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Residence Permits for Non-EU Citizens

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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.

According to the Law "Creation of a Development Friendly Environment for Strategic and Private Investments" (4146/2013) there is added a new paragraph in the Greek Immigration Law, which mentions that there can be granted a residence permit to citizens of countries not members of the European Union, who want to invest on buying or renting property worth more than 250.000 Euros.

The initiative, comes in response to strong demand from Arab, Chinese and Russian investors and is anticipated to give a great boost to the property market. Valid for five years and open to renewal, the residence plan follows similar measures adopted by Hungary, Spain and Portugal in the past. The permits will enable the holders, their spouses and children under the age of 18 to freely travel-though not work-in the Schengen area for three consecutive months at a time.

In more details: By decision of the General Secretary of Decentralised Administration, a residence permit for five (5) years is issued to a third-country citizen, if he/she has obtained a visa, if required, and legally owns, either personally or through a legal entity whose shares are wholly owned by him/her, property in Greece, or has, at minimum, a ten-year time-sharing contract under Law 1652/1986: \"Time-Sharing and Regulations on Related Issues\" (A' 167) as applicable, or a 10-year lease of hotel accommodations or furnished tourist accommodation (houses) in tourist accommodation complexes according to Article 8, par. 2 of Law 4002/2011 (A' 180). The aforementioned residence permit may be renewed for the same duration (five years), if the property remains unchanged in its legal ownership status as described above and the contracts of ownership remain in effect, and other statutory conditions detailed above are met.

The minimum value of the property and the contract price of the time-share leases and the leases for hotel accommodations or tourist furnished accommodations (houses) in tourist accommodation complexes, according to this Article, shall be two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) Euros.

By joint decision of the Ministers of Interior and Finance, the value of the above-mentioned property may increase or decrease, and will be determined in accordance with the stated prices of the sale documents of the properties, or leases as per their contracts, or as determined by ministerial objective values.

The period of residence, under these specific conditions, is not taken into account in cases of granting citizenship to said residents.

The aforementioned third-country citizen (property owner) may be accompanied by the members of his/her family, as specified under paragraph 1 of Article 54 of Law 3386/2005. Upon their own request, family members may be granted a personal residence permit that is renewed and/or expires concurrently with the residence permit of the sponsor (property owner).

The residence permits do not allow a right to employment of any type.

For more information feel free to contact us.


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