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Greece Golden Visa: Greek Residency, Citizenship & Passport Guide in 2024

Mark Damsgaard

Mark Damsgaard

Founder of Global Residence Index

Last updated: March 30, 2024

Greece Golden Visa – Guide to Greek Residency, Citizenship & Passport in 2024

Owning the privilege to live and work freely in the European Union has its undeniable charms. The Golden Visa in Greece offers just that and more, with the potential for long-term EU residence and citizenship.

As enticing as it sounds, the Greek Golden Visa does not happen without some need for knowledge of the investment migration industry and the investment options in Greece.

Applying for a Golden Visa can be an intricate maze of paperwork and bureaucratic hurdles.

That was my realization when I first ventured into this industry, assisting clients to navigate this daunting task. 

Years of experience and countless success stories later, my team and I have honed a method to streamline the Golden Visa application for Greece.

I am proud to be able to say that we have perfected simplifying the application process, guiding clients to their dream European Union residence in record time.

In this article, I’ll share the ins and outs of obtaining the Golden Visa in Greece and how you can avoid the common pitfalls many encounter along the way. 

 

Investment Routes for Golden Visa Residence in Greece

While several investment options are available, the most popular for the Greece Golden Visa program is the €250,000 real estate investment. Greece’s property market has seen substantial growth over the past decade and 90% of Golden Visa holders have opted to invest in real estate. 

  • €250,000 real estate investment; and
  • €500,000 real estate investment in twenty-six municipalities in Athens, six in Thessaloniki, one in Mykonos, and one in Santorini municipality, respectively.

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.

 

Global Residence Index has selected partners in Greece to process real estate investments Golden Visa clients. Our team researches and uses real estate data from the Bank of Greece and the Global Property Guide to ensure our advice correlates to the data available. We won’t sell you promises of doubling your real estate investment in five years, but our research provides insight into stable regions to provide consistent long-term growth. 

We are agnostic as to the investment routes available to our clients. Our advisory service reviews each client’s needs individually. Real estate is a popular investment for the Golden Visa, but we can advise clients on other capital transfer investment options. The Greek program has several capital transfer options with pros and cons.

The capital transfer investment option has multiple options depending on the investor’s risk appetite.

  • €400,000 into a company that’s registered in Greece;
  • €400,000 in Greek government bonds;
  • €400,000 in shares of real estate investment companies or bonds;
  • €400,000 into a Greek bank; and
  • €800,000 into corporate bonds and stocks.

The capital transfer does allow for speculative investments in individual companies, which can significantly increase a return on investment. Conversely, this is a riskier investment to take on time. Alternatively, investors can make very safe investments in government bonds, which are almost guaranteed to hold their value with some small upside. 

If you want to learn more about all the investment options and how the Greek Golden Visa can benefit you and your family, visit our webpage and book a consultation with our expert team. 

 

Greece Golden Visa Process

Having completed multiple Greek Golden Visa applications, our team has developed a step-by-step processing guide to ensure your case management experience is as smooth as possible. I have ironed out each step and know how to identify potential mishaps that can lead to delays or rejection. 

  1. Meet (online or physically) with our advisory team to discuss investment options in Greece. After identifying the perfect route to invest in the Golden Visa, we will liaise with our local developer, real estate lawyers, or financial fund team to begin the process.
  2. Collect the documentation necessary to apply for a residence permit. All documents need to be available when applying. Each qualifying dependent needs to complete the residence forms. However, submissions can only start after the investment criteria are complete.
  3. Complete the Greek Golden Visa investment requirements. During this step in the process, we assist our clients in preparing for the due diligence process. Due diligence for the Greek Golden Visa involves checking international databases for legal, financial and business information which might be illegal and any personal information that might be harmful to approved residences. 
  4. Submit the application and pay the application and processing fee. After completing the investment, we will conduct a few final checks on the application before submitting it. 
  5. Arrive in Greece. Investors must arrive in Greece on a passport with visa-free access to Europe’s Schengen zone or obtain a Schengen Visa before entering. 
  6. Apply for a Golden Visa Residence Permit and submit biometric data. An authorized legal representative may complete the submission for the residence permit by proxy. The final step is submitting biometric data. Fingerprints for biometrics take place on the same day as the submission of residence applications. If a legal representative has applied, the Greek immigration office will provide dates for completing the biometrics.
  7. The investors will receive their residence cards about two months after applying. The process is arguably the fastest Golden Visa program from the time of application to becoming a legal resident of Greece.
  8. After five years, the applicants must renew their residence cards for another five years. The renewal process requires that the investor continues to meet the financial qualifying criteria. If investors sell their investment, they cannot renew the Golden Visa.

Greece has no further physical presence requirements, from submitting biometrics to renewing the residence five years later. That said, holders can travel freely through Europe’s Schengen zone on their Greek ID card for up to 90 out of 180 days.

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.


 

 

Unrestricted Permanent Residence and Citizenship

There is one caveat to the renewal process under the Golden Visa program. If the applicants have been physically present in Greece for four of the previous five years and more than 183 days per year, they can apply for Permanent Residence without restrictions. The investment may be sold in this scenario. 

The route to citizenship is slightly longer than permanent residence. After seven years of continuous residence, a resident can apply for naturalization. Applying for citizenship does not guarantee it being approved; meeting other criteria is necessary to receive Greek citizenship.

  • Integration into Greek society: Demonstrating integration into Greek society, including knowledge of the Greek language, culture, and history;
  • Be of good character: Displaying good character and conduct with no criminal record or involvement in activities that may compromise national security; 
  • Proof of Greek language: Evidence of Greek language proficiency, often assessed through language exams; and 
  • Knowledge of Greek culture and history: Certificates and documentation showcasing the knowledge of Greek culture, history, and civic responsibilities. An applicant can attend classes to assist them in passing these tests. 

If your application is successful, you will be issued a naturalization certificate and can apply for a Greek passport. Greece is a European Union member state and provides freedom of movement. Citizens can freely live, work and study in any other EU country. 

Greek Passports

 

Greek Golden Visa Program Changes That Happened in 2023

The Greek Government passed a new law in October 2022 that changed the investment requirements for the Golden Visa starting July 2023. The minimum amount required for real estate purchases will increase from €250,000 to €500,000 in certain municipalities of the country. 

The Golden Visa by real estate purchase has been the most popular route. Even with the higher investment requirement in certain municipalities, demand for the Golden Visa is unchanged in Greece.

The Greek Government made the changes to shift focus towards drawing investments that support the national economy in regions outside of those mentioned above and other investment options at €400,000 start to be attractive. New investment categories include research and development, renewable energy, and strategic acquisitions.

 

Pros and Cons of Long-Term Greek Residence

During our initial consultation process, we work with you to fully understand your goals and need to give the best possible advice and information relevant to your case. We ensure that you will appreciate all of the benefits of the Golden Visa in Greece.

To list a few valuable pieces of information, see below:

  • Language Requirements: The Greek Golden Visa program does not require any applicants to learn the language for approval of residency;
  • Freedom to Live in Greece: Although most investors do not live in Greece permanently, you need to know that if you want to live in Greece, the visa does not allow you to work locally. If investors and dependents wish to work in Greece, they will need to obtain another type of residence visa;
  • Tax Optimization: Golden Visa Holders can apply for the special flat tax program. The Greek expat tax program has a flat income tax of 100,000 per year regardless of worldwide income. 20,000 additional is paid per dependent. Residents need to spend more than 183 days per annum in Greece to be considered a tax resident;
  • Banking: Investors can open bank accounts in Greece. Gaining the ability to transact across Europe and possibly access credit facilities freely;
  • Access to Services: Golden Visa holders can access local health services and education for free as residents. 
  • Visa-Free Travel: When applicants and their dependents obtain the Greek Golden Visa, their European Residence ID card allows them to travel through the Schengen area for up to 90 days in 180 days. There is no need to go through the arduous process of getting another Schengen Visa.
  • Investment Yield: Investors can rent their real estate investment for short-term or long-term passive income. The rental yield can positively impact the appreciation of the property’s value.

 

Why the Greek Golden Visa

The Greece Golden Visa real estate investment is currently €250,000 and one of the lowest among Europe’s popular residency by investment programs. The real estate market in Greece is strong, and there is consistent demand from overseas investors to own their piece of brick and mortar of this idyllic Mediterranean nation. 

The Government has a particular immigration unit dealing with applications, speeding up processing by months. Applicants can obtain their residence permits within a few months. This starkly contrasts other Golden Visa programs that can take up to twelve to eighteen months to approve. 

Our unique relationships with developers and real estate lawyers in Greece allow us to get the best locations and real estate on offer. Apart from a Golden Visa, you will invest in an asset that can yield long-term returns. 

I hope this guide might have been helpful to you. Feel free to book a consultation with our advisory team if you’d like to know more about Greece and other similar golden visa and citizenship programs

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.