Greece Golden Visa
Residence Permit in Greece with Citizenship Option

If you are a citizen of a country out of European Union but you want to live in an EU country and have the right to travel around EU countries freely, then we have some GOLDEN news for you! For a minimum investment of just 250,000 euros in Greece, you can have GOLDEN VISA that will provide you with free pass to all 26 Schengen countries in Europe. Thanks to GREECE GOLDEN VISA, you will not need any other special visa to travel around European Union countries. You will be able to travel just by showing your Greece Golden Visa, which will also give you the right to stay in EU borders as long as you want unless you sell back the property you have bought. Let’s check it in a bit more detailed way.

What is Greece Golden Visa?

 
Launched in 2013, the Golden Visa for Greece is one of the most popular investment visa programs in the EU. It is a residence-by-investment visa, issued to non-EU citizens who make a significant contribution to the Greek economy. There are several investment options, but the most common route is through purchasing real estate worth at least 250,000 euros. Golden Visas issued by the EU Member States such as Greece are especially desired, as they may eventually lead to citizenship and thus access to the EU. The Greece Golden Visa offers immediate five-year residency to the investor as well as their immediate family members, as well as free travel in the Schengen Zone.

Greek Golden Visa Law changed on 23.12.2020. You can now apply for the program completely remotely. You or your dependents don’t have to enter Greece during or prior to the application process.
 

Who is Eligible for Greece Golden Visa?

Eligibility criteria for a Greek Golden Visa are:
 
  • You must be a non-EU/EEA country citizen. 
  • You must be over the age of 18.
  • You must not have any history of criminal records, in any country in which you have lived.
  • You must make a significant investment in Greece (see the investment options below).
  • You must have obtained health insurance from a company operating in Greece.
As of January 1st, 2021, after Brexit, British citizens from the UK can now apply for Golden Visa in Greece.
 

Investment Options for the Greece Golden Visa Program

To qualify for a Golden Visa for Greece, you must make one of the following investments:

  • Purchase a real estate property with a minimum value of €250,000.

  • Sign a lease agreement with a hotel or tourist establishment for at least 10 years with a minimum value of €250,000.

  • Make a €400,000 deposit in a Greek bank.

  • Make a capital investment of at least €400,000 in a company registered in Greece.

  • Make a €400,000 investment in Greek government bonds.

  • Make a €400,000 investment in bonds or shares of real estate investment companies.

  • Make an €800,000 investment in corporate or government bonds.

Conditions

If you chose to proceed with the purchase of a property:

  • The real estate property must be owned by and still in possession of you;

  • If you’ve acquired the property through a legal entity, you must own 100% of the company shares.

 

If you’ve opted to sign a lease of a hospitality accommodation:

  • The contract must cover a minimum duration of 10 years and €250,000 in rental amount;

  • The contract must require a single payment of the rent for the equivalent of the ten-year leasing of the property.

You may renew your Golden Visa residence permit every 5 years. You must fulfill the above conditions to be able to renew at the end of each 5 years.

Important Notes

Investors are allowed to invest in more than one property in the country. As long as the combined value of the investment is equal to or greater than €250,000, the application is valid.

 

Investors do not have to buy residential property only. It is also okay to buy commercial property or a combination of commercial and residential properties or land. The country’s law states that €250,000 must be the stated price on the contract. It does not distinguish between commercial and residential properties.

 

Benefits of Greece Golden Visa

A Greek Golden Visa is one of the most competitive Golden Visas in the EU and is accompanied with the following benefits:

(1) Low Investment Threshold in a Promising Real Estate Market

The threshold investment options in Greek Golden Visa are relatively lower than in most other European Union countries with Golden Visa routes. You can invest as low as €250,000 in Greek real estate in order to qualify for the program. The Greek property market took a big hit in the 2008 financial crisis and suffered for more than a decade.  As of 2021, the Greek real estate market is expected to adjust in an upward trend.

(2) Right To Live in Greece

The Greek Golden Visa allows you to live in Greece. There is no limitation to how long you can stay. As a matter of fact, there is no minimum stay requirement either. The right to live in Greece comes with access to public healthcare and education as well.

(3) Visa-Free Travel

Greek Golden Visa gives you the freedom to travel across the Schengen zone without the need for an additional visa. The Schengen zone consists of 26 European countries that have officially abolished visas and border control at their mutual borders. You and your family members will enjoy visa-free travel across all these countries.

(4) Family Reunification

Can your family join you? They sure can. You can extend the visa to include your spouse, (unmarried) children under 21 years of age, the principal applicant’s parents and parents-in-law. If your child is over the age of 21, but no older than 24, and they are a student, they may also be included in the Golden Visa application. This means that all these family members can also receive and enjoy all the benefits of a Golden Visa card without any further requirements.

(5) The Double Taxation Treaty

You have to pay taxes only on the income you receive in Greece, thanks to the double taxation treaty. Depending on your country of residence and the amount of time you spend in Greece, it is likely that your international income may not be subject to taxation in Greece. In that case, you may maintain your business activities outside of Greece and enjoy some tax benefits. As of 2021, Greece also provides tax benefits to foreigners living in the country as tax residents. There are different incentive programs for retirees, digital nomads, and other particular expat segments. Make sure and check with your certified financial advisor to see if you can benefit from any of these incentives.

 

NOTE: If you spend most of the year there, you become a tax resident in Greece and must pay taxes. Keep in mind that being a tax resident is a requirement to apply for citizenship. 

(6) Flexibility with Your Property

There are no requirements to live in Greece for any duration in order to renew your residence permit. You can choose to rent out your property after purchase and live in another country.

(7) Greek Citizenship

You can apply for Greek citizenship after 7 years of residence in Greece. Greece is an EU Member State, so you would have access to the EU free market and visa-free travel to more than 100 countries.

 

Validity of Greece Golden Visa

The Golden Visa for Greece is issued for five years and can be renewed indefinitely as long as you maintain the investment.

 

If you ultimately choose to live in Greece, then after seven years of continuous residence, you can also apply for Greek citizenship.

 

Can I Get Greek Citizenship through Investment?

Yes, you can become a Greek citizen by making an investment in Greece and obtaining the Golden Visa. However, unlike permanent residence, you cannot apply for Greek citizenship without actually living there and paying taxes. You must live in Greece for at least 7 years and be a tax resident in the country during this period to be eligible to apply for citizenship.

 

In addition, you must also be able to prove you have ties to the country and knowledge of the Greek language and culture, at least on a basic level.

 

How to Apply for Greece Golden Visa?

You may submit your application yourself or through a Greek lawyer.

Thanks to a change made in the Greek Golden Visa program on December 23rd, 2020, you can now apply for the Greek Golden Visa program completely remotely. In this case, you need to provide your law firm in Greece with a Power of Attorney (PoA) to be able to do this. 

 

If you want to be present in Greece while submitting your application, you have to apply for a Greek Golden Visa at the Alien and Immigration Department at the Decentralized Authority in Greece. Before that, you must apply for an entry visa at one of the Greek Embassies or Consulates abroad. An outline of the Golden Visa application process is:

  • Apply for a Greek national visa at an Embassy or Consulate.

  • Enter Greece and finalize your investment. It is your choice whether you decide to hire professional legal help through this step.

  • Collect the required documents for the Greek Golden Visa.

  • Submit the documents at the local Alien and Immigration Department.

  • Wait for the visa to be processed. You will usually hear back about a decision within 3 months.

  • If the decision is positive, you have to submit your biometric information in Greece. In other words, it is the only step that you cannot complete remotely.

  • You will receive a Golden Visa residence permit, which will be valid for 5 years.

 

Documents Needed to Apply for a Greece Golden Visa

The required documents when applying for a Greece Golden Visa are:

  • 2 copies of the application form.

  • 4 recent passport-size photos of yourself. Make sure they follow Greek visa photo requirements.

  • Your valid passport along with a certified copy. The passport must include the entry visa as required.

  • Proof of the payment for the relevant government fees. You can pay for the fees on "e-Paravolo" platform and get the proof of payment through the same platform. It roughly costs €500 for residence permits of up to a 5-year duration.

  • Proof of the payment for the processing fee. You can pay for the fee on "e-Paravolo" platform and get the proof of payment through the same platform. It roughly costs €16, concerning the printing of the separate document (electronic residence permit).

  • Certification by an insurance agency for the cost of hospitalization and medical care in Greece for yourself and any family members. It could be an insurance contract that has been signed in Greece or an insurance contract that is signed outside of Greece, but explicitly mentions that it covers the interested party for the duration of their stay in Greece.

  • Proof of your funds.

  • Additional documents according to the type of investment you make, such as:

 

For purchasing real estate:

  1. A contract of purchase which attests to the fact that there are no conditions or exemptions in the purchase, states the total price of the purchase, and the method of payment (it must be in full, via credit held in an institution operating in Greece or via a credit transfer.

  2. Proof of transfer of the contract by the accountable Land Registry

  3. Certificate issued by the Land Registry proving there has been no impediment related to the purchase.

 

For renting a hotel or tourist establishment:

  1. Timeshare contract for a minimum period of five years which should state the corresponding price per year;

  2. Proof of transfer registration issued by the competent Land Registry;

  3. A certificate issued by the National Tourism Organisation (EOT) that it has been informed of the conclusion of the particular timeshare contract.

For investment in a company:

  1. Documents with details of the company receiving the investment, whether it is established or to be established (must include name, type of legal entity, and share-holders)

  2. A document detailing the investment project

  3. The location of the investment project

  4. The budget and financing structure for the investment

  5. A timeline detailing the implementation of the investment

  6. Predictions for the results on the first five years of investment (feasibility study and cash flow forecast)

  7. A document detailing the number of jobs that will be created by the investment

  8. A short CV

  9. Your position in the investment project

 

NOTE: Some other documents might also be requested by the relevant authorities.

Document guidelines:

  • The documents you submit have to be translated into Greek by either the Translation Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens, Greece, or by an attorney who is part of a Greek bar association.

  • The documents you submit must be certified either by an Apostille Stamp (if your country is part of the Hague Convention) or by the nearest Greek Embassy or Consulate (if your country is not part of the Hague Convention).

Note: Before you apply for the Golden Visa, check if you do also need to apply for a Greek Schengen Visa to enter the country. This application will require a different set of documents, such as:

  • Travel medical insurance with a minimum of 30,000 euro coverage, which must be valid for the full duration of your stay within Greece and the entire Schengen area

  • A cover letter stating the purpose of visit to Greece and itinerary

  • Flight Itinerary with dates and flight numbers specifying entry and exit from Greece

  • Proof of accommodation in Greece for the entire duration of your stay

  • Proof of sufficient financial means for the period of stay in Greece

 

Renewal of Greece Golden Visa

Unlike most other countries who issue Golden Visas, you do NOT need to live in Greece at all in order to renew the residence permit. You can keep renewing it every 5 years, as long as you have still maintained your investment.

 

To renew the residence permit, you have to provide proof that the real estate property is still in your ownership or a solemn declaration by the relevant representatives that the investment is still ongoing.

You will need the below documents in order to renew your Greek Golden Visa residency permit:

  • A filled-in application.

  • 4 recent passport-size photos.

  • A certified copy of a valid passport.

  • A certified copy of the previous permanent residency card.

  • Certification by an insurance agency for the cost of hospitalization and medical care in Greece for yourself and any family members. It could be an insurance contract that has been signed in Greece or an insurance contract that is signed outside of Greece, but explicitly mentions that it covers the interested party for the duration of their stay in Greece.

In some cases, the authorities may require additional documents to renew the permit.