GREECE - Residency by Investment
Why choose Greece?
Greece often called the birthplace of Western civilization is located in south-eastern Europe, on the southern end of the Balkan Peninsula (Haemus peninsula) and lies at the meeting point of three continents – Europe, Asia and Africa.
The nation of Greece is a number one tourist destination every year. Its unique cuisine, language, culture and architectural wonders including the Parthenon, the Acropolis, and the numerous temples to the ancient Greek gods attract millions of visitors to explore one of the oldest countries in the world. It is also known for its beaches, from the black sands of Santorini to the party resorts of Mykonos.
Greece is a democratic and developed country, renowned for hospitality standards and long traditions in tourism with a high standard of living and a member of the European Union. In 2013, the country offers investor and his/her family the opportunity to legally acquire a new nationality by investment options who wish to purchase real estate or perform a strategic investment in the economy. Securing citizenship by investment as a dual nationality allows visa free travel, family security and access to highest standards of healthcare, education and business opportunities.
What is Investment Residence Permit Program?
This program is aimed at high net worth individuals who wish to purchase real estate or perform a strategic investment in the economy. Investors may purchase a property for a minimum investment of €250,000 in Greece or on many of its islands.
This affordable real estate investment route to permanent residency in Europe. Residency permit is initially valid for five years and may be renewed in further five-year increments as many times as the investor desires.
The Greece Residency Program takes approximately 40 days from the purchase of the property to the time the Residency permit is issued.
Country ProfileCapital : Athens
Total Area: 131,940 sq km
Population : 10,919,459 (estimated as of January 1, 2016)
Government : Presidential Parliamentary Democracy
Official Language : Greek
Currency : Euro (formerly drachma)
Exchange Rate : US$ 1.00 = 0.90 EUR (as of January 1, 2016)
Time Zone : GMT +2
Climate : Mediterranean
Defined in Law 4146/2013: The Greece Residency Permit program was introduced by the Greek government to encourage investment into Greece which permits in the context of a friendly investment environment.
- Offers the lowest cost to residency in Europe
- EU Schengen visa travel; Visa-free travel for citizens: 167 countries
- No minimum stay requirement
- Full family residency. Children up to 21 & Parents of the primary investor are also entitled to residency. Enjoy European Residency status lifetime
- No need to live in the country in order to retain and renew the investor visa
- Ability to live and study in Greece and other European countries
- European Residency in 2 – 3 months
I. Real Estate Acquisition Option “Residence Permit for Investors”
Qualifying Criteria : Ability to provide the following net worth investment:
- Real estate of €250,000 for a residential property, or equivalent investment in either a timesharing agreement with a duration of at least 10 years or lease of at least 10 years of hotel facilities or furnished homes in combined tourist facilities.
- Foreign investor may purchase multiple properties whose values total 250,000 Euros in order to meet the required investment amount.
II. Strategic Investment Option “Strategic Investments Residence Permit”
Strategic investments are defined as productive investments that bring quantitative and qualitative results of significant volume to the aggregate national economy and contribute to the departure of the country from the economic crisis.
Qualifying Criteria : Ability to provide at least one of the following net worth investment:
- Strategic investment of over €100,000,000.
- Strategic investment of over €15,000,000 in an industrial zone or €3,000,000 in the JESSICA fund context.
- Strategic investment of over €40,000,000 and create 120 new employment positions.
- At least 150 new employment positions are created from the investment in a viable manner or at least 600 jobs are retained.
- Strategic investment of over €5,000,000 for the development of business parks.
Up to 10 nationals of a third country per investment project, who are considered necessary for the effective realisation of the investment project may enter the country using their country’s standard visa requirements for travel to Greece under this option.
These individuals may be accompanied by their family members as well as auxiliary staff, for people with special needs, who are also granted individual residence permits of equal duration with the Strategic Investments Residence Permit.
III. New criteria for Golden Visa program
Greece has launched a new set of criteria to offer a Golden Visa to foreign citizens with a new joint ministerial decision setting out procedures offering a five-year entrance and residence permit in Greece for non-EU nationals.
More specifically, in order to qualify, third-country citizens who invest at least 400,000 euros (440,000 U.S. dollars) in a Greece-based company are eligible to get a five-year residence permit. The Greek portfolio-investment companies and real estate investment companies are excluded from this. Those who invest in shares or bonds worth at least 400,000 euros are also eligible for the golden visa.
In the case of corporate investments, the entry and stay of third-country nationals is allowed when a foreign citizen invests at least 400,000 in a domestic company. Up to three citizens are eligible to receive a Golden Visa for investments made by a foreign company. These people should be a shareholder or executive in the company.
The new criteria
- Invest at least 400,000 euros in a real estate investment company investing exclusively in Greece or buy shares through a share-capital increase scheme
- Invest at least 400,000 euros in a capital equity company or an equity mutual fund investing exclusively in companies based in Greece
- Invest at least 400,000 to buy Greek state bonds with a maturity of at least three years through a credit institution based in Greece
- Have a time deposit of at least 400,000 euros at a domestic credit institution with a duration of at least 12 months
- Buy shares, corporate bonds or state bonds worth at least 800,000 euros
- Invest at least 400,000 euros in a mutual fund investing exclusively in shares, corporate bonds or state bonds
- Invest at least 400,000 euros in buying shares in an Alternative Investment Organization set-up in Greece or in another EU member-state that invests exclusively in real estate assets in Greece.
- (It is noted that The minimum price for investing in a real estate asset in Greece is set at 250,000 euros).
These new rules will apply along with the existing scheme that requires an investment of 250,000 euros in local real estate assets.
Duration and Renewal of Residence Permits
STEP 11.Application is submitted along with the following;
- penal report (clear criminal recod)
- medical certificate issued by a Greek doctor certifying that the investor is free of communicable diseases
- travel insurance
- copy of the contract for the purchase of property as proof of purchase of real estate showing the value of the property at least €250,000 with copy of brokerage assignment to law firm or real estate agency
STEP 21. Application is submitted to Alien & Immigration Department at the Decentralized Authority where the property is located.
2. Ministry of Interior makes decision based on application.
3. Residency permit issued with a validity of 10 years.
Citizenship and PassportApplicants who live in Greece can apply for citizenship and a passport after seven years. Once applicants have citizenship then they are free to dispose of their investment as further visa renewals are not necessary. The option for citizenship is there for those committed to living in Greece.
CostsProperty Minimum value €250,000
- Government costs for principal applicants €700
- Property Transfer Tax 3%
- Conveyancing and Closing Costs up to 5%
- Value added tax is 25% if buy new property
- Professional fees, official application forms, certificates & residency cards, courier & other disbursements