Residency permits - Law
The Law 4146 of 2013 offers residence permits to third-country citizens (non-EU citizens) and their family members, who buy property in Greece, the value of which exceeds 250,000 Euros.
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 or a 10-year lease of hotel accommodations.
The 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) Euros.
The aforementioned third-country citizen (property owner) may be accompanied by the members of his/her family. 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.
How can I obtain a residency permit in Greece, if I am not a citizen of the European Union?
You can be granted residency permits in Greece for you and your family, upon purchasing a property as an individual, with a contractual value of 250.000 Euros or higher.
You may also purchase the property through a legal entity if you are the sole stockholder of the entity.
Alternatively, you may lease tourist accommodation properties for a period of ten years (hotels or holiday homes) or participate in a time-sharing agreement for the same period. The total lease or time-sharing value must equal or exceed the amount of 250.000 Euros.
Can I share the investment with another party ?
Only spouses can share the investment and jointly own the property of total value 250.000 Euros. In all other cases of shared ownership, the right of residence is granted only if the amount invested by each co-owner is a minimum 250.000 Euros.
Where do I start?
Before you travel to Greece for this purpose, you must visit the Greek consulate in your country and apply for a special purpose VISA to Greece.
You will be asked to prove your funds (your bank will certify that) for the property purchase and you must also present an agreement with our company stating your intention to purchase or lease a property in Greece.
Ask about the agreement in our web form and we will email it to you right away. These two documents are a necessary precondition.
If you come from a country where a VISA is not necessary to enter Greece, then keep reading.
Do I need a Visa to travel to Greece?
If you come from one of the following countries and carry an ordinary passport, you do not need a Visa in order to visit Greece :
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.
If your country is not listed above then you need a ?Type D?national visa? in order to enter Greece. You can obtain this visa from the Greek Consulate of your country.
Are there any extra charges apart from the net value of the property?
Yes, there is a transfer tax. The amount charged is 8% for the first 20.000 Euros and 10% for the rest of the selling price.
**NEW** From January 1st, 2014 the transfer tax becomes 3%.
For properties built after 2006 the transfer tax is replaced by VAT 23%.
You will also be charged for legal, notary and service fees. The total amount charged is approximately 3% to 6% of the selling price plus VAT 23%.
The amount charged for service fees depends on the value of the property and it goes down as the property value rises.
Please note that the minimum amount of ?250.000 refers to the price indicated on the contract and does not include taxes.
Can I obtain more than one piece of property?
Yes. You are entitled to residency rights irrespective of whether you own one or more properties, commercial and residential, provided that their combined value is equal to or greater than ?250.000.
Which family members may accompany the main investor?
Spouses who are over the age of 18, as well as unwed children under the age of 18.
Family members are issued a residence permit of the same duration with the main applicant.
Parents of the main applicant or adult children cannot be granted a residency permit.
Please note that unmarried partners are not entitled to a residence permit.
Who deals with the authorities in order to issue the residency permit ?
We do. It is part of our services portfolio to handle all the necessary paperwork on behalf of the applicant:
- The application process for the initial residence permit,
- the submission of any additional required documentation
- and finally the collection of the receipt of the residence permit.
We also deal with all aspects regarding the purchase of the property.
As soon as you submit the residency application you will receive a confirmation receipt that serves as a one year provisional residency permit. You can reside legally in the country for the duration of the confirmation receipt (one year) and you are entitled to all the benefits of the final permit. In the mean time (two to four months) you will receive the final residency permit certificate.
Am I obliged to go through your company in order to file the residency application ?
Definitely not but we have the means to do it fast and effectively. Our fee is money well spent.
What is the necessary paperwork for my residency application?
Basically, itʼs proof of purchase for the property or the lease contract, and health insurance that will cover your medical expenses if needed. You may obtain the insurance coverage in Greece from a local company.
How long is the residency permit valid and what happens next?
The residency permit is valid for a period of five (5) years. It can be renewed repeatedly if the initial conditions still apply. That is, if you still own the property or the lease/time-sharing contracts are still active.
If I own the property and reside in Greece, can I and the people that accompany me work ?
No. Holders of this type of residency permit are not entitled to a working permit and therefore are not allowed to work under any type of employment.
The family members that have been issued a residence permit for the same duration as the main investor are similarly not granted access to the labor market.
Does the residence permit give me the right to apply for citizenship ?
No. The years covered by the residence permit for real estate owners are not taken into account for the years required for obtaining citizenship by residents.
What about access to education and health services ?
The holders of the residence permit have access to public education, in the same way as Greek citizens.
Regarding access to health services, residence permit holders and their family members, must have insurance that covers their healthcare and medical care expenses.
Can I purchase and drive a car with Greek license plates ?
Yes, under the specific regulations of the Ministry of Transport, which apply to non EU citizens.
Can I use the residency permit in order to travel to other European Union countries?
You may travel with your passport and the residency permit to all countries that are part of the European Union, as well as, to all countries that belong to the Schengen Area:
Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Czech Republic and Finland.
You may also travel to these Non-EU countries that belong to the Schengen Area:
Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Please note that after the residence permit has been issued, you may also travel to any Schengen country directly from your country. You do not need to go through Greece first.
Are the properties that you represent freehold or leasehold?
First, letʼs point the difference between leasehold and freehold.
Freehold is where the property is fully owned for an unlimited period of time.
Leasehold means a person has the right to use a property for a set period of time, subject to the payment of an annual ground rent as specified by the lease. At the end of the term, the property reverts back to the freehold owner. The lease in some cases may be granted for up to 999 years.
Most properties in Greece are freehold. Leasehold properties do exist but are not common.
What are my obligations as a property owner in Greece?
You must apply for a tax registry number. As a property owner you are required to have it.
You must declare your property by filing the E9 form with the local tax office. You do this only once.
You file an Annual tax report and pay the corresponding taxes. The tax amount starts from 0.1% of the property tax value and rises proportionally.
[The property tax legislation is currently under consideration by the government and a possible reform is on the way, but is expected to be in favor of property owners]