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HomeGreece Golden Visa Program Guide - Lincoln Global Partners

Greece Golden Visa Comprehensive 2024 Guide

The jewel of the Mediterranean — Hellas, the land of a thousand islands. A place where ancient world charms meet modernity. This couldn’t be more true today as Greece is becoming a European trendsetter of innovation and restoration, revamping the outdated with techy restorations, yet sure to maintain the ever-being allure of expansive history. It’s no surprise people from around the world are seeking out how to have their own piece of this glorious place, and how are they doing so? Via the Greece Golden Visa Program.

One of the most attractive golden visa programs worldwide, and about to take the number one spot in Europe. The Greece Golden Visa program has the lowest qualifying minimum among European Golden Visa programs, there is no stay requirement to obtain Greek permanent residency and citizenship can be obtained in seven years.
Booming is the best word to describe the Greece property market. The country never ceases to be an attractive destination for tourists from around the world. The real estate market offers investors the potential for generous returns on appreciation and rental income.

Recently, Greece has established itself as a popular destination for medical tourism and business travel.
These factors coupled with Greece’s comfortable Mediterranean climate, rich history, amazing cuisine, and laid back lifestyle make it popular among Golden Visa seekers. Additionally, Greek residency grants access to healthcare and education in Greece. They also enjoy visa-free access to the Schengen Area and notable tax benefits.

Continue reading our comprehensive Greece Golden Visa guide of 2023. Where we detail how to apply and what to expect throughout the process. Plus, we highlight some of the pros and cons of the program to help you determine if it’s right for you.

What is the Greece Golden Visa?

Greece began taking applicants for its Golden Visa program in 2013. Right around the same time neighboring Spain and Portugal began their Golden Visa programs. Since its start, the program has raised nearly €3 billion and approved over 10,000 applications. The Greece Golden Visa remains popular in 2023. In fact, it’s about to take over as the number one program in Europe as the Portugal golden visa program closes its golden doors.

The Greece Golden Visas program is a special residency pathway which grants foreign investors residency for investing in the country. Basically, qualified investors can move a certain amount of capital into the country and in return gain the right to live in Greece.

In addition, Greece Golden Visa holders get visa-free access to other countries in the Schengen Area, along with access to Greece’s education and healthcare facilities.

Greece Golden Visas are issued for five years and are renewable indefinitely; at least for the time being. Furthermore, the Greek Golden Visa opens a potential pathway to citizenship if golden visa holders reside in the country for at least seven years and fulfill other requirements. A golden visa residence permit and potentially a future Greek passport will allow you to travel visa-free to 186 countries and access other EU member states.

Santorini Greece Golden Visa

Why Greece?

Why not, is the real question? Greece is an attractive option for numerous reasons.

The specifics of the Golden Visa program make it extremely appealing. Greece boasts the lowest investment minimum in Europe, no stay requirements, the option to bring dependents, and a direct route to European residency. For the price, a Greece Golden Visa is very competitive by global standards.

For property investors, the Greek real estate market is on an upward trend (hence the above changes). Investors can expect yields on their properties and it would not be surprising if the property value of purchased real estate increased after purchase. Fortunately, and excitingly, this isn’t only the case in popular areas that have experienced an investment price hike, but also in areas which will remain at €250k. Plenty of areas in Greece are emerging. Piraeus for example, in the suburbs of Athens is being completely overhauled for the better. The port city is sure to bring investors great returns and offer it as a new Greek hot spot. Plenty of other areas throughout the country are experiencing similar up-and-coming vibes.

Let’s not forget the fact that Greece is simply a wonderful place to be. The climate, cuisine, wine, rich history and stunning landscapes make it a great place to spend time. While Athens itself is a vibrant and culturally-rich city, Greece has diverse geographic features including mountains, islands, and beaches. There is considerable geographic variation within Greece worthy of exploring. There are hundreds of Greek islands to explore, each with a unique history and culture.

Lifestyle alone is enough reason to become a Greek resident. Greece has a laid back lifestyle that is safe and comfortable. For people looking to escape the hustle and bustle of major cities, Greece is an ideal place to spend time.

Overall, Greece offers a very high quality of life at a low to reasonable cost. Developed healthcare, top-tier educational institutions, and a developed legal infrastructure add to the country’s attractiveness. Greece is a fantastic place to spend time, let alone live there, so a Golden Visa can help you get there quickly and smoothly.

Stone eye greece golden visa

Greece Golden Visa 2024 Highlights

No stay requirements
Maintain your golden visa status without a minimum stay requirement.
Lowest minimum investment requirement of all the EU Golden Visas
Investments as low as €250,000.
Visa-free access to Schengen area
Travel through the entire 26 country Schengen zone and stay for up to 3 months at a time with your Greek residency card.
Renewable indefinitely
A new permit will be issued every five years as long as the investment is maintained.
Potential Pathway to citizenship
Maintain tax residency for seven years and be eligible to apply for a Greece passport under certain conditions.
183 days to be a tax resident
Live in Greece for 183 days per year to be a qualified tax resident.
Rights to establish a business in Greece
As a golden visa holder you will have the right to start and operate a business in Greece.
Includes your dependents
Spouses, parents, spouse’s parents, children under 21, and children under 24 who are students can be included as dependents on your Greek golden visa.
Mediterranean lifestyle
Enjoy all the perks of high quality healthcare, education, and a comfortable lifestyle on your Greece golden visa.

Greek Golden Visa Program Changes

Since its start, the Greek Golden Visa investment program has undergone several changes. The most recent change came in late 2022, when the Greek government announced that the minimum required investment in most of the Greater Athens area will increase to €500,000. This doubling of the minimum Greek real estate investment amount in specific areas has been rolled out gradually and fully went into effect on July 31st, 2023.

This change is intended to increase Greek nationals’ participation in the local real estate market by limiting the opportunities for foreigners to purchase property in Athens.

Golden Visa programs change rapidly and often without much warning, especially in Europe. While so far this has not been the case in Greece, one can never know. Thus, if you intend to capitalize on the current Greek program, it’s advisable to start the process sooner rather than later. Europe is pushing hard to eliminate Golden Visa programs altogether, so while Greece’s program is strong currently, there is no guarantee that further changes could arise in 2023 or soon after.

Greece map

Greek Golden Visa Program Investment Options

So, how does one come to get the esteemed Greece golden visa you're wondering?

The Greece golden visa can be acquired through real estate investment, a 10-year timeshare, bank deposit, government bonds or a contribution to a Greek business.

Let's give you the specifics of each investment scenario...

Greek golden visa investment options as of August 2023 include:

• €250,000 to €500,000 (depending on the area of investment) into residential or commercial real estate
• €250,000 in timeshare or furnished tourist residences
• €400,000 bank deposit
• €400,000 in government bonds
• €400,000 capital contribution to a business
• €800,000 combined investment into shares, corporate bonds, or government bonds
• €400k,000 investment into a Greek fund
• €400,000 investment into a Greek alternative investment fund

Greek Golden Visa Real Estate Investment

The most common way foreign investors obtain the Greek Golden Visas are through real estate investments.

To be eligible to obtain a Golden Visa through real estate investment, you must purchase real estate property of no less than €250,000 or €500,000.

In most areas around Athens the minimum is €500,000 since July 31st, while elsewhere in the country it is €250,000. The increased investment minimum which went into effect at the end of July 2023 only affects 10% of Greece territory. 

If the investment is in a 250k investment minimum area then investments can be made into one property or it can be spread among multiple properties. However, this is not the case for the 500k investment areas. When investing in an area with a 500k investment minimum, the investment can only go into one property.

If you purchase Greek real estate, you must be the sole owner of the property. Likewise, if you purchase the property through your corporation or legal entity, you must be the only shareholder of said entity.

One attractive aspect of the Greek Golden Visa program is that foreigners can invest in residential and commercial real estate property. This allows people who want to invest in both commercial and residential properties to potentially reap the benefits of both types of investments simultaneously.

Moreover, multiple investors can contribute to purchasing one property at a larger amount to satisfy these requirements. As long as each investor contributes to the qualifying minimum, they are all potentially eligible for Greek Golden Visas. Thus, two investors can contribute €500,000 each into an Athens property to qualify for Golden Visas. In such cases, both investors would be eligible for Golden Visas.

Rental income generated by Greece real estate is around 4-8% depending on the area. Many Golden Visa properties advertise a 5% return for rental income, though this will vary depending on region, type of property, and other factors. 

Golden Visa Luxury Property

Halkidiki Villas Harmony

Halkidiki Villas Harmony are luxury villas in Greece’s beautiful Halkidiki region.
These Greece Golden Visa real estate properties are listed at €1,600,000. They satisfy all the requirements for Greece Golden Visas and are great for living in or renting to vacationers looking for luxury travel experiences.

Athens Real Estate

Delta Condos

This property is Golden Visa real estate in Greece available from €75,000. Specifically, these are units available in a luxury condominium in Athens that satisfy all the requirements for Greece Golden Visas.
Golden Visa Luxury Property

The Mediterranean

Indulge in a world of luxury in this full-service, 5-star hotel amenities designed to cater to your every need and desire. Immerse yourself in breathtaking views that span from sunrise to sunset. The strong capital growth of the region is one of the clear benefits of this investment. Plus, the project offers a 4% yield of return per annum.
Golden Visa Real Estate

High-end Freehold Units in Melissia

Nestled in the verdant suburb of Melissia, this project offers a high-end quality of life that enriches the urban landscape of Athens. Its accommodations present a new hue, adding to the vibrant palette of this unique city. Investors can acquire units from 590,000 EUR to 720,000 EUR. There are currently only 2 four bedroom units available on the 3rd and 4th floor, so time is of essence to guarantee your spot.

10 Year Timeshare

Additionally, investors can qualify for the Greek Golden Visa by investing €250,000 in a timeshare lease or furnished hotel residence. Investors must sign a 10-year lease on an eligible property. These properties must be certified as an eligible used hotel accommodation or tourist residence, so it is important for investors to check with their legal advisors that their prospective properties are actually eligible.

Bank Deposit

Foreign investors can also qualify for the Greek Golden Visa by depositing €400,000 into a Greek bank account. The investor must maintain this minimum amount in their bank account for the entire duration of the year.

Government Bonds

Foreigners can also obtain the Greek Golden Visa by purchasing Greek government bonds totaling €400,000. The bonds must mature in at least three years.

Capital Contribution to a Business

Foreigners can also invest €400,000 into an established Greek business to qualify for the Greek Golden Visa. Qualifying investments include Greek companies, real estate investment companies, and closed-end funds.

When investing in Greek companies, the company must have its main registered office in Greece to qualify.

When investing in real estate investment companies, the company must invest exclusively in the local, real estate investment company market. They cannot be an international real estate company, and they must operate solely in Greece.

Similarly, those investing in closed-end funds must invest in funds that invest only in Greece. Eligible funds include hedge funds and closed-end investment funds.

For these investments, it is important to clarify that your potential investment is eligible. Consult with your legal advisors.

Combined Investment Programs

Foreign investors can also qualify for the Greek Golden Visa by making a combined investment of €800,000 into shares, corporate bonds or Greek government bonds.

Like the above corporation investments, regulations exist in terms of qualifying companies and bonds. The investments must be legally registered and admitted for trading in Greece.

To qualify for the Golden Visa, the duration of these bonds must be five to seven years each.

Again, it’s important to confirm eligibility before making an investment.

Investment into a Greek Fund

Foreigners can invest €400,000 into a Greek mutual fund that invests solely in Greece to qualify.

Investment into a Greek Alternative Investment Fund

Finally, foreigners can obtain the Greek Golden Visa by investing at least €400,000 into an alternative investment fund that operates solely in Greece and invests in Greece property.

Greece Golden Visa Eligibility

Key Requirements

To qualify for the Greek Golden Visa scheme, foreign applicants must meet the following criteria:

  • Non-EU/non-EEA citizen (third country nationals) excluding citizens from sanctioned countries (eg:  list of sanctioned countries lower down in FAQ’s)
  • At least 18 years old
  • Have no criminal record in Greece or European Unin

Requirements

To apply, applicants must submit the following documentation:

  • Valid Passport and copies for the main applicant and dependents
  • Application forms and required additional documents
  • Criminal background check
  • Proof of relationship (if applying with family members)
  • Proof of health insurance

Additional documents may be required depending on your individual circumstances. Your legal counsel will assist you in preparing these documents. 

Dependents

The main applicant can include family members on their application. Greece currently allows the main applicant to bring their spouse, children under 21, parents of both spouses, and children under 24 that are students. For these applicants, proof of relationship must also be presented at the time of application.

Residency Requirements

One of the best perks about the Greece Golden Visa scheme is that there are no minimum stay requirements to maintain the visa. A stay requirement is the amount of time you need to physically remain in a country to renew your visa.

The golden visa in Greece does not have a requirement, so you do not even have to go to Greece at all to maintain your visa.

As long as you hold your investment, you will continue to maintain your Greek residence permit.

Greece Golden Visa Application Process

The entire application process can take up to 6 months. From 2021, the application process became possible to complete entirely online.

We recommend working with a legal advisor who is familiar with the process. In fact, in cases of property purchases, you will need the help of a lawyer to complete the process. Additionally, since the fall of 2022 a massive uptick of applications have been lodged. Unfortunately there has not been a massive uptick in employees to process said applications. Time varies between different areas, Athens being the slowest at the moment, but a legal advisor to constantly follow up on your applicants is beneficial to say the least.
Greek flag

Get the Greece Golden Visa in 7 steps

  1. Research the Greek program and determine which investment option you want to pursue.
  2. Clarify investment specifics! If you are purchasing real estate, choose a property. For those investing in Greek funds, choose the fund and clarify that they are eligible. If you haven’t done so already, this is the perfect time to start working with a legal advisor that is familiar with the Greece Golden Visa program.
  3. Visit Greece to make the purchase and open a Greek bank account. To open a bank account, you will first need a tax identification number (an AFM). Doing both of these is straightforward if your paperwork is in order. Working with a lawyer will ensure that these are done promptly and hassle-free.
  4. Make your investment and obtain proof of investment. You must make your investment before applying for Golden Visas.
  5. There will be a deadline from the time you make your investment to the time you can apply. Once again, working with an expert will help ensure that you meet this deadline.
  6. After your purchase, you can begin the application submission process. Working with your lawyer(s), you can prepare and fill out the necessary documents. Once everything is ready, you can submit your application.
  7. Finally, upon approval, you will pay any associated fees and then receive your Golden Visa.
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Pathway to Greek Citizenship

Golden Visa holders who have resided in Greece for at least seven years could be eligible to apply for Greek citizenship. Foreigners must have been tax residents in Greece to be eligible. This does not guarantee citizenship will be granted, as there are other specifics which must be met such as a Greek language test. More information about the viability of citizenship will become clearer as more Golden Visa holders apply for Greek citizenship in the coming years.

Athens Greece Golden Visa

Tax Benefits

Another benefit of the golden visa in Greece is that there are some beneficial tax incentives for Golden Visa holders.

First of all, there is a relatively high threshold to become a tax resident in Greece. Currently, residents become tax residents only after remaining in Greece for 183 days a year. That’s over 6 months. When combined with the lack of a stay requirement, this makes Greece especially attractive.

However, Golden Visa applicants who eventually want Greek citizenship should keep in mind that you must be a tax resident to qualify for a Greek passport down the line.

Note that Greece offers a non-dom taxation system for High Net Worth Foreign Nationals and Retirees. This is especially attractive for Ultra-High Net worth individuals since there is an option to pay a lump sum taxation of 100,000 EUR per annum. Anything beyond that will be exempt. This provides an excellent incentive to reduce taxes on foreign-earned income for certain individuals. Additionally, pensions for non-dom tax residents are tied at only 7% in comparison to Portugal with its NHR taxation regime in which pensions are taxed at 10%.

To make the most of this option, it is important to work with proper legal advisors to ensure your company is structured appropriately. Nevertheless, it is a great way to potentially reduce taxes on foreign income.

Finally, it’s important to check the tax agreements between Greece and your home country to verify if there is a double taxation treaty in place.

Greece Golden Visa 2023: What to Expect

Throughout the process of applying, there are some things to expect and be aware of to minimize the potential for hiccups.

Taxes

If you invest in real estate, there will be taxes associated with your purchase. Real estate investors should expect to pay property taxes on top of their initial investment.

As of 2023, Greece Golden Visa investors can expect taxes ranging up to 25%, adding more to the initial qualifying minimum. However, this is not unique to Greece. Investing anywhere in Europe will cause you to pay more taxes on your purchase.

If you rent out your property, you will pay tax on this generated income, up to about 30%. It is possible to lower this percentage depending on your particular property and circumstances.

Fees

There are fees associated with the application which are not included in the investment minimum. These include fees associated with your application, lawyers and legal experts, and other administrative fees throughout the process (real estate fees, business incorporation fees, permit issuance fee, etc.).

Lawyer fees to process a Golden Visa application for a main applicant and their immediate family members can easily reach €10,000 for processing an entire family. While this may seem pricey, working with a qualified legal expert significantly reduces the possibility of making mistakes throughout the golden visa process.

Translating and Notarizing Documents

Your application and official documents will need to be translated into Greek. You must also notarize the documents. This will ensure everything is in order and that there are no problems with your application after submission. We recommend using a reputable translation service dealing specifically with legal documents.

Don’t neglect this area of your application! Poorly translated documents can result in delays processing your application.

Crete architecture

Greece Golden Visa Summary


Overall, Greece’s Golden Visa program is one of, if not the, most attractive in 2023. Greece is an appealing country with functioning legal institutions and an increasingly-attractive real estate market. The process to obtain a Greek Golden Visa is streamlined and opens a potential path to a Greece citizenship for those who choose to reside in Greece for at least seven years. It stands out among European Golden Visa programs due to its low investment minimum and lack of a stay requirement. There are several options for obtaining Greece Golden Visas that add to the program’s appeal.

That said, the minimum investment for prime real estate in Athens has recently increased to €500,000. There is no guarantee that the €250,000 investment minimum outside of Athens won’t eventually increase as well.

Another downside of the program is that Greek taxes are higher than other places. While no place in the world is completely free of taxes, for those who become tax residents, taxes will be an added annual expense. However this is true throughout Europe, and investors familiar with the region should not find this surprising.

Lastly, while the Greek economy has improved since the 2007 debt crisis, there is still always the chance for future problems. Nevertheless, the Athens real estate market is booming, and the country has been experiencing a revitalization of sorts. The possibility of getting a European, permanent residency and a European passport will continue to attract investors from around the world. As of Q3 2023, the Greece Golden Visa program remains healthy and continues to take applications.

Greece will provide investors a stable place to invest, streamlined application process and a comfortable lifestyle among other perks. 

Crete Greece Beach and mountains

Apply for the Greece Golden Visa with Lincoln Global Partners

The Greece Golden Visa is an exceptional opportunity for individuals to gain EU residency in this beautiful Mediterranean nation. The Greece golden visa offers many benefits such as economic and investment opportunities, enhanced global mobility and the ability to live, work and study in Greece.

Lincoln Global Partners is a specialist international investment migration firm with offices in the UK, UAE and Brazil. Our professionals are experts in the field of citizenship by investment and we are ready to assist you every step of the way with your Greece Golden Visa application.
Frequently Asked Questions

Your Journey with Lincoln Global Partners

Your Journey with Lincoln Global Partners
What is Citizenship by Investment (CBI)?

Citizenship by Investment (CBI) is a program that allows wealthy individuals to obtain a second citizenship by investing in a particular country. These programs are becoming increasingly popular as they offer a number of benefits, including visa-free travel, tax reduction, and a second home.

What are the benefits of obtaining a second citizenship?

There are many benefits to obtaining a second citizenship, including:

  • Visa-free travel: A second passport can give you visa-free access to a number of countries, making it easier to travel the world.
  • Tax reduction: Some countries offer citizenship by investment programs with attractive tax benefits, such as no income tax or inheritance tax.
  • A second home: Citizenship by investment can give you the right to live and work in another country. This can be a great option for those who are looking to retire abroad or who want to have a backup plan in case of political or economic instability in their home country.
Which countries offer Citizenship by Investment programs?

Lincoln Global Partners offers citizenship by investment programs in a number of Caribbean and European countries. Some of the most popular programs include those offered by Grenada, St. Lucia, Dominica, Portugal, and Spain.

How much does it cost to obtain citizenship by investment?

The cost of obtaining citizenship by investment varies depending on the country and the specific program. However, it is generally necessary to make a significant investment, such as in real estate or government bonds.

How can Lincoln Global Partners help me obtain citizenship by investment?

Lincoln Global Partners is a leading provider of citizenship by investment programs. They have a team of experienced professionals who can help you choose the right program for your needs and guide you through the application process.

Contact Us to start the process and Become a Global Citizen in 2023

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