Greek Investor’s Residency
The government of Greece instated a procedure to obtain permanent residence permits, which can be renewed every five years, for owners of real estate by third-country citizens, the value of which exceeds €250.000, adopting a friendlier stance towards those who wish to own real estate property in Greece. This guide provides information on the preconditions, the process and the supporting documentation required to obtain these residence permits. The guide also addresses important questions regarding this new type of residence permit for owners of real estate.
General information on residence permits for real estate owners in Greece
Residence permits in Greece.
A residence permit is any documentation issued by the Greek authorities, according to which a third country citizen is given the right to reside legally within Greek territory, in accordance with the provisions of the European Union. Different categories of residence permits exist, as well as different types of permit within each category. Employment rights depend on the type of permit issued. Applications for the granting and renewal of residence permits are submitted directly to the municipality or the relevant authority of the Aliens and Immigration of the Decentralised Authority in the applicant’s place of residence, or to the General Secretariat for Immigration of the Ministry of the Interior.
Residence permits for real estate owners and who they apply to.
A residence permit for real estate owners is a new type of residence permit, for third country citizens who have received a Visa for the same purpose.
Beneficiaries of the right of entry and residence, for a period of five years, are:
a) third country citizens who own real estate property in Greece, either personally or through a legal entity of which they own all the company shares, provided the minimum value of the property is €250.000;
b) third country citizens who have signed a timeshare agreement (lease) – for a minimum of 10 years – for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts according to article 8, paragraph 2 of Law 4002/2011 (Government Gazette 180 Issue A), provided the minimum cost of the lease is €250.000;
c) third country citizens who either reside legally, with a residence permit, in Greece, or wish to enter and reside in the country, and who have full ownership and possession of real estate property in Greece, which they have purchased before the enactment of the current law 4146/2013, provided that they had purchased the real estate property for a minimum of €250,000 or the current objective value of their real estate property is at a minimum of €250,000;
d) third country citizens who fully and legally own real estate property in Greece, the minimum value of which is €250,000, and which they acquired through a donation or parental concession. The right to a residence permit in this case can only be exercised by the receiver of the donation or parental concession.
e) third country citizens who purchase a plot of land or acreage and proceed to erecting a building, provided that the cumulative value of the land purchase and the contract with the construction company is at minimum €250,000.
f) third country citizens who have signed a ten-year timeshare agreement (lease), based on the provisions of Law 1652/1986. A time share lease, according to the provisions of article 1 of law 1652/1986 is the commitment of the lessor to grant, each year, to the lessee, for the duration of the timeshare, the use of the tourist accommodation and to provide to them the relevant services for the determined period of time according to the contract, and the lessee must pay the agreed rent.
g) family members of the third country citizens described above.1
Preconditions for a residence permit for real estate owners in Greece.
The following conditions must be fulfilled to receive a residence permit:
a) The real estate property must be owned by and be in possession of its owners.
b) In cases of joint ownership, where the value of the property is €250.000, the residence permit is only granted if the owners are spouses with undivided ownership of the property. In all other cases of joint ownership, the residence permit is only granted if the amount invested by each of the joint owners is at least €250.000.
c) If the owner has acquired the property through a legal entity, the applicant must own 100% of the company shares.
d) The residence permit is also granted in cases where the third country citizen is the owner, either directly or through a legal entity, of more than one real estate property with a combined value of at least €250.000.
e) The documented intention to own property should be supported by documentation which prove the financial capacity (e.g., certificate of an A-class certified bank, or other recognised financial institution), which certify the existence of bank accounts or other mobile assets, such as bonds or shares, which can cover the cost of the investment of at least €250.000, and which certify the intention of the applicant to purchase the property (contract with a law firm or with a real estate office).
f) In the case of third country citizens who have signed a lease of at least 10 years for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts, provided the minimum value of the lease is €250.000, the contract must require a single payment of the lease for the equivalent of the ten year leasing of the property.
In all cases outlined above, the value of the real estate property will be determined based on the value of the property, or the lease, indicated in the contract of purchase. The value of the property, according to law 4146/2013, is the amount stated explicitly on the contract which has been submitted for the purchase of the real estate property. The objective, or assessed, value of the property is not relevant, unless it corresponds to the amount which was, according to the contract, paid for the sale of the property.
Entry Visa requirement to obtain a residence permit for real estate owners.
An entry Visa is necessary to obtain a residence permit for owners of real estate. Following the issuance of a residence permit, and for its duration, there is no need for a Visa. Primarily in order to serve interested parties, obtaining a type D visa was chosen, because of the advantages that this visa provides to the holder (free movement in the Schengen area, duration for up to one year, right to multiple entries and the like). It was shown in practice that the majority of interested third country citizens choose a type C visa to enter the country. Based on this fact, the right to submit an application for a residence permit is available to any third country citizen who legally resides in Greece, irrespective of their status or the type of residence permit they possess. This includes those who hold a type C Visa and those applying for asylum.
Duration of the residence permit for real estate owners.
This residence permit is valid for 5 years.
Renewal of residence permits for owners of real estate - Duration and Preconditions.
The residence permit can be renewed. More specifically, the residence permits may be renewed for the same duration and for as many times as the applicant requests. To renew the residence permit, the following conditions must be met:
• The real estate property must remain in the ownership and possession of the applicant.
• The relevant leases must be ongoing.
Absences from the country do not impede the renewal of the residence permit
European Office Alfie Chemaly Cell: +34 646 555 971 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
South African Office Jonathan Kohler Cell: +27 82 904 0739 Email: email@example.com