Update December 2022: Lefkas is not affected by the increase in the Golden Visa investment threshold from €250,000 to €500,000. The change in minimum investment level will only apply to some areas of Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos and Santorini. All other regions including Lefkada are not affected by the increase in the Golden Visa investment level, and remain with a minimum €250,000 investment to qualify for the Golden Visa.
Golden Visas are residence-by-investment visas granted by various countries around the world. One of the most popular investment programs in the EU is the Golden Visa for Greece. This visa is highly coveted, due to its comparatively low investment threshold and fast issuance.
Launched in 2013, the Greece Golden Visa program is still in its infancy. However, as of the beginning of 2022, it had already granted permits to nearly 30,000 applicants, channeling over €2.6 billion into the country.
To acquire a Greece Golden Visa, investors must make a significant contribution to the Greek economy. While there are several Greece residency by investment routes, the most common is purchasing (or constructing) real estate worth a minimum of €250,000. An announcement in September 2022 detailed plans to raise this minimum to €500,000 for 2023, though it is not yet certain when, or if this will only affect Athens and Thessaloniki or the entire country. The Greece Golden Visa can be applied for remotely. It is issued within three months and grants investors, as well as their families, immediate Greece residency.
Does that sound tempting? Read on to find out exactly what you need to apply for the most competitive residency scheme in Europe!
Golden Visa Greece 2022: Eligibility & Requirements
To be considered eligible for a Greece Golden Visa, you need to be a non-EU citizen over the age of 18. You also need a clean criminal record.
In terms of investment requirements, you have the following options:
- €250,000 (net of VAT) purchase or construction of a real estate property in Greece
- 10 years of a lease agreement, signed for either hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts
- €400,000 investment in Greek government bonds, bonds or shares of real estate investment or other companies registered in Greece
- €400,000 deposit in a Greek bank
Greece Golden Visa 2022: Benefits
The Greece Golden Visa comes with several attractive benefits for investors:
- Short processing time: Greece Golden Visas are typically issued within 3 months. It can be processed even faster with the support of an experienced investment consultancy.
- Low threshold investment options: The Greece Golden Visa is among the cheapest in the EU.
- Residence permit: The Greece Golden Visa comes with the right to live in Greece and access the country’s public healthcare and education. There is no limitation to how long investors can stay.
- No minimum stay requirement: The Greece Golden Visa does not require the investor to spend any time in the country at all.
- Extended family benefits: The Visa can be extended to include your spouse, children under the age of 21, and dependent parents and parents-in-law.
- Property purchased can be rented: Investors who own real estate have the right to rent out their property to third parties.
- Tax benefits: The double taxation treaty means that investors are not taxed on their international income. They only have to pay taxes on income received in Greece.
Greece Golden Visa through Property – Investor’s Checklist:
Once you have decided to invest via the route of buying or building property in Greece and found the right land or residential property. These are the Greece immigration requirements and steps you will have to go through.
1: Firstly, obtain a Greek non-resident tax number. Open a Greek bank account and purchase health insurance for you and your family from a company operating in Greece.
2: Secondly, hire a local lawyer, who will execute the ‘Legal Due Diligence’ of the property on your behalf upon purchase.
3: Thirdly, purchase the property and sign the sales agreement.
4: Subsequently, collect necessary documents (https://migration.gov.gr/en/golden-visa/) and submit to relevant authorities (i.e., the local Alien and Immigration Department)
- Application form.
- Recent, passport-size photographs.
- Valid passport along with a copy.
- Proof of having paid the relevant government fees through the e-Paravolo platform.
- Proof of having obtained health insurance in Greece for yourself and any family members.
- Proof of your funds.
- A contract of purchase of property with a minimum value of €250,000.
- Proof of transfer of the contract by the accountable Land Registry.
- Certificate issued by the Land Registry proving there has been no impediment related to the purchase.
- For the applicant’s family members (spouse, children): marriage certificate and other documents proving the relationship, officially translated into Greek.
5: Thereafter, a temporary residence permit for the investor will be issued two weeks after submission of the Golden Visa application.
6: Finally, you will be granted The Greece Golden Visa within three months of applying. Every five years, investors need to renew their Golden Visa Greece residency permit, however, this is a very simple process.
Still have some queries about Greece Golden Visa new rules? Here are the answers to people’s most frequently asked questions about acquiring a Greece Golden Visa!
- Does investment in property grant Greek citizenship? No, Greece citizenship by investment is not possible. You may be eligible to apply for citizenship after residing in Greece for seven years provided you meet a set of criteria.
- Do investors need a lawyer to collect the required documentation? It is not legally required to use a lawyer for the Golden Visa application process. Generally, it can make the process a lot smoother and will allow you to apply remotely by providing your law firm with a Power of Attorney.
- Does the Greece Golden Visa allow investors to work in Greece? No, the Greece Golden Visa is not an employment permit or a Greece business visa.
- Is renting the property for profit allowed? You can rent out your property to third parties for both long-term and short-term periods. You will be taxed in Greece on any income made from property rental.
- Can the investor buy commercial property or land instead of residential property? Specifically, as long as the value of the real estate purchased is €250,000 or more, Greek law makes no distinction between investing in different types of properties.
- Is it possible to apply for a Greece Golden Visa by obtaining more than one piece of property to reach a combined value equal to or greater than €250,000? Yes, investors can buy as many properties as they want to make up a value of €250,000.