We have compiled frequently questions and answers are frequently asked by foreign investors apply for golden visa program in Greece through property investment. The answers were provided by officially by greek authorities. (Foreign ministry and Enterprise greece)

Who can apply for Greek golden visa?

Citizens of countries, which are not European Union members

What is the minimum value of the real estate property;?

250.000 Euros. This sum concern one or more properties; It does not matter. Whether one or more properties, their total value must be at least 250.000 Euros.

How is the value of the property/ies proved?

From the value mentioned on the purchase or the rent contract.

What happens if the property belongs to a legal entity?

It does not matter as long as the company shares or the shareholdings belong in whole to the person that will request the residence permit .

Does the value of 250.000 Euros concern only the purchase of a real estate property;?

No, several alternative options exist: Purchase of real estate property, or Timesharing agreement with a duration of at least 10 years, or Lease with a duration of at least 10 years of hotel facilities or furnished homes in combined tourist facilities (according to Law 4002/2011—article 8§2)

What type of entry visa is needed in order to purchase real property and request a residence permit in Greece?

Either a type C Schengen visa or a type D national visa.
What is the difference?

Type C—Schengen visa 
its holder may stay in Greece and the other Schengen countries for up to 90 days per six-month period. This period start on the day of the first entry in the Schengen area. If the visa is valid for one entry and the citizen of a third
country wishes to enter Greece again, he/she should request a new visa.

Type D—national visa
there is a special provision for real estate property owners or perspective buyers. Its duration is up to 365 days. Its holder may stay in Greece during the whole period and travel to or from Greece as often as desired. He/she
may travel to other Schengen countries for a up to 90 days per six-month period

What are the conditions for these two types of visa?;

The conditions are different.

  • Schengen visa (type C) : the general conditions for a type C visa are applied.
  • National visa for real estate owners or perspective buyers (type D) :
    there is distinction between those who request a national visa in order to come to Greece and
    either purchase real estate property, or have already purchased such property and intend to request a
    residence permit .

Which type of entry visa should be used?;

The applicant should take into consideration the following:
– no specific type of visa is required for the real estate property purchase or acquisition.
– If the foreign citizen needs a long period for research or after the acquisition wishes to stay in Greece for an extended period of time, a type D national visa is appropriate.
– If 90 days per six month period is long enough, and wishes to request anew an entry visa for the next trip to Greece, then a type C Schengen visa suffices.
– In both cases, the application for a residence permit must have been submitted before the expiration of the visa. The applicant can also choose to submit the application through a proxy person.

What is the duration of the residence permit?
5 years

Can the residence permit be renewed?
Yes, for another 5 years each time, provided that the applicant still owns the property

May the members of the investor’s family request a residence permit?
Yes. The may request individual residence permits . They must though submit separate applications. Their own permit expires at the same date that the investor’s permit expires.

Do persons holding a residence permit have the right to work in Greece?

If I get a residence permit, can I add the period of its duration to the total duration needed in order to request the Greek nationality?

I would like to request a residence permit. Should I get an entry visa for Greece before I submit my application for the residence permit?

Only if you come from a country, whose citizens are required to get an entry visa in order to come to Greece.

Where should I submit the application for a residence permit?

At the Directorate of Foreign Citizens and Immigration of the Decentralized Administration, at the location of his residence. In some areas though, the application should be submitted to the Municipality of his/her residence. In
the latter case, the file must transferred to the Decentralized Administration within 15 days.

Who decides on the application for a residence permit?

The Secretary General of the Decentralized Administration.

What advantages provides to its holder a residence permit in Greece?

– He/she may stay continuously in Greece for its whole duration
– He/she may travel to other Schengen countries without a visa, but his/her stay
in those countries cannot exceed 90 days in each 6-month period.
– He/she has access to health or education services, just like any Greek citizen.

How long can it take until the residence permit is issued?

It must be issued within 2 months from the day on which the application was
submitted or reached the Decentralized Administration.

Is the applicant covered from the moment he/she submitted the application until the day the residence permit is issued?;
– If all the supporting documents are submitted, a proof of submission Is issued.
– If an application for a residence permit is submitted for the first time, this proof
of submission is issued, even if the supporting documents with regard to the in-surance coverage or the medical certificate of the applicant will be submitted at a later date.

What is the duration of the proof of submission regarding an application for a residence permit?
One year.

I submitted an application for a residence permit and I was given a document proving its submission. What can I do with it?

You may travel freely as often as you wish to/from Greece.
Attention: you are not allowed to travel to any other Schengen country. This means that any flight schedule that requires a flight transfer at the airport of an other Schengen country should be avoided

What documents required for  Acquisition through a legal entity?

Copy of the notarial act proving the property acquisition. The value represented must
be at least 250.000€.  Copy of the the articles of incorporation of the legal entity, proving that the third coun-
try national owns all corporate dividends or shares.

Supporting documents for issuing a type D national visa
1. Application and photo
2. Valid passport or other travel document that is recognized by Greece
3. Copy of penal status
4. Medical certificate proving that the applicant has no contiguous disease, which may endanger public health
5. Travel insurance

In addition, depending on the specific case, the following supporting documents are required:

6. Copy of the notarial act proving the property acquisition. The value represented must be at least 250.000€
7. Notarial certificate that the act fulfills the requirements of article 36A of Law 3386/2005
8. Proof of registration to the competent land registry.
In case the property acquisition has not been completed, the following supporting documents are also required:
9. Proof that the applicant has assets whose value exceeds 250.000€ (i.e. certificate by a recognised first class bank or official financial organisation or other recognised securities depository, attesting the existence of bank accounts or other securities, especially bonds or shares).
10. Copy of brokerage assignment to a law firm or real estate agency.

Is it necessary to hire a lawyer to collect the documentation?

There is no legal requirement to collect and process the documents through a lawyer. In cases where the applicant does not speak Greek and / or is located outside of Greece, it may be preferable to ask for the support of a legal representative or proxy who is in Greece, to facilitate the process.

Who is considered a family member?

According to the law, family members of third country citizens entering the country are:
a. Spouses.
b. The direct descendants of the spouses, who are under the age of 21.
c. The direct relatives of the spouses in the ascending line.

Can my relatives in the ascending line (namely my parents and my spouse’s parents) or my children who are over the age of 18, accompany me (in cases of real estate ownership in Greece), and be included in the family provision?  What about the children who turn 18 during the period when their parents’ residence permit is valid?

Ascendants are included in the provision above but not children over the age of 21. Children of third country nationals, who have been admitted to Greece under the terms and requirements of residence permit for property owners, are granted a residence permit for family reunification until the age of 21. After that, it is possible to acquire a renewal as a 3-year independent residence permit until they reach the age of 24 and then it is possible to renew it further according to pertinent immigration legislation..

Are unmarried partners entitled to a residence permit?

Family members do not include unmarried partners.

Can I travel to other countries within the EU with the residence permit for owners of real estate? Are there any conditions related to this?

Yes. The residence permit and long-term visas are valid as far as the free movement of the person in the Schengen area is concerned. Any citizen who holds a long-term visa (such as the residence permits for real estate owners) which has been issued by a member state and are valid for one year, are able to travel to other member states for up to 3 months within a six month period, under the same conditions which apply to the holder of a residence permit, while they are also granted a right for multiple entries.

Can the residence permit be considered as a work permit? Can my spouse, the legal representative of my company, my children, or myself, work in Greece?

In no case does the residence permit provide access to any type of employment. Employment, according to paragraph 6, article 20, of Law 4251/2014, does not include the exercise of economic activity in the capacity of a shareholder or a Chief Executive Officer for an already existing company. The family members that have been issued a residence permit for the same duration as the sponsor are similarly not granted access to the employment market.

Does the residence permit give me the right to apply for citizenship?

This title is not included in the titles that allow direct access to the acquisition of Greek citizenship by naturalization; it simply allows its holder to access long-term residence status, such as the status of the long-term resident, which is a qualification required for naturalization. In order for a person to obtain a residence permit of a long-term resident the conditions of Articles 89 and 90 of L. 4251/2014 must be cumulatively met. .

Does the amount of €250,000 include the Value Added Tax? What should the value of the investment be if the ownership / sale document include the name of both spouses?

The amount of €250.000 refers to the price indicated on the contract. In cases of joint ownership of the real estate property by spouses, the residence right is granted to both spouses.

Can I obtain more than one piece of property, the individual value of which is less than €250.000, if the combined value is equal or greater than € 250.000?

You are entitled to residency rights irrespective of whether you own one or more properties, provided that their combined value is equal to or greater than €250.000.

Can I buy commercial property or a combination of commercial and residential properties or land?

The law states that €250.000 must be the stated price on the contract. It does not distinguish between commercial and residential properties.

Are there any restrictions that apply to the real estate market? (e.g. location, size in square meters, or other factors).

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.

Can I travel in Schengen countries directly, after my residence permit has been issued, from my country, or do I need to first come to Greece?

You can arrive to any Schengen country you wish to.

What is the arrangement regarding the access to education and health services? Can the children of the residence permit holder attend a Greek public school?

The 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. To prove this condition, the following documents are accepted: i. Insurance contracts which have been signed outside Greece, provided they explicitly mention that they cover the applicant for the duration of their stay in Greece ii. Insurance contracts which have been signed in Greece

Can I purchase a car with Greek license plates for my transportation needs in the country?

Yes, under the specific regulations of the Ministry of Transport, which apply to third country citizens.

Can I take a mortgage out on the property in order to receive a loan?

You can take a mortgage out on the property, in the same way as Greeks.

Is it required of the buyer to prove economic capacity?

The income of the applicant must be proven by documentation which proves their capacity (e.g. Certificate by class-A recognised bank or an official financial institution or other recognised institutions to store bonds) and certify the existence of bank accounts or other transferable securities, especially shares or bonds (the above are checked for the issuance of a type D visa). In all cases, before the contract, the price of the real estate is paid via a crossed bank cheque or through another banking transaction.

If 8 third country citizens jointly buy a property for €2.000.000, are all the joint owners entitled to a residence permit?

Yes, provided that the amount invested by each one is €250.000.

What happens in the cases where someone tarnishes their criminal record, either in their country of origin or in Greece, during the period of when their residence permit is valid?

This leads to the revocation of the residence permit.

If someone holds a long-term Visa for a different Schengen country, does this Visa need to be cancelled to obtain a visa in Greece?

A Schengen visa by a different country gives the applicant the ability to enter Greece and settle issues regarding the purchase of the property.

Does the residence permit continue to be valid if the real estate property is transferred/reselled?

In cases when the real estate (property) is transferred, the third country citizen loses the right to residence. In case of 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.

Is it possible to rent the real estate property to third parties?

Third country citizens who own real estate have the right to rent their property

Source: Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Enterprise Greece