The Greek Golden Visa is a residency-by-investment visa & it is one of the most popular investment programs. It is designed to attract foreign non-Eu citizens to obtain the right of residency and/or citizenship in Greece.
The Greek Golden Visa program requires the lowest investment compared to other real estate residency visa programs in Europe, making it the most popular one. On top of that, Greece offers you many opportunities, both in terms of investment and lifestyle.
With the Residence Permit, the applicant is allowed to live in Greece without a minimum stay requirement. Greece Residence Permit holders have freedom of travel in the entire EU Schengen Zone. When purchasing the property investors are allowed to rent it out and generate yearly income from it!
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After seven years, investors can apply for citizenship, which allows the freedom of travel, work and pursue education throughout the EU.
Applicants must have a clear criminal record and medical insurance when staying in Greece. However, there is no language requirement, medical test or interview for applicants so far.
The application process is fast and straightforward with a high approval rate, making it the world’s largest Golden Visa program. Out of all the European residency schemes, the Greek program offers the lowest real estate investment level. In 2018, Greece issued almost 1,000 Golden Visas per month. This trend continues strong in 2019.
This program is open to all nationalities. As of the first quarter 2019, the vast majority to receive Greek Golden Visa Residence Permits as property owners/investors are from China (58%) with 2,416 permits issued, followed by Russia (10%), Turkey (9%) and Egypt (3%). In total, 4,154 permits were issued between January and April 2019.
To qualify for the permit a minimum investment of 250,000 Euros in real estate or plots is required to obtain a five-year residency visa in Greece.
Questions & Answers
Investors are obliged to pay the transfer tax prior signing the contract. The amount of tax is 3%, calculated on the real estate price. Since January 2020, the acquisition of real estate has been exempt from VAT.
After the property is selected, the lawyers manage the application process, conveyancing, and legal work. The fees for the government, notary and lawyer amount to less than 3%.
From the time of investment, the application process takes around 1 year until the Residency Permit is issued.
After living in Greece for seven years (see step 1), Residence Permit holders can apply for Greek citizenship and a Greek passport. After investors hold Greek citizenship, the real estate investment is no longer mandatory, as further visa renewals become redundant.
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