Third-country nationals can obtain residency, and ultimately Greece citizenship by investment when they comply with the provisions of the Immigration and Social Integration Code with respect to the type and the value of the minimum investment. Several investment routes are available and one of the most popular ones is through purchasing property in the country, subject to a minimum price.
The benefits that are awarded to real estate investors from third-countries can also extend to their family members and individuals who are in the position to make the minimum capital deposit often take this into consideration when thinking about Greece citizenship by investment.
Another important advantage offered by this programme is the fact that the holder of permanent residence through investment is allowed to live in the country indefinitely as well as travel within the Schengen zone without a visa.
Moving to Greece under the investment residency programme can be a good option for those who have access to the funds. In this article, we describe the main conditions for permanent residence for investors. Entrepreneurs who are interested in this form of acquiring residence and obtaining the subsequent Greece citizenship by investment can reach out to one of our agents.
Permanent residence for investors in Greece
The law in Greece allows third-country nationals to obtain a residence permit in Greece for five years when they make property investments of a minimum amount. However, applicants should know that the value of the property is not the sole criteria for obtaining permanent residence and then Greece citizenship by investment.
The main conditions for investors are the following:
- minimum investment: there is a minimum investment in real estate that is mandatory for this type of residence permit in Greece to be awarded; the value of the property must exceed 250,000 Euros;
- legal entry: the individual who intends to purchase real estate for this residency program needs to have entered the country lawfully, based on one of the types of visas; our immigration lawyer in Greece can provide more details;
- ownership: those who wish to obtain residence in this manner must have full ownership and possession of the property; joint-ownership is only permitted for spouses and when they have indivisible shares in the property;
- agreement: Greek citizenship by investment may also apply when the applicant has signed an agreement for at least ten years in hotel accommodation, according to law.
Greece citizenship by investment is obtained after the owner of the property has lived in the country for seven consecutive years. A condition during this time is for the holder to have lived in the country for at least 183 days in each of these seven years. The investment residence permit in Greece can be renewed for five more years after its expiry date, thus granting the investor the possibility to apply for citizenship. We advise interested individuals to reach out to our immigration lawyers in Greece for complete information about obtaining citizenship, the required documents and detailed information about the required steps (which also include providing one’s biometric information, or fingerprints).
How to obtain Greece citizenship by investment
Making the minimum real estate investment in Greece grants the investor a residence permit for five years, which may also be extended to family members. This can be important for non-EU nationals who have the financial means to make the minimum 250,000 Euros investment and who are interested in moving to Greece together with their family. However, obtaining Greek citizenship is a process that will involve several other steps that will need to be taken care of once the seven years of lawfully living in the country have passed.
When the investor has married a Greek citizen and they have a child together, the application for citizenship can be submitted after three years of permanent and legal residence. Below, our Greece immigration agents summarize the essential steps for obtaining permanent residence and then Greece citizenship by investment:
- Prepare the documents: an application of naturalization needs to be filled in by the individual, together with proof of long-term residence permit, passport, birth certificate (translated into Greece), recent tax reports, social security number and other documents that prove one’s lawful living in the country;
- Apply: the filled-in form and the documents are submitted to the local authorities in charge of Civic Status in the area where the applicant lives.
Pay the fee: the application is subject to a fee; proof of payment is also required together with the documents;
- Wait for the decision: the application is thoroughly revised and a decision can be expected in approximately one year in some cases (in practice this period may differ).
These steps are general ones that apply both in the case in which the applicant has made an investment and when he or she has been living in the country for seven years (or the other applicable minimum period). You can reach out to our immigration lawyer in Greece for more details.
According to the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, foreign nationals from the following countries have applied for residence permits by investment in recent years:
- in 2017 there were 1,570 permits for permanent investors issued in Greece;
- out of the total number, 675 were issued for Chinese investors and 77 were issued for investors from Egypt;
- -53 permanent investor permits were issued for individuals from Iraq in 2017.
Regardless of your country of origin, one of our immigration lawyers in Greece can help you apply for the residence permit and the subsequent Greece citizenship by investment. You can contact us for more details on how we can provide needed assistance.