9 Advantages of the Golden Visa for Greece
Relocating and enjoying the benefits of the European Union has never been more affordable or easy with the broadening of the Golden Visa for Greece program.
My Kypros Home guides you through the process of obtaining a Golden Visa Greece and compares the Golden Visa program as an alternative to similar residency options in Cyprus.
Both Greece and Cyprus have a long history of fascinating culture and lifestyle and present many fantastic opportunities to benefit from the current boom in tourism and investment. Keep reading to find out all about getting a Golden Visa Greece and if Greece or Cyprus is the right move for you.
What is a Golden Visa for Greece?
The Golden Visa Greece program was launched in July 2013 and expanded in 2018. Through the program, foreign nationals are granted a five-year residency through real estate investment of 250,000 Euros. This is the cheapest residency visa program in all of Europe.
Further, the property can be either for residential or commercial purposes, can be combined with other investment properties to meet the investment requirement, and can be located anywhere in the country, Greek mainland or its islands.
If the real estate investment is retained, foreigners are allowed to renew their application every five years. There are no requirements to remain and live within Greece and after seven years of residency, Greek citizenship is an option.
Through the Golden Visa Greece program, non-EU foreign nationals gain access to EU life and travel benefits, explored later on in this guide.
Do You Qualify for a Greece Golden Visa?
One of the best advantages of this program is that non-EU foreign nationals over the age of 18 can extend Greek residency beyond the initial investor. Spouses, unmarried dependents age 21 or under, and both parents of the spouses are also granted Greek residency through the program. Children who are over the age of 21 may also qualify if they are deemed dependents and are studying.
As long as the investor retains the investment property and ensures the renewal of their visa permit, Greek residency is permanent, providing legacy opportunities for future family generations.
The Cost of Gaining a Golden Visa for the Hellenic Republic
As one of the most competitive residency visa programs in Europe, the Golden Visa Greece program only costs 250,000 Euros through real estate property investment. This investment can be done with one purchase or the combination of several purchases.
The investment can be purchasing commercial land for building, investing in a timeshare, buying commercial property, or obtaining a new home. Other options include buying investments as a joint contract with other investors or as a legal entity in which you own all of the company’s shares.
The country also just recently announced in the government gazette the opportunity for non-EU nationals to apply for the visa program by investing in Greek securities and companies at a minimum of 400,000 Euros.
Property in Greece can also count towards real estate investment if it was acquired through donation or family concession, granted the deed is in the investor’s name, and meets the 250,000-Euro requirement minimum.
It is important to remember that fees for government, lawyers, and notaries during the buying of property and the application process can amount to around 15,000 Euros. Also, there is a 24% VAT on new property purchases in Greece. These will add to the cost of the Golden Visa program on top of the initial investment purchase.
According to the Bank of Greece, in 2018, real estate prices began to rise and building permits increased more than 10%, breaking a seven-year downturn. In the same year, real estate investments jumped by about 20%, with the Golden Visa Greece program attracting 10,000 investors and 1.5 billion Euros in real estate investment capital.
Through the Greek visa program, Greek real estate is experiencing a surge in new business opportunities that many foreign nationals are benefiting from, in both wealth acquisition and a higher quality of life.
The Process and Requirements
Obtaining a Golden Visa Greece takes around two months with the help of an experienced consultant such as the specialists at My Kypros Home. Depending on your nationality, this process may be shorter or longer. Contact us with your investment interests and we can help make the process more efficient and free of hassle.
The first step is to issue an Entry Visa for Greece and then visit the country to determine which investment property is right for you. You can also use our services to search for properties to meet your visa program requirements. The average time needed to complete Step One is about one week.
The second step would be to purchase your investment property(s) and sign the necessary paperwork to complete the sales agreement or any documents for power of attorney. This would also be the stage to open a Greek bank account and transfer the necessary funds for the purchasing of the investment property(s).
After this, the Golden Visa Greece application can be submitted and a temporary residency permit issued.
The Greek Golden Visa Application
For the application, two copies of the application are needed along with:
- Four recently taken, colored passport-type photos
- A digital signature
- Completion of the fingerprinting procedure, an in-country biometric process
- A certified copy of a valid passport and any relevant entry visas required, still valid
- A 500 Euro fee paid through the ‘e-paravolo’ platform for residence permits, along with a 16 Euro fee from the same platform for the supply, printing, and handling of the issued e-card
- Insurance certification from either a non-Greek or Greek insurance company whose contract covers the foreign nationals for the duration of their time in Greece
- Other documentation, as requested, pertaining to earlier possession or lease of property in Greece
The entire process of Step Two averages about two to three weeks with the aid of an investment consultant.
Finally, after about 20 days, you will receive your Golden Visa along with any family members listed on the application.
Residency & Citizenship Programs – Greece vs. Cyprus
The Golden Visa Greece program and tourism have resulted in a revival in economic prosperity for the country. According to Enterprise Greece, the top country for foreign investors taking advantage of the visa program is China. 40% of investors for the visa program are Chinese investors. Other top countries for foreign investors are Turkey, Russia, Lebanon, and other Middle Eastern nations.
Cyprus has also seen a surge in Chinese, Russian, and British foreign nationals interested in residency or citizenship by investment programs. Many of them are not just interested in exclusive properties in Cyprus to invest in but also choosing Cyprus as an ideal place to retire with health, medical, and lifestyle benefits being so abundant.
Both programs are comparable in terms of affordability and access to improved quality of life with Mediterranean weather and culture.
Advantages of the Golden Visa Greece Program
Both programs are comparable in terms of affordability and access to improved quality of life with Mediterranean weather and culture. The advantages of the Greek Golden Visa Program are:
- Obtaining a source of income with a fast ROI
- Additional country to call home
- Freedom of movement and lifestyle choice, with the added benefit of housing security
- Being able to travel freely to other European countries and the Schengen zone without a visa or restrictions
- No requirement to reside in the country
- No nationality restrictions to apply
- Citizenship options after 7 years with the options of citizenship for dependent children after a certain amount of study or residency within the country
- Access to European education and medical institutions
- Open to business opportunities by holding shares or receiving income from Greek company dividends (while the applicant cannot work in Greece, business set-up is still an option)
For those concerned with higher taxes in Greece, explore Cyprus as another cost-effective option for an EU residency visa and/or citizenship as well as the benefits of moving and living freely within the EU. Cyprus is also booming with investment and tourism developments. Read more about the latest construction projects that are paving the way for this hidden gem to be the next “It” destination for sustainable and eco-friendly business and real estate investments.
Both Greece and Cyprus offer an abundance of options for investment and residency opportunities with a long list of advantages to foreign nationals wanting to access life and travel within the EU. The Golden Visa Greece program provides added stability without the pressure to reside in the country.
Chat with the specialists at My Kypros Home to see our range of exceptional services and determine if investment in Greece or Cyprus is the perfect next step in your journey. Then sit back and enjoy the Mediterranean Sea while we take care of the rest.