Greece "Golden Visa Programme"
The Greek Government offers residence permits to non-EU citizens who buy real estate in Greece. (First successful sale to Chinese citizen, client of our office, has taken place in Rethymno, Crete)
Greece can grant residence permits, for Non-EU citizens and their families with the acquisition of property worth more than 250.000 Euros. The residence permits are renewed every five years, as long as the non – EU citizen keeps the ownership of the property. It is not a work permit. Once the non – EU citizen acquires a residence permit in Greece, then is allowed to live in Greece, exit and re-enter Greece any time without a visa and travel to all Schengen countries without further documentation other than passport.
Investment: €250.000 minimum (in certain areas of Athens, as well as in Thessaloniki, Mykonos and Santorini, the minimum investment is €500.000)
How to invest in Crete: Purchase any property i.e. house(s), plot(s), land, shop(s), office(s) etc. a COMBINATION of properties is allowed with a minimum total of €250.000
Valid for travel throughout Schengen: Yes
Valid for employment in Greece: No
Validity of Permit: Permanent (provided that the property ownership is maintained by the investor)
Renewal: every 5 (five) years with proof of ownership of property
Who is eligible: Investor, spouse of investor, children under the age of 21 (providing they are dependent or studying), parents of investor & parents of spouse
How long does the process take: In Crete, your Residency Permit can be issued within a few weeks after receipt of the Title Deed for the property purchased
Can you resell the property: Yes, (however, the original investor and eligible members will lose their residence permit)
Can you rent the property out: Yes
Citizenship Status: Eligible for citizenship after 7 (seven) years
GREEK RESIDENCY PERMIT OFFERS HOLDERS
- VALUE FOR MONEY WITH RETURNS: The Greek Residency Permit is the best value for money & benefits in Europe. With this investment you can gain returns on your rental & appreciation of capital investment
- EUROPE TRAVEL WITHOUT VISAS: The Greek Residency Permit allows you to travel to any Schengen country directly from your country of origin. You do not need to fly through Greece first
- REMOTE APPLICATION: Application can be made remotely by using a Power of Attorney (POA) with your law firm in Crete. This can be done at your local Greek Consulate but also in front of any foreign Notary of your choice, provided that the POA will be duly certified with Apostille Stamp or authorised by the competent Greek Consulate.
- NO MINIMUM STAY: Within a 5 (five) year period, you must enter at least 1 (one) day
- GLOBALLY CONNECTED LOCATION: Great connections to the rest of the world
- AMAZING NATURE: Greece has an abundance of nature, from lush greenery to picturesque mountains to turquoise-coloured beaches
- SAFETY: Greece has one of the lowest crime rates in Europe
- HOSPITALITY & LIFESTYLE: Greece offers a unique experience; wonderful warm weather, delicious food & friendly locals
- EDUCATION & HEALTH CARE: Full access to the Greek healthcare system in Greece, as well as access to the Greek Education system from early years to tertiary education level
- Greek Residency Permit application form
- 3 (three) recent COLOUR passport size photos
- Passport + GREEK visa page (copy)
- Title Deed (copy)
- Proof of Medical Insurance coverage
- Biometric data submitted to the local decentralized administration office
- Administration fee payable to the Ministry
- Family Certificate (original + certified translation)
- Marriage Certificate (original + certified translation)
- Birth Certificates of the children under the age of 21 (original + certified translation)
- Administration fee payable to the Ministry
Transferring Primary Residency Permit to children: Once a family child reaches the age of 24, it is possible for the Primary to ‘donate’ the property to the child. Parents will be able to maintain their Residency Permit
Our experienced, company lawyer will be able to help you, step-by-step, through the process, and assist with any further questions you may have regarding the acquisition of your residency permit through the Greek Golden Visa programme
Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to questions most commonly asked by buyers and sellers of property in Crete.
Property & Tax FAQs
The Registry of Mortgages is the State authority charged with securing property ownership. All property titles are held, and all encumbrances registered, there. Property is filed under the owner’s name; lawyers/attorneys are entitled to check under the name of any individual or organisation. A thorough property title search here will uncover any/all extra hidden claims, covenants or charges attached to the property; it will also confirm the proper previous transfer of the property. This must always be done as part of the transactional process.
Generally speaking, all EU citizens have the right to purchase property in Greece/Crete.
Generally, Non-EU citizens have the right to purchase property in Greece/Crete. For details of current regulations, contact the Greek consulate or embassy in your home country.
Residence Permits for Non EU citizens
Greece can grant residence permits, for Non-EU citizens and their families with the acquisition of property worth more than €250.000 [Read more]
Not necessarily. You can purchase property in joint name, with spouse and/or other third parties, in the names of children, legal heirs or a company.
Yes. Anyone purchasing a property is required to have a Greek Tax Registration Number. You should apply to the local (Greek) tax office, with your passport/ID and sometimes birth certificate. Your appointed solicitor can make the application on your behalf, if you have granted him/her Power of Attorney.
Yes. Each bank or financial institution may have its own stipulated requirements of the applicant; but generally, with your passport/ID, you will need to provide proof of earnings (P60’s, payslips or tax returns if self employed) for 2-3 years. You should also bear in mind that you must be able to pay all closing costs before the bank will release any funds.
Legal & Financial FAQs
The Notary Public is a lawyer who represents the Greek government in the property purchase transaction. You must appoint a Notary or you will not be able to legally purchase a property. It is his/her responsibility to process and certify the transaction. He/she will draw up all the necessary legal documentation. The contracts must be signed in the presence of the Notary who must be happy that they have been read and understood by all parties.
It is highly recommended to have legal representation throughout the transaction. Your lawyer is also responsible for carrying out the necessary legal surveys and property title search.
Yes. You need a Greek bank account for the transfer of funds. Among other things this account shows that the money has come from an external country; and so is not subject to local taxation. Opening an account is usually easy. You will need to show your passport/ID and tax registration. It takes no time at all, and you are not required to make an opening deposit on the day.
Not necessarily. If you wish, your solicitor can sign on your behalf if you have granted him/her Power of Attorney.
Closing costs include all legal expenses, fees and taxes. There is no set figure for this; but it is generally prudent to budget for an additional 9 – 12% as a guide for total purchase costs. You or your appointed representative should clarify this at the earliest opportunity.
Insurance & Tax FAQs
The building industry on Crete is subject to EU regulations and standards. In addition there are strict local regulations for earthquake protection. It is therefore prudent to insure your new property in the standard manner against fire, water damage, storm damage, earthquake, theft and third party.
Yes. Anyone owning a property in Greece is legally bound to file annually an E9 form with the Greek tax authorities. This must be filed in conjunction with the basic Income tax E1 form. If you don’t actually have an income in Greece you should enter “0” income in the E1. Your accountant will help with this.
The Tax Objective Value of a property is assessed by the Greek tax authorities for the purpose of levying taxes. It is not the purchase price of the property; generally being significantly lower than that.
Generally, these can be paid by standing order by your bank. You can, of course, pay in person at the relevant office.
Prestigious Real Estate Associations
We offer solutions for everything concerning Real Estate in Crete. Use the following links for more information.