Changes to the Greek golden visa scheme
Significant changes in the status of the investor residence permit for third country citizens, also known as the “Golden Visa”, as regulated in Article 20 of the Code of Immigration and Social Integration (Law 4251/2014) and concerns the granting of residence permits to third country citizens who themselves as natural persons or through a legal entity based in Greece or another EU member state, either they own real estate in Greece in full ownership and possession, or they have concluded a long-term contract of complex tourist accommodation or a contract of timeshare rental of tourist accommodation, or they are adults and have acquired real estate in full ownership and possession as an intestate or by will or as a result of parental provision. 5007/2022 (Government Gazette A’ 241/23-12-2022). Specifically, Articles 91, 92 and 93 of Law 5007/2022 substantially amend and adjust the minimum amount of investment in real estate required for the granting of the said residence permit.
In particular, paragraph 2 of Article 20 of Law 4251/2014 is amended, and now for the Regional Units of North, Central and South Sector of Athens and the Municipality of Varis – Voulas – Vouliagmeni of the Region of Attica, the Municipality of Thessaloniki of the Region of Central Macedonia and the Regional Units of Mykonos and Santorini of the Region of South Aegean the minimum value of real estate at the time of acquisition as evidenced by the notarial deeds of transfer and, in case they are subject to the payment of a credit price, from the respective legally transcribed notarial deeds of redemption and removal of dissolving condition, or the total contractual rent of the leases of hotel accommodation or tourist residences of the present, as evidenced by the lease contracts, is set at five hundred thousand Euros (€500.000) and must have been paid in full prior to the submission of the application for an investor’s permanent residence permit. In the case of investment through the purchase of real estate in the areas mentioned above, the investment shall be made in a single property. In the case of investment through the purchase of an undivided co-ownership interest in real estate, the minimum value of the co-ownership interest is set at five hundred thousand euros (€500,000) and the investment is made in a single property. For the other regions of the country, the minimum value of the real estate at the time of its acquisition, as well as the total contractual rent of the leases of hotel accommodation or tourist residences herein, is set at two hundred and fifty thousand euros (€250,000) and must be paid in full before the submission of the application for the granting of the investor’s permanent residence permit. In the case of investment through the purchase of real estate in the areas specifically mentioned above, this may be made in one or more properties.
The agreed price or rent shall be paid in full in the following ways: a) by bank cheque in a payment account of the beneficiary held in a credit institution operating in Greece, b) by credit transfer, and c) through a POS installed by a payment service provider operating in Greece, by debiting the buyer’s bank credit or debit card to a payment account of the beneficiary held in a payment service provider operating in Greece. The above payment may also be made by the spouse or relatives by blood or affinity up to the second degree of the buyer. All the above provisions also cover payments made by the above payment methods from 1.1.2017 to date.
Article 92 of Law No. 5007/2022 provides for a timeframe for extending the old regime to complete pending investments and transition to the new legislative regime, and in particular, third country citizens may complete their investment in one or more properties in the areas described in Article 20 of Law No. 5007/2022. 4251/2014 (A’80) as amended and in force, until 31 December 2023, with a minimum investment value of two hundred and fifty thousand euros (€250,000), subject to the payment of an advance of ten percent (10%) of the purchase or rental price of hotel accommodation or tourist residences of the present until 30 April 2023, either as provided for in the first paragraph of subpar. 5 of par. B’ of Article 20 of Law No. 4251/2014, either by signing a notarial preliminary agreement, or by signing a private agreement of a certain date and a relevant proof of credit from the buyer’s bank as to the sending of the amount of the advance payment to the seller’s account by April 30, 2023. If the purchase of the property for which a deposit of ten percent (10%) of the purchase price is not completed by April 30, 2023, the third country citizen may complete his investment in another property or properties, with a minimum investment value of two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) euros and in any case not later than December 31, 2023.
Finally, article 93 of Law 5007/2022 introduces a regulation regarding the possibility of applying for an investor’s residence permit before the entry of the third country citizen concerned into the Greek territory. In this way, a power of attorney, by virtue of a relevant power of attorney document, which has been drawn up before a Greek consular authority or before a competent foreign authority or a notary based abroad and bears the Hague seal (Seal of the Hague Convention of 5 October 1961 (APOSTILLE) or the corresponding endorsement of the competent Greek consular authority, as the case may be, may submit an application for a residence permit for the third-country national concerned to the competent local authorities. The applicant third country citizen must, within an exclusive period of twelve (12) months from the submission of the relevant application, enter the Greek territory and submit to the competent authority the required biometric data, as required by the provisions of the Code of Immigration and Social Integration.
* The information is accurate to the best of our knowledge as at the time of writing. We have no obligation to update it. We accept no responsibility against any third party who is not a client of the firm and has not signed the terms of our engagement.