The Schengen Area consists of 26 European countries, not including Cyprus and the UK. Holders of the Greek residence permit enjoy the same travel privileges with a Greek citizen in the Schengen Area. This means they can:
Travel directly from their country of origin to any Schengen country
Travel freely within the Schengen zone without lengthy customs’ checks
Reside to any other Schengen country up to a period of three months every six month period with the right of multiple entries* Schengen
Area countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
Many European countries have recently offered non EU-citizens access to Europe through Golden Visas.
Greece is one of the most economically reasonable solutions and the cheapest in the Mediterranean area. Countries such as Portugal, where the minimum property value must be 500,000 Euros, and Cyprus, where the minimum property value must be 300,000 Euros, are considered very expensive compared to Greece where the similar requirement is only 250,000 Euros.
Note that other popular real estate investment markets, such as the US, now experience a rise in prices driving most investors away.
The economic crisis apart from hardships, offers advantages. Non EU – citizens have the chance to invest in Greece today that the real estate prices are at their lowest.
According to the Bank of Greece Monetary Policy report for the first quarter of 2013, from the beginning of the crisis in 2008, house prices have dropped by 29,4%. Combined with the recent tax reduction from 10% to 3% for property transfers, Greece is a unique opportunity for investors.
What more could anyone ask for than 300 days of sunshine a year! Greece is renowned for its dry summer climate, combining hot days with breezy nights. Greek summer can last well from May to September allowing one to enjoy the sea and the sun to the fullest.
The Mediterranean climate of Greece has four distinct seasons. Autumn and spring also offer lots of sunshine and relatively mild temperatures in the area of 10-25 C, while the short and temperate winters offer the pleasure of beautiful snowed landscapes in the mountainous areas.
Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa.
This allows one to reach within 1 hour via airplane any of these continents and in 3 hours max to be in any part of Europe.
In addition, several budget airlines like Easy Jet and Ryannair operate from the main airports of Greece travelling to most European capitals at low cost.
Due to its unique position and its long tradition in tourism, Greece is renowned for its hospitality towards immigrants. In Greece, one can find gastronomical and other traditions of various cultures, without any compromise to matters of safety.
The fact that a large portion of the population speaks English makes communication very easy.
While in countries like Portugal, applicants for the residency permit are asked to also reside in the country for a minimum of 7 days in the first year, and 14 days in the next two- year period, in Greece there is no such requirement.
So the holders of the Greek residence permit are not burdened with annual travel expenses in order to retain their rights.
Higher Education in Greece is both public and private. Although the entrance exams to the public higher education system can be tough, the education itself is free of cost.
On the other hand, private colleges and universities do not require entrance exams and their fees can vary. They also often offer specifically designed programs for international students. Needless to say that holders of the Greek residency permit enjoy the same rights to higher education as the Greek citizens.
Greek diet is based on healthy olive oil, tasty feta cheese, the world famous Greek yogurt, fresh green salads, meat, poultry and good wine. Here one can also enjoy a unique variety of fruits like figs, cherries and melons, an abundance of fresh fish, especially in the islands and the coastal areas.
Due to its richness and diversity, Greek diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world and is linked to the reduction of cardiovascular diseases and thus, longevity.
Greece is synonymous to natural beauty. Crystal clear blue waters, small picturesque islands, white sandy beaches, hills with pine trees and olive groves, are only some of the things one will see in Greece.
While the cities are modern, one can also visit traditional villages with stone houses in mainland Greece and beautiful white-blue houses in the islands.
Greece has something to offer for every taste and is waiting for you to discover it.
Greece is considered the birthplace of western civilization, having contributed the bases for Mathematics, Physics, Literature and other sciences.
Residing in Greece offers the unique opportunity to discover its well preserved monuments and ancient sites that are spread throughout the country.
From Ancient Olympia, where the first Olympic Games were held, to Parthenon and the Agora of Athens, where Democracy was born, to Mycenae and Crete, the presence of ancient Greek civilization is astonishing.
As one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide- about 16,5 million tourists visit Greece every year- the country has something to offer to all types of lifestyle. From its calm, secluded beaches and villages, where one can retire and relax, to its buzzing modern cities, Greece is the place for you.
Whether you are adventurous and you like sports and camping, or you are fascinated with history and art, you can find everything in Greece.
The ongoing world economic crisis which erupted in 2008 has not left Greece untouched, although signs of recovery are already present.
With the support of the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank the budget deficit has been steadily declining and is becoming viable being kept below 3% of the GDP. This enables the country to enter a stable period of economic growth.
Greece is known for its excellent health care system.In 2000, when the World Health Organization ranked the health systems of its 191 members, Greece earned 14th place, well above countries like Germany, UK and Cyprus.
In Greece, anyone can roam the streets without fear even well into the night.
Especially in big cities like Athens and Salonika, the mild climate invites people to stay outdoors until the early morning hours, giving the cities a lively character 24 hours a day.
The selection of real estate for sale is based on very strict criteria. We guarantee that each piece of property is fully legitimate with all relevant documents (building permits, titles of ownership, architectural blueprints, energy certificates etc.).From that point on, our technical department takes action. A team of civil engineers will perform a thorough examination of each property in order to ascertain its general condition, its static standards and possibly suggest repairs that will improve its chances for selection. The findings of the technical department then go to the appraisal committee which on the basis of the engineers’ report and other data (location, age of the property, etc.) will discuss the issue of pricing with the owner.
It is our policy not to represent properties that we deem overpriced or not within the context of a fair commercial value.
In the case that you find the property of your dreams and are willing to move ahead with a purchase, our legal department will prepare the necessary certificates for the completion of the sale
it will issue a tax registry number on your behalf
it will double-check the ownership titles of the property in the Land Registry Office and the Cadaster
it will issue the necessary certificates for the purchase
it will proceed with all required notary deeds for the completion of the purchase
Services Relevant to the Residence Permit
Upon completion of the purchase procedure, we proceed with the necessary actions for the issuance of your residency permit the soonest possible.
We will collect all relevant documents ascertaining the purchase of the property, that are required for the issuance of the residency permit
We will submit the relevant application to the public authorities and will collect the temporary permit
We will follow the course of your application until the issuance of the final residency permit
We will deliver the permit to you and your family
Our company undertakes the entire issuance process, every step of the way. Your sole task is to provide us with certain certificates for you and your family.
Buying a property abroad and maintaining it are two very different things.
As soon as the transfer of the paperwork is completed, you will be the proud owner of a new property. However whether you decide to spend a considerable amount of time in Greece or not, you will definitely have to deal with certain tasks.
Our company offers a “one stop package deal” of services that will ease your mind. With a fixed monthly fee we offer the following:
Transfer of utility agreements
Installation of security systems
On a Periodic Basis
Property inspection (90 days interval)
Cleaning services (Towels and bed linen change only on certain locations)
Landscape care & maintenance (grounds keeping)
Swimming pool maintenance
General repair and maintenance services (electrical, plumbing etc) – repair cost and parts not included in the service contract
Payment of bills
In addition we may cover all legal and tax matters according to your needs. Your annual obligation is to file an Annual tax report and pay the corresponding taxes to the Greek state.
If you don’t plan on using personally your new property for certain periods of time, you may be willing to rent it, an option that will produce the necessary income to cover the maintenance and utility costs.
We recommend a notable rent price
We minimize vacancies
We undertake the renting paperwork and the collection of the rent
We conduct regular home inspections
Third party Property survey
In case that you are interested in a property not represented by our company and do not know how to proceed with a purchase, feel welcome to contact us. If the property is represented commercially by a different agent, there will be no fee charge on our part, just the additional cost for any other technical, legal services that may be required by the seller. In any case, it is our job to secure that the property is in a condition that matches the asked price, that it has all necessary certificates. If you so decide, we can undertake the completion of the sale.
The Schengen Agreement led to the creation of Europe's borderless Schengen Area in 1995. The treaty was signed on 14 June 1985 near the town of Schengen in Luxembourg. It proposed the gradual elimination of border checks at the signatories' common borders allowing residents in border areas to cross borders away from fixed checkpoints and the harmonisation of visa policies. The Schengen Area operates very much like a single state for international travel purposes with external border controls for travellers entering and exiting the area, and common visas, but with no internal border controls. It currently consists of 26 European countries covering a population of over 400 million people and an area of 4,312,099 square kilometres.
Your children have access to both state and private schools and universities. There are a lot of available options, offered in a variety of languages. They also have access to European universities as every other Greek resident.
You can be granted permanent residency permits in Greece for you and your family, upon purchasing a property as an individual, with a contractual value of 250.000 Euros or higher. After seven years of continuous residency you may apply for Greek citizenship. You may also purchase the property through a legal entity if you are the sole stockholder of the entity.
Only spouses can share the investment and jointly own the property of total value 250.000 Euros. In all other cases of shared ownership, the right of residence is granted only if the amount invested by each co-owner is a minimum 250.000 Euros. Example : Two families can have two separate permits for all members if they purchase jointly a property of value equal or higher to 500,000 Euros.
The first thing to do is to arrange a trip to Greece to view the properties and learn about the required formalities. During your stay we can do practically everything within 5 working days (should you be in the position to decide). We will answer all your questions regarding the program and present your obligations as a property owner in Greece.
In brief what we do during your stay is :
We visit the properties.
We Issue tax id number.
If you decide to proceed further :
We open a local bank account.
We sign a power to attorney document, which gives us the right to represent you with the Greek public authorities.
You sign a property purchase pre-agreement with the property seller. A 10% deposit is required to secure the transaction. This amount can be transferred after you return to your country.
After we receive the deposit we transfer the property to your name.
We register your name as the new owner at the local land registry authorities.
Then we apply for the residency permit(s).
The rest we can do on your behalf. You don’t need to be in Greece. All payments will be performed from your Greek bank account after you transfer the required funds.
We follow up the whole procedure closely and we report to you at every step.
In order to visit Greece you will need to issue a Schengen visa from the Greek embassy in your country. To issue an investor's visa you will need to show enough funds to cover the minimum investment amount of 250,000 Euros.
How to issue a visa to visit Greece
In order to visit Greece you will need a Schengen visa. You may apply for investor’s visa. See the visa requirements below :
3 coloured passport pictures.
Machine – readable Passport.
Travel health insurance.
Proof of professional capacity (e.g. Business license).
Bank statements of at least 250,000€.
Income Tax Declaration that has been issued in the last year.
Hotel booking to prove the accommodation of the applicant during the visit to Greece.
Round trip flight booking.
Invitation letter from our company*.
* To issue the invitation letter we need to have :
1. Passport scan with personal details, showing also previous visas
2. Bank statement showing minimum 250,000 Euros or equivalent
3. Permanent residency address
4. Proof of profession
If you come from one of the following countries and carry an ordinary passport, you do not need a Visa in order to visit Greece :
Vatican City, San Marino, Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Venezuela, Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, USA, Japan, Israel, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Barbados, Bahamas, Brunei, New Zealand, Nicaragua, South Korea, Honduras, Uruguay, Panama, Paraguay, Seychelles, Singapore, Chile.
Yes, there is a property transfer tax paid to the government. The tax is based in the net property value and is equal to 3,09%. So a property of value 250,000 Euros is charged with tax of 7,725€. You will also be charged for legal, notary and service fees. The total amount charged is approximately 5% to 6% of the property selling price. We offer a No hidden costs guarantee. Every customer receives a detailed cost breakdown before any commitment.
Together with the main investor the following family members can be included in the group residence permit :
- Children up to the age of 21
- Main investor's parents
- Spouse's parents
All family members are granted permanent residency permit, renewed every five years as the main investor.
We do. It is part of our services portfolio to handle all the necessary paperwork on behalf of the applicant:
- The application process for the initial residence permit,
- the submission of any additional required documentation
- and finally the collection of the receipt of the residence permit.
We also deal with all aspects regarding the purchase of the property.
As soon as you submit the residency application you will receive a confirmation receipt that serves as a one year provisional residency permit. You can reside legally in the country for the duration of the confirmation receipt (one year) and you are entitled to all the benefits of the final permit. In the mean time (two to four months) you will receive the final residency permit certificate.
Basically, it’s proof of purchase for the property or the lease contract, and health insurance that will cover your medical expenses if needed. You may obtain the insurance coverage in Greece from a local company.
The residence permit is permanent. The only criterion is the property ownership. The permit is renewed every five years indefinitely.
Children who reach the 21 year are considered adults and cannot be part of the group family permit. The law allows them to extend their permit for 3 more years and have access to the employment market.
Yes. After seven years of continuous residency the permit holders may apply for Greek citizenship.
[law No. 4332/2015, Greek Government Gazette Number 76 A’, July 2015]
For the citizenship eligibility there are certain criteria to be met :
- Knowledge of Greek language. Knowledge of Greek history and elements of civilization.
- The applicant must live in Greece for most of the time before the application.
With the approval of the application the investor receives:
- Greek – European Union passport
- Voting rights
The holders of the residence permit have access to public education, in the same way as Greek citizens.
There is a variety of state and private schools and universities with multilingual syllabus.
They have also access to the Greek public health system.
Residence permit holders and their family members, must also have private insurance policies that covers their healthcare and medical care expenses.
You may travel with your passport and the residency permit to all countries that are part of the European Union, as well as, to all countries that belong to the Schengen Area: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Czech Republic and Finland.
You may also travel to these Non-EU countries that belong to the Schengen Area:
Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Please note that after the residence permit has been issued, you may also travel to any Schengen country directly from your country. You do not need to go through Greece first.
First, let’s point the difference between leasehold and freehold.
Freehold is where the property is fully owned for an unlimited period of time.
Leasehold means a person has the right to use a property for a set period of time, subject to the payment of an annual ground rent as specified by the lease. At the end of the term, the property reverts back to the freehold owner. The lease in some cases may be granted for up to 999 years. ALL properties in Greece are freehold.
You file an annual tax report. All property owners must do that.
You will pay a yearly property tax. For a standard 3 bedroom flat in downtown Athens the annual tax is approx. 500 Euros. Greek real estate ownership is the cheapest in Europe.
If you rent your property you will pay approx. 11% as income tax.
Our company will cover you in full for these services
We offer all kinds of services to support your investment.
- We will take care of the rental procedure.
- We will file your annual tax report.
- We will pay all taxes and possible maintenance expenses.
- We will represent you with the Greek authorities.
GOLDEN VISA PROGRAM IN OTHER COUNTRIES
Italy Golden Visa
Is Italy next to offer the Golden Visa?
At this point in time Italy does not have a golden visa programme for investors purchasing real estate.
However, it is possible to gain permanent residency in Italy but applicants need to demonstrate annual income of €100,000. This requirement is reduced to €35,000 if the applicant is making a large investment in property. Such an amount is undefined but we understand it to be in the region of €300,000 – €500,000.
The Italian residency scheme is very different to the Golden Visa programmes of Portugal and Spain or Citizenship by Investment programmes of Malta and Cyprus. In these European countries there is no requirement to reside and become tax resident, no minimum stay and clearly defined programme rules.
There is potential for the Italian government to open up a golden visa programme similar to other European states. The benefits as demonstrated by Portugal, with over 2,000 applicants a year and €2 billion in inward investment, are clear to see.
Portugal Golden Visa
Golden Visa Portugal through property investment.
The Portugal Golden Visa program has proven to be the most popular scheme in Europe with investors attracted to its flexibility and benefits. Launched in 2012 the investor visa program has been actively promoted internationally by the Portuguese government. An investment of €500,000 (or €350,000 reduced option) in real estate in Portugal will gain a residency permit for a family including dependent children. The golden visa can be renewed every two years providing the applicant spends two weeks in the country every two years.
Spain Golden Visa
Golden Visa Spain with €500,000 investment.
Spain launched its golden visa programme in 2013. An investment of €500,000 in real estate will gain family residency. The Spanish investor visa can be renewed every two years. After five years it is possible to gain permanent residency and after ten years citizenship. It is not necessary to live in Spain in order to retain and renew the residency visa permit.
Malta Indefinite Residency Visa Programme
This programme grants indefinite residency rights to international investors who invest a minimum €250,000 in highly reliable Maltese government bonds for a period of 5 years. In addition the investor must make a €30,000 contribution to the State Fund of Malta and purchase or rent a residence on the island. Legal and processing fees amount to €40,000. The programme offers a stable, low risk investment route to gaining a residency visa in an EU Schengen country.
Golden Visa Cyprus. Permanent Residency €300,000. EU Citizenship €2.0 million.
Cyprus offers two golden visa programs through real estate investment. One for permanent residency and one for citizenship. The two Cypriot immigration investment schemes are fast and efficient at granting a residency permit and second passport. Cyprus is a full member of the European Union and English is widely spoken on the island.
Permanent Residency Cyprus
Applicants can secure permanent residency in Cyprus through investment in real estate. The programme is one of the fastest and simplest investor visa programmes in Europe. It requires investment of just €300,000 into property to gain the Cyprus residency permit.
The residency visa is granted within two months and covers the whole family. It includes parents of both the main applicant and spouse plus dependent children up to the age of 25. It is valid for life and can be passed down to dependents and spouse.
The permanent residency programme offers ease of travel throughout the European Union and requires just one visit to Cyprus by all family members once every two years.
The investment may be made by a company for which the main applicant and spouse are beneficial owners. The investment can be in to a maximum of two properties provided they reach the €300,000 permanent residency limit. The properties purchased must be brand new.
For more details on Residence Permit in Greece by investment complete your details below.
You are welcome to enjoy an excellent residence in Greece!
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