To attract foreign direct investments in their local economy, Greece launched the Greece Golden Visa program for non-EU/EEA foreign nationals. The Golden Visa program allows for foreign investors to receive a five-year renewable Greece residency permit in exchange for a sizeable contribution to one of the available investment options.
The Greece Golden Visa program was designed to be a fast and flexible means for foreign nationals to obtain residency while bolstering economic sectors including infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, tourism, agriculture, and others. Residence permits can be issued to individuals and their dependents, as well as company executives who are involved in investment projects.
Residency permits are issued for stays of up to five (5) years and are renewable for subsequent periods of the same duration. The minimum investment threshold is €250,000 for a real estate property and €400,000 for securities or a bank deposit. Investors are not obliged to reside in Greece and can maintain their residence as long as they maintain their original investment.
The Greece Golden Visa program has a variety of benefits for investors and their dependents. It allows all holders to live in a beautiful Mediterranean destination while benefitting from their social services and healthcare system. Investors and their dependents are also eligible to travel to all Schengen Zone member states for stays of up to 90 days within 180 days. The Golden Visa can also serve as a pathway to obtain Greek citizenship. While investors must go through the usual naturalization process, holding a Golden Visa allows them to reside in the country for the mandatory seven (7) years they need to be eligible for citizenship.
Golden Visa residence permits are issued under the authorization of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, under the provisions of the European Union. The legal basis of the Golden Visa program is found in Article 16 of Law 4251/2014, as amended and completed by Article 8 (par. 21) of Law 4332/2015 and Article 84 (par. 1 to 6) of Law 4399/2016.
To be eligible for a Greece Golden Visa, applicants must meet certain criteria:
Investors can include dependents in their application provided they fall into one of the following categories:
The Greece Golden Visa program offers several investment options for applicants to select from. These options include the construction of new facilities, business acquisitions, the expansion of current projects, and real estate investment, provided it contributes to the growth of the national economy.
The following are the official options for investors in the Golden Visa program:
Each investment option has unique benefits for the investor. Real estate purchases can provide additional income through rental agreements and property appreciation if the investor decides to sell later on. Lease agreements with hospitality institutions can be very lucrative in a country as popular with tourists as Greece. Investments in government or corporate bonds can provide high returns on the initial investment and require minimal interference from the investor. In addition to the minimum investment, investors will pay the administrative fees for the Golden Visa program. First, they must pay the fee for the national entry visa which is €180. There is also a €2000 fee to process the five-year residence permit. At the time of renewal, investors and company executives will pay another fee of €2000, as well as an additional €150 for their dependents. This fee does not apply to dependents under 18 years old. Lastly, there is a €16 fee for the issuance of the electronic residence permit.
Holding a Greece Golden Visa is very advantageous to the investor or company executive, and their dependents. Here are some of the key benefits of obtaining a Greece Golden Visa:
The Golden Visa gives investors and their dependents visa-free access to all 27 member states in the Schengen Zone for stays of up to 90 days within 180 days.
Investors can benefit from European-standard healthcare and educational systems for themselves and their dependents. This is especially beneficial for investors who plan to include their children or parents in their applications.
The Greece Golden Visa program does not require a minimum residency period for investors. This offers more flexibility to investors who wish to retain their commitments abroad while still benefitting from EU residency.
The Golden Visa program allows the investor and their dependents to reside in Greece lawfully, while renewing their permanent residence permit every five (5) years. After seven (7) years of continuous residency, it's possible to apply for Greek citizenship.
Golden Visa holders can expand their international business opportunities to all 27 Schengen Zone member states creating more opportunities and a wider professional network.
The required investment made to obtain the Golden Visa can be a lucrative and worthwhile investment opportunity in real estate, bonds, or more. In good market conditions, investors can receive high returns on their initial investment such as property appreciation for real estate.
The Golden Visa program allows investors to become residents of the beautiful nation of Greece and enjoy all the perks of the sunny and hospitable Mediterranean country.
The Greece Golden Visa program serves as a stepping stone to permanent residency in Greece and, eventually, citizenship. After five years of holding a Golden Visa, investors can apply for permanent residency. This status grants them all residency rights apart from the right to vote. Permanent residency is a more stable and secure means of residing in Greece.
After holding continuous residency in Greece for seven (7) years, investors are eligible to apply for citizenship provided they meet any eligibility requirements such as language proficiency, integration, or national commitment.
Applicants who do not possess the legal right to reside in Greece or another EU Member State must apply for and obtain a national visa (Type D) for investment purposes that is valid for up to one year.
Required documents must be valid and contain all relevant identification information and information related to the investment project. Documents must be submitted in person or by a legal representative to the Directorate for Migration Policy at the Ministry of Migration Policy in Greece. The authenticity of the authorizing person’s signature must be verified by a public authority.
The application form and all required documents must be submitted according to the host country’s guidelines. Applications must be within before the national visa expires.
Investors and company executives must pay the €2000 processing fee and the €16 printing fee (electronic residence permit) through the “e-paravolo” platform. Family members (dependents) must pay a €150 processing fee. Children under 18 are exempted from this fee.
Investment procedures will be determined by the investment options chosen by the applicant and must be conducted in accordance with Greek law and the Golden Visa program guidelines.
If the Golden Visa application is approved, the applicant will receive a renewable electronic residence permit that allows them to reside in Greece for up to five (5) years.
All applicants for the Greece Golden Visa and subsequent renewals must submit several required documents that are complete and verified by the necessary authorities.
The following documents are required of all Golden Visa applicants for the various stages of application:
Application forms must be sourced from the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum and completed accurately. All identification details should match the applicant’s passport and other official documents.
Four (4) digital passport-sized photos should be included in the application materials and stored in digital form.
The €2000 processing fee for the investor and company executive residency permit can be paid through the “e-paravolo” platform. Family members (dependents) must pay a €150 processing fee. Children under 18 are exempted from this fee.
The €16 printing fee for the separate document that serves as the electronic residency permit can be paid through the “e-paravolo” platform.
Passport/travel document copies must be recognized by Greece and contain the valid national visa (Type D)/entry permit as required.
The national insurance agency must certify that the applicant has applied for and/or obtained the necessary insurance.
Applicants are required to provide their fingerprints and digital photographs during the application process.
*Company executives must also submit their contract of employment.
**Family members/dependents must submit a declaration of their marital status, if applicable.
The Directorate for Foreign Capital at the Ministry of Economy and Development must issue a positive assessment of the investment.
During the renewal process for the Greece Golden Visa, you'll need to provide an updated set of documents, just as you did during the initial application. This includes a completed application form sourced from the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum, along with four digital passport-sized photos stored digitally. A copy of the passport or travel document recognized by Greece, bearing a valid national visa (Type D) or entry permit, is essential. A certificate from the national insurance agency affirming insurance coverage for hospitalization and medical care is also required. For the processing fee, investors and company executives need to pay €2000, while family members (dependents) pay €150, with children under 18 exempt. Moreover, a tax clearance certificate and biometric data submission are mandatory. For investors, proof of investment maintenance and a valid license for the operation of the company/business are necessary. For all these documents, translations into Greek and certification are required, as per regulations. Investors with pre-2017 sticker residence permits inside their passports can opt for an electronic residency permit during renewal.
The Greece Golden Visa is issued for an initial stay of five (5) years. After this time, the residence permit can be renewed for another period of the same duration or converted to a permanent residency for those seeking citizenship.
The Golden Visa renewal process is a very straightforward procedure provided that the investor maintains their initial investment status. The renewal application and required documents can be submitted in person or by a legal representative to the Directorate for Migration Policy at the Ministry of Migration Policy in Greece.
Applicants can take the following steps to renew their Greece Golden Visa:
Applicants must complete the renewal application form accurately and ensure that all the information matches their official documents.
Required documents must be valid and certified by the relevant authorities. The authenticity of the authorizing person’s signature must be verified by a public authority.
The application form and all required documents must be submitted according to the host country’s guidelines. Applications must be within before the Golden Visa expires.
Investors and company executives must pay the €2000 processing fee through the “e-paravolo” platform. Family members (dependents) must pay a €150 processing fee. Children under 18 are exempted from this fee.
If the Golden Visa renewal application is approved, the applicant will receive an electronic residence permit that allows them to reside in Greece for another five (5) years.
It’s vital that investors, company executives, and their dependents complete the renewal process in a timely manner before their Golden Visa residence permit expires. Failure to do so could result in losing the Golden Visa status and the privileges that come with it. It’s important to plan a few months ahead for the renewal process to ensure plenty of time to complete the required procedure.
The Greece Golden Visa can serve as a stepping stone on the path towards citizenship through naturalization. Investors and their family members can obtain citizenship after maintaining continuous residency for seven (7) years. They can obtain their initial residency permit for five (5) years which can be renewed for the same duration. After seven (7) years, they can transition from the Golden Visa to full Greek citizenship with bestows them with all the rights and privileges of all Greek citizens, not to mention all the benefits and travel mobility of holding an EU passport.
In order to transition from Greek citizenship applicants must meet all the eligibility criteria. First, they must have held continuous residency for at least seven (7) years and have held a Golden Visa during that time. There are additional naturalization requirements. Applicants must have a basic grasp of Greek and be able to demonstrate their knowledge of Greek society and ability to integrate. They must also have maintained a clean criminal record for the duration of their residency in Greece.
There are many advantages to obtaining Greek citizenship. First, applicants will hold Greek passports giving them the same mobility as all EU nationals. They can live, work, and study in any EU Member State and travel to a huge list of international destinations. Greek citizenship will also allow holders to access more visa-free and visa-on-arrival destinations. This will allow them to expand their business and professional opportunities as well as their travel mobility for tourism. Greek passport holders can also vote and actively participate in political and social change throughout the EU.
The application process for Greek citizenship is fairly straightfoward for Golden Visa holders. First, they must submit their application to the Ministry of Interior. The application must show proof of continuous residency in Greece for at least seven (7) years. They must also include the required documents including proof of their Greek language proficiency and knowledge of Greek society. If the application is approved, they will be able to obtain a certificate of citizenship and, eventually, a passport.
Of course, holding a Greece Golden Visa residence permit is not the same as having Greek citizenship. The Golden Visa allows the holder to live in Greece and invest in the local economy, but does not mandate certain obligations that full citizens have like certain taxes. The Golden Visa is a launching pad for investors to access better business opportunities and an improved quality of life, while Greek citizenship opens up doors to become an active member of Greek society and a participant in EU politics and governance. The travel mobility is less with a Golden Visa as well. It gives the holder access to the EU, but not as many international destinations as full citizenship. The Golden Visa is a great, flexible option for investors to start with before they decide whether they want to commit to full citizenship, which may, for some nationalities, involve giving up their original passport.
Life in Greece means more than 300 days of sunshine and gorgeous weather nearly all year. Holders of the Golden Visa residence permit are not obligated to reside in Greece, but they might consider spending more time there once they visit! There are exquisite beaches, stunning mountains, and vibrant cities dotted all over the Greek islands. As a popular tourist destination, Greece is very hospitable to foreigners and has excellent infrastructure to accommodate new residents. Anyone living in Greece can benefit from the limitless opportunities for leisure, outdoor sport, nightlife, and relaxation.
Greece has long been known as a picturesque destination with unbeatable natural landscapes and a long, very rich history. Residents can experience ancient history and futuristic innovation in the same small country. Today, Greece is a popular investment destination because of its strategic location and the varied topography that supports a huge range of commercial activities. Due to its proximity to the Middle East and Europe, Greece has a robust trading economy that arracts businesspersons of all kinds.
One of the best parts of living in Greece is being able to choose from a variety of incredible natural topographies from gorgeous islands to some of the most famous mountain ranges in Europe. These natural features are amazing to visit on their own and also accommodate outdoor activities and sports such as hiking, water skiing, camping, cycling, and much more. Greece is also a popular sailing and boating destination.
For a more urban experience, residents can head to some of Greece’s bustling cities like Athens and Thessaloniki for the excellent nightlife that is blended with a long history of hospitality. Traditional music and food can be experienced side-by-side with brand new restaurants and clubs.
Once of the more practical benefits of holding a Greece Golden Visa is having access to the country’s excellent EU-standard healthcare system. Greece’s healthcare sector is very internationally friendly and many of the physicians, nurses, and specialists speak English. The National Health Service is well organized and there are private providers for patients who need specialist care. Residents who eligible for employment may be able to choose complementary private healthcare coverage through the National Social Security System.
In addition to healthcare, Golden Visa holders and their dependents can also benefit from the wide range of educational opportunities. This is especially important for investors with kids who plan to attend school or university in Greece. There are elementary, high school, and university programs that cater to foreign nationals speaking English, French, German, and other languages. Students can access the International Baccalaureate (IB) track which has a precedent for getting students placed at good international univerities.
There are also plenty of opportunities to experience the Greek culture from art museums to ancient ruins. Greece is the birthplace of many aspects of Western civilization and therefore has some of the world’s best archaeological sites and museums where the country’s heritage can be experienced first-hand.
Living in Greece is very accessible to foreign residents and is known for being affordable and easy to navigate. Living costs tend to be lower than other EU countries and transportation is accessible. The local cuisine comes from a long tradition rooted in local agriculture. Residents can enjoy all the best of the Mediterranean offerings, from the local cuisine and meat to world-class olive oil.
Yes, provided they are eligible for the Greece Golden Visa program. Eligible family members must fall into one of the following categories:
• Partner with whom the applicant has entered into a registered partnership in Greece or before the competent Greek Consular Authority
• Unmarried children under the age of 21
• Unmarried children of the dependant or his/her spouse or partner under the age of 21, provided that the right of custody has been legally granted to the applicant and to their spouse or partner for their own children
• Direct first-degree ascendants of the spouses or partners. They are granted residency under family reunification and are not permitted to engage in employment in Greece.
Unmarried children over 21 can opt to receive their own residence permit. This is valid until they turn 24 and can be renewed.
No, you can only live and work in Greece. However, you can travel to all Schengen Member States for three (3) months within a period of six (6) months.
Investors who hold a Golden Visa residence permit can engage in investment activity, but their dependents are not eligible to engage in employment.
Company executives are permitted to access dependent employment to meet the needs of their investment project. Their dependents have the same employment rights as them.