The golden visa program in Greece offers an affordable real estate investment route to permanent residency in Europe. It was introduced by the Greek government in 2014 in order to encourage investment into Greece, following the launch of several European investment visa programs.
An investment of 250.000 € in real estate in Greece is required, bringing the Greek program to the lowest investment level of any real estate residency visa scheme in Europe. The property, which can be located anywhere in the Greek mainland or on the islands, can either be residential or commercial. Any number of properties can combine to make up the 250.000 € minimum investment. Moreover, joint buyers can combine their investments into one property.
The application process takes approximately 3 months from the time of investment until the Residency Permit is issued. The applicant needs to have made the property investment in Greece prior to applying for the visa. Once a property has been selected through our firm, our lawyers will take care of the application process, conveyancing and other legal work concerning the property.
The typical procedure involves some meetings with our law firm followed by a 3 to 4 day visit to Greece to review properties, meet with our lawyers and open a bank account. The procedure after this point can be processed from our firm under Power of Attorney.
In addition to the real estate investment, applicants will need a clear criminal record and medical insurance to cover any stay in Greece. There is no minimum stay requirement and the residency visa can be renewed after five years, provided that the investment is maintained. Physical presence in Greece is required only in order to appoint a proxy.
Government, notary and lawyer fees for the property purchase and visa application can amount up to approximately €15,000.
Family – Career
Families are also eligible for visa. The residence permit allows the applicant not only to live and but also to set up business in Greece. Therefore, as soon as the permanent residence permit is issued, investors and their families (spouses, their children and parents of the spouses) have the option to live in Greece. Children are eligible up to the age of 24, since they can renew their VISA for another 3 years once they reach 21 or qualify over 18 qualify if studying.
Taxes – Obligations
Non-residents in Greece pay taxes on income earned in Greece but not on income earned outside the country. Rental income from property in Greece is taxed at rates ranging from 15% to 33%. Certain expenses are deductible from the gross income.
Our firm submits an annual tax report for each property owner. There is an additional annual property tax, which for example ranges from 300 to 800 Euros per year for a standard 3 bedroom flat in Athens or its’ suburbs. However, Greek real estate ownership cost remains among the lowest in Europe.
Travelling in Europe and the Schengen zone has become problematic for citizens of many countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Once VISA is granted, travelling throughout the EU and the Schengen zone is guaranteed.
A citizen with VISA is free to live, work, travel and receive healthcare or pursue education anywhere within the EU, including the UK. Golden Visa holders enjoy the ability to travel to an extensive list of countries all over the Europe. Lastly, Greece has 39 airports linked to European cities, servicing more than 50 international flights with an average duration of 2,5 hours.
EU Countries you may freely travel to and from:
Schengen Countries you may freely travel to and from:
After the residence permit has been issued, you may also travel to any Schengen country directly from your country, without having to go through Greece first.