The Greek Golden Visa: How it Works and its Benefits

The Greek Golden Visa: How it Works and its Benefits

Anastasiia Zapevalova
10 March 2023

Greece is becoming increasingly popular among investors who want to obtain European residency through investment programs. The Golden Visa allows non-EU citizens and their families to gain residency in Greece by investing in its growing property market. In this article we will look at how the Greek program for obtaining a residence permit by investment works and what advantages it provides.

How to get a Golden Visa in Greece

Who can apply?

To be eligible for the Golden Visa program, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Not be a citizen of the European Union
  • Invest in real estate in Greece (we will tell you in detail below)
  • Have evidence that the funds for investment were obtained legally
  • Have no criminal record in the country of origin and in Greece
  • Obtain health insurance for yourself and family members with coverage in Greece
  • Have proof of residence in Greece
  • Have sufficient income to support yourself and family members in Greece
  • Pay application and processing fees

The applicant and his family members must reside in Greece for at least 183 days per year to maintain their residency status.

How much does it cost?

In order to qualify for a residence permit, you must currently invest at least €250,000 in real estate in Greece. To avoid losing your status, investments must be maintained for at least five years.

In 2022, the Greek Parliament approved an increase in the minimum required investment to €500,000 in some regions of the country. The new rules will come into force on May 1, 2023. You can find the full list of municipalities affected by the changes at this link.

Investors purchasing property in these municipalities and having already paid 10% of the property value as a deposit by 31 April 2023 will be able to conclude their contracts until 31 December 2023 and apply under the scheme, which requires a minimum of €250,000 investment.

Investors who have already paid their deposit will have the option to exchange the original property for another and still apply with an investment of €250,000 or more, provided they complete the transaction before the end of the transition period.

According to the new rules, to obtain a Golden Visa you must purchase one piece of real estate. In the case of joint ownership of property, the minimum value of the share of property of the Golden Visa applicant must be €500,000 and also relate to one property.

What does the application process look like?

The application process for a Greek Golden Visa can be divided into several stages:

  • Select a property. The first step is to select a property in Greece that will meet the program requirements.
  • Hire a lawyer. We recommend using a lawyer who specializes in the Greek Golden Visa program and has experience filing applications with a variety of clients.
  • Open a bank account. The investor must open a bank account in Greece and transfer the funds necessary to purchase real estate.
  • Apply for a residence permit. The investor must apply for a residence permit at the Greek embassy or consulate in his home country or through a lawyer in Greece. All necessary documents must be attached to the application, including confirmation of ownership of the property and a certificate of no criminal record.
  • Wait for approval. The application review process usually takes 40-60 days. Once approved, the investor receives a residence permit in Greece, which allows him to live in the country for up to five years.

To maintain residency status, the residence permit must be renewed every five years.

The application process for a Greek Golden Visa is relatively simple, especially with the help of a qualified lawyer. Migronis specialists have many years of experience working with the program and are ready to help at all stages of the application process, as well as in the selection and purchase of real estate.

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Why the Greek Golden Visa is a good investment

From a family point of view

One of the main benefits of the program is that it allows investors to obtain a residence permit in Greece for their family members, including spouses and children under the age of 21. This means they can live, work and study in Greece, as well as travel within the Schengen area without a visa.

Holders of a Greek residence permit have access to quality healthcare, education and a wide variety of cultural activities. Greece is also known for its low cost of living, making it attractive to retirees and those looking for a more affordable, high-quality lifestyle.

In addition, it is possible to get education at public universities in Greece at a reduced cost. This can be a significant advantage for families with children who want to go to university, as tuition fees at public universities in other countries can be high. Greece has several reputable universities with a wide range of programs including business, engineering, medicine and the arts. Thus, obtaining a Greek residence permit can be an excellent option for families with older children.

The Greek real estate market has been growing steadily in recent years, while prices remain relatively low compared to other European countries

In terms of income

An important advantage of the Greek Golden Visa is the opportunity to invest in the growing real estate market, which is currently thriving. In 2022, foreign capital inflows increased by 60.2% compared to 2021, reaching an all-time high of €1.277 billion. Greece is known for its beautiful landscapes, rich history and vibrant culture, making it a popular destination for both tourism and investment. The local property market has been growing steadily in recent years, with prices remaining relatively low compared to other European countries. This gives investors a unique opportunity to benefit from a rising market and capitalize on future capital gains.

Here you can find a detailed guide to the Athens investment property market, from choosing an area to the best investment strategies.

From a future perspective

Once you have lived legally in Greece for at least seven years, you can apply for Greek citizenship. To have this opportunity, you must meet certain requirements:

  • Maintain your Golden Visa status, that is, keep your investments and spend at least 183 days a year in the country
  • Proficient in Greek at least at level A2
  • Demonstrate integration into Greek society, for example through volunteer work or other community involvement
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Have enough income to support yourself and the people who depend on you financially

Greek citizenship offers many benefits, such as the ability to live and work in any EU country, expanding employment opportunities. In addition, the Greek passport is a strong travel document, with which visa-free entry into many countries of the world is possible. This is a significant plus for people who travel frequently. Greek citizenship also gives a sense of security and stability to those who decide to make the EU their place to live in the long term. With citizenship you will have the opportunity to start your own business, study at university for free or receive a pension.

Read also: What you need to know to get a Greek Golden Visa and make money on Airbnb

An attractive alternative to the Portuguese Golden Visa

The Greek Golden Visa is an excellent alternative to the Portuguese one, which will soon be phased out. Greece offers investors several advantages, such as a lower investment threshold, more favorable tax policies and a wide range of real estate investment opportunities. In addition, the Greek program boasts a simple and fast process for obtaining a residence permit - the processing time for applications does not exceed two months.

Greece's strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa makes it an excellent option for investors looking to expand into emerging markets. Investors can also take advantage of Greece's EU membership and the associated freedom of movement and access to the European market. All this makes the Greek Golden Visa an attractive replacement for the Portuguese program – especially for investors looking for reliable investment opportunities in Europe.

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