In 2013, the government of Greece introduced a procedure that allows owners of real estate by third-country citizens, the value of which exceeds €250.000, to obtain residence permits, which can be renewed every five (5) years.
A residence permit is any documentation issued by the Greek authorities and it establishes the right to reside legally within Greek territory. The Golden Visa programme is a new type of residence permit specifically designed for real estate owners.
Benefits of the Golden Visa:
By obtaining a Golden Visa, you will enjoy various benefits. More specifically, you will get the right to:
- Reside in Greece for a period of 5 years,
- Extend the residence permit to family members for a period of 5 years,
- Travel freely and visa-free to Greece and to any European Schengen country for a period of 5 years. At the moment, you can travel to the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland. Countries that are in the process of being added are: Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania,
- Renew the Golden Visa every five years.
Who can benefit from a Golden Visa:
To benefit from a Golden Visa, someone must satisfy the following requirements:
- Own real estate property in Greece, provided the minimum value of the property is €250.000,
- Sign a timeshare agreement (lease) for a minimum of 10 years. The lease must relate to hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in tourist resorts. The minimum cost of the lease should amount to at least €250.000,
- Enter and reside legally in Greece,
- Purchase a plot of land or acreage and proceed to erecting a building. The cumulative value of the land purchase and the contract with the construction company must amount to at least €250,000,
- Obtain joint ownership, provided the minimum value of the property is at least €250.000. The residence permit is granted only if the joint ownership is undivided between spouses, or if the amount invested by each one is at least €250,000,
- The real estate property must be owned by and be in possession of its owners,
- If the owner has acquired the property through a legal entity, the applicant must own 100% of the company shares,
- Be an immediate family member of the owners described above. Immediate family members are the owner’s spouse, the owner’s children, as well as the spouse’s children, and the owner’s parents, as well as the spouse’s parents.
Renewal of the Golden Visa
The Golden Visa shall be renewed every five years. To renew the Golden Visa, 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.
Apart from the benefits obtained by the Golden Visa, there are a few additional ones that indicate Greece as a premium choice.
Investing in Greece also means paying the additional taxes on real estate, issued by the Greek government. Currently, the tax rate is at 24%. To be more precise, a €250,000 investment, plus the taxes and fees, will amount to just over €300,000. This indicated that this programme offers the lowest cost residency in Europe.
Another great advantage of choosing Greece, is that the programme in this country runs relatively fast. Namely, it takes around 40 days until a residency card is issued.
To learn more about the process and the necessary documents, click on the link below: