Residency by Investment - Greece
|COUNTRY NAME||COUNTRY CODE||CONTINENT||POLITICAL ENTITY|
Parliamentary Representative Democratic Republic
|REAL ESTATE||CURRENCY||TYPE OF PROGRAM||INVESTMENT OPTION / AMOUNT|
Residency by Investment
|TIME TO RESIDENCY||TIME TO CITIZENSHIP||PHYSICAL RESIDENCY||RECOVERY TIME|
1 - 2 months
There are various reasons for people to stay in Greece permanently. The first major reason is the ability to enjoy freedom of movement within the European Union and the Schengen zone. Being a permanent resident of Greece gives you the opportunity to travel and study without visa across the entire European Union. This privilege is also extended to your family. Greece also offers good weather almost the whole year round. Apart from its natural beauty, you can indulge in its interesting culture, cuisine, architecture, heritage, and arts. It has 428 blue-flagged beaches and about 16,000 km of coastline. Greece also is known for its advanced infrastructure and expertise in various professional fields. Medical facilities in Greece are exemplary and also the country’s domestic transport connections. The laws and regulations of the country are turning out to be more investor friendly apart from having lower cost of living.
Residency by Investment Program
The Greek residency by investment program was established in July 2013. It is called the Greece Golden Visa Scheme. A real estate investment amounting to €250,000 is required for a residency visa. This is known as the lowest investment level for this type of visa in Europe. The purchased property can be in the mainland of Greece or the islands and it can be residential or commercial. The applicant can invest in any number of real estate properties that can be combined to make up €250,000. Joint buyers may also combine their investments into one property.
Apart from the travel benefits this program offers its applicants around the EU and Schengen zone areas, the residency permit also allows the applicant to set up a business in Greece although he or she is not allowed to work. There is a need for the applicant of this visa scheme to reside in Greece; that’s why it is more of a residency program than a citizenship by investment program. The option for citizenship is however open for those applicants who are fully committed to reside in Greece.
Conditions of Eligibility
The Golden Visa Scheme has a 5-year validity which can be renewed every five years too. It is required of visa holders to possess their investment property during the time of their visa-based residency. The minimum amount of investment is €250,000, but it is necessary for the applicant to provide for an additional property tax payment which is 24 percent of the property value. Including the fees, the total amount needed for a residency visa application in Greece is €300,000. Holders of the Golden Visa are not taxed on the income they earned outside the country; they are only taxed for the income they generate within Greece.
The application process for the residency program takes around 40 days from the start of the investment until the permit is issued. It is necessary for the applicant to purchase the property prior to the actual application of the visa. Application includes an initial discussion and a 3 to 4-day visit to Greece to check on the properties, meet the lawyers, and to open a bank account in the country. It is also required for the applicant to have no criminal record and with medical insurance to cover one’s stay in Greece. The qualifying family members of the visa are the spouse and children of the applicant who are under 18 years old. The visa also extends to the parents of both the applicant and the spouse.
Residency cards can be obtained 40 days after the purchase of property. Residents of Greece can also apply for citizenship and passport after 7 years of residing in the country. Once they received citizenship, they can easily dispose their property investments since visa renewal is no longer required.