Residence Permit by Buying Property in Greece
Non-Europeans seeking a fast-track route to EU residency now have a new option-buying European property. As of this year Greece is offering super-speedy residency applications to anyone who buys a property over €250,000 (approx. $329,075).
The scheme has clear attractions. Residency permits act as a form of visa to all the Schengen Area's 26 countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Finland), including all of Western Europe except the UK. The permits require only token residency in the country where the property is located, meaning that buyers can use it as a springboard to live (but not work-that requires another permit) elsewhere in Europe.
While in Greece they're not as rock bottom as tales of the crisis might suggest, paying out around €250,000 can get you an excellent house.
Our agency can assist you on the procedure of obtaining the Residence Permit.
Residence permits to Third-Country Citizens
The Law "Creation of a Development Friendly Environment for Strategic and Private Investments" (4146/2013) of the Ministry for Development, Competitiveness, Infrastructure, Transport and Networks, facilitates the residence of investors in Greece through the granting of residence permits for executives of Strategic Investment projects.
In addition, third-country citizens (non-EU citizens) and their family members, who buy property in Greece, the value of which exceeds €250,000, may obtain residence permits.
The allowance for these new types of residence permits have been integrated into the existing Law 3386/2005 "Entry, residence and social integration of third-country nationals in Greece".
A) Residence Permits - Real Estate Owners in Greece
By decision of the General Secretary of Decentralised Administration, a residence permit for five (5) years is issued to a third-country citizen, if he/she has obtained a visa, if required, and legally owns, either personally or through a legal entity whose shares are wholly owned by him/her, property in Greece, or has, at minimum, a ten-year time-sharing contract under Law 1652/1986: "Time-Sharing and Regulations on Related Issues" (A' 167) as applicable, or a 10-year lease of hotel accommodations or furnished tourist accommodation (houses) in tourist accommodation complexes according to Article 8, par. 2 of Law 4002/2011 (A' 180).
The aforementioned residence permit may be renewed for the same duration (five years), if the property remains unchanged in its legal ownership status as described above and the contracts of ownership remain in effect, and other statutory conditions detailed above are met.
The minimum value of the property and the contract price of the time-share leases and the leases for hotel accommodations or tourist furnished accommodations (houses) in tourist accommodation complexes, according to this Article, shall be two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) Euro. By joint decision of the Ministers of Interior and Finance, the value of the above-mentioned property may increase or decrease, and will be determined in accordance with the stated prices of the sale documents of the properties, or leases as per their contracts, or as determined by ministerial objective values.
The period of residence, under these specific conditions, is not taken into account in cases of granting citizenship to said residents. The aforementioned third-country citizen (property owner) may be accompanied by the members of his/her family, as specified under paragraph 1 of Article 54 of Law 3386/2005. Upon their own request, family members may be granted a personal residence permit that is renewed and/or expires concurrently with the residence permit of the sponsor (property owner). The residence permits do not allow a right to employment of any type.
B) Residence Permits - Strategic Investments
In the case of investments classified as Strategic Investments, under a decision of the Interministerial Committee for Strategic Investments for the inclusion in the process of Law 3894/2010 (Hellenic Government Gazette Issue Α 204), residence permits may be issued to a legal representative of the investor and to up to 10 additional persons, for whom a residence permit is a prerequisite for the unimpeded implementation of an investment plan.
Such persons may be accompanied by members of their families, as specified under paragraph 1 of article 54 of Law 3386/2005, as well as by domestic workers, provided that an applicant has disabilities necessitating personal assistance.
Upon their own request, applicants may be granted a personal residence permit that is renewed or/and expires concurrently with the residence permit of the sponsor (the legal representative).
The request for the issuance of the aforementioned residence permits, and all other required supporting documents, shall be submitted to Invest in Greece S.A .
Invest in Greece S.A. shall submit to the General Secretary for Strategic and Private Investments its opinion within five (5) days on the relationship of the applicant(s) to the strategic investment, also forwarding to the General Secretary all submitted documentation (the dossier). Within a period of no more than five (5) days from the receipt of the dossier by the General Secretary for Strategic and Private Investments, the General Secretary shall forward to the Minister of Interior its proposal, to which the decision of the Interministerial Committee for Strategic Investments and the opinion of Invest in Greece S.A. shall be attached. The Minister of Interior shall decide on the approval of the issuance of the residence permit, which may be valid for a period of up to ten (10) years. Requests for these residence permits (pertaining to investments included in the procedures under Law 3894/2010) shall be reviewed by all competent authorities as a matter of absolute priority.
C) Other types of Residence Permits
Please download here Law 3386/2005 "Entry, residence and social integration of third-country nationals in Greece" (in Greek), which includes all the other types of residence permits.
EU citizens -citizens of countries applying the Schengen acquis
Greece is a Member State of the European Union and ratified the Schengen Treaty in 1997. Citizens of EU States and other countries that have ratified the Schengen Treaty have the right to travel freely in Greece and the rest of Schengen Area on presentation of their ID card or passport.
The entry and residence of foreigners in Greece for migration reasons are determined by Law 3386/2005 "on the entry, residence and social integration of third-country nationals in Greece" (GOVERNMENT GAZETTE OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC, ISSUE A/23.08.2005, pg. 3329), and the amendments determined by the following Laws: 3448/2006, 3536/2007, 3613/2007, 3731/2008, 3801/2009, 3838/2010, 3846/2010, 3807/2010, 3875/2010, 3879/2010, 3900/2010, 3907/2011 and 4018/2011.
Third-country citizens entering Greece are required to have a valid passport or other travel documents recognised by international treaties. In the event applicable international treaties, Community law, or national regulations require so, these documents must include a visa. The visa is granted by the Greek consular authority in the residence of the third-country citizen, after taking into consideration criteria such as public order, security and public health. Visas are categorised as Schengen short-stay visas and national long-stay visas.
Third-country citizens who are not required to have a visa are allowed to enter and stay in Greece for three months in total, or cumulatively within a six month period since the date of their first entry.
New Visa Information System (VIS)
Beginning October 11, 2011, the new Schengen Visa Information System (VIS) came into operation. The VIS allows States in the Schengen Area to exchange data on the issuance of travel documents, and connects the consulates of the countries outside the EU with all the border control posts of the Schengen Member States.
The main objective of VIS is the simplification and the strengthening of security regarding the issuance of visas, as well as the facilitation of control at external Schengen borders. As a Schengen instrument, VIS applies to all Member States of the Schengen Area. However, it will take time until all consulates and delegated authorities of the Member States log on to the system.
VIS began with the countries of North Africa and will gradually expand to the Middle East (Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) as well as to Gulf countries (Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen). Within a period of two years the connection of all consulates of the Schengen countries with VIS will be established.
EU STATES THAT BELONG TO THE SCHENGEN AREA
Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Finland
EU STATES THAT DO NOT BELONG TO THE SCHENGEN AREA
Bulgaria, Ireland, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Romania
THIRD COUNTRIES THAT BELONG TO THE SCHENGEN AREA
Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein (does not yet apply the Schengen acquis)
THIRD COUNTRIES, THE CITIZENS OF WHICH DO NOT NEED A VISA FOR GREECE AND THE REST OF SCHENGEN AREA
Greece and the rest of the Schengen States that fully apply the provisions of the Schengen Treaty and the relevant Community acquis regarding short-term visas (residency up to 90 days per semester [180 days] in the Schengen area) do not require visas for the holders of ordinary passports of the following countries: Holy See (Vatican City), San Marino, Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Venezuela, Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, USA, Japan, Israel, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Barbados , Bahamas, Brunei, New Zealand, Nicaragua, South Korea, Honduras, Uruguay, Panama, Paraguay, Seychelles, Singapore, Chile.