Investing in Greece - Golden Visa Program

Published in Portfolio

 

 

 

Greece, a member state of the European Union, is a country of unique geographical and geostrategic position, an important crossroads for trading, transport and energy distribution, connecting the Middle and Far East with the Central and Southern Europe. The great historical and cultural heritage of Greece, together with the mild Mediterranean climate and the incomparable natural beauty have made this country one of the most popular destinations in the world. The country that created democracy, continues to operate through the centuries under an organized democratic system in an open society, while the institutional and civic stability guarantee the participation of the country in the European Union and in all the important international organizations and alliances (NATO, OECD, UN). For many years now, Greece is a particularly attractive destination for investors and this is why it is one of the major preferences of foreign investors with the help of the Golden Visa program.

 


What is the Golden Visa program?


According to the Immigration and Social Integration Code (article 4251/14), the citizens of countries outside the European Union, who already possess or are willing to buy real estate property worth of 250,000 or more, are given the opportunity to obtain a legal residence permit. Their investment can include more than one real properties, for housing or commercial use.  At the same time, they can have access to the European markets that are included in the Schengen agreement, for a period of time that does not exceed the 90 days for every 6 months. Finally, they can also have access to the national health and education system of the country.


 

 Who is entitled to a Golden Visa  


The visa is granted for five years with the possibility of renewal after the five-year period has passed.  It covers the proposed investor or their spouses, their parents and their children up to the age of 21. There is no prerequisite of a minimum stay for the acquisition of the visa.

The program is intended for: 

    a) Third country citizens that own real estate property in Greece, either privately or as shareholders of a company, as long as the real estate property is worth of €250,000.

    b) Third country citizens that own real estate property in Greece, which is worth of at least €250,000 and was acquired as a gift or parental provision.

    c) Third country citizens that have made a leasing agreement for at least 10 years for operating a hotel or furnished dwellings in organized tourist resorts, as long as the property value written in the agreement is €250,000.

    d) Third country citizens that either live permanently in Greece and have a visa or want to come and settle permanently in the country and have full freehold ownership of real property in Greece, which they had purchased before the law enforcement, on condition that they acquired it for at least €250,000 or that the present fair market value is at least €250,000.

    e) Third country citizens that have purchased a plot of land or land parcel and have proceeded to construct a building, given that the total value of sale and purchase and agreement with the construction company is at least €250,000.

    f) The family members of the above citizens.


Choosing the proper key-consultant for obtaining the Golden Visa


Since 2014, when the Immigration and Social Integration Code was enforced (article 4251/2014, Government Gazette 80A/01-04-2014), we created a special team that offers legal support to individuals and future investors from countries outside the E.U. in order to help them acquire residence permit and the right to move freely inside the Schengen countries by purchasing real property.  Our services include:

    • Help select a real estate property

    • The security representing a right of real property

    • The sales and purchase transaction of the real property (representation during the signing of the transaction contract and the listing to the land registry)

    • Notary services

    • Gathering of all necessary documents for the residence permit

    • Submission of the application and receipt of the permit

    • All extra services, such as property management and legal representation.

Xenikakis Law Firm also offers the know-how in many other sectors, by collaborating with Banks, Notary offices and Construction Companies.  The presence of an independent law firm and not a firm chosen by the seller or the estate agent, is of great importance when someone wants to invest in Greece and acquire a legal residence permit, because the laws surrounding real estate property rights in Greece are rather complicated.  The experience, secrecy, honesty and cooperation we offer can ensure our clients that they will achieve a sincere transaction and a successful acquisition of a visa in Greece.  


Purchasing real estate property and acquiring residence permit

Procedure


-Investment on a real estate property

        a) We undertake all the necessary action to find the proper real estate property for you and we proceed to the legal auditing of the deed, in order to secure you a net real property.

        b) We take care of issuing a TIN from the tax authorities and we help open a bank account for the sale and purchase of the real property.

        c) We issue all the certifications needed by the law in order to make a contract.

        d) We check and compose the land contract. 

        e) At the same time, we submit the application for the residence permit, after we have collected all the needed legal documents.

        f) After the sales transaction, we undertake the collection of all certifications from the Mortgage Registry, Cadastral Offices and Notaries and we create your own personal file in our office.

        g) We collect and grant the residence permit

        h) We renew it every 5 years 

and finally, if asked:

        i) We provide legal and accounting services for the private investment

        j) We take care of the rent and generally we undertake the management of the investment

        k) We cooperate with construction companies for the building of the real estate property.

At the same time, for the General or Strategic Investments 

    a) We issue certificates that prove the financial ability of the investor which has to be planned before the submission of the application

    b) We compose the implementation of the investment plan and we submit the application for the granting of the residence permit.

    c) We submit the application form for residence permit in the Ministry of Internal Affairs after the granting of the residence permit.

 


 

Frequently Asked Questions


1) I am a citizen of a third country who already possesses or has the intention of purchasing real estate property in Greece as a natural person or as a shareholder of a company or having hired a tourist accommodation. Can I obtain residence permit after purchasing property in the country? If so, what’s the procedure that must be followed?
Yes, you can. You have the opportunity to obtain a five-year residence permit as long as the value of the property written on the land contract or the deed of lease – in the case of a ten-year lease of tourist accommodation – reaches the amount of €250,000. The procedure goes as follows:
a) You request a visa entry type D or C from the Greek Consular authorities of your place of residence. For the issuing of the visa you have to provide:
Passport
Copy of your criminal record from your country of origin
Travel insurance
Proof of purchase of property or any official document that proves the economic ability and intention of the applicant to buy the real property (agreement of service delegation to a law firm or a real estate agency), in the case that the purchase procedure has not been completed.
Proof of transfer from the competent land registry or
Copy of the lease contract which should mention the license for operation granted by the Greek organization of Tourism (EOT) and proof of transfer from the land registry where the leasing contract has been transferred, in the case of a ten-year leasing agreement of the tourist accommodation.
Copy of the instruments constituting and regulating a legal person which will prove that the citizen of the third country owns all the company shares or the stock market shares, if the property is acquired by a legal person.
b) After having acquired the entry visa, you can enter Greece and/or ask for a residence permit, if the purchase procedures of the real property are fulfilled or go on with the actions needed to complete the investment. In any case, all procedures have to be completed before the expiration of the residence permit. Furthermore, the application for obtaining the residence permit must be submitted before the expiration of the entry visa.

 

2) After purchasing the real estate property can I rent it to a third person?
Yes, you can. You can rent the property after you have purchased it in order to make a profit out of it.


3) Can I proceed to buy a real estate property for professional use or combine my property purchase with one for professional use?
Yes, you can. The legislature doesn’t specify the use of the real property. It can either be used for professional or housing purposes, as long as its value exceeds the amount of €250,000.


4) Can I buy one or more properties that their single value is lower that €250,000 and their total value is equal or higher than €250,000?
Yes, you can do that and you are eligible to a residence permit regardless of having one or more real properties of bigger or equal value to €250,000.


5) Does the residence permit give me the opportunity to work or have any economic activity?
The residence permit doesn’t allow any kind of work or employment in Greece. However, this does not include any economic activity as a shareholder or being a member of a Management Board or a Managing Director.


6) Which of the members of my family are entitled to a residence permit? Do my children have access to the public schools? Do I have access to the National Health System?
The members of the family that have the right to enter the country and can get a residence permit are only:
a. Spouses, being older than 18 years of age and unmarried children under the age of 21, including the adopted ones.
b. The rest of the unmarried children of the sponsor or of each of the spouses who are under the age of 21, including any adopted children, since he/she has been appointed to exercise the parental responsibility. The people who have a residence permit can have access to the National Health System equally to a Greek citizen.


7) Do I have the possibility of traveling inside the Schengen area with my entry visa or residence permit?
Considering that an entry visa and a long-stay residence permit are of equal value, as far as the free movement of the holder in the Schengen area is concerned, every third country citizen who holds a long-stay visa authorized by a member state with a one-year period of validity, is eligible to travel to other member states for a period of three months per six months, under the same conditions that are also valid for the holders of residence permit. Multiple-entry residence permits are also authorized.


8) I have entered Greece with a tourist visa, in order to purchase a real estate property. Can I apply for a residence permit?
Yes, you can.


9) Can I ask for a residence permit when I have purchased a plot of land or a parcel?
Yes, you can. The relevant regulation provides for the possession of property and therefore can also apply for purchasing a plot of land.


10) Does the amount of €250,000 needed to acquire a residence permit include the real estate property transfer taxes?
The amount of €250,000 refers to the amount written on the sales purchase land contract and does not include any property transfer taxes, which are paid separately.

 



 

Στοιχεία Επικοινωνίας

Σκουφά 30, Κολωνάκι, ΤΚ 10673, Αθήνα
+ 30 210-3810919, +30 210-3832217
info@xenikakislaw.gr