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Greece Golden Visa Guide for 2024: Navigating Residency Investment Opportunities

Mark Damsgaard

Mark Damsgaard

Founder of Global Residence Index

Last updated: May 23, 2024

Greece Golden Visa Guide for 2024: Navigating Residency Investment Opportunities

The Greece Golden Visa program, a flagship scheme promoting investment in the country, has become an increasingly attractive option for non-EU nationals seeking residency in Europe. In 2024, the program undergoes significant regulatory updates that prospective applicants must consider. These changes include revised financial thresholds for investment and alternate routes to qualification, reflecting Greece’s economic adjustments and commitment to foreign investment incentives.

Greece’s 2024 Golden Visa Price Increase: Latest Changes & News

After a period of speculation and mixed messages, the Greek government has finally clarified the updated investment thresholds and regulations for its golden visa program.

Key takeaways:

  • Certain areas of Greece will have a new minimum investment threshold of €400,000, while others will require €800,000.
  • Applicants can lock in the current investment thresholds by making a 10% deposit before September 30th and finalizing their investment by December 31, 2024.
  • Investors will be prohibited from offering their properties as short-term rentals (e.g., Airbnb and Vrbo).
  • You can read more in our recent article about the price increase for the Greek golden visa.

 

Understanding the nuances of the Greece Golden Visa program is essential for making an informed decision. This guide emphasizes detailed knowledge of the investment options, the precise application process, and the legal prerequisites necessary to obtain the visa. It also discusses the broader implications of obtaining Greek residency, such as the potential for family reunification, the lifestyle benefits of living in Greece, and the long-term advantage of potential citizenship.

Key Takeaways

  • The Greece Golden Visa program offers residency pathways through strategic investments.
  • The 2024 updates introduce new investment thresholds and conditions for applicants.
  • A thorough understanding of the program’s requirements and benefits is crucial for applicants.

Understanding the Greece Golden Visa Program

The Greece Golden Visa Program has evolved into a structured pathway for non-EU investors to gain residency in Greece through various investment channels, with changing thresholds and conditions set to reflect the country’s economic strategies.

Eligibility Criteria

To be eligible for the Greek Golden Visa program, applicants must make a significant investment in Greece. As of 2024, the minimum investment threshold has been updated, abolishing the previous €250,000 real estate investment requirement. Investors now face two primary investment levels:

  • Real estate acquisition with a minimum investment of €400,000.
  • Strategic investments such as buying shares or bonds, including a capital contribution of €500,000 minimum or investing in an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF) with focus on Greece.

Benefits of the Greek Golden Visa

Investors who secure the Greek Golden Visa enjoy a number of benefits:

  • Right to reside in Greece without the obligation to stay for a certain period.
  • Access to visa-free travel within the Schengen Area.
  • Opportunity for family members to obtain residency.
  • Eligibility to apply for citizenship after seven years of residency, subject to specific conditions.

Types of Investments

The Greek Golden Visa program offers a range of investment options to potential applicants:

  1. Real Estate

    • Purchase of property for a minimum value of €400,000.
    • Lease of hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts, provided the lease agreement has a minimum duration of 10 years.
  2. Financial Assets

    • Purchase of Greek government bonds with a minimum acquisition value of €400,000.
    • Purchase of shares, bonds, or units with a value of €800,000 in AIFs that invest exclusively in Greece.
  3. Direct Capital Contribution

    • A direct capital transfer of at least €800,000 into a Greek enterprise having its registered office or establishment in Greece (except for portfolio investment companies and real estate investment companies).

Each investment avenue has specific conditions and investment thresholds that need to be met, offering investors the flexibility to choose the option that best suits their objectives.

Investment Options Breakdown

The Greek Golden Visa program in 2024 offers diverse investment avenues tailored to suit different investor profiles. It focuses on real estate, financial assets, and business endeavors, each with specific criteria to qualify for a resident permit.

Real Estate Investment

Investors can choose to invest in real estate with the primary condition being a minimum investment of €250,000. This investment can be a property investment in the residential or commercial sectors, including integrated tourist resorts. An alternative real estate path is signing a lease agreement hospitality establishments such as hotels or other tourist facilities. The real estate market in Greece offers a route for investors seeking not only a return on investment but also eligibility for a resident permit, with potential for permanent residence permit over time.

Investment Threshold Location Type Permit Obtained
€250,000 Any Location in Greece Property Purchase/Lease Resident Permit
€500,000 Selected Greek Municipalities Property Purchase (Higher Tier) Resident Permit

Financial Assets

Investing in financial assets stands as a significant investment option within the Greece Golden Visa program. Investors are required to commit a specific minimum amount, which the program details for each category of financial assets. These assets vary from government bonds to bank deposits and other deemed secure financial instruments.

Asset Type Minimum Investment
Government Bonds €400,000
Bank Deposits €400,000

Business Investment

The business investment route offers investors a chance to contribute to the Greek economy directly. A capital contribution of €500,000 to a company based in Greece is required for an individual to be eligible under this option. This investment should be utilized towards the company’s operations within the Greek jurisdiction and is geared towards fostering economic growth as well as securing a resident permit for the investor.

Investment Type Minimum Investment
Capital Contribution €500,000

Seeking expert immigration guidance?

Navigating through immigration programs can be complex and overwhelming, regardless of the country or program you’re interested in. If you’re struggling to find clear, accurate information, you’re not alone. Our team is here to offer you clarity and reliable advice across a wide range of immigration programs.

By scheduling a consultation, you’ll receive personalized guidance tailored to your unique situation. We’re dedicated to helping you understand the details of various immigration programs, making them more straightforward so you can proceed with confidence.

During our call, we will:

  • Address any specific questions: We’ll answer your questions about the program and the application process, providing you with the clarity you need.
  • Detail every step: We’ll break down each stage of the immigration process, ensuring you know exactly what to expect.
  • Evaluate program suitability: We’ll help you determine if the chosen program is the right fit for you or suggest alternatives that may better align with your goals.
  • Connect you with local professionals: Gain access to our network of recommended local lawyers in the respective country, as well as trusted providers of eligible investment options.


 

Application Process and Legal Requirements

The process for obtaining a Greek Golden Visa involves meticulous adherence to legal stipulations and submission of the proper documentation. Applicants must engage a lawyer and fulfill clean criminal record requirements. Residency permits are subject to renewal, leading toward permanent residency.

Required Documentation

Applicants must provide several documents, meticulously prepared and presented. These include:

  • A valid passport and any previous visas
  • Proof of the investment made (property contracts, bank statements, etc.)
  • Biometric data
  • A health insurance policy valid in Greece

The completeness and accuracy of these documents are critical for a successful application.

Lawyer Representation

The use of a lawyer is compulsory in the Greek Golden Visa application process. They must:

  • Be licensed to practice in Greece
  • Facilitate the entire application, from document preparation to submission
  • Often hold a power of attorney to act on the applicant’s behalf

Legal representation ensures compliance with Greek immigration laws and investment regulations.

Clean Criminal Record

A clean criminal record from the applicant’s country of residence is indispensable. This document:

  • Must be recent and officially translated into Greek
  • Verifies the applicant’s eligibility concerning security criteria

The absence of a criminal record is paramount to secure residency rights.

Renewal and Permanent Residency

The Greek Golden Visa residence permit:

  • Is issued for five years and can be renewed as long as the investment is maintained
  • Candidates may apply for permanent residency after seven years of continuous residence in Greece

To renew or transition to permanent residency, applicants must continue to fulfill all requirements as if applying anew.

 

Greek Passports

Family Reunification and Dependents

The Greece Golden Visa Program offers comprehensive family reunification opportunities, allowing primary investors to include their immediate family members as part of their residency application. This inclusion provides dependents with the same right to live, study, and access healthcare in Greece.

Spouse and Partner Inclusion

The spouse of the primary visa holder is eligible for residency rights under the Greek Golden Visa Program. This also extends to partners with whom the primary investor has a cohabitation agreement, legally recognized in Greece. Both spouses and partners can enjoy living in Greece, accessing its education system, and taking advantage of the healthcare services.

Children and Parents

Dependent children of the investor, including those under the age of 21, can be included in the Golden Visa application. This age can be extended for children who are students and financially reliant on their parents. Furthermore, the program allows investors to include their dependent parents as well as those of their spouse, ensuring the family unit can stay together.

Family Benefits

Families obtaining residency through the Golden Visa Program gain access to key benefits in Greece. Among these are:

  • Healthcare: All family members have access to the healthcare services provided in Greece.
  • Education: Children of Golden Visa holders have the right to enroll in Greek educational institutions for their studies.
  • Comprehensive access to living in a culturally rich region with favorable climate conditions and a high quality of life.

This inclusive approach strengthens family unity while providing an inviting environment for relocating families.

Living in Greece as a Golden Visa Holder

Living in Greece under the Golden Visa program grants individuals and their families from non-EU countries the opportunity to enjoy the privileges of a resident, including access to healthcare, education, and mobility within the Schengen Area, with specific financial and tax considerations and minimal stay requirements.

Minimum Stay Requirement

Under the Greek Golden Visa program, there is no minimum stay requirement. Holders do not need to live in Greece any number of days to maintain their residency status, which offers great flexibility for those who do not wish to relocate permanently.

Access to Healthcare and Education

Golden Visa holders have the right to access public healthcare and educational services in Greece. They are treated similarly to Greek citizens and are entitled to:

  • Public healthcare services, provided they contribute to the social security system.
  • Public education, including primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions.

Tax and Financial Considerations

Golden Visa holders must be aware of their tax obligations. They are subject to tax on their income derived in Greece, but foreign income may not be taxed if it is not remitted to Greece. They are allowed to open a bank account in Greece to manage their financial transactions. It is advisable to consult with a financial advisor for detailed tax planning.

Integration and Cultural Aspects

Integration into Greek society is voluntary and Golden Visa holders might find that understanding the Greek language and culture can enrich their experience. Greece has a rich history and vibrant culture which newcomers can explore. While learning the language is not mandatory, it can be beneficial for daily social interactions and establishing deeper connections with the community.

Note: Information provided is based on the Golden Visa program policies as of 2024 and is subject to change. It is recommended to refer to the latest official guidelines or seek professional advice for the most accurate and current information.

Advantages of Greek Residency and Citizenship

The Greek Golden Visa Program offers a pathway to Greek residency and, potentially, citizenship, with numerous benefits including access to the European Union and visa-free travel.

Path to Citizenship

A key advantage of the Greek Golden Visa Program is the ability for investors to eventually pursue naturalization. Residency acquired through this program can lead to Greek citizenship, provided that the applicant fulfills the residency requirements and remains compliant with all necessary regulations over a period of time.

EU Residency and Schengen Zone Access

Greek residency provides individuals with EU residency status, allowing them to live and work across the European Union. Furthermore, residents can enjoy freedom of movement within the Schengen Zone, a crucial advantage for both personal and professional mobility.

Global Mobility and Visa-Free Travel

Holders of Greek residency and ultimately Greek citizenship benefit from an increased level of global mobility. Greek citizens can enjoy visa-free travel to numerous countries, leveraging the power of the Greek passport which is ranked highly for international travel convenience.

Comparing Greece with Other Golden Visa Countries

Investors frequently contrast Golden Visa schemes across Europe to identify the most suitable program for their needs. The Greek Golden Visa has its own distinct set of requirements and benefits, which can differ greatly from those of other popular European countries offering similar programs.

Greece vs Portugal

Greece’s Golden Visa Program offers residency by purchasing real estate worth at least €250,000. Conversely, Portugal’s Golden Visa requires a €500,000 investment in qualifying investment funds. Portugal also presents alternative investment routes such as creating jobs or capital transfers. Compared to Greece, Portugal offers a path to citizenship after five years of legal residency without the need for the investor to reside in the country. You can learn more in our detailed article where we compare the Greece golden visa to the Portugal golden visa.

Greece vs Spain

In comparison to Spain, the Greek Golden Visa holds the advantage in terms of a lower investment threshold. Spain’s minimum investment for real estate stands at €500,000, doubling Greece’s requirement. Both countries allow the visa to be extended to the investor’s family members. 

Key Locations for Property Investment

Investors interested in the Greece Golden Visa program must pay close attention to the property investment locations, which define the minimum investment thresholds. Specific regions have distinct requirements due to their economic and touristic value.

Athens and Thessaloniki

Athens, the capital city, and Thessaloniki, Greece’s second-largest city, stand out for their blend of historical significance and modern amenities. Both cities are essential for investors as they are key economic centers of Greece, with robust real estate markets. In these urban locations, the minimum investment requirement for a Golden Visa is typically set at €500,000. They offer an array of opportunities in residential and commercial properties that cater to a mix of local residents and international visitors.

Islands of Mykonos and Santorini

Mykonos and Santorini are picturesque islands famed for their beauty, luxury tourist residences, and vibrant real estate market. These islands require a minimum property investment of €500,000 to qualify for the Golden Visa. As high-demand tourist destinations, properties in Mykonos and Santorini not only serve as potential residences but can also function as profitable rental investments during the tourist season.

Emerging Areas for Real Estate

Beyond these well-established areas, emerging locations across Greece offer real estate opportunities at the lower threshold of €250,000, suited for the Golden Visa program. These areas attract investors seeking value and growth potential. The real estate market in these regions is gaining traction as more investors look beyond the traditional hotspots to secondary cities and less-known islands, seeking diversity in their investment portfolio.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the eligibility criteria for the Greece Golden Visa in 2024?

To be eligible for the Greece Golden Visa in 2024, applicants must invest in real estate with minimum thresholds adjusted by the latest legislation. They must fully comply with the financial requirements as specified by the Greek government.

How has the investment threshold for the Greece Golden Visa changed in 2024?

The investment threshold for the Greek Golden Visa has increased in 2024. The minimum investment for properties in highly demanded areas, such as in Athens and popular islands, has been raised to €800,000, reflecting the program’s revisions.

What are the processing times for Greece Golden Visa applications in 2024?

Processing times for the Greece Golden Visa applications vary depending on the volume of applications and due diligence requirements. In 2024, applicants should prepare for the process to take 2-4 months from submission to approval.

Can family members be included in the Greece Golden Visa application in 2024?

Family members can indeed be included in the Greece Golden Visa application. Spouses, children under the age of 21, and dependent relatives are eligible to obtain residency under the main applicant’s investment.

What types of investment qualify for the Greece Golden Visa program in 2024?

Qualifying investments for the Greece Golden Visa program include the purchase of real estate property. In 2024, two new levels of investment were established, with the higher tier granting eligibility for properties in certain high-demand regions.

How does the Greece Golden Visa compare with the Portugal Golden Visa in terms of benefits in 2024?

The Greece Golden Visa offers a lower investment threshold compared to the Portugal Golden Visa. Greece provides a strategic location in Europe, access to the Schengen Zone, and entails a variety of investment options which remain competitive in 2024.

Need help?

Navigating through golden visa & citizenship by investment programs can be complex and overwhelming, regardless of the country or program you’re interested in. If you’re struggling to find clear, accurate information, you’re not alone. Our team is here to offer you clarity and reliable advice across a wide range of immigration programs.

By scheduling a consultation, you’ll receive personalized guidance tailored to your unique situation. We’re dedicated to helping you understand the details of various immigration programs, making them more straightforward so you can proceed with confidence.

GET PERSONALIZED GUIDANCE

During our call, we will:

Here is what to expect from a call with our advisory team:

1

We’ll answer your questions about the program and the application process, providing you with the clarity you need.

2

We’ll break down each stage of the immigration process, ensuring you know exactly what to expect.

3

We’ll help you determine if the chosen program is the right fit for you or suggest alternatives that may better align with your goals.

4

Gain access to our network of recommended local lawyers, as well as providers of eligible investment options.