Greece’s golden visa: how to obtain a residence permit by investment

Greece’s golden visa: how to obtain a residence permit by investment

A REALTING partner from Corfu, the «Roula Rouva» Real Estate Agency, shared secret details about how to get the longed-for Golden Visa of Greece and make trips to the EU more affordable.

Distinctive features of the Golden Visa of Greece

Obtaining the Greece Golden Visa has many advantages:

  • low entry threshold: only €250,000;
  • no required minimum period of residence in the country;
  • a residence permit is issued for 5 years;
  • the time frame to receipt the status is only 2 months;
  • all family members can be included in the application;
  • visa-free entry into EU countries;
  • refundable payments;
  • income from real estate rental.

It is the loyal requirements for properties and applicant’s family members that made the Greece Golden Visa one of the most affordable in the entire European Union.

Greece’s golden visa: how to obtain a residence permit by investment Greece’s golden visa: how to obtain a residence permit by investment

Programs to get the residence permit

There are 3 state programs for obtaining the residence permit in Greece:

  1. A Golden Visa family program. Buying immovables is one of the investment options.
  2. The residence permit for financially independent persons. No capital requirements: it is enough to prove its existence.
  3. The residence permit for business investors. Purchase of securities, opening bank accounts, contributions to government funds, or companies’ capital.

The most common and affordable variant is the first one. After purchasing a property, applicants and their entire families can apply for the Golden Visa.

Real estate investments in exchange for the residence permit

To become a temporary residence permit holder in Greece, an applicant will need €250,000. There are two investment options:

  1. Purchase of real estate objects. There are no restrictions on the type of purchased property. Moreover, it is possible to buy several housings for the total amount of €250,000 and get income from renting them out.
  2. Property rental. The agreement provides for a ten-year lease of a hotel room or tourist apartment, and the entire amount must be paid all at once. The object (or several objects purchased for a certain amount) must have a registration issued by the Greek National Tourism Organization (ЕОТ).

It is worth noting that all accommodation can be registered not only to an individual but also to a legal entity. In the second case, an owner must own 100% of the company’s shares.

Although Greece offers the residence permit for buying almost any property, there are some restrictions. For example, to purchase property in border areas, a foreigner will need to obtain a permit from the state authorities.

Greece’s golden visa: how to obtain a residence permit by investment

The real estate purchasing process

Buying housing for less than €250,000 gives the right to receive only a year multiple entry visa (in some cases, it can be extended to three years), which allows you to stay in the country for no more than 90 days a year. Applicants for the Golden Visa receive a five-year residence permit.

Regardless of the value of an object, the procedure for acquiring a property is always the same. The Roula Rouva agency has provided us with a scheme for a standard real estate transaction:

Residence permits

If you’re an EEA national you can stay and work in Greece without a residence permit.

However, if you plan to stay for longer than 90 days, you will have to register and obtain a Certificate of Registration or Residence Certificate (Βεβαίωση Eγγραφής Πολιτών Ευρωπαϊκης Ενοσης / Veveosi Egrafis Politon Evropaikis Enoseis) at the nearest police station or Aliens’ Bureau.

The above mentioned Residence Certificate has unlimited validity. You need to present your passport or identity card, four photographs, proof of accommodation (e.g.

a rental contract or title deeds), proof you have sufficient income (e.g.

bank statements or certificate from the employer) and proof of health insurance cover (EU Health Card – which has replaced Form E-111 and E-121 – or a private health insurance policy).

After five years of continuous residence or the marriage to a Greek national, a Permanent Residence Certificate (Eγγραφο Πιστοποίησης Μόνιμης Διαμονής Πολίτη Ε.Ε / Egrafo Pistopoisis Monimis Diamonis Politi Evropaikis Enoseis) can be applied for.

Non-EEA nationals

Residence permits for non-EEA nationals are difficult to obtain unless you’re married to a Greek or someone of Greek origin. First you have to obtain a long-stay visa from the Greek embassy or consulate in your country of origin in order to stay for longer than 90 days in the country.

When you arrive in Greece you will have to apply for a residence permit (Άδεια Παραμονής / Adia Paramonis) at the nearest Aliens’ Bureau within two months.

Immigration lawyers recommend that you apply as soon as you arrive so that if the permit is delayed you don’t have to leave the country because your visa has expired.

You need to present your visa, passport plus a copy, two photographs, a certificate of medical insurance, a health certificate from a state hospital (see below), proof of a local address (title deeds or rental contract), your employment contract (if applicable) and proof that you can support yourself financially.

All these documents have to be handed in in Greek. The initial residence permit is valid for one year, after which it may be renewed for five to ten years.

In 2013, the Greek government passed a new law which gives non-EU nationals and their family members a residence permit when buying property with a value of €250,000 or more.

If the ownership status of the property remains unchanged the residence permit might be renewed for five years. In this case, the period of residence is not relevant.

However, this kind of residence permit doesn’t necessarily include the right of employment.

Health certificate

If you want to work in Greece you will have to be insured and get a Social Insurance Number or AMKA in Greek. EEA nationals in certain jobs (e.g.

food preparation or child care) and all non-EEA nationals applying for a residence permit must obtain a health certificate from a state hospital.

The certificate is issued after you have passed several medical examinations including a chest x-ray (TB), blood tests (hepatitis B and C, and HIV), a psychiatric evaluation and drug tracing. Note that you must pay for all examinations.

Working

If you’re self-employed, you need to present confirmation from the tax authorities that you plan to set up in business and provide a certificate from the local court stating that your business has been legally recognised and declared. If your employment involves food preparation or working with children, you must also present a health certificate. 

If you have the right to work depends on your nationality. EEA nationals are allowed to work in Greece without applying for a work permit. If they stay for longer than 90 days they will have to get a residence permit, which includes the work permit.

For Non-EEA nationals the work permit is related to the residence permit. Once you have entered the country with a visa you can apply for both. Which kind of residence or work permit you can obtain depends on your employment situation (self-employed, consultant, employee, executive).

Do you have any comments, updates or questions on this topic? Ask them here:

Permanent Residency in Russia in 2021 & Temporary Residence Permit

In 2021, having a residence permit is very convenient for foreigners living in the Russian Federation. With this document, they can reside in Russia for any length of time, get hired for work without needing any additional permits, and receive benefits.

Those who dream of a Russian citizenship will need to obtain a Russian permanent residency first (in most cases).

In this article, we will lay bare the ins and outs of who can get a residence permit in Russia, how and on what grounds they can do so, and why a foreigner in Russia might need a resident’s status in the first place.

If an American expat receives permanent residency in Russia, this will allow them to stay in the country for a long time without any significant restrictions, and to enjoy all of the rights Russian nationals have: the right to work, to enroll one’s children into schools and kindergartens, and to change one’s place of residence within the country itself. Another important point to remember is that having residency status is the final step that needs to be taken before applying for a Russian passport.

Obtaining Residency Through the Purchase of Real Estate

To purchase real estate in Russia, you do not need to be in possession of a Russian residency visa, but such a document will grant you the right to permanently reside in the country.

However, if you are looking to buy property and get residency in Russia through doing so, you will be disappointed to find out that this is not currently a possibility.

Nonetheless, it is important to remember that Russia’s residency law states that a migrant who holds the title to a property in Russia is not required to be part of a quota when applying for a temporary residence permit, and so such a person can freely obtain a residence permit to stay, for example, in Moscow, where their property is located.

To recap, ownership of a property in Moscow will always be an advantage and a positive factor in your favor when your application for a residence permit is being reviewed.

The law currently also provides for an alternative way of speeding up the process of residency acquisition: persons who have invested their funds in Russia do not need to be part of a quota when applying for resident status.

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Our company helps foreigners buy residential real estate in Russia. We also take it upon ourselves to resolve the problems our clients face in gaining the right to reside in Russia.

According to our data, foreign nationals most often buy properties located in Moscow and Moscow Oblast, St. Petersburg and Leningrad Oblast, and Sochi.

It is noteworthy that there are restrictions in place for foreigners wishing to buy land in certain regions.

These restrictions apply to plots of land located in areas pertaining to borders, maritime ports and agricultural territories; forest land and nature reserves; and defense establishments.

A foreign national will also not be able to purchase real estate in any of Russia’s closed cities.

Residency Requirements and Real Estate Deals

A real estate deal can be made between a Russian national and a foreigner in the same time frame as a deal between two Russian nationals would require. Once a foreigner buys real estate, they are not automatically issued a temporary residence permit. The main requirement for a temporary residence permit application is proof of having resided in Russia for a period of at least one year.

Owning a property will make the procedure of obtaining a temporary residence permit simpler, because another requirement of the residence permit application is being registered at a certain address. Thus, if you own real estate in Russia, you will be registering yourself at your own address, and will not need to find a willing landlord (i.e. “receiving party”).

However, the formal procedure for obtaining a temporary residence permit does not, in fact, involve the acquisition of real estate.

Normally, a foreigner who wants to move to Russia would first stay in Russia for a period of time with just a migration card.

After that, they would apply for a temporary residence permit, then move on to a permanent residence permit, and only after that apply for Russian citizenship. All these stages are regulated by the Ministry of Internal Affairs’ migration departments.

Prolonging a Permanent Residence Permit

For a long time, Russian residence permits were issued for a period of five years. Those who had acquired such a permit could prolong it for a further five years when it expired.

The number of such prolongations was unlimited.

Now, newly issued residence permits are valid indefinitely, but if an expat is in possession of a 5-year permit, to avoid the need for prolongation they should exchange it for the new form of the permit.

How Can an American Expat in Russia Obtain a Residence Permit?

The list of documents required for a residence permit application for citizens of the USA and UK is as follows:

  1. Identity card (and/or passport);
  2. Full-face photos, without headwear;
  3. Medical certificates;
  4. Proof of income/employment;
  5. Accommodation papers;
  6. Receipt proving the payment of the application fee;
  7. Other documents, which may be requested by the inspector, such as: a tax declaration, a copy of the contract for the purchase and sale of real estate, etc.

Besides new rights, a residence permit comes with certain liabilities.

During the term that a residence permit is valid, the American expat who has received it must: inform the authorities every time his/her actual place of stay or residence changes, avoid spending over six months outside the Russian Federation (otherwise, the residence permit may become void), and support him/herself and his/her family (does not apply to incapacitated persons).

The submitted documents and application are reviewed over a six-month period.

Reasons a Residency Application May Be Refused

Sometimes, foreign nationals are refused a residence permit. But in many such situations, something can be done about it. The main thing here is to correct the consequences of wrong actions within a set time frame.

The most common reason for a refusal is an error in the required documents. Some foreigners make mistakes when filling out the application form itself, or do not submit the full set of documents.

In such a case, a refusal can be very upsetting, as all of one’s plans would fall apart due to just a small mistake or a common misunderstanding.

And so, if you are not completely sure you will be able to avoid all the pitfalls and master all the nuances of the procedure for obtaining a residence permit, you should consider engaging a competent consultant’s services in advance.

In some other cases, the issue is that a foreign national does not possess all of the relevant information. For example, he/she does not fit the category of persons who can apply for a residence permit, but does not even know it.

Meanwhile, the law of the Russian Federation clearly defines the categories of persons who are foreign nationals that will be refused a residence permit if they apply for one. This scenario results in a waste of time and the cancelation of all of one’s plans.

Below is a list of circumstances that are legal grounds for a refusal:

  • Deportation or expulsion from the country;
  • Submission of false information, forging of documents;
  • Outstanding criminal record, perpetration of crimes;
  • Inability to support oneself or one’s family without government aid;
  • Residence in another country for a period exceeding six months;
  • Dangerous infections, drug addiction;
  • Fictitious marriage.

Visa registration and legal advice in Greece ▶️ Feod Group

Immigration services: ✔ Residence permit in Greece for the whole family ✔ Golden Visa ✔ Moving to Greece for permanent residence ✔ Assistance in extending residence permit in Greece✔ Representation of interests by a Greek lawyer Legal and business services ✔ Business registration and purchase of companies ✔ Opening a bank account in Greece ✔ Rent and purchase of real estate in Greece✔ Change of tax residency

Offices: Cyprus UK USA Ukraine

Immigration to Greece

  • Greece is a member of the European Union and one of the most popular countries for emigration.
  • In order to move to Greece, you need to obtain a long-term visa in your country of residence, and after emigrating to Greece, you must apply to the department for foreigners with an application for a residence permit.
  • Usually a residence permit in Greece is issued for 1-2 years with the right to extend, or under the Golden Visa program, you get permanent residence for 5 years at once.
  • After at least 7 years of residence, you can apply for Greek citizenship and a Greek passport.
  • Greek immigration law provides for several grounds for granting residence permits to foreigners.
  • Grounds for obtaining a residence permit in Greece
  • ✓ Financially independent foreigners without the right to work ✓ Permanent residence in Greece by investment (Golden Visa) ✓ Business immigration to Greece ✓ Opening a branch or representative office

Residence permit in Greece without the right to work for financially independent foreigners

Immigration to Greece for financially independent foreigners is suitable for third-country nationals who do not plan to work in Greece and have sufficient funds to cover their living expenses. Residence permit is also issued to family members of the main applicant.

Conditions for obtaining a Greek residence permit for financially independent foreigners in 2021:

  • Minimum monthly income: from 2,200 € for the main applicant + from 500 € for another adult.
  • From 30,000 € in a bank account in Greece.
  • Real estate in Greece: rent or purchase of real estate for any amount is required.
  • Validity: The residence permit is issued for 2 years and is extended if the conditions for obtaining it are still met.

Permanent residence in Greece by investment — Greece Golden visa

Permanent residence in Greece for investments can be obtained by third-country nationals and their family members who have invested in Greek companies, bank deposits, government bonds or bought real estate in Greece.

A distinctive feature of the Greek Golden Visa residence permit is that after making an investment, you do not need to move to Greece. That is, you and your family receive permanent residence in Greece without the need for residence and freedom of movement across all Schengen countries.

The main conditions of the investment program “Golden Visa” Greece 2021:

  • Investments – from 250,000 € investment in real estate; – € 400,000 capital to a Greek bank deposit; – 400,000 € for a company with a head office or branch in Greece; – 400,000 € in a real estate investment fund (IFN) for the purpose of investing exclusively in Greece;– 400,000 € purchase of Greek government bonds.
  • No residency requirement
  • Permanent residence is issued for five years and is extended indefinitely
  • Greek citizenship – after 7 years of residence

Business immigration to Greece

Third-country nationals have the opportunity to enter Greece to carry out business activities if the following conditions are met:

  • Availability of sufficient funds to carry out activities and residency in Greece.
  • Business activities contribute to the development of the national economy.
  • Work experience or qualifications in the same field.
  • A reliable business plan has been submitted for approval.
  • An application for a visa for doing business in Greece must be submitted to the Greek consulate in the applicant’s country of residence.
  1. The submitted package of documents goes to the Immigration Service of region where the applicant plans to conduct business.
  2. A special commission examines the proposal and makes a decision whether or not the district needs the proposed type of business.
  3. In case of a positive decision, the region immigration authorities issue a permit to engage in the specified type of activity and send it to the consulate.
  4. In case of a negative decision, the foreigner is not entitled to submit documents for a new immigration application for one year.
  5. A residence permit is issued to the applicant and his family members for 2 years with the right to renew, provided that the business is actively working and pays taxes.
  6. We accompany all our clients wishing to start a business in Greece, and at the same time provide a full range of services for obtaining immigration status for the entire family of the client.
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OBTAIN PROFESSIONAL IMMIGRATION ADVICE

Opening a branch or representative office of a company in Greece and transferring employees through Intra Company Transferee

  • The Intra Company Transferee category allows you to obtain a residence permit in Greece for the heads of the branch and his family members.
  • The advantage of the proposed immigration program is that there is no compulsory residence condition in Greece for 6 months + 1 day for holders of residence permits.
  • Further, there is no requirement in Greek law regarding the scope of a branch’s activities.
  • To register a branch of a foreign company in Greece, it is necessary to obtain permission from the prefect of the region in which the foreign company is going to establish its branch.

FAQ

✓ How to move to Greece for permanent residence in 2021?

You can leave to live in Greece for permanent residence under the “Golden Visa” program, which is issued immediately for 5 years with the right of extension. In other cases, the status of permanent residence in Greece can be obtained after obtaining a temporary residence permit (residence permit) on the basis of:

  • Residence permit for financially independent foreigners without the right to work
  • Business immigration to Greece
  • Transfer of employees by Intra Company Transferee
  • Residence permit through family reunification

✓ How to obtain Greek citizenship?

  1. A foreigner can obtain Greek citizenship through the naturalization procedure.
  2. To do this, you need to live in Greece legally for at least 7 years, integrate into society, pay taxes regularly.
  3. Persons who are officially married to a Greek citizen can apply for citizenship after three years of cohabitation.

✓ Is it possible to apply for a residence permit in Greece with closed borders?

Yes, the Consular Section of the Greek Embassy accepts applications for most national types of visas.

In addition, under the category “Golden Visa” or business immigration, you can submit documents within Greece by a local accredited attorney under a power of attorney, without your personal presence.

Since 1992, Feod Group has been providing a wide range of legal, business and immigration services in Europe, the USA and other countries of the world.

The company has accredited western lawyers, experts in various fields of law and jurisdictions of the world.

Having offices in Europe and the USA, Feod Group provides rapid paperwork and maximum customer comfort.

We provide our clients with related services, such as relocation and adaptation abroad, organizing family relocation abroad, enrollment of children in schools and many other services.

Greece Golden Visa | Greece Property Tax Guide

Greece Residency Program, also known as Greece Golden Visa, offers an affordable and profitable real estate investment route to permanent residency in Europe. To make the application process easier, Mann’s Solutions team prepared Greece Property Tax Guide for Golden Visa holders and for those who are thinking to obtain the property in Greece.

At the moment, an investment of €250,000 is required in real estate, which makes the Greek Golden Visa program the lowest investment real estate residency visa scheme in Europe. The investor has to purchase property located anywhere on the Greek mainland or the islands, it also can be either residential or commercial. Besides, joint buyers can combine investments into one property.

Greece Property Tax

In Greece, you are subject to taxation on a property either when you buy it or rent it out. The investor also has to pay taxes on the acquisition and pay a property tax each year. 

  • Corporate Income Tax – 29%
  • Dividend WHT – 15%
  • VAT – 24%
  • Real Estate Transfer Tax – 3.09%
  • ENFIA (Uniform Real Estate Property Tax) – 0,0037-€11.25/sq. (principal tax)
  • TAP (Municipal Tax) – 0,025%-0,035%
  • Special Tax – 15%

About Greece Residency Program

Greece Residency Program is a low-cost route to obtain European Union residency for the investor and investors family.

Greece Residency Program investment options start from €250,000 with a residency permit granted for 5 years.

The fast application process takes only 60 days after which the whole family can travel without a visa within European Union and apply for Greek Citizenship after a set period.

Investors in real estate in Greece must keep in mind the additional taxes on real estate which are 3%- 24%. At €250,000 + taxes and fees (just over €300,000 in total) Greece Residency Program offers one of the lowest cost residency in Europe.

Greece offers both historical legacy and modern culture. Nowadays, Greece is well-knows for its natural beauty, stunning island and incredible coastline. Also, unique geographical position of Greece, make trade between EU and Middle East and Africa convenient.

Program Benefits

Greece Residency by Investment program, grants applicant with a 5-year residency permit and let’s apply for permanent residence and citizenship after this period if the applicant has spent at least 180 days per year in Greece and 7 consecutive years in the country. The program lets the whole family travel to European Union countries for 90 days and grants access to a high standard of education and living. In addition to that, there are no residency requirements.

Investment Options

Real Estate Investment from €250,000

  • Residency permit for 5 years
  • Invest in one or several properties
  • The permit can be renewed for another 5 years by providing evidence that the permit holder still owns the property
  • Real Estate Lease or Timeshare from €250,000
  • Residency permit for 5 years
  • 10-year lease or
  • Invest in a timeshare for tourist residences or hotel accommodation registered with GNTO (Greek National Tourism Organization)

LONDON BASED SOLUTIONS ADVISERS – Citizenship and Residency Solutions

Full Support with our Immigration Advisers & Property Consultants:

All You Need to Know About Greece Golden Visa 2019

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As a natural gateway to the Mediterranean, located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe with more than 140 million consumers, and a key player in the Balkan region, Greece remains as one of the hubs of emerging markets which are diversified across a variety of sectors. Greece is currently an attractive investment location, by dint of extending a wide array of new investment opportunities for investors that blend the advantage of the strategic location and unparalleled competitive advantage it offers.

Investment Opportunities in Greece

International investors have started looking into the combination of distinct characteristics and competitive edge that Greece offers. Leading global tourism destination, emerging regional energy hub and highly educated and multilingual workforce makes Greece a favorable choice for its investors.

Traditionally a pillar of Greek economy, real estate today offers an excellent investment opportunity as prices continue to plunge.

Property near and around coastal regions are usually rented out on a short-term basis to tourist and yields sustainable profits during the peak tourist season from June to September backed up by the soaring tourism industry which is a top contributor to the country’s GDP.

What Is the Greece Golden Visa Scheme?

The golden visa program allows investors to secure Greek residence permit from any non-European country, granting them freedom of movement in the Schengen zone, which includes 26 countries of the European Union. It is an investor visa and it can be renewed indefinitely as long as the investor holds the investment and there is no requirement to stay in Greece.

The golden visa scheme by Greece has seen a record rise in numbers in 2018 from the Non-EU investor segment which issues them a Greek residence permit in return for major real-estate investments in Greece. The expansion of the “Golden visa Scheme” to international investors as the incentive has been in the priorities of the Greek Economy and Development Ministry.

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Eligibility/Requirement for Greece Golden Visa

  • All Non-European citizens are allowed to apply for golden visa
  • Granted to investors spending €400,000 in real estate investment corporations as bonds, shares or deposits at the country’s banks
  • Anyone who invests €250,000 in real-estate in Greece can benefit from the golden visa scheme even as a non-EU citizen
  • Foreign nationals and investors acquiring Greek government bonds
  • Property acquisition is one of the most common ways to get the Greece golden visa

Procedure to Obtain a Greece Golden Visa

  1. Visit Greece to pick your favorite property options
  2. Open a Greek bank account and register a Greek tax number
  3. Choose your property [the types of property can be Residential, Commercial or Agricultural]
  4. Select the final property and purchase
  5. Submit the golden visa application along with a copy of the registered contract of sale of properties, no less than €250,000, and Greek certificate of health insurance to get temporary residence permit
  6. Get a biometric test conducted, and collect your temporary residence permit
  7. Wait for 20 days, the golden visa would be issued

The process takes less than two months.

Advantages of Obtaining the Golden Visa through Investment in Greece

Investment in Greece comprises of a multitude of lucrative investment opportunities, accompanied by the privilege of the freedom of movement provided by investor visa.

The investor can have a favored position in Greece by taking into consideration the ideal time of the Greek economy which is recovering at a rapid phase from a recession.

Foreign investors can have a leading edge by leveraging the benefits of Golden visa program by investing at the right time in Greece and reap the return of investment as the economy grows over time.

Economy Rebound

Greece is coming back with the support of IMF, and European Central Bank.

With the budget deficit is steadily decreasing creditors and investors are looking to capitalize on the momentum and take advantage of the upcoming financial growth.

The Focus of international investors are keen on the debt-stricken country has the assets ranging from transport companies, public utilities, hotels, and resorts are up for the grab.

Access to the Schengen Zone

  • The Schengen Zone comprises of 26 European countries excluding UK and Cyprus
  • It allows for Visa-free movement and travel between member countries effectively removing borders, bringing countries and people together inside Europe
  • Travel to any other Schengen country without any customs checks, and the right to have multiple entries across internal borders
  • Visa valid for 5 years and can be renewed after every 5-year period
  • Family members, spouse, children, and dependents can be included for the residency visa
  • Citizenship can be availed after 10 years of Permanent Residency, if required

Strategic Position

Prime location in the European sub-continent allows one to reach major European cities within an hour via airplane at cheap costs. Dominance over the Mediterranean makes it an excellent choice for maritime trade and shipping.

Competitive Real Estate Rates

  • Property prices in Greece are undervalued as the result of the long-lasting impact created by the financial crisis. By comparison with other European capitals, Athens offers a very competitive advantage in pricing per square meter without compromising on the land quality
  • Investors can rent their acquired property from day one. This remarkable factor combined with the steady rate of incoming tourists the return of investment can be yielded within a short period of time even after the payment of taxes
  • Property in Greece is economical and priced several-times lower when compared to other European cities

Low Investment Capital

  • An analysis of the Greek Real Estate Sector in 2018 by agencies shows that that country presents very attractive real estate options for international investors
  • Low capital costs provide the opportunity to buy several properties and participate in larger projects considering the growth potential in the future
  • Investors are allowed to purchase any type of property with no need to reside in the country. Also moving to Greece can be economical as the cost of living is cheap

Overall, around 3,000 golden visa permits have been authorized to non-EU investors since the commencement of the scheme in 2013. Residing in Greece offers a unique experience and opportunity to discover well-preserved monuments, ancient sites, sunny beaches, island resorts spread throughout the country. As one of the most popular tourist destinations in Europe, it has something to offer to everyone.

If you are looking for visa services in Greece, do contact us – we’d be glad to assist you with any information.

Greece’s golden visa program: why you should not ignore it

785 views · Updated on 8 December 2021

Gaining residency in Europe is attractive not only for the purpose of immigration but also as a way to ensure you always have a visa-free pass to travel across Europe at a moment’s notice. Residence in Greece became especially popular with foreigners in 2020 when international borders were closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Nikolaos Tamvakis / Shutterstock

An overview of the most popular Golden visa programmes

Golden visa programmes allow foreigners to quickly obtain residence permits for themselves and their families by purchasing real estate or other assets of a certain value. Greece, Cyprus, Spain, Portugal, Latvia, and Malta offer immigration programmes of this type in Europe.

In 2020, Greece issued 8,011 residence permits on the basis of real estate investments. The demand for Greece’s golden visa programme outpaced all temporary residence by investment programmes offered by other European countries. Among other countries, Greece offers the most reasonable and affordable terms for obtaining a residence permit through investment. 

Tranio recommends the Greek Golden Visa programme because of the following aspects:

  • Low investment threshold;
  • The possibility to buy several properties;
  • High growth potential;
  • One of the highest yields in Europe.

In this article, we will compare the Greek Golden Visa programme with the other European options and describe the application process step by step.

Country / Year20162017201820192020
Portugal 1,329 1,279 1,332 1,160 1,094
Spain 1,206 1,804 2,273 n/a n/a
Greece 1,255 2,213 4,104 7,608 8,011
Cyprus 443 503 581 579 n/a
Latvia 136 88 76 84 20
Malta 382 277 227 123 (until July 2019) n/a

Latvia’s golden visa programme lost some of its popularity in 2014 when the Saeima, Latvia’s parliament, increased the investment threshold for golden visa applicants.

Cyprus has restricted the number of residence permits they issue to no more than 700 golden visas a year. The island nation also suspended its citizenship-by-investment programme on 1 November 2020, although there has been no change in the rules for residence permit applications.

Residence permits from Spain and Portugal are always in high demand from wealthy investors thanks to the maturity of both country’s real estate markets, the big influx of tourists, and the potential for high yields.

In 2020, Greece’s golden visa programme issued more residence permits than other investment programmes offered by European countries. One reason for this is that Greece does not require the investor to visit the country in person to buy real estate, making it convenient to invest even while international borders are closed.

  • Buying property in Greece remotely
  • Contact managers at Tranio to learn how to invest in Greek real estate remotely and what documents are needed.
  • Contact an expert

Four reasons to opt for a golden visa in Greece

Experts at Tranio believe that Greece’s golden visas offer investors very favourable terms: a low investment threshold, real estate prices that are more affordable than in other European countries, and the potential for steady rental income. We explain each of these factors below.

How to get Greek residence permit

Low investment threshold

  1. Greece’s investor visa is among the cheapest offered by any European country, requiring applicants to buy one or more properties worth a total value of at least €250,000.

  2. While Latvia’s golden visa programme requires an investment of the same value, investors in Latvia are obligated to pay a 5% non-refundable duty that increases the investment threshold to €262,500.

  3. Investors in Cyprus are required to purchase one or two newly-built properties for an amount of at least €300,000, in addition to VAT.

The minimum investment threshold in Malta is €330,000, wherein investors are required to purchase real property for between €270,000 and €320,000 (depending on the location), or lease property worth €50,000–60,000 for five years. In addition to this, investors must buy government bonds worth at least €250,000 and pay a duty of €30,000.

A residence permit in Portugal can be obtained by investing at least €500,000 in real estate. The minimum investment threshold may be as low as €350,000 if the property has to be renovated.

Purchasing properties located in sparsely populated districts are incentivised by such benefits.

A newly developed property will cost at least €400,000, and a property that needs to be renovated will cost at least €280,000.

With this in mind, the value of liquid assets needed in order to obtain a residence by investment permit in Portugal is at least €500,000 — the same amount quoted as the starting price for Spain’s programme.

Costs / CountrySpainPortugalLatviaGreeceMalta
Value of property investment €500,000 €500,000 €250,000 €250,000 €330,000
Real estate transaction costs €60,000 €32,000 €14,000 €22,500 €19,800
Residence permit costs €5,000 €5,000 €12,500 €5,000 assessed on a case-by-case basis

Flexibility to buy several properties, or participate in one large project

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