas or residence permits can reach out to our immigration lawyer in Greece.