The Greece Permanent Residence Permit for Investors application process is overseen by the Aliens and Immigration Department of the Decentralised Administrations, and regulated by Articles 8 and 14 of Law 4332/2015, Law 4251/2014 and Joint Ministerial Decision 68019/2015View Agents
Mobility : Access to Schengen Zone
Minimum Capital Outlay : € 252,510
Application Processing Time : ~ 3 Months
Physical Presence : One visit required
Minimum Criteria : Choice of Real Estate or an Investment Project;
Pre-requisites : Main applicant must be at least 18 years of age
Greece, officially called the Hellenic Republic, is in the Southern and South-eastern part of Europe with a population of approximately 11 million. Its capital is Athens, and the official language spoken is Greek although English is spoken by many of the locals. Greece adopted the euro as its official currency in 2001, meaning that it was one of the first countries to make use of the euro banknotes and coins.
Greece, a full EU Member State, scores high on all major factors taken into consideration when choosing a new country for relocating, such as quality of life, regulated environment, secure living conditions in urban and rural areas, access to efficient services, residence privileges for family members, freedom to travel, among others. The country presents unique investment opportunities through business development models that promote its competitive advantages and investment potential in various sectors of production. Sectors such as ICT, energy, life sciences, export-oriented manufacturing and logistics are sectors which receive favourable consideration in terms of investment opportunities.
With a new vision for development, Greece aims to attract foreign direct investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, tourism, agriculture and other sectors through flexible and fast administrative procedures, and by promoting its natural resources, well-educated human capital and other unique comparative advantages in the broader South-eastern European region.
Benefits of the Greece Permanent Residence Permit for Investors Programme
The Greece Permanent Residence Permit for Investors Programme (GPRP) was launched in 2013 to attract foreign direct investments to Greece and is the lowest entry point for residency in Europe via a real estate purchase. It is also the only European programme offering permanent residency from day one. The Immigration and Social Integration code, 2014 introduced provisions to facilitate the stay of non-EU nationals, who are granted a five-year residency visa, in return for a real estate investment of EUR 250,000. This visa can be acquired under 90 days and is renewable every five years, if the property investment is retained.
The GPRP also offers an investment route. The investment activity may be implemented through the construction of new facilities (greenfield investments) or business acquisitions, restructuring as well as expansion of current activities (brownfield investments), provided that it has a positive impact on the national economy. Residence permits offered to investors and executives can be renewed every five years, as long as they maintain their position in relation to the investment and the investment continues to be active. Furthermore, up to 10 residence permits may be made available for investors and executives, depending on the scale of the investment.
In Greece, a new economy is in the making. In parallel, investment opportunities are abundant and attractive, in a wide variety of sectors. Greece’s massive reform efforts are opening new investment frontiers that reward both first movers and established players. The next decade is set to see sustained growth in tourism, ICT, energy, environmental sciences, food, beverage and agriculture, logistics, and life sciences. An outward-looking economy that is focused on long-term growth means that investors can look forward to highly favourable returns. As a member of the European Union and the Eurozone, Greece continues to be the economic hub of Southeast Europe, an ideal gateway to the Middle East, Western Europe, and North Africa, and an emerging logistics hub for the entire region.
To apply for permanent residence through the GPRP, one of the following commitments is required:
Further to this, the amount of government-related administrative fees is approximately EUR 2,516 for a single main applicant, and an additional EUR 150 for every adult dependent. Minor dependents are exempt from such fees.
Furthermore, if the real estate route is chosen, one may expect additional fees amounting to approximately 8% of the property’s value to cover typical expenses such as notary fees, new ownership registration, residency permit vouchers, insurance, stamp duty, translations, legal fees for the property transfer and residency permit, and legal checks of the property. An additional 3% Property Transfer Tax or 24% VAT, should also be expected based on various parameters.
This means that the total capital outlay for a single applicant through the real estate route, is approximately EUR 280,166 including the investment, government fees, typical expenses for the acquisition of the real estate and Property Transfer Tax. This indicative amount excludes service providers’ professional fees and any other statutory taxes.
The Application Process
The application process typically commences with the signing of a power of attorney with a service provider to facilitate the liaison with the different stakeholders. This is followed by a visit to the Greek Consulate in your place of residence to apply for a visa to enter Greece (visa type C, or type D where appropriate).
Once you enter Greece, you can apply immediately for a residence permit, after all the procedures for the property purchase have been finalized. In any case, you must apply for a residence permit while your visa is valid. Once the application is submitted, the Greek authorities issue a receipt of application, which may be used as a temporary permit prior to residency being granted.
An appointment at the Decentralised Authority will be required, for the purpose of biometric data collection. Approximately, 2 months from submission the authorities are usually able to issue the residence permit.
If the investment is in real estate, an approximate 8% should be expected, additional to the value of the property. Furthermore, an additional 3% or 24% may be expected in Property Transfer Tax or V.A.T.