Golden Visa Greece through Property Investment

Residence permit through real estate acquisition or investment in Greece

Greece is a country member of the EU and the Schengen Agreement. According to Greek Legislation (4251/2014), non-EU citizens and their families may be granted a 5-year renewable Residence Permit in case they acquire real estate property, the value of which exceeds 250.000 €.

Launched in July 2014, the Greek golden visa program grants a five year residency visa in return for an investment in real estate. There is no minimum stay requirement and children up to the age of 21 can be included in the family application. The visa is granted for five years and can be renewed every five years as long as the property investment is retained. It is not necessary to live in the country in order to retain and renew the investor visa. In addition, citizenship can be granted after seven years of residency.

It is one of the more luxurious visas that allows its’ holders to use property investment to get themselves on the path towards EU citizenship. Greece, in particular, is a country of strategic importance and among the top six countries as far as investment in immovable property is concerned.

LOW COST EUROPEAN RESIDENCY

The total cost of the investment required is the lowest in Europe (250.000 € plus 3% tax). Furthermore, the residency program procedure is relatively fast, taking around 3 months until a residency card is issued. There are also favourable rules for the entire family and its’ dependents.

REASONS TO CHOOSE VISA

Visa guarantees the unobstructed movement of your family within the Schengen region, as well as the free transfer of your money. It is the proper security measure for you and your family’s members that also guarantees better opportunities especially for your children.

REASONS TO SPECIFICALLY INVEST IN GREECE

• The country’s residence-for-investment scheme is the most economically advantageous in Europe as it is the most cost-effective (at 250.000 €), while purchasing property in Greece is also quite affordable.
• Yields for short-term rentals are high and the country’s growth potential is promising. As proof, renting short-term during the high season costs an average of 60 € per day in Athens.
• Investors can make profitable returns from their Greek property, as there is an increasing demand for short-term rental properties due to the booming tourism industry. Tourism is stoking an increase in demand for short-term rental properties, which in combination with significantly low property prices, means there is an opportunity to generate high rental yields and capital gains.
• Tourism Revenues in Greece increased to 3.383,90 million Euros in July from 2.329,70 million Euros in June of 2018. Tourism Revenues in Greece averaged 901,73 Million Euros from 1997 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of 3.552,70 million Euros in August of 2017 according to Trading Economics.
• Foreign tourist arrivals in Greece increased by 14,6 percent year-to-year, reaching 3.164 million in June 2018 according to Trading Economics. Thus the accommodation capacity often reaches 70% due to the great demand, resulting in the lengthening of the tourism period.

WHY CHOOSE GREECE

To begin with, Greece is an easy to access country as it is a Schengen member, located in a region of strategic importance. The country is blessed with an endless coastline, breathtaking landscape and dozens of islands to choose from. This is why people (including many celebrities) prefer Greece as a destination for relaxing holidays or even for their honeymoon. Options in entertainment seem countless, as the visitor can enjoy an incredible gamut of activities, an exciting nightlife, shopping for every taste and of course a healthy and delicious cuisine due to the local natural products.

It is a country steeped in history, rich in arts and culture, respectful of its’ traditions but still a modern destination: budget friendly with incredible accommodation choices and good local transportation. The high level of hospitality and its’ sunny weather make this safe country quite attractive and easy to live in. Whether the visitor chooses Greece’s gorgeous villages or a big city, he will be able to communicate in English with the friendly and welcoming locals and enjoy the unpolluted environment. High-speed WIFI and high education standards have attracted many students from abroad.

Because of all the arguments mentioned, Greece was voted as the Chinese people’s number one choice as a tourist destination. As a result, being able to visit, experience let alone live in this extraordinary country should be considered nothing less than a lifetime opportunity.

PROGRAM OVERVIEW

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.

Investment
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.

Process
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.

Requirements
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.

Fees
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
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:

AustriaBelgiumCzech Republic
DenmarkEstoniaFinland
FranceGermanyHungary
ItalyLatviaLithuania
LuxembourgMaltaNetherlands
PolandPortugalSlovakia
SloveniaSpainSweden

 

 

Schengen Countries you may freely travel to and from:

IcelandLiechtensteinNorwaySwitzerland

Important Note:
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.

CITIZENSHIP AND PASSPORT

Golden visa in Greece provides the right to apply for EU citizenship. Applicants who live in Greece can apply for citizenship and passport after seven years of residency. Their children may apply as long as they attend: a) any Greek school for 9 years, or b) a Greek secondary school for 6 years, or c) a Greek University. Once applicants have citizenship then they are free to dispose of their investment as further visa renewals are not necessary.

Benefits
Golden Visa holders are provided with the opportunity to live and raise their children in Greece (although there is no requirement to do so) but also invest and do business in Greece. Apart from that, the residency card allows all family members to freely travel to and throughout the EU Schengen visa zone with ease and without any further visa applications. Last but not least, if the resident sells the property to another non-EU citizen, the Greek residency becomes transferable to the new investor.

Summary
The Greek program offers the lowest real estate investment level of any European residency scheme due to low property valuations.
It also comes with favourable family rules.

DOCUMENTS

 The invitation letter should include the following:
• Proof of professional capacity
• Passport scan with personal details, showing previous visas
• Bank statement showing minimum 250,000 Euros or equivalent currency
• Permanent residency address
• Email
• Phone number

OUR SERVICES

• Property Selection Assistance
• Property Purchase Transaction
• Residence Permit Related Services
• Legal Advisory
• Accounting Services
• Property management
If a required service is not listed above, feel free to submit your enquiry and we will strive to accommodate your needs.

DETAILED LIST OF OUR SERVICES

• Locating a suitable property or properties on behalf of our clients
• Provide assistance throughout the negotiation process and negotiate terms on the clients’ behalf
• Issue a Greek Tax ID
• Open a bank account
• Perform and conclude the real estate legal Due Diligence process by making all relevant checks to Land Registries and approving documentation and certificates
• Draft any PoAs, pre-sale and sale agreements
• Ensure secure transfer of funds and correct form of the transfers
• Sale transaction
• Assist in issuing tax payments for public Authorities on behalf of the clients
• Conclude signing the contracts of purchase
• Commence Registration of title deeds at the Land Registry & the Cadastral Authorities
• Undertake the translation of all official documents that the clients will be requested to provide in order to commence processing the applications for the Residence Permit
• Prepare and compile the documentation for the residence permit application submission before the authorities
• Manage all stages of the Golden Visa issuing process and receive the final Residence Permit
• Act as permanent tax representative on an annual basis (at extra cost)
• Act as a depository of all the documents regarding the property (at extra cost)
• Manage the property after the purchase, achieving sustainable rental income for the new owners
• Provide continuous support after the permit has been acquired
• File for renewal of residence permits in a timely fashion before the five year deadline

For any questions regarding getting residence or work permit in Greece, buying property/ residence or setting up a business there do not hesitate to contact our firm. We are at your disposal with services which are direct, efficient and customisable to your needs.

Contact us

We will be glad to help you! Please fill in the following form and we will contact you as soon as possible.

FOR FURTHER PIECE OF INFORMATION

Ministry of Migration Policy of Greece

Enterprise Greece

Enterprise Greece is the competent national body under the supervision of the Ministry of Economy and Development to attract investment in Greece and promote exports, aiming to promote the country as an important strategic partner worldwide.