Golden visa issues in Greece: The golden visa program was introduced by Law 4146/2013

Actually, it does not constitute a visa, but a five-year residence permit granted to third-country nationals who either acquire real estate estimated worth 250,000€ or they invest to capitals from 3 to 100 million euros in infrastructure projects or in Greek enterprises capacity of 150 jobs positions.


Third-country nationals who are subject to one of the above categories may, on application and on presentation of the necessary supporting documents, obtain a residence permit.

In fact, this is a residence privilege and not a residence requirement, since under Greek law the third-country citizen has no obligation to reside in Greece for a minimum period of one year. Even though the person remains the holder with at least a few days stay in the Greek territory. On the contrary, in Cyprus, holders of the respective licenses should visit the country once every two years without any time limit, while in Portugal they should remain in the country for at least 2 weeks every two years, in Spain 6 months per year and in Andorra 90 days per year.

The above statements combined with the fact that for real estate investors the financial limit about the purchase of a real estate in Greece is one of the lowest in Europe; Greece is placed in a privileged category compared to other countries.

Particularly: Malta sets the limit between 275.000 – 320.000 euros depending on the market area of the real estate, Latvia at 250.000 euros plus 5% state fee if buying the property exclusively at Riga, Cyprus at 300.000 euros for buying only newly built real estate, Portugal at 350.000 euros  for buying real estate outside Lisbon or 500.000 euros for buying real estate at Lisbon, Andorra at 400.000 euros, Spain at 500.000 euros while Ireland 2.000.000 euros.

All the family members of the investor may ensure residence permit: a) the spouse b) the common children of the spouses or of one of the spouses who are aged under 21 years old g) the relatives of the spouses in the direct ascending line. It is required a separate submission of application of each member. The residence permit of the family members expires or renews at the same time with the residence permit of the investor.

On the other hand, the residence permit does not establish the right of access to any kind of employment and it is only allowed the exercise of economic activity in the capacity of the company shareholder, the member of the Board Director or the chief executive officer.

The performance of the certain program has exceeded one billion euros and it is provided to increase more in the future.

The financial magnitudes and the valuations of the performance drives the Ministry of Immigration to an amendment, which is estimated to be introduced in the next period, that shall widen the program to citizens of third countries who want to invest in Greece besides the field of real estate. Particularly it is provided that Golden Visa may obtain whoever has deposits of at least 400.000 euros in a term bank account of a Greek credit institution as well as whoever bought Greek government bonds through a Greek credit institution located in Greece with acquisition value at least 400.000 euros and remaining time at the purchase time at the least 3 years.

The legislative status of golden visa provides for benefits to both sides: on one hand for Greece economic growth and on the other hand for citizens of countries not members of EU access to European territory.


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