Law

Legal details about Golden Visa application

Financial Criteria & Conditions

Acquisition of real estate in Greece will allow owners to obtain a Golden Visa to the following categories of owners:

  • Any non-EU national who acquires property worth € 250.000 or more, in their name
  • Any non-EU national who acquires property worth € 250.000 or more, in the name of a company or other entity of which the said non-EU national is the sole shareholder
  • A couple (husband and wife) of non-EU nationals who jointly buy property worth €250.000 or more. The stake each spouse buys need not be equal
  • Two or more non-EU nationals who buy property, provided that the stake each of them acquires is worth € 250.000 or more
  • A non-EU national who has entered into a leasing contract for hotels or other tourist accommodation for a minimum term of ten (10) years, and provided that the lease is worth € 250.000 or more
  • A non-EU national who has entered into a time-sharing agreement for a minimum term of ten (10) years

When can someone apply

The purchase process must have been completed (i.e. the Sale & Purchase Contract must have been registered and the relevant Registration Certificate must have been issued) BEFORE someone can apply for a Residence Permit. 

Duration

The Golden Visa can be valid indefinitely, provided every five years, the holder still owns property.

Family members

The members of the buyer’s immediate family (wife and children) are also entitled to a Residence Permit, as are now their parents and in-laws. 

Issue process duration

Provided that all due documents are in order before submission, the Golden visa should be issued within two (2) months of submitting the application with supporting documents and provided the biometric process has been completed.

Employment

It needs to be clarified that the Golden Visa itself does not grant its holder the right to work in Greece. However, he/she can be a shareholder or stakeholder in a company based in Greece, as well as a member of its Board of Directors or Managing Director. 

Greek Citizenship

Certain categories of Golden Visa holders are also granted the right to apply for and obtain Greek citizenship:

Golden Visa holders who reside in Greece permanently for seven (7) consecutive years.

Procedure

Action steps required for purchasing property in Greece

Registering with the tax offices

Before the purchase of real estate in Greece can take place, the prospective buyer needs to obtain a VAT Registration Number. 

Opening a bank account

A bank account with a Greek bank is needed for the financial transactions involved.

Checking the legal and proprietary status of the property (due diligence)

When a client has set eyes on a specific property, the lawyer needs to make sure that everything is in order regarding the legal and proprietary status of it; He needs to establish that the property is not mortgaged, seized or any lawsuits are pending regarding it.

The Sale and Purchase Contract

The Greek Law provides that it is mandatory for the Sale and Purchase Contract to be drafted by a Notary Public.

Representing the buyer

If the buyer resides overseas, he can authorize the lawyer or his local proxy to represent him in connection with any or all acts and transactions required for the purchase of real estate, by providing them with a special Power of Attorney during his/her first visit in Athens; and, in any case, after the selection of the property by the buyer.

This Power of Attorney could also be signed at any Greek Embassy or Consulate abroad or if the buyer resides in a country which is party to the Hague Convention, it may also be made at the competent authorities in that country, and an Apostille stamp is then affixed thereto to make it valid in Greece.

Registering the Sale & Purchase Contract with the local Land Registry or Deeds Registry

After being signed, the contract needs to be registered with the local Land Registry or Deeds Registry

Pre-Contract Taxes

Pre-contact property taxes are payable by the buyer prior to signing the sale and purchase contract, as the relevant payment receipts have to be attached to it. 

R.P. Procedures

Note:  As from 23/2/2017 the stickers placed on the passports will be substituted by ID cards.

Subsequently the bio-metric information of the applicant is required to be taken by Greek authorities.

Greece VS other countries | Comparative advantages

  • Residence permits €250000-Lowest threshold in Europe.
  • Property bargains 40% + lower prices than 2008.
  • Immediate family members can accompany applicant including in-laws.
  • No need to reside in Greece
  • You can own property without having to live or work in Greece.
  • Rental of property allowed.
  • All kinds of properties allowed including land, offices, shops.
  • Joint ownership allowed (up to 2 owners).
  • Multiple ownership allowed (more than one property).
  • Applicants who permanently reside in Greece for seven years can apply for nationality.
  • No need for interview
  • Quick and transparent procedure
  • No language test
  • No minimum stay
  • Issue of residence permit within two months from submission of application

Some frequently asked questions, answered

Contact us or leave your details and one of our representatives will call you right back.

What is a “Golden Visa”?

It is the name by which the Residence Permits obtainable by non-EU citizens who invest real estate in Greece is known.

What is the duration of the Golden Visa?

It is valid for as long as the holder owns real estate which meets the criteria for obtaining the Golden Visa. The need to renew it every five years no longer exists as such; however, the holder is responsible for proving, every 5 years, that he/she still owns property meeting the criteria for granting the right to a Golden Visa, otherwise it will be revoked.

What about the holder’s family?

The immediate family members of the buyer (husband or wife, children up to 21 years of age, parents, in-laws) are also entitled to obtaining Golden Visas, which will be renewed and expire at the same time as the buyer’s. The children can then apply independently for a 3 year renewal when they reach 21 years of age. Under specific circumstances (e.g. if they are enrolled to and attend a Greek University), the Golden Visa may be extended further while these circumstances last (subject to documented proof), but in any case not beyond 28 years of age.

Does the Residence Permit also grant the right of employment in Greece?

No, however the holder may be a shareholder, member of the Board of Directors or Managing Director in a company. The right to obtain Greek citizenship is granted if the holder resides in Greece for seven (7) consecutive years permanently (i.e. at least 180 days per year).

If someone obtains a Golden Visa, does the period he has held it count towards obtaining Greek nationality?

Yes, provided the holder of the Golden Visa permanently resides in Greece for 7 years.

Is it necessary to have received an Entry Visa into Greece in order to apply for a Golden Visa?

Yes, a tourist visa is required as well as the entry stamp on the applicant’s passport. If the point of entry is another Schengen airport then the boarding pass needs to be submitted Only if such an Entry Visa is required to enter Greece.

What are the advantages of obtaining a Golden Visa?

The holder may:

  • Reside in Greece continuously while the Residence Permit is valid;
  • Travel to any Schengen Area countries for up to three months in a six-month period; and
  • Have access to education services, just like Greeks.
  • Rent his property
  • Include in the same application , besides his children , his parents and his wives parents
  • Enjoy his property as a vacation home and rent it out when not in Greece

If I sell my property, will I keep my Golden Visa?

You must own more real estate assets worth € 250,000.00 or over in order to be able to keep your Golden Visa; otherwise, it will be revoked upon ownership of the property passes to the buyer.

If I donate my property to my children, or transfer it to them by parental benefit, will my Golden Visa be revoked?

Unless you still own other real estate assets worth € 250,000.00 or over, the Golden Visa you have obtained in your capacity as property owner is revoked; however, the fact that your child now becomes a property owner means that you are automatically entitled to a new Residence Permit in your capacity as parent of a property owner.

What are the advantages of the Greek Golden Visa comparing with other countries?

  • Low cost – Only 250000 euros
  • Most beautiful country in Europe
  • Clearly defined and quick procedure
  • No extra visas to Schengen countries
  • No minimum stay
  • No language test
  • Rent of property allowed
  • Parents and in-laws can be included in the same application.
  • Applicants who permanently reside in Greece for seven years can apply for nationality.

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