19 Dec Greece citizenship by investment: 2023 Guide
The Greek residency by investment program was launched in 2013. It grants a five-year residency visa to non-EU/EEA nationals who make an investment of at least EUR 250,000 in Greek real estate – the lowest investment threshold of all the European ‘Golden Visa’ schemes. Families can be included in the residency program, and if you maintain the visa and the property for seven years, you can apply for full citizenship.
This article details the residency application process and the requirements for Greek citizenship, covering the following areas:
- Benefits of Greece’s citizenship by investment program
- Greece citizenship by investment options
- Greece golden visa new rules
- Greece citizenship by investment eligibility requirements
- How to apply for Greece citizenship – a timeline
- Greece citizenship by investment required documents
- How much does Greece citizenship by investment cost?
- Greece passport visa-free countries
- Greece passport rank
Benefits of Greece’s citizenship by investment program
When considering the benefits of Greek citizenship, Greece’s history and natural beauty loom large. This is the country that laid the foundations of science, philosophy, literature and western democracy, making it one of a handful of countries that can lay claim to the title ‘the cradle of civilisation’. Greece also has some of the world’s most breathtaking scenery and seascapes, scattered over hundreds of sun-soaked Mediterranean islands.
Needless to say, no one invests in a country on the basis of history and scenery alone. Greece offers many practical and financial benefits to investors, with a vibrant, modern economy, boosted since 1981 by European Union membership. Greece is a high-income society and enjoys a high standard of living.
The country also offers residents and citizens the priceless benefits of high safety levels and security, excellent education opportunities, the world’s 14th-best healthcare system (according to WHO), and the robust rule of law.
Greece residency by investment program is the fastest such scheme available. Greek Permanent Resident Cards can be fast-tracked and issued in under 30 days. Residents who maintain their cards for seven years can then apply for Greek citizenship.
A Greek residency visa allows you to travel freely across Europe’s Schengen Zone, with visa-free access to over 180 countries worldwide. Furthermore, as a resident, you are unlikely to pay Greek taxes on your international income, and there are tax incentive programs for various expat groups, including retirees and digital nomads.
Greece citizenship by investment options
Applicants for Greek residency by investment are required to make a Greek real estate investment of at least EUR 250,000. This will enable you to fast-track a five-year residence permit, which will be renewed indefinitely on a five-year rolling basis.
The real estate you invest in must be maintained throughout your residency and not sold on. A residence permit does not allow you or your fellow applicants to be employed in Greece – that option only becomes available if you have achieved full citizenship.
If you have held a valid residency permit in Greece for seven years, you can apply for full Greek citizenship according to the Greek Nationality Code (Law 3284/2004). To be successful in your application for naturalisation, applicants must demonstrate close ties with the country and successful integration into Greek society, both financially and socially. The process also includes an exam to check that your knowledge of the Greek language is adequate.
Greece Golden Visa new rules
The rules for applying for a Greek ‘Golden Visa’ changed on 23/12/2020. Since this date, investors have been able to apply for the Greek residency program remotely. There is no requirement for you or your fellow applicants to visit Greece during or prior to the application.
You can obtain temporary residency in Greece after just four to five months. This status allows you to enjoy visa-free access to the rest of the EU. Temporary residency leads to permanent residency after five years, which can lead to Greece citizenship after a total of seven years, as long as you and your fellow applicants meet all the requirements. Dual citizenship is permitted.
The following rules still apply to all main applicants:
- You must be over 18
- You must be a non-EU/EEA citizen
- You need a clean criminal record
- You require Greek medical insurance – this applies to everyone included in your application
- You must be of good character
Greece citizenship by investment eligibility requirements
Applicants must be over 18, and you can include your spouse and dependents (up to the age of 21) on the application. The parents of the main applicant can also be included.
All applicants (including spouse, children and parents) must have health insurance in Greece. You will also need a valid visa at the beginning of the application process in order to enter Greece.
The documentation required when applying for an immigration permit must be certified, and all the documents must be translated into Greek. Huriya Private will help you with the complex process, ensuring that you have all the required documents and translations.
If you make a real estate investment, the property must be wholly owned by you. If your investment involves the lease of hospitality accommodation, the contract must cover a minimum of 10 years and have a EUR 250,000 rental value over those ten years. You must fulfil these conditions in order to renew your residency permit.
How to apply for Greece Citizenship – a timeline
The application process requires several documents, but the process itself is straightforward. These are the main stages:
- Sign a retainer agreement for Huriya Private to act as your advisor for the application and the due diligence and legal processes.
- Obtain a Greek Non-Resident Tax number and open a Greek bank account.
- Arrange your visit to Greece to view, and acquire, property. This must be bought for a minimum of EUR 250,000 plus applicable taxes.
- Transfer the investment amount and all applicable fees into an approved ESCROW account.
- Submit the various supporting documents and pay the application fee.
- Wait for the application to be verified and approved.
- You will then be invited to Greece for biometric capturing (e.g. facial characteristics, fingerprints, etc.), after which the residency visa will be issued.
Greece citizenship by investment required documents
The following documents are required when applying for a residency by investment visa:
- Application form.
- Recent, passport-size pictures of you.
- A valid passport (plus a copy), including an entry visa as required.
- Proof that you have paid all relevant government fees.
- Proof of your Greek health insurance (for you and all family members included in the application).
- Proof of the availability of your investment funds.
- A contract of purchase stating the total property price and method of payment.
- Proof of transfer of the contract by the accountable Land Registry
- Certificate issued by the Land Registry confirming that there are no impediments to the purchase.
If you are investing in a hotel or tourist establishment, additional documents are required – contact Huriya Private for full details.
All documents submitted must be translated into Greek by the Translation Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens, Greece, or by an authorised attorney. Furthermore, the documents must be certified by an Apostille Stamp if your country is part of the Hague Convention or your local Greek Embassy or Consulate if not.
How much does Greece citizenship by investment cost?
The citizenship process begins with an application for Greek residency, and this requires a real estate investment of at least EUR 250,000, plus applicable taxes and agency fees.
Contact Huriya Private for full details of the total costs.
Greece passport visa-free countries
Greece passport holders can visit over 180 countries without a visa. These are listed below.
Europe: Albania, Andora, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Comoros, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kosovo, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Netherlands, North Macedonia, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, San Marino, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Ukraine, UK, Vatican City.
Asia and the Middle East: Armenia, Brunei, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Macao, Malaysia, Palestinian Territories, Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Timor Leste, Turkey, the UAE, Uzbekistan.
The Americas and Caribbean: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Grenada, Guyana, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Uruguay, Vanuatu,
Oceania: Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, New Zealand, Palau, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu.
Africa: Angola, Botswana, Cape Verde, Eswatini, Gambia, Georgia, Germany, Mauritius, Morocco, Sao Tome & Principe, Senegal South Africa, Tunisia.
Greece passport rank
The Greek passport is currently ranked eighth in the world, making it a very strong passport. Passport ranking indexes assess countries based on freedom to travel visa-free on a country’s passport – the number of countries a passport-holder can access is used to calculate the country’s place in visa-free travel rankings.
Greece citizenship by investment with Huriya Private
Huriya Private is an independent, international, award-winning private equity, immigration, multi-family office and corporate structuring firm with a head office in Dubai, UAE. We provide bespoke strategic management support to international clients in global markets.
Our residency and citizenship by investment expertise covers many European and Caribbean countries, and other locations too, including Canada and Turkey. Our know-how in this area is second to none.
The Huriya team can guide you through an extensive range of citizenship programs and help you choose the option that best fits your domestic and business objectives and personal needs. We will help you maximise your investments, secure your family’s future, and ensure travel mobility whenever needed.
We have an extensive network of experienced real estate brokers in Greece, and we have already arranged the purchase of several studios, apartments and villas.
So, if you’re looking for EU residency and citizenship in a country with an average of 300 days of sun per year and endless riches of natural beauty, fabulous food, history and culture, Greece is the perfect choice. Contact Huriya Private today to take the first step in your application for residency by investment in Greece.