Foreign experience has shown that with adequate requirements for applicants and competent control, this program can bring significant benefits to the country’s economy. And, despite the fact that Spain and Portugal are still leading in the number of foreigners who have taken advantage of this opportunity to obtain a residence permit in a simplified mode, the Golden Visa in Greece continues to gain popularity – in 2018, more than 10 thousand people received it.
And there are a number of reasons for this, the main one of which is the lowest investment level in Europe in the real estate sector – both residential and commercial. It is this accessibility for fairly wide sections of the population, whose incomes belong to the “middle class” in the Western European sense, that attracts more and more investors not only from Russia and China, but even from Egypt.
Golden Visa Program in Greece
The Greek government has established that obtaining a residence permit in exchange for investing in real estate is possible if it is purchased for at least 250 thousand euros. For comparison, in Spain this amount cannot be lower than 500 thousand under any circumstances, and in Portugal the geographical principle and the condition of the purchased object are taken into account.
The Golden Visa program in Greece has no restrictions on the location of the object – it does not matter whether it is an island or the mainland, and the lower limit of 250 thousand euros can be formed from the cost of several objects located in different cities. In addition, the owners of one object can be several partners, and not just one person.
Together with the buyer, the “Golden Visa in Greece” is granted to his immediate family members: spouse and minor children under the age of 18. Older children can also participate in the program if they are studying and are completely financially dependent on their parents. By the way, recently, within the framework of this program, the Greek authorities began to provide residence permits to the parents of both spouses-buyers, although in this case the “Golden Visa” to Greece will cost half a million euros.
“Golden visa” to Greece in 2019
It is families with children who would like to live on the coast for more than three months in a row with a three-month break, or who are shown a healing Mediterranean climate, who are the main clients of the Golden Visa program to Greece 2019.
A distinctive feature of such families is their willingness to adapt to the local way of life, nutrition, education, medicine and other areas of life, which are noticeably different from Russian ones.
As a rule, the move is carried out by the whole family, including grandparents, despite the doubling of the cost of the program at their expense. And, of course, immigrants who are covered by the Golden Visa program in Greece have impressive financial resources and sources of income, since both the buyer and all members of his family are prohibited from working in the country (they are only allowed to open a business with local managers and staff) .
In 2019, there were some changes to this program that expanded the range of potential immigrants.
Now the Greek government has opened the way for investors who are not interested in purchasing real estate, but would like to invest in stocks, government bonds and other securities. In this case, the minimum investment amount will be 400 thousand euros. Opening a deposit account in a Greek bank will cost the same. If we are talking about stocks or corporate bonds, then the amount doubles.
The increase in the number of people wishing to obtain Greek permanent residence, and then citizenship, in an accelerated manner was not prevented by an increase in housing costs by 2.5%, which continued in 2019. However, such growth is most noticeable in the case of new buildings and objects under five years old, which are located in Athens, as well as on the islands of Rhodes and Peloponnese – that is, in regions with increased tourist activity.
How to get a Golden Visa to Greece
As for the rules, conditions and requirements for those wishing to become a participant in the Golden Visa program to Greece 2019 through the purchase of real estate, they remain the same. Obtaining a Golden Visa, which does not require a national D visa, consists of the following steps:
- Purchasing residential or commercial real estate in Greece, signing a purchase and sale agreement. If a foreigner purchases housing or premises in a new building, then VAT will be 24%.
- Opening an account in a Greek bank and signing a contract with local lawyers who will guide the entire process.
- Submitting an application to the Greek consulate for a residence permit with a full set of documents can be done either in person or through a lawyer. The most important of them are a certificate of no criminal record and a medical insurance policy. From this moment until obtaining a residence permit, it usually takes 40 days. All necessary fees (notary, state, lawyer) will cost 15 thousand euros. Thus, in reality, the purchase amount may turn out to be higher than 300 thousand – especially since, due to growing demand, it is becoming more and more difficult to find objects at the lowest price.
A “golden visa” in Greece implies the issuance of a residence permit for a period of five years at once, provided that the acquired real estate or shares purchased are retained in ownership. The same applies to the two-year period of permanent residence, after which you can apply for Greek citizenship; If it is satisfied, the program with all its restrictions ends.