The Greek Residency Program
Greece offers investors an affordable and straightforward option to acquire Greek residency and by extension visa free travel access to the Schengen countries.
The Greek Residency Program requires an investment of EUR 250 000 into real estate and in exchange offers Greek residency to the investor and his/her family. The program is very straightforward and does not require physical stay in order to renew residency.
Acquiring Residency in Greece
In 2013 the Government of Greece introduced the Greek Investor Residency Permit. The law facilitates the residency of investors and their families in Greece who purchase real estate for a minimum value of EUR 250 000.
The Greek residency program is not only simple and straightforward offering EU residency, but also offers a secure investment that can give a return in the form of rental income in hard (Euro) currency.
The Greek investor program was launched by the Government of Greece in order to attract foreign investment from wealthy business owners and entrepreneurs and bring foreign capital into the country. The legislative framework provides an opportunity for investors looking to obtain a European Union residency with a straight forward application process and minimal requirements.
With Greek residency, the applicant and his family can immediately travel visa free to all the Schengen zone countries.
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Greece was a founding member of the UN.
United Nations, Greece was the tenth member to join the European Communities (precursor to the European Union), EU (1981), Eurozone (since 2001), Schengen zone (2000), Council of Europe, NATO, OECD, OSCE, WTO.
131 957 km2
The required investment is EUR 250 000 into real estate in Greece. This can be an apartment, villa or house on the main land or any of the Greek Islands. With the property market at an all time low, there are great opportunities as many properties are strongly undervalued.
Investment Time Frame
The investor must keep the property for at least 5 years. If the property is transferred before the end of the five-year term, the investor will lose the right to residency. The investor is permitted to rent the property out during the time and can earn a rental return.
The residency permit must be renewed every five years, however the investor must keep the property under his /her possession and ownership. In other words, if the investor wishes to renew his /her residency permit, they need to own a property.
Fees are between EUR 25 000 – EUR 35 000 depending on the value of the property purchased and the size of the family. This includes property registration, taxes and transfer duties, as well as professional fees.
TRAVEL AND BENEFITS
A Greek residency offers the investor and their family the right to live and study in Greece. In addition, it allows the investor to spend a maximum of 90 out of every 180 days in any of the Schengen zone countries. With residency, the applicant and his / her family can immediately travel visa free to all the Schengen zone countries.
The permit does not include access to employment, however, the holders of the residency permit have access to public education like all Greeks nationals.
In Greek culture, family is very important and the program allows flexibility to include direct family. The family members of the main applicant will be issued a residency permit for the same duration of time as his / her application.
Family members included in the application:
- Parents and parents-in-law
- Children who are under the age of 21. After the age of 21 they can be granted an independent residency permit until they become 24
- Residency without having to relocate or live in Greece
- Fast processing time, residency within 2-6 months
- No minimum stay or regular visit requirements for the residency permit.
- Immediate freedom of travel to Schengen zone countries with residency
- Dual citizenship allowed
- Children under 21 included as well as parents
- No language requirements for residency
Acquiring citizenship in Greece is not easy and the residency program is geared towards residency rather than citizenship.
There are 4 ways in which to acquire Greek citizenship:
- Those who wish to become Greek citizens but do not have Greek ancestors must have legally lived in Greece for a period of ten years within the last twelve years in order to qualify. If they are a refugee and do not have another nationality, then the law is somewhat more lenient and they are only required to have five years of residency in the last twelve years. A non-Greek applicant must have sufficient knowledge of the Hellenic history, language and the civilization in general.
- By Birth to Non-Greek Parents who are Long-Term Residents of Greece. If a child is born to two non-Greek parents who are legally living in Greece for a minimum of five consecutive years, the child can acquire Greek citizenship.
- Through Greek education by attending a school in Greece. A child of long-term residents living in Greece can obtain Greek citizenship if he/she lives legally with the proper residency permit and has attended primary/secondary school in Greece for at least six (6) years before the age of 18. There are application deadlines to be aware of.
- The government can bestow an honorary citizenship. This is a rare honour and is usually reserved for humanitarian reasons or for artists, athletes, or other world citizens who have done extraordinary things to promote Greece.
Greece - Country Information
Greece is officially known as the Hellenic Republic, and since ancient times was known as Hellas. Situated on the southern tip of the Balkan Peninsula, Greece shares land borders with Albania, the Republic of Macedonia, Bulgaria and Turkey. The country consists of 9 geographic regions: Macedonia, the Peloponnese, Central Greece, Thessaly, Epirus, the Aegean Islands (including the Dodecanese and Cyclades), Thrace, Crete, and the Ionian Islands. Greece has a vast number of islands and has the longest coastline on the Mediterranean Basin and the 11th longest coastline in the world.
Greece was also the birth place of democracy, the Olympic Games, Western literature and philosophy, as well as Western Drama. Ancient Greece is also considered the cradle of Western Civilisation. Greece’s rich cultural heritage is also highlighted by its position as host to 17 UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Greece joined the EU in 1981, the Eurozone in 2001 and the Schengen zone in 2000. Greece was also one of the founding members of the United Nations (founded 24 October 1945).