RESIDENCE PERMITS FOR REAL ESTATE OWNERS AND INVESTORS IN GREECE
The government of Greece has introduced a procedure to obtain residence permits, which can be renewed every five years, for third-country investors, whose investments are characterized as strategic investments, via the provision of extended stay time limits for the representatives of investment bodies and their partners. In addition, it is allowed the granting of residence permits to owners of real estate by third-country citizens (and to members of their families), the value of which exceeds €250.000.
· Free Travel to all 26 Schengen Countries
· The most cost efficient to acquire an EU Permanent Residence Permit,
· High level tourist services in a sunny and beautiful EU country.
· Competitive property sector with very attractive prices for the purchase of real estate.
· The holders of permanent investor residence permit, following their initial entry into Greece, they have no other obligation to stay in the country for any length of time, without affecting in any way their residence permit.
Requirements and Qualifications to be met by the Main Applicant:
The following conditions must be fulfilled by the Applicant to receive a residence permit for five years, subject to renewal:
(a) The Applicant has legally entered the country or legally resides in the country, even if the type of residence permit that he possesses, does not permit the change of purpose.
(b) The real estate property must be owned by and be in possession of its owners.
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.
If the owner has acquired the property through a legal entity, the applicant must own 100% of the company shares. 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 ,or
(c) The Applicant has concluded an agreement for at least ten years lease of hotel accommodation or furnished tourist residences in tourist accommodation complexes, pursuant to the Article 8 par. 2 of the Law 4002/2011 (Government Gazette 1, no 180),provided the minimum cost of the lease is €250.000, or
(d) The Applicant has concluded a time sharing agreement pursuant to the provisions of the Law 1652/1986 "Time sharing agreement and related issues" (Government Gazette 1, no 167), as in force.
The possibility of leasing the property is granted to third country nationals, real estate property owners.
Duration and Renewal of the Residence Permit
The residence permit issued by Greece is valid for 5 years and it 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:
a) The real estate property must remain in the full ownership of the applicant.
b) The relevant leases/contracts must be ongoing.
Absences from the country do not impede the renewal of the residence permit.
The resale of the real estate property, during the period when the residence permit is valid, to another third country citizen provides to the new owner the right to a residence permit along with a simultaneous revocation of the seller’s residence permit.
Regarding to the issue and renewal of residence permit for investment activity, depending on the amount and the characteristics of the investment, up to ten third country nationals may enter and reside in the country, including the investors, for the implementation and operation of the investment.
Who can be considered as a family member of the main applicant:
(a) the spouse
(b) the other spouse or partner with whom a third-country national has a cohabitation agreement in Greece
(c) the direct unmarried descendants of the spouses, who are under 21 years old.
(d) the direct unmarried descendants of the supporter or of the other spouse/partner, provided that their custody has been legally entrusted to the sponsor (for his/her children), under 21 years of age
(e) the direct relatives of the spouses in the ascending line.
Procedure and time frame:
The application, and all the documents provided should be in Greek with the exception of documents issued by foreign authorities.
The third country citizen, who has submitted an application and received the confirmation receipt described above, can reside legally in the country for the duration of the confirmation receipt (one year). The holder of the confirmation receipt is entitled to the benefits of the residence permit that they have applied for. Hence, they can proceed with any legal transaction regarding their investment and can transact with all the relevant authorities.
The permanent residency is issued approx. upon 2 months as from the date that all necessary documents are submitted to the Greek authorities.
The residence permit and long-term visas are valid as far as the free movement of the person in the Schengen area is concerned. Any citizen who holds a long-term visa (such as the residence permits for real estate owners) which has been issued by a member state and are valid for one year, are able to travel to other member states for up to 3 months within a six month period, under the same conditions which apply to the holder of a residence permit, while they are also granted a right for multiple entries.
The residence permit does not provide access to any type of employment.
The family members that have been issued a residence permit for the same duration as the main applicant are similarly not granted access to the employment market.