A third country national (i.e. a country that is not a member of the EU) can obtain a residence permit as a permanent investor in Greece by buying or leasing real estate in Greece worth 250,000 euros. This program is known as the Golden Visa program and is notably a popular immigration pathway for those interested in Greece - from investors to retirees and remote workers.
Upcoming Changes to the Golden Visa Program
In 2024, the cost of the real estate increases from 2024 to 500,000 euros for the areas of Athens, Thessaloniki and selected Aegean islands such as Mykonos and Santorini. In addition the 500,000 euro value is required to be derived from a single property. However, third country nationals may complete their investment in one or more of the above areas by 31 December 2023, with a minimum investment value of 250,000 euros. This is only subject to an advance payment of 10% of the purchase or rental price of hotel accommodation or tourist residences herein by 31 July 2023, either by signing a notarial deed or by signing a private agreement of a certain date.
For the rest of the Greek territories, the value of the real estate required for the issuance of the Golden Visa remains at 250,000 euros and can result from the purchase or lease of more than one property.
Hidden Gems Awaiting to be Discovered in Greece
The 2024 legislative changes to the Golden Visa program in Greece may displease many interested "investors", as a majority of properties purchased for the purpose of obtaining a Golden Visa were located in the capital city, Athens. However, on the other hand, it will enable many people to discover unknown little paradises in the country, such as the coast of the western Peloponnese (Ilia Prefecture), just 3 hours by car from Athens.
Peloponnese Coast is just several hours away from the bustling capital city
What is the Golden Visa Process for Greece?
In order to obtain a Golden Visa for Greece, there are several important steps to follow. The main requirements are the following:
- Entry visa ( C or D or entry stamp) or residence permit
- Pay the Electronic fee of 2000 euros
- Obtain an insurance policy from a private insurance provider
- Proof of a Purchase contract (or Timeshare contract of at least 10 years duration) on which specific details must be indicated
- Certificate from a land registry or land registry office showing the absence of encumbrances
- Certificate of the notary public
How should payments and transactions be made?
Particular attention should be paid to the method of payment of the price as if it is not in accordance with the law the residence permit will be rejected. It is best to consult a qualified immigration lawyer familiar with the Golden Visa process, who also has a background in real estate transactions.
Is a notary necessary to purchase a home in Greece?
Yes, special care should be taken regarding the necessary details that must be mentioned in the notarial deed.
Does full payment for the property need to be made before granting the Golden Visa in Greece?
The minimum value of the immovable property at the time of its acquisition, as well as the total contractual rent for leases of hotel accommodation or tourist residences, as evidenced by notarial deeds of transfer and, in case of conditional payment of a credit price, from the respective notarized and legally transcribed deeds of repayment and removal of the dissolution condition, must have been paid in full prior to the submission of the application for the granting of the investor's permanent residence permit.
Do I get work authorization in Greece through the Golden Visa program?
A permanent investor's residence permit does not give access to the labour market.
Can I bring my spouse, children and/or parents? What dependents qualify as part of the Golden Visa pogram?
The holder of a permanent investor residence permit may be accompanied by his/her family members (spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21 and parents). The fees for the family members are 150 euros each.
Can I rent out the property that I purchase through the Golden Visa program in Greece?
Yes. The holder of an investor residence permit can lease the properties and the income derived from them can be considered as income that qualifies for a long-term resident's permit.
Interested in learning more about the Golden Visa Program for Greece?
Reach out to Alexandros, a qualified Greek immigration lawyer specializing in investor visas for Greece.