What is the so-called “GOLDEN VISA”?
Many people wonder what the “Golden Visa” is, as in recent years there has been a great increase in demand for it from citizens of third countries who seek to invest in Greece through its possession. In fact, it is a type of residence permit in the Greek Territory since, according to article 20B of Law 4251/2014, it is established the possibility of obtaining a permanent investor residence permit of 5 years for a third-country national, and his family members, with possibility of renewing it for an equal duration, who acquires real estate in the Greek Territory, amounting to 250,000 euros. It is an investment program with an increased demand since it provides multiple benefits to its beneficiaries.
But what are these benefits and why is it worth investing in Greece?
1) Free movement in the European Union
In particular, by obtaining the residence permit of a permanent investor, the owner of real estate in Greece has the right of access and free movement in the European Union, since Greece joined the Schengen Agreement in 1992, a zone that includes 26 countries. Therefore, the citizen of a third country and holder of a residence permit of a permanent investor in Greece, in the context of the free movement of persons and goods, may, without the need to issue an entry visa, travel freely to any other country that is also part of the Schengen area.
2) No obligation οf actually staying in Greece
An important privilege granted to the holder of the above mentioned residence permit is the fact that he is not required to reside in the area of the Greek territory for a specific period of time in order to obtain or renew it, unlike other categories of residence permits.
3) Extending the validity of the license to family members
According to article 20B par. 8 of Law 4251/2014, the holder of the permanent investor residence permit may be accompanied by his family members, who individually submit a residence permit of the same duration as that of the sponsor. Specifically, family members mean the other spouses/partners under a cohabitation agreement drawn up in Greece, their unmarried common children under the age of 21, the unmarried children of the other spouses or partners, as long as custody has been legally assigned to them, under the age of 21 and their direct ascendants. In fact, children are covered in particular up to the age of 24, since after turning 21, an independent residence permit is granted for three years more.
4) Speed, flexibility and low fees in obtaining this type of residence permit
Despite the passing of Law 5007/2022 where the investment limit was increased in some areas up to 500,000 euros, in most of the Greek territory the value of the real estate for obtaining this type of residence permit amounts to 250,000 euros in contrast to other European countries that, although offering the same investment program, impose stricter conditions and limits on the acquisition of real estate. Also, the low fees and the very fast issue of the residence permit within a period of only 2 months from the submission of the application, make Greece a particularly attractive destination through the tax and insurance possibilities provided by the Greek legislation.
5) Geographical location, mediterranean climate, growing economy in a wide range of sectors
Greece, with its advantageous geographical position and its Mediterranean climate, is the crossroads between Europe and the Middle East, while at the same time marking the cradle of culture and history. These factors are also confirmed by the flourishing of tourism investments throughout the country since Greece offers a unique combination of infrastructure, materials and culture, necessary for the rapid development of the sector, thus making it a leading tourist destination.
6) Possibility of free exploitation of the immovable property
Holders of this residence permit are given the option of renting out their properties, which leads to increased income for investors given the large growth in both long-term and short-term rentals. In addition, the right to resell or replace them is granted without this leading to the loss of the residence permit.
Conditions for obtaining the residence permit of a permanent investor
According to the Article 20B of Law 4251/2014, condition for obtaining the above mentioned residence permit is the legal entry into the country of the citizen of a third country. However, based on the recent Law 5007/2022, the possibility of submitting the application for granting the residence permit even before entering the Greek Territory, through a proxy attorney of law, was established with the only simple obligation of arriving to the country within 12 months from the submission of the application in order to provide the required biometric data, i.e. fingerprints. A holder of a permanent investor residence permit can be the owner of real estate in Greece by full ownership and possession with a value of at least 250,000 euros, price which must have been paid in full before submitting the relevant application, allowing the investment not only in one but also in several properties. For the North, Central and South Regional Units of the Athens Sector and the Municipality of Vari Voula Vouliagmeni of the Attica Region, the Municipality of Thessaloniki of the Central Macedonia Region and Mykonos and Santorini Regional Units of the South Aegean Region, the minimum value of the real estate at the time of acquisition according to Law 5007/2022, is amounted to 500,000 euros and it concerns the investment in a single property. The investment can also be implemented through a legal entity based in Greece or in another EU member state, whose shares or corporate shares it owns in full.
Our law office with its many years of experience and specialized partners, given the complexity due to constant changes and the application of various circulars, is able to give you the most complete legal guidance on gathering all the necessary documents and processing all of the required procedural and legal actions before the competent Services to obtain this residence permit quickly and efficiently.