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How to Get Residence Permit in Greece?

* Greek Residency with Citizenship Option *

Citizens of certain non-European Union countries such as the USA, Canada and Australia can stay in Greece without a visa, as long as they do not stay more than 90 days in a 180 day period. All other non-EU citizens will need a visa to enter Greece in the first place. And if these non-EU citizens are planning to live in Greece, they must apply for the relevant residence permit from the Greek Consulate in their country of origin or in their country of residence before arriving in Greece. (You can check the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to see the full list of which country nationals need / don't need a visa to enter Greece.)

Foreigners who want to stay in Greece for a period over 90 days will need a Residence Permit ("Αδεια παραμονής" / "Adia Paramonis" in Greek) issued by Greek authorities in Greece. The application should be made within the first 2 months after arriving in Greece, although it is highly recommended to be fulfilled immediately on arrival in case of common bureaucratic delays.

 

You can make your application for Residence Permit in Greece at the municipality office/town hall ("Δημαρχείο" / "Dimarchio" in Greek) or at the local Aliens bureau located at police stations with a foreigners department).

You will need some documents to apply for Residence Permit in Greece including:

  • Visa from a Greek Consulate or Embassy

  • Copy of passport

  • Two passport-sized photos

  • Proof of medical insurance

  • Health certificate from a Greek public hospital, proving that no contagious diseases are present (all fees are paid by the applicant). A template for a medical certificate can be downloaded from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website or simply from here.

  • Proof of local residence

  • Proof of sufficient financial resources to live in Greece

  • Proof of payment of the required fee to the national tax office (Εφορία / Eforia)

  • Employment contract (if applicable)

All these documents listed must be in Greek. Official foreign documents, such as birth or marriage certificates, must be translated by a lawyer, the Greek Foreign Ministry’s Department of Translation (Μεταφραστική Υπηρεσία / Metafrastiki Ipiresia) or a certified translator.

The Immigration Committee (Επιτροπή Μετανάστευσης / Epitropi Metanastefsis) reviews the application and interviews the applicant. The local Secretary General (Γενικός Γραμματέας / Genikos Grammateas) decides whether or not to grant the permit to the applicant.

Once your application has been submitted, you will receive a blue paper (βεβαίωση / veveosi) as a receipt that your application is being processed. With this paper, you can continue staying in Greece until the final decision about the residence permit is issued. In this waiting period, you can also go to your home country and come back to Greece with your blue paper any time you want. 

Executives transferred to Greece can usually receive their residence/work permit in approximately one month. Non-executive applicants may have to wait much longer.

Resident permits are initially valid for one year. After this period, it can be renewed if the application for renewal is submitted two months prior to the expiration of the initial permit. After five years continuous residence, you can apply for permanent residence for family members or for a long-term EU-wide permit, however you should not forget that the Greek government has been very slow to issue these until today.

Note: The Citizens Service Office (Κέντρα εξυπηρέτησης πολιτών / K.E.P) has further information on residence permits (in Greek language).

HOW TO GET GREEK RESIDENCY VISA FAST AND EASILY?

Non-EU citizens who buy a property in Greece with the minimum value of 250,000 Euro can benefit from the new and accelerated procedure for obtaining a Permanent Residence (PR) Permit in Greece and the new positive changes to the Greek Investment Immigration Program.

The Greek Government introduced changes to its existing permanent residency program. The new rules allow three generations of family members to benefit from the visa by investment program. In short, an investment of just 250,000 Euro in real estate will provide the investor, his/her spouse and their children of maximum 21-years old with a five year renewable residency visa. There is no minimum stay requirement for Permanent Residency applicants with the Greek Permanent Residency Program.

 

Greece is a member of the EU Schengen visa zone, so when you have this Greek residency permit, which is also called Greece Golden Visa, you will be allowed to travel throughout the European Union.

 

All EU citizens and permanent residents enjoy full rights and privileges as EU citizens, including the right to establish residency, buy property, open a business and work in Greece. The new changes will also allow the non-EU investor to sell his/her property to another foreign citizen, and transfer the residency permit together with the property.

The Greek Permanent Residence Permit can be obtained in about 2 months and can indefinitely be renewed every 5 years as long as the non-EU buyer does not sell off the property in this period.

Another very important point is the fact that property prices in Greece have dropped as much as 50% since the credit crisis and prices are now showing signs of stability. To put it simply, finding and buying the right property in Greece is now much easier than ever! You can make a good long term investment in Greek lands!

 

Properties in prime vacation areas are in high demand because of their ability to earn rental income. Properties with 250,000 Euro price range are in sizes that span between 75 sq.m. to 110 sq.m., with 2 or 3 bedrooms. Cooperating with the best real estate agents in Greece, we can help you find properties in highly touristic areas. These properties have the ability to earn rental income during the touristic season (a period of approximately 5-months).

Although considered to be in a state of economic crisis at the moment, Greece remains one of the most beautiful and historical countries in the world and investment in residential real estate seems a reasonable long term investment.

Can I apply for Greek Citizenship after getting my Greek Golden Visa?

Greek Golden Visa holders who live in Greece can apply for citizenship and a passport after seven years. When an investor has acquired Greek citizenship then they are free to dispose of their investment as further visa renewals are not necessary any more. Since it does not require the investor to reside in the country, the Greek Golden Visa program is normally considered a residency investment program rather than citizenship by investment. However the option for citizenship is there for those who are committed to living in Greece.

Greek Permanent Residence Permit Requirements:

We mentioned about purchasing property in Greece to get a permanent residence permit, but there are also some other methods to get it. As a non-EU investor, you should fulfill one or more of the following conditions to receive a Permanent Residence Permit in Greece (Golden Visa):

  1. Purchase of a property in Greece with a minimum value of 250.000 Euro

  2. Purchase of more than one properties with a total minimum value of 250.000 Euro

  3. The Real Estate Property must be owned by and be in possession of its owners

  4. In cases of joint ownership, where the value of the property is €250.000, the Residency Permit is only granted if the owners are spouses with undivided ownership of the property. In all other cases of joint ownership, the residence permit is only granted if the amount invested by each of the joint owners is at least €250.000

  5. If the owner has acquired the property through a legal entity, the applicant must own 100% of the company shares

  6. The Residency Permit is also granted in cases where the non-EU citizen is the owner through one or more legal entities where he is the sole owner or shareholder of those entities

It is again necessary to highlight that the Greek PR Permit is also a Schengen Visa, and is only obtained by the decision of the General Secretary of Decentralized Administration (the relevant authority of the location of the property and “residency in Greece” of the applicant).  The Permanent Residence Permit can be granted also to the main Applicant's (property owner) family members, i.e. spouse and any children below the age of 21. The new changes make this program very attractive compared to many other similar programs in Europe.

BENEFITS OF PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMIT IN GREECE
  • Greece is a member of European Union and the Schengen Zone of Europe, and your Greek Golden Visa will enable you to travel freely through Europe.

  • In Greece the cost of living is lower compared to the rest of Europe.

  • As a Greek Golden Visa holder, you will have the right to much lower tuition costs in European countries because you will be considered as a Permanent Resident of a European country.

  • Greece has a very high standard for education. There are excellent English speaking private elementary and high schools. These schools are directly linked to the overseas educational institutions.

  • Greek Golden Visa applies to the wife or husband and all children at the age of 21 or under.

  • Great investment: rising property prices, high capital gains, growing rentals.

  • Enjoy a sunny life! (Greece has more than 320 sunny days a year)

  • Unparalleled beauty and diversity in landscape & vegetation.

  • 428 blue – flagged beaches & 16,000 km of coastline.

  • Unique 'island hoping' – 6,000 islands & isles.

  • Ideal for outdoor activities & sports of all kinds.

  • World's healthiest diet – exquisite local cuisine & wines.

  • Friendly and hospitable people, relaxed lifestyle.

  • Rich history & culture – innumerable sites of interest.

  • Vivid modern life (culture & social).

  • Advanced infrastructure & expertise in professional services.

  • Excellent medical facilities.

  • Excellent domestic transport connections.

GET LEGAL HELP - RESIDENCE PERMIT LAWYER IN GREECE

To help you legally with getting resindence permit in Greece, we cooperate with experienced lawyer dealing mainly with cases of foreigners living / working in Greece, citizens of dual citizenship, stateless persons, political refugees, entrepreneurs who are active in the field of Europe, Greeks who have performed mixed marriages etc. If you want to know more about our Residence Permit Laywer, just click on Residence Permit Lawyer in Athens, Greece.

For your questions about...

- Getting Residence Permit in Greece,

- Getting Work Permit in Greece,

Buying Property in Greece,

Buying House in Greece,

Setting Up a Business in Greece,

 

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or through leaving a comment just below this article.

 

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