How to Get Residence Permit in Greece?

* Greek Residency with Citizenship Option *

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Nationals from EU Countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland

If you are a national of one of the 31 countries (the 27 European Union countries, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland), you can stay and work in Greece without a visa or residence permit up to 90 days. However, if you plan to stay for longer than 90 days, you will have to register and obtain a Certificate of Registration or Residence Certificate (Βεβαίωση Εγγραφής Πολιτών Ευρωπαϊκης Ενωσης / Veveosi Egrafis Politon Evropaikis Enoseis) at the nearest police station or Aliens’ Bureau.

The above mentioned Residence Certificate has unlimited validity. You need to present your passport or identity card, four photographs, proof of accommodation (e.g. a rental contract or title deeds), proof that shows you have sufficient income (e.g. bank statements or certificate from the employer) and proof of health insurance cover (EU Health Card – which has replaced Form E-111 and E-121 – or a private health insurance policy).

After 5 years of continuous residence or the marriage to a Greek national, you can apply for a Permanent Residence Card (Eγγραφο Πιστοποίησης Μόνιμης Διαμονής Πολίτη Ε.Ε / Egrafo Pistopoisis Monimis Diamonis Politi Evropaikis Enoseis).

Nationals from Other Countries

Citizens of certain countries such as the USA, the UK, 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. These visa-exempt nationals will still need a residence permit if they plan to live in Greece for more than 90 days. For this, they must apply for the relevant visa (that will enable them to apply for a residence permit later) from the Greek Consulate in their country of origin or in their country of residence before arriving in Greece.

 

All other nationals will need a visa to enter Greece under all circumstances. 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 longer period than they can stay with their passport or visa 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. Immigration lawyers highlight that you must apply as soon as you arrive so that if the permit is delayed you don’t have to leave the country because your visa has expired.

 

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.

There can be different reasons for applying for a residence permit in Greece. We categorized these reasons and listed them below. You can click on any item that is applicable for your situation to see which documents are needed and for how many years your permit will be valid.

GREEK RESIDENCE PERMIT TYPES

1. Work 

2. Humanitarian, exceptional reasons

3. Studies, voluntary work, research and vocational training

4. Family reasons 

5. Long Term

6. Other Reasons

As mentioned above, you can see the full list of documents you will need for your residence permit application by clicking on the relevant reason for your application.

 

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

  • Visa from a Greek Consulate or Embassy

  • Copy of passport

  • Passport-sized photos

  • Proof of medical insurance

  • 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.

Validity period of resident permits vary depending on the situation. They can be renewed if the application for renewal is submitted two months prior to the expiration of the initial permit. After five years of 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 can I become a Greek citizen?

Greek citizenship may be acquired by descent or through naturalization. Greek law permits dual citizenship. A Greek national is a citizen of the European Union, and therefore entitled to the same rights as other EU citizens. If you want to see the simple guide with all the basic steps you will need to take for Greek citizenship, click here.

Depending on your situation, choose one of the options below and click on it to see prerequisites and documents needed for your Greek citizenship application.

Become a Greek citizen...

residence permit in greece

HOW TO GET GREEK RESIDENCY VISA FAST AND EASILY?

 

Non-EU citizens who make an investment in Greece (such as buying 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. The Greek Residence Permit obtained through investment is also called Greece Golden Visa. Besides faster procedure, there are some other positive changes to the Greek Investment Immigration Program now as well!

There are several investment options, but the most popular ways to get the Greece Golden Visa are:

(1) Real Estate: The investor can invest in one or several properties to a total value of €250,000. The residence permit for buying property in Greece is granted for 5 years and it can be renewed for another 5 years each time, provided that the applicant still owns the property.

(2) Lease or Timeshare: Lease for at least 10 years or invest in a timeshare for hotel accommodation or furnished tourist residences in a combined tourist facility with a minimum value of €250,000. The facility must be registered with Greek National Tourism Organization (GNTO). The residence permit for Real Estate Lease or Timeshare in Greece is granted for 5 years and it is renewed for another 5 years each time, provided that the lease or timeshare still goes on.

(3) Deposit Account: You will be required to do a term deposit of at least four hundred thousand (400,000) euros in a domestic credit institution for at least one year with a standing renewal order. You can expect the visa process to take between 3-4 months. You can also include family members for the Golden Visa. The residence permit for bank deposits in Greece is granted for 5 years and it is renewed for an equal period each time, provided that cash deposit is still in the account. Legal entities can also make use of this excellent investment option. For the process, you will need a certificate from the credit institution on the details of the time when the deposit is started, its initial amount and duration, and the existence of a standing renewal order.

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 minimum 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 Schengen visa zone. When you have the Greek residency permit, you will be allowed to travel throughout the Schengen Area, which consists of 26 countries in Europe.

 

Non-EU citizens with a valid permanent residence permit 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 residence permit together with the property.

Greece Golden Visa is the most affordable residency program within Europe. The Greek Permanent Residence Permit can be obtained through this program 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.

Important Points

Although considered to be in a state of economic crisis for a long time, 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.

Another very important point is the fact that property prices in Greece have dropped as much as 50% because of the Coronavirus pandemic. 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 a good real estate agent from Greece, you can find great properties in highly touristic areas. These properties have the ability to earn rental income during the touristic season (a period of approximately 6-months).

Can I apply for citizenship and become a Greek citizen 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 will not be 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.

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 hopping' – 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.

If you want to get more detailed information about Greece Golden Visa, you can click here.