What is the Schengen agreement between European countries?
The Schengen Agreement led to the creation of Europe’s borderless Schengen area in 1995.
The treaty was signed on the 14th of June 1985 near the town of Schengen in Luxembourg. It proposed the gradual elimination of border checks at the signatories’ common borders allowing residents in border areas to cross borders away from fixed checkpoints as well as the harmonization of visa policies.
The Schengen Area operates very much like a single state for international travel purposes with external border controls for travellers entering and exiting the area, and common visas, but with no internal border controls. It currently consists of 26 European countries covering a population of over 400 million people and an area of 4,312,099 square kilometers.
Do I need a Visa to travel to Greece?
To visit Greece, you need to issue a Schengen visa from the Greek embassy in your country.
You may apply for a tourist visa with the usual visa requirements (plane ticket, proof of accommodation and funds to cover your trip expenses).
Alternatively, you can apply for an investor’s visa. On top of the usual visa requirements, you will need to show enough funds to cover the minimum investment amount of €250,000 plus expenses (roughly €280,000 €300,000).
Check more on our guide on how to issue a visa to visit Greece.
About the Residence Permit
How can I obtain a residency permit in Greece if I am not a citizen ofthe European Union?
You may be granted permanent residence permits in Greece for you and your family, known as Golden visa Greece, upon purchasing a property with a contractual value of min €250.000.
Can I use the residency permit to travel to other European Union countries?
As a resident of Greece you may travel with your passport and the residency permit -without the need of a visa- to the following countries that form part of the Schengen Area:
EU: Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Czech Republic and Finland
NON – EU: Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein
You may also travel to any Schengen member country directly from your country of origin. You do not need to go through Greece first.
Does the residence permit give me the right to apply for citizenship?
After seven years of continuous residency, you may apply for Greek citizenship.
See our Greek residency law page for more information.
How long is the residency permit valid and what happens next?
The Greek residency permit is permanent. The only criterion is property ownership.
The permit needs to be renewed every five years, indefinitely. But do not worry, there is no need to visit Greece to do this. We will do it on your behalf. Children who reach the 21st year can extend their permit for 3 more years. However, after the age of 24, they cannot be part of the group family permit.
Am I required to go through your company in order to file the residency application?
The residency permits issuance is part of our total service package. We have the means to do it fast and effectively. We are the market leaders in this business sector with more than 350 issued permits. No need to look elsewhere. Our fee is money well spent.
Who deals with the authorities in order to issue the residency permit?
We do. It is part of our services portfolio to handle all the necessary paperwork on behalf of the applicant. We collect all required documents, we submit the applications for all family members, we collect and deliver the residency cards to the holders.
What is the necessary paperwork for my residency application?
No need to worry about the paperwork at this stage. When the time comes, our people will guide you step-by-step.
Visit this page for more info.
Buying a property in Greece
Can I buy the property through my company abroad?
You may purchase the property through a legal entity if you are its only stockholder.
Are there any extra charges apart from the net value of the property?
The total cost is roughly 12% on top of the property price. This includes all taxes, fees and expenses: Property transfer tax, legal and notary fees, land registry fees, stamp duty, residency vouchers for all family members.
Please note that we offer a no hidden costs guarantee. Every customer receives a detailed cost breakdown from the very beginning of the process.
Can I obtain more than one piece of property?
Yes, you can buy one or more properties, commercial and/or residential, provided that their combined value is equal to or greater than €250.000.
Are the properties that you represent freehold or leasehold?
First, let’s point the difference between leasehold and freehold.
Freehold means that the property is fully owned for an unlimited period of time.
Leasehold means that a person has the right to use a property for a set period of time, subject to the payment of annual ground rent as specified by the lease. At the end of the term, the property reverts back to the freehold owner. The lease in some cases may be granted for up to 999 years.
ALL properties in Greece are freehold.
Can I share the investment with another party?
Only spouses can share the investment and jointly own the property of total value €250.000 or higher.
In all other cases of shared ownership, the right of residence is granted only if the amount invested by each co-owner reaches a minimum €250.000.
Example: Two families can have two separate permits for all members if they purchase jointly a property of value equal or higher to €500,000.
Which family members may accompany the main investor?
Together with the main investor the following family members may be included in the group residency permit:
Investor’s spouse, children up to the age of 21, parents of main investor and parents of the spouse.
What are my obligations as property owner in Greece?
You have a few obligations when you become a property owner in Greece.
- You file an annual tax report.
- You pay a yearly property tax.
- If you rent your property you will pay income tax.Our portfolio of after-sale services will answer all your relevant questions. Click here to see more detailed info.
My new property may need some services like cleaning, maintenance etc. Who will take care of all these?
We offer all kinds of services to support your investment.
- We will manage your property and take care of the rental procedure.
- We will file your annual tax report and pay the taxes and possible maintenance expenses.
- We will represent you in your dealings with the Greek authorities.
Where do I start?
The first thing to do is to arrange for a trip to Greece. Our representatives will explain the program in detail and show you properties based on your criteria.
You will be required to send your bank documents -by email- before the visit so that our people can check the documents and suggest possible corrections.
During your stay and if you are in a position to decide, we will complete the initial formalities.
- Sign the total cost agreement.
- Open a Greek bank account.
- Sign the power of attorney agreement.
- Pay an initial “commitment” deposit.
Check our detailed guide about what you need to know about the Visa process.
The Golden Visa Program
Are there any nationalities excluded from entering the Greek Golden Visa Program?
Absolutely not. The Greek constitution strictly forbids any kind of discrimination. Everyone is welcome to apply.
Are same sex couples eligible to enter the Greek Golden Visa Program?
Yes, they are. The main requirement is for the couple to have a valid civil partnership or cohabitation agreement. The agreement must be accepted by the European Union laws.
Living in Greece
How about my children’s education?
Your children have full access to both state and private schools and universities. Public education in Greece is free of cost. There are tuition fees only for specific postgraduate courses.
There are 29 universities in Greece offering a variety of courses. The teaching language is Greek and foreign students are asked to go through a one-year crash course in the Greek language in order to attend.
There are also universities who offer courses in English.
What about access to health services?
Holders of the residence permit have access to the Greek public health system in the same way as Greek citizens.
The Greek National healthcare system occupies the 14th spot in the international ranking, one of the best in the world, according to the World Health Organization. It consists of 140 large hospitals (+7 university hospitals), 250 local health centers and 1500 rural outpatient clinics.
Residence permit holders and their family members must possess a private insurance policy that covers their healthcare expenses.
If I own the property and reside in Greece, can I and the people that accompany me work?
The residency permit through investment does not allow access to the job market. Holders of this type of residency permit can set up their own business in Greece. They can be shareholders and CEOs.
Can I purchase and drive a car with Greek license plates?
Yes, under the specific regulations of the Ministry of Transport, which apply to non-EU citizens.