GOLDEN VISA

Greece Golden Visa Services  - Citizenships by Investment

The Greek golden visa law with citizenship possibility

The Greek “Golden Visa” Law 4251/2014 “Permanent residency permit for investors” amended by the law 4332/2015 (valid from July 2015) offers permanent residency permit to non-EU citizens and their family members, who buy property in Greece, the value of which exceeds €250,000.

The above described residency permit (Golden visa) can be renewed every five years indefinitely, as long as the real estate property remains entirely at the ownership of the main applicant. Periods of absence from the country do not constitute reason for refusal.

The property owner may be accompanied by the members of his/her family. Family members may be granted a personal residence permit that is renewed and/or expires concurrently with the residence permit of the investor (property owner).

Family members are : spouse, children up to 21 years of age, applicant’s parents, spouse’s parents.

After seven years of continuous residency the investors may apply for Greek citizenship.

 

The Law 4251/2014 in bullets :

Minimum investment amount 250,000 Euros per family, the cheapest program in Europe.

The Investors have the legal right to apply for both permanent residence and citizenship.

The investor may offer residency all family members: spouse, children (up to 21 years of age), parents and spouse’s parents.

The investor will be able to sell his/her property to another foreign citizen, and transfer the residency permit together with the property. No minimum time for ownership before transfer.

The investor may establish his/her own business in Greece.

There is no need for the investor or the family members to stay in Greece to maintain the residency right.

The residency permit holders can travel freely to all Schengen countries. They can also travel directly from their country of origin without the need to come to Greece first.

 

 

WHAT IS GREECE GOLDEN VISA?

Greek Golden Visa Program is launched in 2013 by Enterprise Greece. The program grants five-year residence permit in exchange for a real estate investment. A family application includes children up to age 21 and requires no residence in the country. The permit is granted for five years and may be renewed every five years if the property investment is retained.

Greek residence permit is issued by the Greek authorities and it gives its holder the right to reside legally in Greece. It can be achieved by completing a real estate investment the value of which is more than €250.000. Different categories of residence permits exist, as well as different types of permit within each category. Employment rights depend on the type of permit issued.

ELIGIBILITY CRITERIA FOR THE GREECE GOLDEN VISA

First of all, the applicant needs an entry visa to the country to be able to obtain a residence permit.

Possible beneficiaries of the permit are:

a) third country citizens who own real estate property in Greece, either personally or through a legal entity of which they own the total of the company shares, provided the minimum value of the property is €250.000;

b)third country citizens who have signed a timeshare agreement (lease) – for a minimum of 10 years – for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts according to article 8, paragraph 2 of Law 4002/2011 (Government Gazette 180 A’), provided the minimum cost of the lease is €250.000;

c) third country citizens who either reside legally, with a residence permit, in Greece, or wish to enter and reside in the country, and who have full ownership and possession of real estate property in Greece, which they have purchased before the enactment of law 4146/2013, provided that they had purchased the real estate property for a minimum of €250,000 or the current objective value of their real estate property is at a minimum of €250,000;

d)third country citizens who fully and legally own real estate property in Greece, the minimum value of which is €250,000, and which they acquired through a donation or parental concession. The right to a residence permit in this case can only be exercised by the receiver of the donation or parental concession.

e) third country citizens who purchase a plot of land or acreage and proceed to erecting a building, provided that the cumulative value of the land purchase and the contract with the construction company is at minimum €250,000.

f) third country citizens who have signed a ten-year timeshare agreement (lease), based on the provisions of Law 1652/1986. A time share lease, according to the provisions of article 1 of law 1652/1986 is the commitment of the lessor to grant, each year, to the lessee, for the duration of the timeshare, the use of the tourist accommodation and to provide to them the relevant services for the determined period of time according to the contract, and the lessee must pay the agreed rent.

g) family members of the third country citizens described above

GREECE GOLDEN VISA APPLICATION PROCESS

Greek Golden Visa application process has a fairly straightforward order. As the first step, the applicant must submit an application for an entry visa to the Greek consulate authority in their country of origin. Then, they should collect and provide the necessary documents. After that, the documents must be submitted to the one-stop service of the Alien and Immigration Department at the Decentralized Authority where the property of the interested party is located. The applicant must submit all the necessary documents before the expiry date of the entry visa. Finally, the applicant should undertake legal acts and transactions with the competent authorities, using their entry visa.

REQUIRED DOCUMENTS

The following documents are required for a successful Golden Visa application:

Two copies of the application document;

Four recent colour photos (passport type, printed as well as in Compartible Disc form);

Certified copy of a valid passport or travel documents recognised by Greece and with the relevant valid entry visa, where required;

A fee paid and obtained through the “e-paravolo” platform according to provisions of Law 4251/2014 article 132, which amounts to €500 for residence permits of up to a five year duration.

A fee paid and obtained through the “e-paravolo” platform according to provisions of Law 4018/2011 article 1, which amounts to €16 concerning the printing of the separate document (electronic residence permit).

Certification by an insurance agency for the cost of hospitalisation and medical care. To certify that this condition is fulfilled, the following are accepted:

-        Insurance contracts which have been signed outside Greece, provided that they explicitly mention that they cover the interested party for the duration of their stay in Greece.

-        Insurance contracts which have been signed in Greece.

In some cases, additional documentation may be requested by the authorities:

Residence permits for third country citizens who own and posses, either wholly or jointly, property in Greece.

Residence permits for third country citizens who own property in Greece through a legal entity, where the applicant owns all shares

Residence permits for third country citizens who have a lease – for a minimum of 10 years – for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts

Proof of title transfer from the land registry where the relevant lease contract has been transferred.

Residence permits for third country citizens who have purchased real estate property in Greece before Law 4146/2013 came into effect:

Residence permits for third country citizens who purchase plots of land or acreage and erect a building. The following additional documents must be submitted:

i. Contract for the purchase of the plot of land or acreage, and

ii. Contract with the construction company for the erection/restoration of the residence, which has been submitted to the tax office according to the law

iii. Building permit in the name of the applicant

iv. Invoices by the contractors and the corresponding proofs of payment.

Residence permits for third country citizens who have a timesharing lease of at least ten year duration, for hotel accommodations or tourist furnished accommodations in integrated tourist resorts. The following additional documents must be submitted:

  1. Contract for the timeshare of at least ten years duration, which states the exact amount to be paid every year.
  2.   ii. Proof of title transfer from the competent land registry
  3. Certification by the Greek National Tourism Organisation that they have been informed of the establishment of this timeshare lease.

Residence permits for family members of the third country citizen

SUBMITTING THE APPLICATION

If the investor submits their application in person or accompanied by his attorney, they will be called to submit the additional following documents:

4 printed digital passport photos, also stored in digital form(CD)

A sample of his digital signature

A fee of 16 euro, which covers the cost of supply, printing and secure handling of the e-card, paid through the “e-paravolo” online payments platform

Completion of the fingerprinting process (for two fingers)

GREECE GOLDEN VISA RENEWAL PROCESS

The residence permit is permanent. The holder of the residence permit is however required to renew it every five (5) years. To renew the residence permit, the following conditions must be met:

The real estate property must remain in the full ownership of the applicant.

The relevant leases/contracts must be ongoing. (Absences from the country do not impede the renewal of the residence permit. The resale of the real estate property, during the period when the residence permit is valid, to another third country citizen provides to the new owner the right to a residence permit along with a simultaneous revocation of the seller’s residence permit.)

The renewal of the residence permit requires different documents, including:

In all cases:

A filled-in application

Four recent colour photos (passport type, printed as well as in Compartible Disc form);

A true copy of a valid passport or travel documents recognised by Greece.

A certified copy of the previous residence permit, only in cases where the permit is not attached to the passport that is submitted

Certification by an insurance agency for the cost of hospitalisation and medical care. To certify that this condition is fulfilled, the following are accepted:

– Insurance contracts which have been signed outside Greece, provided that they explicitly mention that they cover the interested party for the duration of their stay in Greece.

– Insurance contracts which have been signed in Greece.

Additionally, and depending on the case, additional documents may be required to renew a residence permit. 

 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the duration of the residence permit?

5 years

Can the residence permit be renewed?

Yes, for another 5 years each time, provided that the applicant still owns the property.

May the members of the investor’s family request a residence permit?

Yes. Members of the family are considered the spouse (husband/wife), the children, the investor’s parents and the spouse’s parents. They may request individual residence permits. They shall, however, submit separate applications. Their permit expires on the same date as the investor’s does

What if a legal entity is interested in buying property in Greece?

Article 20B, paragraph 1, point (c), Law 4251/2014, provides that a third country national who has the full ownership, possession and occupancy of real estate property in Greece through a legal entity, the entirety of whose stocks or corporate shares are fully owned by the applicant, has the right to apply for the “permanent residence permit for investors”

Do persons holding a residence permit have the right to work in Greece?

No, they do not. This residence permit does not give right to access to any type of employment, according to, Article 20, paragraph 6, Law 4251/2014. Employment in this case does not include the exercise of economic activity in the capacity of a shareholder or Chief Executive Officer of companies established before your application for this residence permit. This exemption for economic activity refers to third country citizens who are shareholders or managers of all forms of capital companies (S.A., Ltd, Private limited companies). The family members that have been granted this residence permit have also restricted access to employment.

If I get a residence permit, can I add the period of its duration to the total duration needed in order to request the Greek nationality?

Yes, you can. According to Article 8, paragraph 30, Law 4332/2015, a third country citizen has the right to apply for the long-term resident status, provided he fulfils the conditions of Articles 89 and 90, Law 4251/2014. Having been granted the long-term residence status is a prerequisite in order to apply for Greek citizenship by naturalization, provided all other requirements are fulfilled. I would like to request a residence permit. Should I get an entry visa for Greece before I submit my application for the residence permit? Only if you come from a country, whose citizens are required to get an entry visa in order to come to Greece.

 

What advantages does a residence permit in Greece provide to its holder?

He/she may stay continuously in Greece for its whole duration. He/she may travel to other Schengen countries without a visa, but his/her stay in those countries cannot exceed 90 days in each 6-month period. He/she has access to health or education services, just like any Greek citizen

How long can it take until the residence permit is issued?

It is usually issued within 2 months from the day on which the complete application was submitted or arrived at the Decentralized Administration.

Is the applicant covered from the moment he/she submitted the application until the day the residence permit is issued?

Yes. If all the supporting documents are submitted, a proof of submission is issued. If an application for a residence permit is submitted for the first time, this proof of submission is issued, and you can proceed to book an appointment with the Office in order to provide fingerprints. When the fingerprints are given, the application is considered complete and the process for the permanent residence permit begins. If the applicant is in Greece the day the application is submitted, he/she can come to the Office and provide fingerprints on the same day.

I submitted an application for a residence permit and I was given a document proving its submission. What can I do with it? You may travel freely as often as you wish to/from Greece. Attention: you are not allowed to travel to any other Schengen country. This means that any flight schedule that requires a flight transfer at the airport of another Schengen country should be avoided.  What is the duration of the proof of submission regarding an application for a residence permit? One year.