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Greece Visa News: Guide To the Best Golden Visa In Europe

Greece Visa News: Guide To the Best Golden Visa In Europe

Want Greece visa news about the cradle of the Western world? Want the “best” Golden Visa in Europe, so you can live in a land decorated with historical ruins like badges of honor? A land surrounded by gentle lapping turquoise waters, and celebrated as the birthplace of democracy?

Thanks to recent Greece Visa news about a new timeline extension, the international community can continue to apply to the Golden Visa program and earn Greek residency through investment at a reduced rate for a few more months.

There is still time to apply for the Greek Golden Visa, a residency-by-way-of-property/investment. Claim your piece of the European pie.

The Greece Golden Visa Program is one of the most affordable residence by investment programs that provides access to Europe. Thus, the best golden visa in Europe. Successful applicants and their families are able to benefit from visa-free access to Europe’s Schengen Area within two months of applying.

Summary of the reasons people are attracted to earning the Greece Golden Visa include:
+ Visa-free travel within Europe’s Schengen Area
+ No requirement to reside in Greece
+ Residence permits can be acquired within 30–60 days
+ Unlimited expiry date of residence permit
+ Opportunity to rent out your investment property
+ Your residence visa is applicable for the whole family (married spouse, children under 21 years old, and parents of the main applicant and spouse)
+ Eligibility to apply for citizenship after seven years of residence
+ Ability to hold shares and receive income from the dividends of a company registered in Greece

Golden Visa Greece Guide Contents

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What is the News About the Golden Visa?

For quick background knowledge, a Golden Visa is a type of residence permit that allows non-EU citizens to live and work in a European Union member state. These visas are often granted in exchange for significant investment in real estate, business, or government bonds. Up to now, Greece has offered their version of the Golden Visa for an investment amount of just €250,000.

However, in October 2022, the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, announced the country’s plans to increase the minimum investment required to €500,000, and Parliament approved the plan December 21st. The amendment specifies the increase will only affect the following areas: North, South and Central Athens, Mykonos, Santorini and the Municipality of Thessaloniki.

So, savvy property buyers still have until July 31st, 2023 to purchase property and earn residency under the original conditions. Provided, you must conclude a pre-contract for the purchase of a property by this date. 

This means that for a short time, you can access the Greek Golden Visa at 60% of what it will cost to qualify for a Greek Golden Visa in a few months time (€250,000 euro minimum property purchase).

What Happens to the Golden Visa Programme in Greece After July 31st, 2023?

Since the new Greek Parliament amendment, a new extension by July 31st has been introduced, allowing investors to qualify through a €250,000 investment in one of the areas undergoing a price hike if they make a 10% deposit prior to date.

Third-country nationals (non-EU citizens who aren’t citizens of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway or Switzerland) have until December 31st, 2023 to complete ongoing contracts for the areas where minimum investment will increase.

After that date, a €500,000 minimum spend on property will be imposed on regions of: the North, Central and South Athens, the region of Attica, the municipality of Thessaloniki, and regions of Mykonos and Santorini.

In practice, this Greece visa news will make it more difficult to buy property with a view and secure a residence permit in high demand areas when obtaining your Golden Visa. That said, there will still be many areas where the current limit of €250,000 euros will be maintained, along with the possibility of acquiring more than one property. 

It’s worth noting that the Greek government has the authority to adjust these minimum investment amounts based on market conditions and other factors. As such, it’s always a good idea to check with an experienced professional before making any investment decisions under the Greek Golden Visa program.

Additionally, in the areas where the threshold will increase to €500,000, investors will have to invest that sum in only in ONE (1) property. Where the threshold remains €250,000, investors will still have the option to invest in multiple properties, to reach the minimum of €250,000 spend.

New rules also apply to the total agreed price of contracts for the lease of hotel accommodation or furnished tourist residences in these areas, which you must pay in full before applying for a permanent residence permit.

Am I Eligible For The Best Golden Visa in Europe?

In order to qualify for a Golden Visa in Greece, you must meet the following requirements:

  •  Be a non-EU/EEA country citizen
  •  Be at least 18 years of age
  •  Have medical insurance for yourself and your family

As of 2021, you no longer need to visit Greece in person in order to start your application. 

Does Investing Qualify Me For A Greek Golden Visa?

There are several investment types that qualify you for a Greece Golden Visa. These include real estate and government bonds investment for sole full ownership, or when property is jointly owned by spouses with indivisible shares. In all other cases of joint ownership, the right of residence is granted only if the joint ownership rate of each joint owner is worth €250,000.

Real Estate Investment

  • A minimum of €250,000 to purchase a real estate property in Greece except in municipalities in Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini 
  • The new Greece visa news dictates a minimum €500,000 to purchase a real estate property in municipalities in Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini after July 31st, 2023.
  • 10 years of a lease agreement, whether signed for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts.

Other Investment Options

  • A minimum of €400,000 investment in:
    • Greek government bonds
    • Bonds or shares of real estate investment companies in Greece
    • Shares and bonds of venture funds and private equity which have headquarters in Greece

Which Property Purchases Qualify Me For A Golden Visa In Greece?

If you purchased, or are purchasing your property in Greece, it’s necessary that:

  • You must own, and still be in possession of, the real estate property;
  • If you’ve acquired the property through a legal entity, you must own 100% of the company shares.

If you’ve opted to sign a lease of hospitality accommodation:

  • The contract must cover a minimum duration of 10 years and €250,000 in rental amount;
  • The contract must require a single payment of the rent for the equivalent of the ten-year leasing of the property.

You may renew your Golden Visa residence permit every five years. Third country nationals and holders of an investor’s permanent residence permit can renew their residence permit for an equal period of time. This ability depends on whether the property remains in their ownership or possession (and their absence from the country isn’t deemed a problem). You must fulfill the above conditions to be able to renew at the end of each five years. 

In the case of investment through the purchase of real estate in the above-mentioned areas, the investment is made in a single property. Keep in mind that the amount must be paid in full before the application for the investor’s permanent residence permit to be considered.

In case of undivided co-ownership of a property, the minimum value of the co-ownership is €500,000 and the investment is made in a single property.

Additionally, you can still keep your Golden Visa in Greece if you decide to to lease your property. 

What Is The Timeline To Get The Best Golden Visa In Europe?

Thankfully, the Greece visa news hasn’t changed the application process. It is fairly straightforward, and the timing largely depends on your agility and flexibility to pick your property and file documentation properly.

The Greece golden visa news is that you still have time to obtain a golden visa at the original lower investment rate. That said, you will have to organize your timeline in order to make it happen quickly.

Step 1. Get in Contact to Obtain Your Golden Visa Team and Choose Your Property

To complete this step, you’ll need to determine the investment criteria and select the property you’d like to invest in. You can choose various features to invest in so long as the added value thereof is equal to or above €250,000. Our team can help you find the property that suits your needs.

Step 2. Follow The Legal Procedure

You can complete this step by obtaining a Greek Non-Resident Tax number and opening a Greek bank account. Plus, as an optional step, you can have the execution of power of attorney.

Step 3. Acquire the Property

This step consists of executing the ‘Legal Due Diligence’ of the property by a lawyer on your behalf. After which, you’ll need to acquire the promissory sale and purchase agreement and the execution of a public deed.

Step 4. Start Your Application for You and Your Family

To get through this step, you’ll need to prepare all the required documents regarding the Golden Visa application. Usually, hiring a lawyer is a smart idea because this can become overwhelming.

Step 5. Visit Greece

Here you’ll need to submit all the biometric data to the relevant authorities in Greece.

Step 6. Get Your Greece Golden Visa Approval

The authorities do this step. Your Golden visa application will be approved, and then you’ll be issued a Golden Visa Residence Card.

Step 7. Renew Your Golden Visa in Greece

Every five years, you can apply to renew your Golden Visa residence card, making it easy to access permanent residence.

Step 8. Apply For Citizenship

Living in Greece for seven years with your Golden Visa and paying taxes would make you eligible to apply for citizenship and a Greek passport. However, taking advantage of this opportunity is still new territory, working with a professional to ensure a positive outcome is recommended.

What Are The Long-term Benefits Of The Golden Visa In Greece?

The Greece Golden Visa is considered to be the best golden visa in Europe for many reasons, including the right to family reunification.

Right To Live in Greece 

The Greek Golden Visa allows you and your family to live in Greece. There is no limitation to how long you can stay.  As a matter of fact, there is no minimum stay requirement either. The right to live in Greece comes with public healthcare and education benefits as well. Easy to see why many consider it to be the best Golden Visa in Europe.

Visa-Free Travel With Greece Residence Permit

The Golden Visa gives you the freedom to travel across the Schengen zone without the need for an additional visa. The Schengen zone consists of 26 European countries that have officially abolished visas and border control at their mutual borders.

Family Reunification

Can your family join you? They sure can. The residence scheme allows you to include your spouse and children under the age of 24 in the program.

In addition to the other Golden Visa programs, the Greek program provides an Extended Family benefit. This means that the principal applicant’s parents and parents-in-law can also receive cards without any further requirements.

Low Investment Threshold in a Promising Real Estate Market

Among the Golden Visa programs in Europe, Greece has the lowest investment threshold. 

After May 1st, 2023 Greece visa news, you can still invest as little as €250,000 in Greek real estate in order to qualify for the program (except in municipalities in Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini). 

Important Tax Aspects When Purchasing Greek Property

Whenever you buy a property in Greece, you will have to pay a property tax. You must pay this tax before the purchase of the property (before the final stage of the signing of the contracts). It amounts to 3% of the total purchase price.

Once the ownership is in the process of being transferred, the owner of the property will then pay the Unified Real Estate Tax on a yearly basis. In Greek, this is the “ENFIA”. 

The ENFIA is calculated each year by the Greek Government, with no tax-free limit. The ENFIA is calculated by considering determinate information about the property (size in square meters, the price zone where the property is located, the age of building, surface impairment coefficient, the ceiling factor and several other factors). 

Around March, the yearly updated ENFIA comes out. You can pay it in installments. Last but not least, ENFIA is applicable due to the ownership of the property, and has nothing to do with the exploitation of it.

Of course, one benefit of purchasing property in Greece is that you can earn a Greek Golden Visa and make a profit from the property by renting or exploiting the property in some way. With this benefit in mind, there are several tax aspects to consider which will affect your net earnings.

If the property owner is using the property to earn profit, the income received on the property will be considered to be “imputed income” when your financial representative submits their annual report. This means you will pay personal income taxes on the amount from the exploitation of the property owned.

The taxation imposed on physical persons for the income they receive from property exploitation in Greece is as follows.

Percentage of Yearly Income Tax Based on Amount Earned

Amount Earned Over One Financial Year On Greek Property Rental/Exploitation Taxed Percentage Of Income On Physical Person (ie. Owner)
0-12,000 Euros15%
12,001-35,000 Euros35%
>35,001 Euros45%

Lastly, beyond this taxation we shall take into consideration that some expenses (for those properties that have income) are deductible under the stated conditions. More specifically in relation to the physical persons, the leaser or concessionaire deducts 5%, without supporting documents, for repair, maintenance, renovation or other fixed and operational costs of the property (but not costs for additions or improvements to the building).

So is it really the best golden visa in Europe? Only when you use it to your advantage.

At Lexidy, our expert legal team works with investors and families from all over the world interested in obtaining and renewing their Golden Visas in Greece. We will keep you updated with any new Greece visa news as it rolls out.

Contact us below to speak to our expert, multilingual advisors who can assist you with all questions regarding the Greek Golden Visa.

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