Greece Golden Visa Program

Sumit Singh
5 min readJul 14, 2023

The Real Estate investment option is the most widely popular among non-EU foreign nationals to obtain Greece residency by investment

Photo by Josh Stewart on Unsplash

GREECE

Greece is a member of the European Union, has the largest economy in the Balkans, and is one of the most well-liked travel destinations in the world. The Greek Golden visa is one of the most profitable residence by investment programs because it requires a smaller investment than many other European residency programs and has no location limits on the property.

The Greek government has adopted a proactive stance in determining a clear route for Greece that is friendly to investment, supports growth, and welcomes new businesses after ten years of economic unrest. Tourism, information and communication technology, energy, environmental sciences, food, beverage, agriculture, logistics, and life sciences are all expected to increase steadily over the coming ten years.

Education System in Greece

Greece is undoubtedly a fantastic immigration location for families wishing to provide their children with a top-notch education.

There are thirteen foreign schools in Athens, with British and American institutions being the most well-liked. The fact that leading institutions throughout the world extend offers to these schools’ graduates demonstrates how effective the instruction is at these establishments. Greece’s international schools are competitive in terms of both teaching quality and cost when compared to international schools in many other nations. Additionally, candidates may experience less competition and a more varied and stress-free academic atmosphere in Greece.

Visa-free Access with Greece Residency

Golden Visas also make it easier for investors to relocate abroad at any time. For families who might need to consider an option like a new home in Greece, this is a crucial consideration. Visa-free travel is another benefit that is unquestionable and obvious. The visa effectively serves as an unlimited, perpetual travel authorization that is accepted throughout the whole Schengen Area. This serves as a substitute for a European passport for travel reasons.

According to the Arton Capital’s Passport Index, the Passport Power Rank for Greece passport is 4th, giving visa-free and visa-on-arrival access to 165 countries across the globe.

GREECE GOLDEN VISA PROGRAM

A non-EU foreign citizen who purchases real estate with a minimum value of €250,000 and has a National D Visa (long-term visa) from the consulate of their place of residence will be qualified for the residence permit. As an alternative, clients can choose a ten-year lease of furnished tourist accommodations in tourist complexes or a ten-year time-sharing agreement for hotel rooms.

Please note, with the current deadline of 30th July 2023, applicants can secure their application by a preliminary property purchase agreement with a 10% down payment.

This residence permit is granted for 5 years and does not allow access to the labor market. The applicant, however, can be a stakeholder or the senior management of his/her own business.

The applicant also got to have adequate resources to cover their living expenses without being employed or exercising an independent economic activity. A minimum of €2,000 per month in income is required, and if the candidate is accompanied by family, the need is increased by 20% for the spouse and 15% for each child.

Citizenship

Greece currently doesn’t provide direct citizenship through investment. Either having Greek ancestry or naturalizing confers citizenship. In the latter scenario, the candidate may submit an application after seven years of a genuine, legitimate presence in the nation.

Process & Timeline

The candidate must submit an application for a National D Visa at the consulate where they now reside in order to be approved for this permission. Following receipt of the visa, the applicant may travel to Greece and submit an application for the issuance of a residence permit to the appropriate authority within three months. Access to the labor market, however, is not permitted with this 2-year permit. The residency can be renewed every three years.

Payment

The only and safest option to finalize a real estate transaction for this purpose is through a bank transfer or bank checks. Cash payments are never accepted because it is impossible to track down the source of the money. Recently, card payments have also been deemed to be unacceptable.

REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT OPTION

As stated, the pre-requisite is to invest a minimum of €250,000 in real estate, whether buying and renovating entire buildings or buying an apartment for one’s own use. In fact, anyone who ever bought a property worth €250,000 in Greece, even before the program began, is eligible to apply for a Golden Visa.

Real estate can be almost anything, ranging from apartments in the heart of Athens to beach villas on the islands, as well as amounts of land, businesses, warehouses, and even complete hotels. Investors have almost exclusively purchased properties in Athens’ historical center over the last 4 years with the intention of renting them out in the near future. However, aiming for the larger city center, south Athens, or even the less well-known northern suburbs with their wealth of greenery and foreign schools may be a great choice.

With €250,000 capital, the investor can buy any quantity of real estate such as two properties, rent out the property from the first day, and has no obligation to actually live in Greece for any set number of days. However, with the investment amount of €500,000, which may come into effect after 30th July 2023, the practice of acquiring two or three individual properties or more may no longer be allowed.

Process of Real Estate Acquisition

First, to ensure that the contract is valid when purchasing property, consult with a professional real estate agent, attorney, and notary in order to confirm that the property is in fact registered in your name in accordance with legal requirements.

Second, all properties are registered with the Cadastre Department and the Urban Planning Office, and the public has access to information on legal ownership, mortgages, and adherence to building codes.

Lastly, a notarial act that is registered with the Cadastre Department seals the deal on the purchase. It is acceptable to have joint ownership, and the owner may rent out the property.

Taxation

The program has become more favorable for investors with the recent elimination of VAT in real estate investments.

PROGRAM STATS

There has been an increased interest in the Greece Golden Visa Program, especially after the Portugal Program came under the cloud. The chart shown below suggests the same.

Source: IMI Daily

UPDATES ON PROGRAM

Set to take effect after 30th July 2023, the new proposal suggests that the investment amount would be doubled to €500,000 in 36 densely populated municipalities in Greece.

These regions are:

  • Southern suburbs in Athens and Attica, namely the municipalities of Moschatos — Tavros, Kallithea, Palaio Faliros, Nea Smyrni, Ellinikos — Argyroupoli, Agios Dimitrios, Alimos, and Glyfada.
  • Central Athens districts — Athens, Byron, Galatsi, Dafni — Ymitto, Zografou, Ilioupoli, Kaisariani, and Philadelphia — Chalkidona
  • Northern suburbs in the municipalities of Agia Paraskevi, Amarousi, Vrilisia, Heraklion, Kifissia, Lykovrysi — Pefki, Metamorfosi, Nea Ionia, Papago — Cholargo, Penteli, Filothei — Psychiko, and Chalandrio

Sumit Singh (ssingh@artoncapital.com) is an Advisor with Arton Capital and Associate Member of Investment Migration Council

--

--

Sumit Singh

Expert in Investment Migration Programs | Advisor with Arton Capital, Dubai | Associate Member of Investment Migration Council (IMC) | SEBI Registered Advisor