Since 2014, Greece’s Golden Visa program has provided EU residency for more than 9,000 investors. As a residency by investment program, it has allowed residency for the families of these investors as well. In total, more than 26,000 individuals obtained residency in Greece.
These investments have enabled more than €2 billion of global funds into Greece.
The program attracts investors from several countries. Up until now, China ranks the first in bringing most of the funds into Greece. Turkey and Russia respectively follow China.
About Greece Golden Visa
The program was first launched in 2013. It grants residency in Greece for every five-year period. To be eligible for the program, you need to make a real estate investment of at least €250,000.
Greece Golden Visa allows you to live in Greece and to have visa-free access to Schengen countries. Your family members can benefit from the program as well.
Benefits of the Greece Golden Visa Program
- You don’t need to reside in Greece to maintain your residency rights.
- You can benefit from public healthcare and education benefits in Greece as well.
- Your spouse and children under the age of 21 can join the residence scheme. In addition, your parents and parents-in-law can get residence cards as well.
- Greece offers the lowest investment threshold for EU residency among other Golden Visa programs.
- You can also benefit from double taxation treaties depending on your country of residence. It also depends on the duration you spend in Greece. The treaties allow your international income not to be taxed in Greece. This means that it’s possible to maintain business activities outside of Greece and get tax benefits.
- Other tax benefits are also available for foreigners who are tax residents in Greece. Such schemes aim to benefit digital nomads, retirees, and certain other expats.
- As of 2021, it’s possible to apply for Greece Golden Visa without visiting Greece. You only need to enter once to submit your biometric data.
How To Become Eligible For Greece Golden Visa
The following requirements are necessary to qualify for a Golden Visa in Greece:
- You must be a non-EU/EEA country citizen
- You are at least 18 years old
- You must have a clean criminal record
- You must have medical insurance for yourself and your family
- You must be of good character.
- You can buy real estate at a minimum amount of €250,000
- 10 years of a lease agreement is another investment option. Hotel accommodations/ furnished tourist residences in designated tourist resorts are acceptable
- Minimum investment amount of €400,000 in:
- Greek government bonds
- Shares and bonds of venture funds and private equity having headquarters in Greece
- Bonds/shares of real estate investment companies that are based in Greece.
Points To Consider About Greece Golden Visa
You can renew your residence permit every five years, indefinitely. However, you need to fulfill certain conditions. If you buy real estate, it must remain in the full ownership of yourself as the main applicant. Or, the relevant leases/contracts need to be still valid and fulfilling the requirements.
You may earn a Greek source income as a non-Greek tax resident. In this case, you need to appoint a tax representative. Also, you need to file tax returns with the Non-Greek Resident Tax Office.
You can submit your application through a Greek lawyer or by yourself.
Golden Visa Program Steps
The first step is to determine the investment criteria. If it’s a property investment, you’ll choose the property you’ll invest in.
Then, you’ll get a Greek non-resident tax number and open a Greek bank account. Alternatively, you can give a power of attorney to make these transactions on your behalf.
If you choose to buy a property, a lawyer will execute the legal due diligence on your behalf, at this point. Then, you need to get the promissory sale and purchase agreement and the execution of a public deed.
Then, you’ll prepare and submit all required documents about your application. Hiring a lawyer will make this process quite easier.
At this point, you’ll submit all the biometric data to the relevant authorities in Greece. To do this, you need to visit Greece.
Then, the authorities will approve your Golden Visa application, and you’ll get a Golden Visa Residence Card.
You can apply for the renewal of your residence card every five years.