Greece Golden Visa

Greece is a country in Southeast Europe, surrounded by the Ionian Sea to the West, the Mediterranean to the South and the Aegean to the East. In the North, it borders with Albania, North Macedonia and Bulgaria. It has the longest coastline of all Mediterranean countries and comprises thousands of islands.

 

Greece has a population of 10.5 million and the capital is Athens. The official language is Greek. It is a member of the European Union and uses the Euro as its currency.

 

Greece is considered to be the birthplace of Western civilisation. The ancient Greeks were the ones who introduced democracy to the world, as well as the Olympic Games, threatre and Western philosophy and literature. They were also responsible for some of the most important mathematical and scientific principles we use to this day.

 

Greece offers a very cosmopolitan lifestyle, aided by its Mediterranean climate and welcoming culture. It boasts excellent educational and healthcare facilities and a reasonable cost of living. The economy is based on services and industry.

 

GREECE RESIDENCE PERMIT

THE GOLDEN VISA PROGRAM

Greece offers the opportunity for non-residents to apply for a residence permit.

 

The fallow deer is native to the Greek island of Rhodes.

MAJOR BENEFITS

The Greek residence permit provides several privileges:

 

  • The right to live anywhere in Greece
  • Free movement throughout Europe’s Schengen Area
  • Residence permit issued for 5 years and renewable every 5 years
  • Can apply for citizenship after 7 years
  • The application may include the applicant’s spouse, any children under the age of 21 and the parents of the applicant and spouse
  • Eligible for public education and healthcare in Greece
  • It is possible for the investment property to be rented out
  • There is no requirement to live in Greece
  • No personal tax obligations arise in Greece unless spending more than 183 days per year in the country
  • The profit on sale of real estate is exempt of tax
APPLICATION REQUIREMENTS

The applicant must first obtain a visa to enter Greece, as well as health insurance cover before arriving in the country. The application may then be submitted.

 

INVESTMENT OPTIONS

Numerous investment options are available under the Greece golden visa program, as summarised below:

  • Purchase of real estate of a minimum value of EUR 500,000 if situated in Mykonos, Santorini, Salonica or most municipalities in Athens or EUR 250,000 if situated elsewhere
  • 10-year lease agreement with a minimum value of EUR 250,000
  • Investment of EUR 400,000 in Greek government bonds
  • Fixed term deposit of EUR 400,000 with a Greek financial institution
  • Various investment options in approved venture capital firms, mutual funds, alternative investment funds or real estate investment companies of a minimum amount of EUR 400,000
  • Investment of EUR 800,000 in Greek listed company shares or bonds

Certain amendments to the Greece golden visa program were introduced on 31 March 2024 in respect of real estate investments. Applications can still be submitted under the existing rules, provided a deposit of 10% is paid by 31 August 2024 and the investment is finalised by 31 December 2024. Otherwise, the following changes will apply:

  • The minimum investment in real estate increases from EUR 250,000 to EUR 400,000.
  • For the entire region of Attica (which includes Athens and Piraeus), as well as Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Santorini and all islands with a population exceeding 3,100, the minimum investment in real estate will be EUR 800,000.
  • The entire investment must relate to a single property of a minimum surface area of 120 sqm.
  • The property may not be placed on the short-term rental market, such as AirBnB.

Two exceptions apply to the new rules, for which the minimum investment remains at EUR 250,000:

  • Properties which are converted from commercial to residential use, regardless of their location and size, on the condition that the conversion is completed before the golden visa application is submitted.
  • Restoration of a listed building of cultural or historical significance, in which case the restoration must be completed within 5 years of taking up residence in order to qualify for renewal.
APPLICATION PROCESS

Mercury will conduct an initial due diligence and compliance review. The applicant will then arrive in Greece after obtaining a valid entry visa and arranging health insurance with validity in Greece.

 

If the preferred route is that of property investment, the applicant will first select and purchase the property. If another investment option is chosen, that investment must be completed before the application may be prepared and submitted. All applicants will need to present themselves so that their biometric data may be collected within 6 months of submitting the application.

 

The application is normally approved within one to two months, at which point the residence permit is issued with a validity of 5 years and renewable for further periods of 5 years.