25 September, 2020
Greece and the Golden Visa
As a country, Greece conjures up many images. In today’s world it is known for its enchanting islands with their beautiful resorts along magical beaches. Apart from that, this nation holds a special place in antiquity, with a history that dates back to 800 BCE.
Set between the three continents of Europe, Asia and Africa, history knows Greece as the cradle of democracy and the birthplace of western civilization. Impressive archaeological sites that bear witness to a magnificent past are among the main attractions of Athens city, the capital of Greece.
Both the mainland on the Balkan peninsula as well as the thousands of islands in the Aegean and Ionian seas attract a steady flow of visitors, as Greece is both an important business center and one of the most attractive holiday destinations in the world. But it is the warm Mediterranean climate, the cosmopolitan cities, the amazing food, the safe environment, excellent health care and education and the authenticity of the people that ultimate convince many expatriates to make Greece their second home. The fact that Greece is also a member state of both the European Union and the Schengen area means that its citizens and residents enjoy various privileges across Europe.
Greece’s Golden Visa Program
While not unique in Europe, when compared with others, the Golden Visa Program that Greece developed to help recover from the country’s economic slump has noteworthy advantages. These range from being more affordable, to being valid for life, from offering visa-free travel across the Schengen area to the short processing time.
In essence, the program is based on granting the privileges of a Permanent Residence (PR) permit to investors who purchase property in Greece – whether or not they decide to reside in the country. The minimum investment is €250.000 plus the applicable taxes, which can be invested in one or two residential or commercial properties, or both. Such an investment will qualify the investor, the spouse, their children and the investor’s and spouse’s parents for a PR permit, subject to approval. The assessment period is 30-60 days, with almost 100% approval rates.
An investor’s view of the real estate market in Greece
The acquisition of real estate in Greece has been a favourite among investors for many years. In fact, of the €4.1 billion that flowed into the country in 2019 in the form of foreign direct investments, 35% – or €1.45 billion – were linked to the real estate sector. And for two good reasons: On the one hand, Greece’s Golden Visa Program, which makes investors in property eligible to apply for permanent residence in Greece, has proved to be extremely successful; on the other hand, short-term rentals in areas that appeal to holidaymakers have been delivering very tempting returns, as more and more tourists opt for self-catering accommodation.
For further information, contact the Head of the Greek Residence Program: [email protected]