Greece Golden Visa: The Most Cost-Effective Way to European Citizenship
Investing a mere €250,000 in Greek real estate secures many benefits for you and your family, including a highly valuable second citizenship that allows freedom to live, work, study retire anywhere in Europe.
Now that we know what the visa entails, let’s explore the program in more detail.
What is the Greece Golden Visa scheme?
The Greece Golden Visa is a European residency-by-investment program that was launched in 2013 as a method of marketing the Greek Citizenship route to international investors.
The purpose of the visa program is to help with the economic recovery in Greece from the 2008 financial crisis which hit Greece harder than any other European Union nation.
Since its creation, this program has generated close to €2.6 billion from foreign investment into Greece.
The Golden Visa is a visa that allows non-EU citizens and their families to live in Greece permanently as well as access to the rest of the EU in exchange for investing there. They may also utilize the Greece Golden Visa as a stepping stone to an even more desirable second passport, which includes full EU citizenship rights.
The Greece Golden Visa application procedure is as follows:
This guide walks you through how to apply for a Golden Visa if your chosen investment is in real estate. Please keep in mind that other investment options would follow the same route, with the pre-submission stage beginning when you submit proof of investment.
- Picking the Perfect Property
Choose the properties you want to invest in and select one to purchase. To reserve a property, pay the reservation fee and sign a reservation agreement.
- Complete the Required Legal Processes
Open a Greek bank account and obtain your Greek non-resident tax number. You can grant someone power of attorney, so there’s no need to come to Greece in person.
- Purchase Real Estate
Hire a lawyer to conduct legal due diligence on the property and review all documents related to the sale. Once you have reviewed and signed the promissory sale-to-purchase agreement and public deed, the purchase of the property will be complete.
- Complete Pre-Submission
Gather all of the paperwork you’ll need for your Golden Visa application. Hiring a lawyer to guide you through this step might be very beneficial.
- Take a trip to Greece
The Greek authorities require your biometric data (fingerprints, electronic signature and photograph).
- Obtain Official Approval
Your application will be looked over and approved by the Greek authorities. You’ll get your residency permit once everything has been completed.
- Residence Permit Renewal
Every five years, it is required to renew your Golden Visa residence card, which will be taken from the holder and stamped with a new expiration date if it is not current.
- Application for Citizenship
If you’ve resided in Greece for seven years and paid taxes during that time, you can apply for citizenship. However, keep in mind that this process also involves taking a Greek language test (B1 level) as well as a cultural naturization test.
The documents you will need in order to apply are as follows:
- Application Form for Golden Visa
- Notarized copy of a valid passport
- 4 biometric photos taken recently
- Criminal Record Certificate (Official)
- €500 Residency permit fee
- €16 printing fee for electronic residence permit
- The final sales contract of the property, with a minimum value of €250,000.
- Transfer certificate (of title deed) from the Land Registry
- Proof of health insurance for all family members who are dependent on your coverage.
Answers to Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q) about the Greece Golden Visa
What is the cost of a Golden Visa in Greece?
The Greece Golden Visa starts at €250,000 for the real estate option. This also includes approximately €16,000 (6.4%) for transfer tax, legal fees, land registry fees and notary fees. You can also get the Greece Golden Visa by investing in government bonds, shares in real estate firms, or shares in venture capital or private equity firms. The minimum threshold for these is €400,000.
The real estate option of the Greece Golden Visa costs €250,000. This also includes a transfer tax charge of approximately €16,000 (6.4 percent), legal fees, land registry expenses, and notary costs. You can get the Greece Golden Visa by investing in government bonds, equities in real estate firms, or shares in venture capital or private equity companies. The minimum requirement for these is €400,000.
It is possible to purchase Greek citizenship?
Despite what you may have heard, citizenship in Greece cannot be purchased. The Golden Visa for Greece does provide the right to live there and move towards citizenship though. the Greece Golden Visa does entitle you to live in Greece and work towards getting citizenship. After following residency requirements and paying taxes for seven years, you can then apply for full citizenship (provided that language and cultural test requirements are met).
Is it possible for non-Greeks to own real estate in Greece?
Yes, foreign nationals are free to purchase property in Greece. If you’re a non-EU citizen, though, you’ll need to acquire a residency visa to remain in Greece for more than 90 days at a time.
Can a person have dual citizenship in Greece?
Yes, Greece permits dual citizenship under Article 31 of the Civil Code and Article 2 paragraph 2 Law 4251/2014. This means that a Greek citizen will not automatically lose their Greek citizenship if they acquire a second citizenship, unless they explicitly request to renounce it.
Can I retire and live in Greece if I am a citizen of the United Kingdom?
Although it may seem daunting, retirees can move to Greece from the UK, even after Brexit. That said, if you plan to stay for more than three months at a time, you’ll need to apply for residency. The two ways to do this are by applying for the Greece Golden Visa (which requires a minimum investment of €250,000) or through residency for financially independent persons (FIP). The latter will require that you show proof of regular income with documentation like your UK pension.
What are the advantages of being a Greek citizen?
If you have Greek citizenship, you are a full member of the European Union (EU) immediately. You can live, work, operate a business, study, and retire in any of the EU or EEA member states or Switzerland.Greece is extremely welcoming to expatriates; there are no limitations to where you can reside or access state education and healthcare. A Greek passport allows you access to 186 countries visa-free.
Is it possible to work in Greece with a Golden Visa?
No, the Golden Visa doesn’t entitle holders to work in Greece. You would need a separate work permit for that. However, if you own an internet business based outside of Greece, or start your own business in Greece, you may be eligible to receive dividends.
Can I invest in multiple properties to receive the Greece Golden Visa?
You can invest in as many properties, both commercial and residential, as you want, so long as the total value is €250,000 or more.