Residency and citizenship in Greece, officially the Hellenic Republic, are governed by various laws, including Law 4146, dated 2013, which specify the rules for strategic and private investments.

Visas

Greece is a member of the Schengen Area, so certain nationalities must have an A, B, C, or D visa to enter the country. For more information on the need for a visa, details and rules for visa obtainment in each particular case, see here.

How to obtain a residence permit in Greece

Grounds for temporary residence in Greece include:

  • purchase of property (golden visa);
  • strategic investment;
  • financial independence;
  • entrepreneurial activity;
  • university studies;
  • employment;
  • family reunification.

After 5 years of temporary residence, one can apply for permanent residence permit. Permanent residents enjoy all the rights of Greek citizens, except for the right to vote and to stand in elections. Permanent residence is granted for life.

Temporary residence through property investing

To obtain a Greek residence permit, investors must purchase at least €250,000 of properties in Greece or it can be a €250,000 time-sharing lease of hotel or tourist furnished accomodations.

The main applicant’s family members – spouses, children below 21 years of age and parents of both spouses – are eligible for temporary residency. Residence permits are renewable every 5 years, as long as the investor continues to own the property.

Advantages of the Greek golden visa include:

  • freedom of travel across the Schengen Area;
  • no need to reside in the country;
  • permission to lease property purchased;
  • affordability – it is the cheapest golden visa in Europe.

To obtain the golden visa, the applicant only needs to visit Greece once to submit the necessary documents, which include:

  • application form and 2 colour photos;
  • certified copies of passport and visa;
  • stamp duty (€500) receipt;
  • insurance policy;
  • property sales agreement;
  • transaction registration certificate.

The visa takes no more than 8 weeks to be issued.

The residence permit obtained through property investment does not grant the holder the right to work in Greece.

How to obtain Greek citizenship

Greek citizenship is granted to individuals of Greek descent, adopters and adoptees of Greek citizens, foreign nationals who have lived in the country for at least 10 years, and after 3 years of marriage to a Greek citizen (if the spouses have a child together). The period of holding a golden visa is not taken into account when applying for Greek citizenship.

 
 
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Alexandru-Viorel Hincu
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