Residency Permit Visa
Interested in living in Greece for a year, five years or forever?

Anyone with citizenship from the 28 EU member states (except Croatia), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway or Switzerland has the right to live and work in Greece. 
Non-EU citizens — without a spouse-child relationship to a Greek/EU citizen and without possibility to acquire dual citizenship with the EU — wishing to retire in Greece or otherwise live in Greece without working can apply for a Greek residence permit.

The government of Greece introduced a procedure to obtain residence permits, which can be renewed every five years, for owners of real estate by third-country citizens, the value of which exceeds 250.000, adopting a friendlier stance towards those who wish to own real estate property in Greece. 
Residence permits in Greece
A guide providing information on the preconditions (the process and the supporting documentation required to obtain these residence permits).

A residence permit is any documentation issued by the Greek authorities, according to which a third country citizen is given the right to reside legally within Greek territory, in accordance with the provisions of the European Union (Regulation 1030/02 as applicable). Different categories of residence permits exist, as well as different types of permit within each category. Employment rights depend on the type of permit issued. Applications for the granting and renewal of residence permits are submitted directly to the municipality or the relevant authority of the Aliens and Immigration of the Decentralized Authority in the applicant s place of residence, apart from certain specific types of residence permits for which applications are submitted to the Department for Migration Policy at the Ministry of the Interior.
Residence permits for real estate owners:
A residence permit for real estate owners is a new type of residence permit, for third country citizens who have entered the country legally on any kind of visa (type D or C) or are legal residents in the country, even if the residence permit they hold does not allow for change of residence scope. Beneficiaries of the right of entry and residence, for a period of five years, are:
third country citizens who own real estate property in Greece, either personally or through a legal entity of which they own the total of the company shares, provided the minimum value of the property is 250.000;
  • third country citizens who have signed a timeshare agreement (lease) for a minimum of 10 years  for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist  resorts according to article 8, paragraph 2 of Law 4002/2011 (Government Gazette 180 A), provided the minimum cost of the lease is 250.000.
  • third country citizens who either reside legally, with a residence permit, in Greece, or wish to enter and reside in the country, and who have full ownership and possession of real estate property in Greece, which they have purchased before the enactment of law 4146/2013, provided that they had purchased the real estate property for a minimum of 250,000 or the current objective value of their real estate property is at a minimum of 250,000
  • third country citizens who fully and legally own real estate property in Greece, the minimum value of which is 250,000, and which they acquired through a donation or parental concession. The right to a residence permit in this case can only be exercised by the receiver of the donation or parental concession.
  • third country citizens who purchase a plot of land or acreage and proceed to erecting a building, provided that the cumulative value of the land purchase and the contract with the construction company is at minimum 250,000.
  • third country citizens who have signed a ten-year timeshare agreement (lease), based on the provisions of Law 1652/1986. A time share lease, according to the provisions of article 1 of law 1652/1986 is the commitment of the lessor to grant, each year, to the lessee, for the duration of the timeshare, the use of the tourist accommodation and to provide to them the relevant services for the determined period of time according to the contract, and the lessee must pay the agreed rent.
  • family members of the third country citizens described above.

 Preconditions for a residence permit for real estate owners in Greece:
1. The real estate property must be owned by and be in possession of its owners.
2. In cases of joint ownership, where the value of the property is 250.000, the residence permit is only granted if the owners are spouses with undivided ownership of the property. In all other cases of joint ownership, the residence permit is only granted if the amount invested by each of the joint owners is at least 250.000.
3. If the owner has acquired the property through a legal entity, the applicant must own 100% of the company shares.
4. The residence permit is also granted in cases where the third country citizen is the owner, either directly or through a legal entity, of more than one real estate property with a combined value of at least 250.000.
5. In cases where the applicant wants to enter the country with a type D visa, the documented intention to own property should be supported by documentation which prove the financial capacity (e.g., certificate of an A-class certified bank, or other recognized financial institution), which certify the existence of bank accounts or other mobile assets, such as bonds or shares, which can cover the cost of the investment of at least 250.000, and which certify the intention of the applicant to purchase the property (contract with a law firm or with a real estate office).
6. In the case of third country citizens who have signed a lease of at least 10 years for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts, provided the minimum value of the lease is 250.000, the contract must require a single payment of the lease for the equivalent of the ten year leasing of the property. In all cases outlined above, the value of the real estate property will be determined based on the value of the property, or the lease, indicated in the contract of purchase. The value of the property, according to law 4251/2014, is the amount stated explicitly on the contract which has been submitted for the purchase of the real estate property. The objective, or assessed, value of the property is not relevant, unless it corresponds to the amount which was, according to the contract, paid for the sale of the property.
Entry Visa requirement to obtain a residence permit for real estate owners.
An entry Visa, that is, legal entry in the country, is necessary to obtain a residence permit for owners of real estate property. Following the issuance of a residence permit, and for its duration, there is no need for a Visa. Pursuant to Law 4251/2014, any third country citizen who has entered the country legally holding a visa of any type or is a legal resident of the country irrespective of their status or type of residence permit, has the right to apply for a residence permit.
  • Duration of the residence permit for real estate owners
  • This residence permit is valid for 5 years.
Renewal of residence permits for owners of real estate - Duration and Preconditions:
The residence permit can be renewed. More specifically, the residence permits may be renewed for the same duration and for as many times as the applicant requests. To renew the residence permit, the following conditions must be met:
  • The real estate property must remain in the full ownership of the applicant.
  • The relevant leases/contracts must be ongoing.
Absences from the country do not impede the renewal of the residence permit. The resale of the real estate property, during the period when the residence permit is valid, to another third country citizen does not provide to the new owner the right to a residence permit.

The process for the issuing of a residence permit for real estate property owners or for family members can be advised upon request.
Download the corresponding Law 
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