Greece – Golden Visa Program
1. Legal Basis
Pursuant to Article 20 of the Greek Law 4251/2014, a non-EU national can apply for a resident permit (also known as “Golden Visa”) by investment in real estate properties with a total value of not less than €250,000 in Greece.
The applicant may apply together with the following family members:
- Children under age of 21 of the applicant and his/her spouse;
- Parents of the applicant and his/her spouse.
2. Application Requirements
To qualify for the Golden Visa Program, the applicant (who must be a non-EU citizen) shall:
- be at least 18 years old;
- pass the due diligence check conducted by the Greek Government;
- complete the required investment; and
- purchase insurance policy to cover full hospitalization and medical expenses during the period of his/ her residence in Greece.
3. Investment Requirements
The applicant shall purchase real estate properties with a total value of not less than €250,000 (plus VAT).
The owner of the real estate properties shall be the applicant or a legal entity fully owned by the applicant;
The applicant and his accompanying family members are not entitled to work as employees in Greece. However, they can be shareholders and directors of a company.
4. Residency Requirements
There are no residency requirements on the applicant and his/her accompanying dependents for them to maintain their golden visas.
Golden visas are granted for an initial period of 5 years, and renewals every 5 years thereafter provided that the ownership of the original investments is maintained.
A Golden Visa holder can upgrade his/her resident permit to a long-term Resident Permit which will enable him/her to enjoy similar rights of EU Citizens, including the work permission, operate a company and to receive education. (Long-term resident permits are permanent resident permits and are available to all non-EU nationals who have resided in Greece for over 5 years. In order to qualify, the applicant shall not have been absent from the Greece for more than 6 consecutive months and more than 10 cumulative months within the 5 years period).
A Golden Visa holder can obtain Greek Citizenship and Greek passport via naturalization after 7 years of legally residing in Greece subject to meeting the other residency requirements (i.e. must be present in Greece for at least 10 months every year during the first 5 years, and at least 6 months in each of the 6th and the 7th year); subject to having resided in Greece for at least 6 years, a minor child can apply Greek Citizenship under the age of 18 years old before completing high school education and passing the required Greek language tests).
5. Advantages of Greek Golden Visa
a. Low investment requirement: investment in real estate properties with a minimum value of €250,000 only;
b. Short application time: within 2 - 3 months to obtain Greek Golden Visa;
c. No residency requirements;
d. No language tests, education, medical tests and business experience requirements;
e. One application for migration of up to three generation: Applicant applicable to the whole family (married spouse, children under 21 years old, and parents of the main applicant and spouse);
f. Greek golden visa holders: Visa-free travel to 26 Schengen countries; and
g. Greek passport holders: successful applicants and their dependents can enjoy visa-free travel in over 183 countries and regions, including the European Union, without a visa.
6. Procedures and schedules
The document requirements for the Greek Golden Visa program are rational, and the application process is straightforward without the need for an interview. An applicant may be required to travel to Greece to inspect his/her real estate investment, to sign a purchase contract, to pay a deposit and to submit the documents to the Greek government. Approvals of the Golden Visa are typically granted within 1 to 2 months.
A successful applicant will receive a temporary residence permit upon formal approval and must visit Greece to submit biometrics prior to issuance of the Golden Visa.
7. Dual Nationality
Dual and multiple citizenships are legally recognized in Greece.
Note: This document is for reference only, all terms are subject to the written contract.