Permanent residence permission (property owners),also  known as golden visa, already counts five years of life and is undoubtedly one of the most famous programs in Greece. Having started in 2013 with law 4146/2013 and now with the Laws 2451/2014 and 4332/2015, it is a pole of attraction for many foreign investors, who want to get an entry permission in Greece and thus to the European Union with a fast and relatively cheap way.

However, until today, according to statistics , people who are interested in buying, , do not overcome the number of 3,000 in total and this is due not only to the fact that opening a bank account is difficult, because of capital controls, but also to the bureaucracy that prevents them. Therefore it is of great importance for them to contact a qualified lawyer in order to facilitate the implementation of the necessary process.

Analyzing the legal status of property owners, according to Article 20 of Law 4251/2014 permanent residence permission is given to third-country nationals who have legally entered the country and own fully immovable property in Greece with a total value of 250,000 euros, in order that certain conditions are met by law.

Thus, by purchasing one or more properties in the Greek territory with a total market value of at least 250,000 Euros, third-country nationals can obtain a permanent residence permission for five years with the possibility of renewal for an equal period of time if the real estate remains in the buyer’s ownership and prerogative. The price is paid through a crossed check or through bank wire deposit on the beneficiary’s account held at a banking institution in Greece. The resale of immovable property during the period of validity of the residence permission to another third country national, entitles the new buyer to obtain a residence permission while withdraws the vendor’s residence permission.

Other ways of getting the permanent residence permission are either by making a time-sharing contract  ,with at least 10 years duration of Law 1652/1986, or by having rentable hotel accommodations or furnished tourist dwellings in complicated tourist locations  with at least 10 years duration under Article 8 (2) of Law 4002/2011 may be concluded.

The above foreign investors may be accompanied by members of their family who, according to the law, may be: (a) the other spouse or partners with whom a third-country national has a civil partnership  in Greece; (b) unwed children of spouses or partners who are under the age of 21, (c) the parents-in-law of the spouses or of the partners.

It should be clarified that this type of residence permission does not establish the right of access to any type of work as defined in Article 36A, paragraph 3 of Law 3386/2005. An exception is the pursuit of economic activity in Greece as a shareholder, managing director and partner or manager in capital companies (SA, LLC, PCC).

The procedure to be followed by a third-country national to obtain this authorization is initially to apply for a D or C entry visa, depending on the case and the stage of the sale of the property, by submitting the relevant supporting documents, as described in GMD 68019/2015 (GD B’2272). After completing the entry visa procedure he / she can enter Greece and apply for a residence permission  to a post office of the competent department of the Decentralized Administration of his / her place of residence, submitting the necessary documents each time depending on whether the property is purchased or hired.

Finally, it is worth mentioning that holders of this type of residence permission have the option, to go to the long-term resident status and to receive Greek nationality, if they prove that they meet all the requirements of the applicable legislation.

More about Golden Visa in Greece

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