Golden visa to Greece: the first step towards European citizenship

A golden visa to Greece is a route to European citizenship and an opportunity to live in a country with wonderful beaches, unique architecture, good food, and low cost of living in comparison to other Western European states. Below we describe two ways of acquiring a residence permit in the ancient country. One way is to make an investment into the Greek economy and the other one is to prove your financial independence. If any questions about these opportunities remain after you finish reading the article, please do not hesitate to request a free personal consultation on the matter.

The first advanced European civilization appeared on the shores of the Aegean Sea. The impact that this civilization had on the development of other European societies cannot be overestimated.

Golden visa to Greece

Greece is an integral part of the Western European world. It is a member of the EU, OECD, NATO, and many other influential alliances.

Greek beaches and resorts are famous throughout the world and an increasing number of foreign investors are choosing Greece as the country where they want to live permanently. One of the important factors that attracts foreigners to the country is the affordable price of the Greek golden visa (that is, a residence permit in the country).

Investment requirements to the applicants for Greek golden visas

There is no opportunity to become a full citizen of Greece in an instant if you were born in a different country. When you acquire the residence permit, you will have to physically reside in Greece for seven years (for the best part of each calendar year) to become a citizen of the country by naturalization.

In addition to that, you will have to learn some Greek and take a test in the language. Acquiring a permanent residence permit in the country requires making an investment in some property there. However, the requirement to retain the property in your possession will be lifted when you become a citizen of Greece. That is, you will be able to resell the property.

At the same time, if you do not intend to become a European citizen, you can acquire a golden visa to Greece in order to legalize your presence in Europe for as long as you like. If you continue meeting the conditions described below, your golden visa can be extended infinitely.

The advantages that the golden visa to Greece brings

  • Free access to the Schengen zone at an affordable price: The Greek golden visa requires a smaller investment in comparison to other Schengen zone countries that run similar visa programs.
  • Lax physical presence requirements to the visa holders: If you do not intend to apply for full citizenship of Greece in the future, you do not have to live in the country at all in order to retain your golden visa. Your investment will have to remain in place but your physical body can reside in any EU or Schengen country that you like. With a Greek residence permit, you are free to travel all around the continent.
  • Long stays in Schengen zone countries: The Greek golden visa will give you a legal opportunity to live in any Schengen country for three months out of every six months.
  • The right to invest into business in Greece: Holders of Greek golden visas are free to make investments and engage into business in the country.
  • Family residence permits: The golden visa can cover the members of the visa holder’s family. Your spouse, children, and parents will qualify for residence permits in Greece if you acquire a golden visa to the country.
  • Long-term residence card: You can use the golden visa for five years. After the period elapses, you can extend your residence permit on the condition that you keep your investments.

General requirements for obtaining a residence permit in Greece

  • The main applicant shall be a foreign national above 18 years of age.
  • The main applicant’s spouse will qualify for Greek residency as well.
  • The main applicant’s dependent children of up to 21 years of age can be included in the application for a golden visa.
  • The main applicant’s parents can also be included in the application.
  • The foreign investor shall be able to supply a police clearance from his/ her home country police authorities.

Please note that acquiring legal residence in Greece in impossible if you are unable to provide a clean criminal record.

Golden visa to Greece: investment options

There are four investment options that you can choose from if you would like to acquire the right of abode in Greece:

  • A capital investment of 400,000 euros into a business company or an investment fund in Greece;
  • A fixed-term bank deposit of 400,000 euros in a Greek bank;
  • Purchase of bonds/ shares worth 400,000/ 800,000 euros;
  • An investment of 250,000 euros into real estate in Greece.

Clearly, the last option is the most popular one with foreign investors as the required investment amount is the smallest one. If you would like to learn more details about acquiring legal residence in Greece by investment, please contact us and request a free consultation on the matter.

An alternative route to legal residency in Greece

There is a healthy alternative to the four investment options described above that will also lead to acquiring a golden visa to Greece. This route to Greek legal residency may be even more affordable to some people and the possibility to acquire residence cards for the members of your family remains available. What you have to do is demonstrate to the Greek immigration authorities that you are a financially independent person (FIP).

Greek residency for financially independent persons

If you are able to prove to the Greek authorities that you have a stable monthly income, you will not have to make any heavy investments in the country. Besides, getting an FIP golden visa takes only two to four months, which is a bit faster than acquiring a residence permit by investment.  

If you can supply documents confirming that you have a monthly income of 2,000 euros from a foreign country, you will qualify for a Greek golden visa. If you would like to bring your family to Greece with you, you will have to demonstrate having additional 400 euros of income per month for the spouse and additional 300 euros of income per month for each of your children. This sum of money is enough to live on in Greece and the country’s authorities will be satisfied to know that you are not going to add to the competition in the local job market.

Advantages that an FIP visa brings

  • The residence permit is initially issued for two years. After that, you have to renew the permit every three years.
  • The FIP visa does not qualify as a work permit but the visa holders are allowed to engage into business activities in Greece.
  • FIP visa holders get access to the local healthcare and education systems that are free of charge in the country.
  • The main applicant’s spouse and underage children are eligible for residence permits.
  • FIP visa holders do not have to permanently reside in Greece to retain their visas.
  • The FIP visa can be used as an instrument for obtaining full citizenship of Greece. To achieve this goal the visa holder needs to live in Greece for seven years while spending the best part of each calendar year in the country. If these conditions are satisfied, the visa holder will qualify for Greek citizenship by naturalization.

Documents required for applying for a FIP visa

  • Proof of a stable income of at least 2,000 euros per month (with the additional income specified above in case a family is applying for Greek residency);
  • A bank statement certifying a deposit in a Greek bank of at least 24,000;
  • A bank statement showing the account turnover;
  • A valid passport;
  • A police clearance from the country of origin/ residence;
  • A medical certificate confirming the applicant’s physical and mental health;
  • Family members identification documents, if applicable;
  • Marriage/ divorce certificate, if applicable;
  • Certificate of employment;
  • Visa fee pay slip.

Expert support in applying for a residence permit in Greece

Greece is becoming a super attractive destination for immigrant investors due to the lucrative conditions that the country offers to them. Greece is the cradle of Western civilization, democracy, drama, philosophy, and Olympic Games while its contemporary economy is on the rise. As the country progresses, it attracts more and more wealthy foreign investors.

Living in Greece is living in a modern democratic society that is developing at a steady pace. The country combines natural beauty, a rich history, and vast opportunities for travel and investments.

A number of states provide for opportunities to acquire legal residence there in exchange for an investment. The list includes some EU/ Schengen countries such as Italy, Portugal, Spain, Cyprus, Malta, Switzerland, and Belgium. Greece, however, looks most attractive in terms of the price of its residence and the terms of residence acquisition. Are you interested? Please find out more details about the Greek golden visa opportunity by applying for a free consultation on the matter.

We provide individual consultations on acquiring a residence permit in Greece. Please contact us by email, live chat, or a messenger and request a free consultation!

If you would like to ask a question about the golden visa opportunity described above, you are welcome to contact us. We always reply promptly!

How can I acquire legal residence in Greece?

There are two ways to become a legal resident in Greece if you come from another country. First, you can make an investment into the local economy. The required amount of investment starts at 250,000 euros. Second, you can bring evidence of having a stable income of at least 2,000 euros per month from a foreign country, which will also make you eligible for a golden visa (a residence permit) in Greece.

Can I buy real property in Greece and then let it on a lease?

Theoretically, you can do so. You have to realize, however, that the pandemic has seriously undermined the tourist sector in Greece. Besides, you would have to compete with the local hotels that have over 800,000 hotel rooms. On the other hand, Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world and the high season normally spans over the whole year in the country. Therefore, when the pandemic is over, there is a good chance that the tourist sector in Greece will pick up very quickly.

Where do applicants for Greek golden visas mostly come from?

People from China and the Russian Federation comprise the majority of the applicants for Greek golden visas. Experts believe, however, that the demand for the visas from British citizens is going to grow in the nearest few months. The reason for that is the desire of the British people to retain the opportunity to freely travel across Europe when the Brexit procedures are completed.

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