Greece offers five year residence permit (permanent one) which has to be renewed once every five years, under the golden visa scheme for real estate buyers and property owners.
Property owners must seek a gold visa (entry visa or residence permit) either at consulate or at migration office in Greece in person.
There are seven categories for residence permits issued to property owners in Greece
Residence permits for real estate owners
a) Personal or Legal entity – third country citizens who own real estate property in Greece, either personally or through a legal entity based in Greece or another EU member state, of which they own the total of the company shares,provided the minimum value of the property is €250.000;
b) Lease Agreement – third country citizenswho have signed a lease agreement – for a minimum of 10years – for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integratedtourist resorts according to article 8, paragraph 2 of Law 4002/2011 (Government Gazette 180 A’), provided the minimum cost of the lease is €250.000;
c) Possession of Property – Third country citizens who either reside legally, with a residence permit, in Greece, or wish to enter and reside in the country, and who have full ownership and possession of real estate property in Greece, which they have purchased before the enactment of law 4146/2013, provided that they had purchased the real estate property for a minimum of €250,000 or the current objective value of their real estate property is at a minimum of €250,000;
d) Land purchase – Third country citizens who purchase a plot of land or acreage and proceed to erecting a building, provided that the cumulative value of the land purchase and the contract with the construction company is at minimum €250,000.
e) Lease of Tourist Accommodation – Third country citizens who have signed a timeshare agreement (lease), based on the provisions of Law 1652/1986. A time share lease, according to the provisions of article 1 of law 1652/1986 is the commitment of the lessor to grant, each year, to the lessee, for the duration of the timeshare, the use of the tourist accommodation and to provide to them the relevant services for the determined period of time according to the contract, and the lessee must pay the agreed rent. Tourist accommodation for the implementation of this law refers to hotel units and generally tourist facilities operating under the permission of the Hellenic Tourism Organization (EOT) and have been subject to the provisions of the law by decision of the Secretary General of E.O.T. Timeshare is agreed for a period of one (1) to sixty (60) years.
f) Inheritance – third country citizens who are adults and who fully and legally own real estate property in Greece, the minimum value of which is €250,000, and is acquired through intestate succession, will or parental concession.
g) Family members of the third country citizens who are property owners
Property transfers or resale
If the real estate (property) is transferred, the third country citizen loses the right to residence.
If resale of the property during the period of validity of the residence permit to another third country citizen, the right to a residence permit is granted to the new buyer along with a simultaneous revocation of the seller’s residence permit.
The following conditions must be fulfilled to receive a permanent residence permit of investor, which shall be renewed every five (5) years:
a)The real estate property must be owned by and be in possession of its owners.
b) In cases of joint ownership, where the value of the property is €250.000, the residence permit is only granted if the owners are spouses or Oartners Vith a cohabitation a Freement in Greece, with undivided ownership of the property. In all other cases of joint ownership, the residence permit is only granted if the amount invested by each of the joint owners is at least €250.000.
c) If the owner has acquired the property through a legal entity, the applicant mus town 100% of the company shares.
d) The residence permit is also granted in cases where the third country citizen is the owner, either directly or through a legal entity, of more than one real estate property with a combined value of at least €250.000.
e)In cases where the applicant wants to enter the country with a type D visa, the documented intention to own property should be supported by documentation which prove the financial capacity (e.g., certificate of an A-class certified bank, or other recognised financial institution), which certify the existence of bank accounts or other mobile assets, such as bonds or shares, which can cover the cost of the investment of at least €250.000, and which certify the intention of the applicant to purchase the property (contract with a law firm or with a real estate office).
e) In the case of third country citizens who have signed a lease 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.e
To renew the residence permit, 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.
Absences from the country do not impede the renewal of the residence permit. The resale of the real estate property, during the period when the residence permit is valid, to another third country citizen provides to the new owner the right to a residence permit along with a simultaneous revocation of the seller’s residence permit.
Golden visa scheme allows third country citizens who are property owners can be accompanied by their family members, who will be granted the appropriate long term entry Visa.
- Other spouse or partner with whom a third-country national has a cohabitation agreement in Greece,
- Direct unmarried descendants of the spouses, who are under the age of 21,
- Direct unmarried descendants of the supporter or of the other spouse/partner provided that their custody has been legally entrusted to the sponsor (for his/her children) and to the other partner (for his/her children), under 21 years of age,
- The direct relatives of the spouses in the ascending line
These family members are issued with a residence permit of the same duration as the applicant, but this permit does not include access to employment.
The children of the applicant, who have been originally admitted to the country under the terms and requirements of residence permit for property owners, are issued with a residence permit for family reunification until the age of 21. After that, it is possible to acquire a renewal as an independent residence permit until they reach the age of 24 and then it is possible to renew it further according to pertinent immigration legislation.
Family members have the same obligation pertaining to the collection of biometric data. The requirement to provide their fingerprints applies to all third-country nationals over six (6) years old, and the digital signature requirement applies to all citizens over the age of twelve (12) years.
A residence permit is any documentation issued by the Greek authorities, according to which a third country citizen is given the right to reside legally within Greek territory, in accordance with the provisions of the European Union (Regulation 1030/02 as applicable). Different categories of residence permits exist, as well as different types of permit within each category. Employment rights depend on the type of permit issued.
Applications for the granting and renewal of residence permits are submitted directly to the municipality or the relevant authority of the Aliens and Immigration of the Decentralised Authority in the applicant’s place of residence, apart from certain specific types of residence permits for which applications are submitted to the Department for Migration Policy at the Ministry of Migration Policy.
Third country nationals who are not in the territory of Greece or schengen area, must submit an application for an entry visa to the Greek consulate authority in their country of origin.
There are restrictions on properties located in border regions. It should be noted that as border regions are defined the prefectures of the Dodecanese, Evros, Thesprotia, Kastoria, Kilkis, Lesvos, Xanthi, Preveza, Rodopi, Samos, Florina, Chios, and the islands of Thera and Skyros, as well as the former regions of Nevrokipi in the former prefecture of Drama; Pagoniou and Konitsas in the prefecture of Ioannina; Almopia and Edessa in the prefecture of Pella; and Sintiki in the prefecture of Serres.
Individual or legal entities, which are affected by the restrictions above, can request the lifting of the ban for the border regions, along with their application, which should clearly state the intended use for the property. The decision to lift the ban is made by the Minister of Defence, following the submission of an application.
Healthcare and Education
Holders of the residence permit have access to public education, analogously to that of Greeks.
Regarding access to health services, third country citizens and their family members who fall under the regulations of the current law, must have insurance that covers their healthcare and medical care expenses.
Mortgages are allowed out on the property, in the equally in the same way as Greeks to receive a loan
The fee for the issuance of a five year residence permit amounting to €2000.
According to the decision of the Minister of Interior no. 130181/6353/27.3.2018, published in the Government Gazette 1208/Β/2.4.2018, the residence permits of Real Estate Owners and permanent residence permit for 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. The above ministerial decision applies only to the real estate owners and investors themselves, and not their family members, who must first obtain the long-term residence status, which is a prerequisite for naturalization