A Brief Guide to the Greek Golden Visa | By Divine Property
Greece Golden Visa Program
Either you are an EU third-country national and you are looking for a path to residency, or even citizenship in the EU economic area, or you are a non-EU retiree, self-employed, or a digital nomad, who want to acquire residency in Greece and establish a new home, then the Greek Golden Visa Program should definitely be high on your list!
The Greece Golden Visa program is a success story to Greece’s Real Estate market, and a choice growing in popularity. The program allows non-EU/EEA citizens and their immediate family members, to obtain temporary Greek residence and travel across the Schengen Region without a Visa, in exchange for an investment in the country.
With an investment in real estate of 250,000€ or more in Greece, you and your family acquire a Golden Visa, which implies a residence permit. You reap all the benefits of being an EU resident, but also of traveling within the countries of the Schengen zone, with the best privilege being that there is no requirement to stay in Greece.
With the program being beneficial for more than 23,500 investors since 2021, as well as for the Greek economy, as the foreign direct investments exceeded 6 billion euros, within a few years.
Featuring such benefits to both the investors and the Greek economy, the Golden Visa program is highly appreciated by the Greek government.
Requirements for the Greek Golden Visa
- Make a qualifying investment in Greece (see the investment options below)
- Maintain the investment for as long as you have a Golden Visa
- Be a non-EU citizen
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have medical insurance for yourself and your family from a company operating in Greece
- Have a clean criminal record in any country in which you have lived
Assuming that a real estate investment is not suitable for you, the Golden Visa program offers alternative investment opportunities that will qualify you for the program.
The investment options are the following:
- A minimum investment of €250,000 in a Greek real estate property
- A minimum capital contribution of €400,000 in Greek government bonds
- A minimum capital contribution of €400,000 in bonds or shares of real estate investment companies in Greece
- A minimum capital contribution of €400,000 in bonds or shares of a Venture Capital fund, a Private Equity fund, or a Mutual Fund that is headquartered in Greece
- A minimum capital contribution of €400,000 in specific forms of securities or a bank deposit in Greece
- A minimum capital contribution of €800,000 in shares, corporate bonds, or Greek Treasury bonds, listed in trading facilities operating in Greece
Heretofore, the only available option was to acquire a real estate property in Greece. However, even with the entry of the additional options, the predominant investment route remains the purchase of a real estate asset with a minimum value of €250,000.
Aiming to apply for the Greek Golden Visa, you should be aware of the existence of some administration costs.
At the initial application and each renewal, the main applicant should pay €2000.
Additionally, every family member older than 21 must pay €500, and for under 21, the cost is €150.
The Detailed Procedure & Timeline to Acquire the Greece Golden Visa
For your convenience, below is analyzed the application process into eight simple steps.
Step 1: Selection of investment route & property
To complete this step, you’ll need to determine the investment criteria and select the property you’d like to invest in. The significant feature of this program is that you can choose from a variety of investment options, as long as the added value thereof is equal to or above 250,000 euros.
At last, you need to secure the property by transferring a reservation deposit and signing the reservation agreement.
Step 2: Legal steps
This step can be completed by obtaining a Greek Non-Resident Tax number and opening a Greek bank account. Alternatively, you can authorize your lawyer with a power of attorney.
Step 3: Acquisition of the property
This step consists of processing the ‘Legal Due Diligence’ of the property by a lawyer on your behalf. Consequently, you will have to obtain the promissory sale and purchase agreement and the execution of a public deed.
Step 4: Pre-submission
Preparing all the required documents for the Golden Visa application. Ordinarily, hiring a lawyer is a convenient solution for this step.
Step 5: Visit Greece
Here you’ll need to submit all the required documents to the relevant Greek authorities.
Step 6: Golden Visa Approval
Your Golden visa application will be proceeded & approved by the authorities. You will then be issued a Golden Visa Card Residence.
Step 7: Renewal
The Golden Visa residence card is renewed every five years and can be renewed indefinitely as long as you maintain the investment, facilitating access to the permanent residence.
Step 8: Applying for citizenship
Living and paying taxes in Greece for seven years, enables you to apply for citizenship and the Greek passport. However, due to the fact that the program started 7 years ago there hasn’t been enough data from the investors yet, in order to provide a comprehensive understanding of the citizenship process.
What About Taxes?
The numerous beneficial taxing laws, play an important role in attracting foreign investors. One of the benefits that accompany the constantly growing Greek Real Estate Market is the Double Taxation Treaty. The Greek Double Taxation Treaty declares that, income outside Greece while residing therein, is not subject to taxation. This means that you can be maintaining any business you have outside of Greece while enjoying a tax-free external income.
Basically, if you don’t live in Greece, you don’t have to pay taxes. But tax planning is still required, especially if you wish to obtain citizenship. In that case the payment of taxes is mandatory for seven years. This process seems to be tedious, however with the right professional guidance it can be easier to navigate.
Recently, the Ministry of Finance has enacted a law that will implement a flat income tax rate of 7% for foreign retirees. This law will benefit foreigners who transfer their tax residence to Greece.
Greece has an ever-growing real estate market and occupies an important position among the other countries of the European Union. In summary, the Greek Golden Visa program offers the lowest real estate investment level of any European residency scheme, including many favourable family rules.
Divine Property's dedicated team of real estate agents and our legal advisers are here to eliminate any obstacles that may delay your investment and offer you the right and professional guidance!