How to move to Greece for permanent residence

Permanent residence status in Greece, as in many EU countries, is a “transitional” stage between a residence permit (RP) and subsequent acquisition of Greek citizenship if there is a corresponding desire. As in the case of a residence permit, the standard duration of stay in this status is five years, although there are exceptions for certain categories of citizens – for example, for large investors or outstanding specialists in rare fields of science and technology.

However, permanent residence has one main advantage: its holders enjoy all the rights and benefits that native citizens have, with the exception of service in government, the army, the police and participation in elections. In any case, in order to go to live in Greece for permanent residence, you need to go through all the steps of the procedure, which requires time, patience and money. And for this purpose, there are several programs designed for representatives of foreign countries that are not members of the EU and Schengen.

How to go to Greece for permanent residence


  1. The least common and most difficult way to go to live in Greece for permanent residence is official employment. A foreigner who chooses this path must first of all find a Greek employer interested in his services. The latter, in turn, must prove to the local Ministry of Labor that his candidate’s qualifications are higher than those of his Greek competitor, and he is able to bring tangible benefits to the country’s economy;
  2. The process of business emigration – that is, starting your own business – seems no less labor-intensive; The Greeks are interested in the influx of Russian capital, but they are no less interested in at least two things: the presence of a sufficient amount of company funds in Russian bank accounts and proof of the profitability of the business. In addition, when thinking about how to move to Greece for permanent residence under a business program, you should take into account the following requirements:

  • No criminal record.
  • A correctly compiled and translated business plan into Greek.
  • Funds sufficient to register a particular type of enterprise.
  • Registration of the company’s legal address.
  • Having work experience in the same field (and in some cases, education).
  • Absence of serious diseases that are potentially dangerous to others.

  1. You can go to live in Greece for permanent residence in a more expensive, although at the same time faster, way – under the investor program, which is one of the varieties of the so-called “Golden Visa”. It would seem that for wealthy foreigners this method is extremely simple – invest 300 thousand euros in the country’s economy and in return receive a residence permit for two years at once. However, when extending this period, it will be necessary to prove the profitability of the previously made investment, since if the Greeks suspect an attempt at money laundering, the residence permit will be revoked.
  2. Greece has an emigration program for financially independent foreigners, which includes freelancers, retirees and other categories of the population not mentioned above. For them, the problem of how to move to Greece for permanent residence is solved relatively simply: you must have a confirmed income of 2 thousand euros per month, but earned outside the country. They do not receive a permit to work in Greece or for a Greek employer.
  3. For young people, the most profitable way to move to Greece for permanent residence is to enroll in a Greek university, which is free for all residents of the country. However, if a job is not found upon graduation from a higher educational institution, the graduate will have to leave Greece, thereby losing his residence permit status.
  4. Another way to go to Greece for permanent residence is to enter into an official marriage with its citizen. In this case, a residence permit will be granted only after three years of living together in the country, and during this time the newlyweds will be required to verify that the marriage is not fictitious.

Ethnic Greeks and their children have their own requirements for obtaining permanent residence (for example, a certificate of baptism in Orthodoxy, a document recognizing paternity, etc.), but such cases are too rare for detailed consideration.

Permanent residence in Greece when purchasing real estate


In the last decade, obtaining residence permits and permanent residence in Greece when purchasing real estate has become increasingly popular. This is explained by the fact that the minimum cost of purchasing a home or commercial property under the Golden Visa program is 250 thousand euros – exactly two times less than in Spain. However, the same half a million will have to be paid if the main applicant wants to transport not only his spouse and children, but also his grandchildren and parents to Greece.

All owners automatically receive residence permit status for five years at once, then permanent residence if the property remains theirs, and finally can apply for Greek citizenship. However, if sold, the residence permit – permanent or temporary – is lost and automatically passes to the new owner. Another negative aspect of permanent residence in Greece when purchasing real estate is that, regardless of the amount of the property, none of its owners has permission to work here or hire workers.

On the other hand, the Greek Golden Visa program does not require new holders to reside permanently in the country. This is a great advantage for businessmen and entrepreneurs whose business is located in another country and needs the frequent presence of senior management.

Among the main participants in the Golden Visa program through the purchase of real estate, most are citizens of China, Russia and neighboring Turkey. Most of them buy housing in the capital of the country, Athens, its largest city, Thessaloniki, and on the island of Crete – that is, in those regions where, if necessary, it will be easiest to rent it out.

Moving to Greece for permanent residence from Russia


All of the above programs are valid for Russians, although most of them prefer to go for permanent residence in Greece when purchasing real estate. More precisely, the submission of documents for a residence permit occurs after the purchase and sale transaction under the Golden Visa program has already taken place. It is the certificate of registration that is the main document of the package, which includes:

  • proof of stable income outside Greece;
  • questionnaire;
  • certificate of good conduct;
  • medical insurance;
  • photocopy of the first page of the passport;
  • 3 color photographs of the established standard;
  • confirmation of an account in a Greek bank;
  • Foreigner tax number.

The number of required documents is not limited to this, and upon arrival in Greece, you must submit to the local office for foreigners a photocopy of all pages of the international passport, a receipt for payment of the state fee and a certificate from Greek doctors stating that all applicants for a residence permit are free from diseases dangerous to society.

It is necessary to take into account that the set of documents may change partially or significantly depending on which program is used to move to Greece for permanent residence from Russia.

In fact, permanent residence status is granted after five years of legal residence in the country, for which you need to submit a corresponding application to the municipality. Based on the type of occupation, this status is subsequently extended every year or every two years, and after five years the question of Greek citizenship can be raised.

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