Golden Visa

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Golden Visa

Golden Visa in Greece

Μaria Dimelli & Associates Law Office is pleased to provide legal support and assistance to non-EU investors in order for the latter to receive a Greek (EU) Residence Permit by real estate acquisition.

Under the provisions of the Immigration and Social Integration Code of Greece (Law 4251/2014, Government Gazette 1, no 80), the right to residency permits shall be granted to third-country nationals and to their family members as well, in the case they proceed with the purchase of real estate property in Greece of a value exceeding €250,000. A residency permit for five years, subject to renewal, shall be granted to a third country national by decision of the Secretary General of the Decentralized Administration.

The above permit may be renewed for an equal duration, each time, provided that the real estate property remains in the ownership and possession of the third-country national. Periods of absence from the country shall not disrupt the renewal of the residence permit.

Our Law Office can contribute with efficiency to the Golden Visa issuing in Greece regardless of your country of origin i.e. China, Turkey, Russia, Lebanon, Egypt, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Ukraine etc., with the assistance of a network of real estate appraisers, notaries and lawyers trained in areas of law such as corporate, real estate and citizenship law. The issuance of a residence permit due to the purchase of real estate, the so-called Golden Visa, is part of the Greek Government’s general policy in order to attract foreign investors to the country. The Greek policy of attracting foreign investments and investors is expressed in a set of provisions, which target more categories of foreign investors, coming from third countries – outside the EU, providing them with incentives to invest in the Greek market

Residence Permit Issuance granted to Financially Independent Persons (Article 20 L.4251 / 2014)

Third-country nationals with sufficient resources i.e. holding a stable annual income, who could cover their necessary living expenses without having to work, are granted to the right to apply for a residence permit as financially independent persons.

“Permanent Residence Permit granted to Investors” (Article 20)
1. By decision of the Secretary General of the Decentralized Administration, a residence permit for five years, with the possibility of renewal, is granted to a citizen of a third country, who:
a) Has entered the country legally with any entry visa or resides legally in the country even if the residence permit he holds does not allow a change of purpose.
b) Personally owns in full, has and holds a real estate property in Greece. In the case of co-ownership of a property, worth €250,000, the right of residence is granted only if the owners of the property are spouses who own the property indivisibly. In all the other cases of co-ownership, the right of residence is granted only if the co-ownership percentage of each co-owner is worth €250,000.
c) Owns in full, has and holds a real estate property in Greece, exerting these rights through a legal entity, whose shares or corporate shares belong entirely to the afore-mentioned entitled natural person.
d) Has entered into an at least 10-year-lease of hotel accommodation or furnished residences for tourists within complex tourist facilities, in accordance with the provisions of article 8 par. 2 of Law 4002/2011.
e) Has concluded a timesharing lease agreement in accordance with the provisions of Law 1652/1986 “Timesharing Lease Agreement and Regulation of Related Issues”, as in force.

2. The minimum amount of real estate value, as well as the contractual price of the hotel accommodation or the tourist residence lease of this article, shall be set at two hundred and fifty thousand (€250,000) Euros and must have been paid in full at the time of signing the contract. “The price shall be paid by a two-line bank check or by a bank transfer to the beneficiary’s account kept in a Greek banking institution or in a credit institution supervised by the Greek National Bank, the specific details of which must be declared responsibly by the parties before the notary who draws up the contract and must be written on the latter.”

The value of the above-mentioned property can be adjusted by the Common Ministerial Order of the Ministers of Interior and Finance and will result from the values written on the contracts concerning the real estate or the lease agreements.

3. Third-country Nationals who own a property in Greece have the right to lease it out.
4. The above third-country National may be accompanied by family members who are granted, upon their request, an individual residence permit yet dependent to the one of the principal right holder that expires at the same time when the initial residence permit ceases to exist.
The spouse, the spouses’ descendants or the other spouse’s descendants who are under the age of 21 and the spouses’ ascendants are considered family members.
5. The afore-mentioned permit may be renewed for an equal period of time, each and every time, provided that the real estate remains in the ownership and occupancy of the third-country National or given that the contracts of paragraph 1 hereof remain in force and the further conditions provided by law are met.
Periods of the right-holders absence from the country are not an impediment to the renewal of the residence permit.
“Any real estate resale to another third-country National, as long as the initial right-holder’s residence permit is valid, grants the new buyer with the right to ask for a residence permit issuance for himself with simultaneous revocation of the seller’s residence permit.”
6. The residence permits granted under par. 1 and 4 of this article do not establish the right of access to any form of work.
7. The issuance of the residence permit shall be granted within two months of receipt of all the data notified to the Issuing Authority.
Enterprise Greece has drawn up a concise guide to residence permits for property owners in Greece.

Statistics regarding the Golden Visa in Greece




Residence Permit Issuance due to Investment Activity (article 16 subparagraphs A΄, B΄, C΄ of the L.4251 / 2014)
The Law 4251/2014 “Immigration and Social Inclusion Code and further provisions” governs:

• A) Any investment activity, without restrictions as to the sector or location of its implementation, which may have a positive impact on the national development and economy, aimed to an investment of at least €250,000 for each of the investors (Article 16 sub-par. Α΄Ν.4251 / 2014),
• B) The attraction of strategic investments – investors (governed by a special legal framework as analyzed below), article 16 per B ‘L.4251 / 2014),
• C) The entrance and residence permit in Greece of third-country Nationals who make investments in securities and bank deposits (article 42 of Law 4605/2019). This policy aims to attract investors who are interested in specific forms of securities or bank deposit in excess of € 400,000 [Common Ministerial Order 46440 / 01.11.2019 (Government Gazette B ‘)], article 16 sub-par C’ L.4251 / 2014.

Residence Permit Issuance due to Investment Activity (article 16 sub-par. A΄ of the L.4251 / 2014)

1. Third-country Nationals are allowed to enter and reside in Greece in order to make an investment that will have a positive impact on national development and economy.
Depending on the value and the characteristics of the investment, up to ten third-country nationals, including investors, can enter and reside the country in order to operate and implement the investment.
2. The Department of foreign capital management of the Ministry of Development and Investments shall be competent to suggest on the entry and residence of third country Nationals in Greece in order to operate and implement an investment, and in particular it suggests on the investment’s characterization and on the expediency of issuing a residence permit.
3. The related application and the required supporting documents, as determined by the Common Ministerial Order of par. 12 of article 136, shall be submitted to the Greek Consular Authority located in the interested parties’ country of residence, which consequently shall forward them within one month to the Department of foreign capital management of the Ministry of Development and Investments of Greece.

The above-mentioned Department shall examine the application within a month and shall forward the relevant advice to the competent Consular Authority in order for the latter to issue the required national entry visas.

In the case that the Department of foreign capital management of the Ministry of Development and Investments of Greece delays in transmitting the relevant advice, the competent Consular Authority has the power to issue the required relevant entry permits.

4. A third-country National who has received an entry visa in order to make an investment is granted a residence permit for the same reason, provided that the latter submits the required supporting documents.
The residence permit is valid for five years and can be renewed for an equal period each time, as long as the implementation of the investment lasts or its operation demands to do so.
5. The above-mentioned third-country Nationals, according to the provisions of paragraph 1 of the Article 70, may be accompanied by their family members whom are granted a residence permit to for family reunification purposes, a residence permit dependent on the one granted to the initial right holder.
6. The Directorate of Immigration Policy Ministry is responsible for examining the application and issuing a decision for granting or renewing a residence permit on the grounds of carrying out an investment activity.
7. The provisions of this article shall also apply to the entry and residence of third-country Nationals in the context of new investments made by domestic undertakings or by third-country Nationals already legally residing in Greece and holding a residence permit for independent economic or investment activity.
8. The residence permit of third country Nationals of paragraph 1 of this article shall state “Residence permit for investment activity” and in the field “Remarks” the professional capacity of the holder. “
• A) Any investment activity, without restrictions as to the sector or location of its implementation, which may have a positive impact on the national development and economy, aimed to an investment of at least €250,000 for each of the investors (Article 16 sub-par. Α΄Ν.4251 / 2014),
• B) The attraction of strategic investments – investors (governed by a special legal framework as analyzed below), article 16 per B ‘L.4251 / 2014),
• C) The entrance and residence permit in Greece of third-country Nationals who make investments in securities and bank deposits (article 42 of Law 4605/2019). This policy aims to attract investors who are interested in specific forms of securities or bank deposit in excess of € 400,000 [Common Ministerial Order 46440 / 01.11.2019 (Government Gazette B ‘)], article 16 sub-par C’ L.4251 / 2014.

Attracting strategic investments - investors (article 16 par. B 'L.4251 / 2014, L. 4608/2019) 11

1. Up to ten (10) third-country Nationals, per investment, who are deemed necessary, in order to implement “Strategic Investments” as decided by the Inter-ministerial Committee for Strategic Investments in application of the Law 3894/2010.
The above-mentioned visa is granted free of charge, upon presentation of the decision made by the Inter-ministerial Committee on Strategic Investments, which characterizes the investment “strategic” and upon the recommendation of the Secretary General of Strategic and Private Investments concerning the relationship between the third country Nationals and the strategic investment body.
2. A ten-year residence permit is granted to the third-country Nationals, by decision of the Minister of Interior, which can be renewed for ten years, provided that the same conditions apply.
3. For the issuance of the residence permit, an application is submitted to the Directorate of Immigration Policy of the Ministry of Interior, followed by the required documentation as defined in the Common Ministerial Order provided by the par. 1 of article 136.
The residence permit is issued within a period of five (5) days, starting from the date when the application was submitted.
4. The above-mentioned third-country Nationals, according to the provisions of paragraph 1 of the Article 70, may be accompanied by their family members whom are granted a residence permit to for family reunification purposes, a residence permit dependent on the one granted to the initial right holder, as well as they can be accompanied by ancillary personnel, if they are people with special needs.

• Strategic Investments are categorized according to the number of the new annual work units (AWU) that they can create in a sustainable way and the total budget of the proposed project.
• (a) “Strategic Investments 1”: investments with a total budget of more than one hundred million (100,000,000) Euros and investments that sustainably generate at least seventy-five (75) new annual work units (AWUs) and whose total budget is more than forty million (40,000,000) Euros
• b) “Strategic Investments 2”: investments that sustainably create at least fifty (50) new AWUs and whose total budget is more than thirty million (30,000,000) Euros,
• (c) “Flagship Investments”: (aa) Investments made by reputable international legal entities ranked first in their industrial sector globally or at European level, including in particular those promoting a green economy and a low-energy economy; bb) Investments in the sectors of industry and tourism, which create in a sustainable way at least two hundred (200) AWUs and whose total budget is more than two hundred (200,000,000) million Euros,
• d) “Strategic Investments for rapid licensing”: which create in a sustainable way at least thirty (30) new AWUs and whose total budget is more than twenty million (20,000,000) Euros,
• e) “Automatically integrated Strategic Investments”, such as the investments governed by the Law 3389/2005 of “Public-Private Partnerships” (A` 232) approved by the Inter-ministerial Committee on Public-Private Partnerships and the investments under the Article 8 of Law 4271/2014 (A` 144) on European Projects of Common Interest (PCI).

Residence Permit Issuance due to Investment Activity (article 16 sub-par. C΄ of the L.4251 / 2014)

The entrance and residence permit in Greece of third-country Nationals who make investments in securities and bank deposits (article 42 of Law 4605/2019). This policy aims to attract investors who are interested in specific forms of securities or bank deposit in excess of € 400,000 [Common Ministerial Order 46440 / 01.11.2019 (Government Gazette B ‘)], article 16 sub-par C’ L.4251 / 2014.
In particular: • a) Capital contribution, amounting to four hundred thousand (400,000) Euros, at least, to a company, which has its registered office or facility in Greece, and for the purpose of shares acquisition during share capital increase or bonds acquisition when issuing a bond loan, which is admitted to trading on the Greek stock market.
• b) Capital contribution of four hundred thousand (400,000) Euros, at least, to a Real Estate Investment Company (R.E.I.C) that aims to invest exclusively in Greece for the acquisition of shares in the case of a share capital increase.
• c) Capital contribution, equal to at least four hundred thousand (400,000) Euros, to Alternative Investment Organizations and, in particular, to Venture Capital Participation Company (V.C.P.C.) under the article 5 of L. 2367/1995 for the acquisition of shares or in a Closed-end Mutual Fund (C.M.F.) of article 7 of L. 2992/2002 for the acquisition of shares, if the above organizations aim to invest exclusively in companies established in Greece.
• d) Purchase of Greek government bonds of four hundred thousand (400,000) Euros value, at least, and at least three years of remaining duration at the time of purchase, through a credit institution established in Greece, which shall be also the custodian.
• e) Time deposit amounting to at least four hundred thousand (400,000) Euros, to a domestic credit institution of at least one year duration, with a permanent renewal order.
• f) Purchase of shares, corporate bonds or Greek Governments Bonds (GGBs), which are listed for trading or traded in regulated markets or multilateral trading facilities (MTFs) operating in Greece, with an acquisition value of at least eight hundred thousand (800,000) Euros.
• g) Purchase of shares with an acquisition value of four hundred thousand (400,000) Euros, at least, in a mutual fund, which has been established in Greece or in another country and aims to invest exclusively in shares, corporate bonds, traded in regulated markets or multilateral trading facilities, operating in Greece, provided that: aa. The amount of the common fund’s assets is at least three million (3,000,000) Euros; bb. The common fund and its manager are both licensed by the authority that supervises the capital market of the country in which the first is established and for which, in case of non-EU countries, is required to be a member of the International Association of Capital Market Commissioners, as well as having concluded a bilateral information exchange agreement with the Hellenic Capital Market Commission.
• h) Purchase of units or shares with an acquisition value of four hundred thousand (400,000) Euros at least in AIF (Alternative Investment Funds), established in Greece or in another EU Member State and intending to invest exclusively in real estate in Greece, provided that: aa. The AIF assets amount to at least three million (3,000,000) Euros, and bb. The AIF as well as the AIF Manager are licensed by the authority that supervises the capital market of the country in which the first is established.

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