The Greek Permanent Residency Scheme
Greece, the birthplace of democracy, the Olympic Games and Western Philosophy, is a country strategically located at the crossroads of Europe and Asia. It is well known for its charm and beauty and offers a good quality of life to its residents. In 2013 Greece introduced the Permanent Residency Scheme widely known as the ‘Golden Visa’.
Advantages of the Golden Visa Scheme
- Straightforward & transparent procedure.
- The investment amount is at a minimum amount of €250.000.
- Applicants may reside without time restrictions in Greece.
- A permanent residency of a Schengen Member State is attained and travel without any requirements to 26 European-Schengen area countries is permitted as well as residing in a Member state for three months.
- No language requirements.
- No minimum personal income requirement.
- Very low application cost.
- Access to the Greek education system.
- Family members of the applicant including the spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21, parents and parents in law obtain permanent residency with no additional investment amount.
- Five-year residence permit attained which is easily renewable.
- A swift process which takes up to two months.
- Long-term residence, and thus citizenship status can be obtained under specific conditions.
What type of Investment is eligible for the scheme?
Third country citizens who:
- Own real estate property in Greece, either personally or through a legal entity based in Greece or another EU Member State of which they own 100% of the company shares, provided the minimum value of the property is €250.000.
- Have signed a lease agreement for a minimum of 10 years provided the minimum cost of the lease is €250.000.
- Have purchased and have full possession of real estate property in Greece before the enactment of the law relating to the scheme in 2013 provided that they had purchased the real estate property for at least €250.000 or the current objective value is at a minimum of €250.000.
- Purchase a plot of land or acreage and proceed to erecting a building provided that the cumulative value of the land purchase and the contract with the construction company is at a minimum of €250.000.
- Have signed a timeshare agreement (lease).
- Are adults and who fully & legally own real estate property in Greece, the minimum value of which is €250.000 and is acquired through intestate succession, will or parental concession.
According to a recent decision published on 12th November 2019, Greece has added further eligible investment options to the program these being:
- A bankterm-deposit of a minimum amount of €400.000 at a domestic credit institution, of at least one-year duration of which the standing order for renewal should be for at least 5 years.
- Purchase of Greek Government bonds with an acquisition value of at least €400.000 and a residual maturity of at least 3 years at the time of purchase through a domestic credit institution which is also their custodian.
- A capital injection of at least €400.000 in a company which has its registered office or establishment in Greece for the acquisition of shares in equity or bonds.
- A capital injection of at least €400.000 in a domestic Real Estate Investment Company.
- A capital contribution of at least €400.000 to a Venture Capital Company or a Venture Capital Fund provided that the aforementioned Alternative Investment Organisations are intended for investment in Greece.
- Purchase of at least €400.000 worth of shares in an Alternative Investment Fund set up in Greece or in another EU Member State whose aim is to invest exclusively in real estate in Greece.
- Purchase of at least €400.000 worth of equity shares in a mutual fund, which is intended to invest exclusively in shares, corporate bonds and or Government bonds that are listed for trading or are traded in regulated markets in Greece.
- Third country nationals who own 100% of a national legal entity that invests a minimum of €400.000 in bank deposits, the purchase of shares, corporate bonds and or Government bonds which are traded in regulated markets in Greece may be granted permanent residency.
- Up to three third country national shareholders of a foreign legal entity, that invests a minimum of €800.000 in bank deposits, the purchase of shares, corporate bonds and or government bonds which are traded in regulated markets in Greece may be granted permanent residency. This amount may increase depending on the number of shareholders requesting a visa.
The process in a nutshell
- Issuance of an entry visa for Greek Territory from the Greek consulate authority in the country of origin of the applicant/s.
- Collection of documentation for the issuing of the residence permit.
- Submission of documents with the relevant Authority.
- Submission of biometric data.
- Application examined by Secretary General of the Decentralised Administration and the authority of Aliens & Immigration of the Decentralised Administration.
- Five-year (renewable) residence permit issued.