In accordance with The Immigration and Social Integration Code (Law 4251/2014, Government Gazette 1, no 80) the right to reside in Greece is granted to third-country nationals by the purchase of affordable real estate or making investments that will have a positive impact on national development and economy. The Greek Golden Visa is perhaps the most successful EU residency by investment program.
A minimum set of documents is required. The entire registration procedure takes about 6 months from the date of their submission.
The Application can include the Applicant's spouse, children under 23, and parents on both sides.
The permit gives the right to live in Greece but does not oblige to do so. No minimum period of stay is required to extend the status.
The availability of British, French, German and Russian private schools. Access to Greek public schools.
It is possible to move freely throughout the Schengen area without a visa.
There is a prospect of naturalization in Greece if you have lived in the country for more than 7 years out of 10.
Purchase of one or more residential or commercial real estate, with a total combined contract value of at least €250.000 for an application. If the property was acquired by a legal entity, the applicant must own 100% of the company shares.
Purchase of at least 10 years for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts, provided the minimum value of the lease is €250.000. The contract must require a single payment of the lease for the equivalent of the ten-year leasing of the property.
In all cases outlined above, the value of the real estate property will be determined based on the value of the property, or the lease, indicated in the contract of purchase. The value of the property, according to law 4251/2014, is the amount stated explicitly on the contract which has been submitted for the purchase of the real estate property. The objective or assessed, value of the property is not relevant, unless it corresponds to the amount which was, according to the contract, paid for the sale of the property.
A joint ministerial decision (46440/19/2019) clarifies the documents and procedures for granting the Greek «Golden Visa» through equity investments, bonds or bank deposits. The new Act details the provisions of the Law which allow for the acquisition of a Greek Residence Permit through eight alternative options that are now available:
A capital injection in an increase of share capital of at least €400.000 into a Real Estate Investment Company (AEAPP), which aims to invest exclusively in Greece;
Purchase of at least €400.000 worth of shares in an Alternative Investment Firm (AIF), which is incorporated in Greece or in another EU Member State and is intended to invest exclusively in real estate in Greece;
A capital injection of at least €400.000 into a company with a registered office or establishment in Greece (excluding portfolio of investment companies and real estate investment companies) for the acquisition of shares in share capital increase or bond issuance when issuing a bond loan;
A share capital contribution of at least €400.000 to a Venture Capital Company for the acquisition of shares or a Venture Capital Fund, provided that the aforementioned Alternative Investment Organizations (AIFs) aim to invest exclusively in companies with either HQ or establishment in Greece;
Purchase of at least €400.000 worth of equity shares in an equity fund and is intended to invest exclusively in Greek government securities, corporate bonds and/or bonds that are listed for trading or are traded in regulated markets or multilateral trading mechanisms operating in Greece;
A time deposit of at least €400.000 to a Greek credit institution of at least one-year duration with a standing renewal order;
Purchase of Greek government bonds with an acquisition value of at least €400.000 and residual maturity of at least 3 years at the time of purchase through a credit institution located in Greece, which will also act as a custodian;
Purchase of shares, corporate bonds or bonds of the Greek government at a minimum value of €800.000 which are listed for trading or are traded in regulated markets or multilateral trading mechanisms operating in Greece.
After 5 years, an Investor can apply for permanent residence if during this period he was spending on the territory of Greece more than 183 days a year. Investors have been added to the categories of residence permits that are eligible for the submission of an application for the acquisition of Greek citizenship. In this case, the applicants must fulfill all the preconditions of the Greek Citizenship Code applied for the acquisition of Greek citizenship by naturalization, i.e. the Applicant should stay in Greece at least 7 years out of 10.
There is no legal requirement to collect and process the documents through a lawyer, though in many cases (where the applicant does not speak Greek and/or is located outside of Greece for example), it may be recommended to ask for the support of a legal representative or proxy who is in Greece, to facilitate the process.
We recommend engaging Stelios Americanos & Co. LLC to handle your Application, as we provide practical expert assistance in preparing the necessary documents, examine your specific circumstances to ensure the most effective way to successfully meet the criteria of the investment project. We can submit the Application for the residence permit on behalf of the Applicant to a one-stop service of the Aliens and Immigration Department at the Decentralised Authorities in Greece, and after submitting it, we can perform ongoing monitoring of its status and continuous follow up with personal interventions if necessary.