Greece has become an increasingly popular destination for investors seeking residency through investment programs. The Greek Residency by Investment Program, also known as the Golden Visa, allows non-EU citizens and their families to obtain residency in Greece by investing in the country’s real estate market. In this article, we will explore how the Greek Golden Visa works and what benefits it offers to investors.
How to get the Golden Visa in Greece
Who can apply?
To be eligible for the Greek Golden Visa program, the applicant must meet the following requirements:
- To be a non-European Union citizen
- To make an investment in real estate in Greece (see the costs below)
- To have proof that his funds are legally acquired
- To have a clean criminal record in their country of origin and in Greece
- To have health insurance coverage in Greece for them and their family members
- To have proof of accommodation in Greece
- To provide evidence of income to support themselves and their family members in Greece
- To pay the application and processing fees for the Greek Golden Visa program
The applicant and their family members must reside in Greece for at least 183 days per year to maintain their residency status.
How much does it cost?
The Greek Residency by Investment Program requires investors to make an investment in real estate in Greece with a minimum value of €250,000. This investment can be made either in a single property or multiple properties and must be maintained for a minimum of five years to maintain residency status.
In 2022, the Greek Parliament approved the country’s plans to increase the minimum investment required to €500,000. The new rules will only apply to some areas of the country and are coming into force on May 1st, 2023. The changes will affect only certain municipalities. You can find the complete list here.
Investors who purchase real estate in affected municipalities and have already paid 10% of the property value as a deposit by April 31st, 2023, will be able to conclude their contracts until December 31st, 2023, and apply under the scheme that requires the €250,000 investment.
Investors who have already paid their deposit will have the option to replace the initial property with another one and still apply under the €250,000 threshold, provided they conclude the transaction before the end of the transition period.
Under the new rules, you must purchase a single property to qualify for a Golden Visa. In cases of joint property ownership, the minimum value of the ownership share must be €500,000 and must again apply to a single property.
What does the application process look like?
The application process for the Greek Golden Visa can be divided into several steps:
- Choose a property: The first step is to select a property in Greece that meets the Golden Visa program’s investment criteria.
- Hire a lawyer: It is highly recommended to hire a lawyer who specializes in the Greek Golden Visa program to assist with the application process.
- Open a bank account: The investor must open a bank account in Greece and transfer the necessary funds to complete the property purchase.
- Apply for a residence permit: The investor must apply for a Greek residence permit at the Greek embassy or consulate in their home country or through a lawyer in Greece. The application must be submitted along with all necessary documentation, such as proof of investment, property ownership, and a clean criminal record.
- Wait for approval: The application process typically takes 40-60 days to complete and once approved, the investor will receive a Greek residence permit that allows them to travel to Greece and reside there for up to five years.
- Renewal: The investor must renew their residence permit every five years to maintain their legal status in Greece.
Overall, the application process for the Greek Golden Visa can be relatively straightforward and efficient, especially with the assistance of a qualified lawyer. Migronis experts are ready to assist you throughout the entire application process, as well as with choosing and purchasing your desired property. With years of experience and in-depth knowledge of the program’s requirements, our experts are well-equipped to guide you through every step of the way.
Contact us today, to schedule a free consultation with our expert
Why Greek Golden Visa is a good investment
For the family
One of the main benefits of the Golden Visa program is that it allows investors to obtain permanent residency in Greece for themselves and their families, including their spouses and children under the age of 21. This means they can live, work, and study in Greece, and travel throughout the European Schengen Area without needing a visa.
Investors can enjoy a high standard of living in Greece, with access to quality healthcare, education, and a variety of cultural experiences. Greece is also known for its low cost of living, making it an attractive option for retirees or those seeking a more affordable lifestyle.
Also, there is a possibility to obtain free education at public universities in Greece. This benefit applies to EU citizens and their family members, including those with a Greek residence permit. This can be a significant advantage for families with children who wish to pursue higher education, as tuition fees at public universities in other countries can be expensive. Greece has several reputable universities offering a broad range of programs, including business, engineering, medicine, and the arts. Obtaining a Greek residence permit through the Golden Visa program can thus be an excellent option for families who value education and wish to take advantage of the opportunities provided by Greece’s higher education system.
For the income
An important benefit of the Greek Golden Visa Program is the opportunity to invest in a growing real estate market, which is currently blooming. In 2022, foreign capital inflows increased by 60.2% compared to 2021, reaching a historic high of €1.277 billion. Greece is known for its beautiful landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, making it a desirable location for both tourism and investment. The real estate market in Greece has been steadily growing in recent years, with property prices remaining relatively low compared to other European countries. This presents a unique opportunity for investors to capitalize on the growing market and see a return on their investment.
Here you can find a comprehensive guide to the investment property market in Athens, covering everything you need to know before making a purchase, from choosing the right district to the best investment strategies.
For the future
After you have lived legally in Greece for at least seven years you can apply for the country’s citizenship. To do this, you must meet certain requirements:
- Maintain their Golden Visa status for at least seven years, which means they must continue to hold their real estate investment in Greece and meet the residency requirements.
- Demonstrate proficiency in the Greek language at least at the A2 level, as defined by the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages
- Demonstrate integration into Greek society, such as through volunteer work or community involvement
- Have a clean criminal record
- Have sufficient income to support themselves and any dependents
Greek citizenship provides a wide range of benefits, such as the freedom of movement that allows citizens to live and work in any EU country, providing access to new job opportunities and the experience of different cultures. Additionally, Greek citizens can obtain a Greek passport, which is a powerful travel document that allows visa-free travel to many countries worldwide. The possession of a Greek passport is a significant advantage for individuals who travel frequently for business or pleasure. Furthermore, Greek citizenship provides security and stability for individuals and families seeking to establish a long-term presence in Greece or the European Union. This sense of stability can be especially valuable for those who wish to purchase property, start a business or retire in Greece, as it provides a secure legal status and protection of their rights.
An attractive alternative to the closing Portuguese program
With Portugal’s plans to end its Golden Visa program, Greece’s program can be an attractive alternative. Greece offers several advantages to investors, such as a lower investment threshold, more favorable tax policies, and a diverse range of real estate investment opportunities. Additionally, Greece’s Golden Visa program provides a straightforward and efficient application process, with a maximum processing time of two months.
Furthermore, Greece’s strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa makes it an excellent investment destination for those looking to tap into emerging markets. Finally, investors can leverage the benefits of Greece’s EU membership and the associated freedom of movement and access to the EU market. All these factors make Greece’s Golden Visa program a compelling alternative to Portugal’s Golden Visa program for investors looking for a secure investment opportunity in Europe.