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Greece Golden Visa

Updated September 15, 2022

Greece's Mediterranean climate, with relatively mild winters (especially in the Southern regions) and warm summers, makes it an excellent destination for expats and retirees alike. Known as the cradle of civilization, Greece played a crucial role in the development of Western civilization with Greek thinkers laying much of the foundation for modern mathematics, medicine, astronomy, science, philosophy, political theory and so much more. Today, visitors can view many relics of Greece's ancient past, such as the Parthenon, which was constructed more than 2500 years ago and is emblematic of the architecture of ancient Greece.

 

Greece golden visa

The Greece Golden Visa is a program that was started in 2013 which allows investors and business people to reside in Greece along with their immediate families. Requiring a real estate investment of €500,000 ($500,000 USD) or a fifteen-year lease on a commercial property in the tourism realm. So far the program has been incredibly successful, attracting over a billion dollars in desperately needed foreign investment.

 

ADVANTAGES OF GREECE GOLDEN VISA

There are many advantages to Greece's Golden Visa. 

  • No residency requirement. You can spend as much or as little time during the five years of a residence permit as you like. This allows you the freedom to travel and the ability to stay in one place and nest as you desire. 
  • Greece visa allows holders to visit the rest of the Schengen region, in case you or anyone in your immediate family are from a country that does not have the visa on arrival privilege. There are 26 countries in the Schengen zone and they officially have abolished visas and border control at all borders.
  • Another benefit to Greek residency is that you have the right to access Greek hospitals and medical services and for your children to pursue education within the Greek system. 
  • If you decide you want to stick around in Greece at the end of your five-year term, then you can simply extend the visa so long as your investment stays put.

INVESTMENT OPTIONS

 

REAL ESTATE

It is important to note that the €500,000 ($500,000 USD) Euro figure is the cumulative total of all your Greek real estate investment holdings, so you don't have to own one single property of that value. While Greek property values are on the rise, they have still not fully recovered from their dramatic decline during the 2008-2017 recession, where high taxes and a weak economy contributed to an extreme drop in property prices. 

Mitsotakis has announced an increase in investment value for Greece's Golden Visa Program, there is no set date as to when this will come into vigour, but it is speculated that it will be in early 2023. The increase will be an astounding 100%. So the new minimum investment value will be €500,000 ($500,000 USD).

At the moment the real estate market is quite strong. According to the Bank of Greece, as of the third quarter of 2021, apartment prices across the nation are up 11.6% from where they were at the end of 2019. With strong economic forecasts and continued foreign investment, it seems logical to conclude that home prices will continue to rise in the coming years.

Another great aspect of the Greece Golden Visa is that any property you do acquire can be rented out, providing you with a secondary income stream that can help offset your living expenses. 

 

Map of Greece

Map of Greece

GOVERNMENT BONDS/CAPITAL INVESTMENT

If you don't want to invest in real estate or start a business in the tourism industry, there are still other ways to take advantage of this program. For example, you can purchase €400,000 worth of Greek government bonds, or make a €400,000 capital investment in a Greek company. Or if you want to keep your assets in Euros, then you can just make a €400,000 deposit at a bank in Greece. 

Handpicked relevant content: Spain Golden Visa

 

what about taxes

You must pay taxes in Greece if you:

  • Have a permanent residence in Greece, or
  • Spend more than 183 days in Greece during a calendar year, or
  • Are employed in a professional capacity in Greece, or
  • Have a business or investments in Greece with an annual income of more than €3,000 

Capital gains tax is set at a flat rate of 15% from the sale of a property.

You may have heard the phrase Non-Dom Tax Regime. This means that high-net-worth individuals can have some benefits if they move their tax residency to Greece.  We can talk about this in detail if we decide to work one on one. 

 

MAIN APPLICANT REQUIREMENTS 

To apply, here are a few things to keep in mind, 

  • Be a non-EU country citizen
  • 18 years of age
  • Be of good character
  • Have a clean criminal record
  • Have medical insurance

The expected wait time for your application is around 3 to 5 months depending on how many applications they are processing at any given time.

Greece is also a very affordable country, at least once you step outside the tourist traps. Their economy is only now recovering from the sovereign debt crisis of 2010, and this means residents can enjoy low prices on everyday essentials. A normal meal at a restaurant or a souvlaki stand, transport, and rent will all cost you substantially less than you would expect to pay in North America or Western Europe. And Greek cuisine is not only delicious but also great for your health; for years experts have extolled the virtues of the Mediterranean diet.

Handpicked related content: Antigua & Barbuda - How To Get A Second Passport

 

CITIZENSHIP IN GREECE

Although the Greece Golden Visa will not lead to citizenship, if you obtain permanent residency in Greece, all you will have to do is reside in Greece for 7 years, as well as be able to demonstrate some basic knowledge of the Greek language and culture. You will also need to be a tax resident of Greece for those seven years and pay your income tax there.

The Greek passport ranks 7th in the world with 185 visa-free destinations.

 

CONCLUSION

Whether you are thinking about a nice villa on the Mediterranean Sea or looking to enjoy the hustle and bustle of metropolitan Athens, Greece has a lot to offer anyone. From the relatively low cost of living and affordable real estate to the high quality of life and access to modern amenities, there are so many advantages to Greek residency and the Golden Visa is an excellent way to acquire it.

 

BEST OF THE EXPAT WORLD

If you want the best intel from the expat world, including profitable offshore opportunities, little-known tax-saving strategies, and hard-won insights on immigration, passports, and plan-b residencies, all delivered to your inbox every single week, then join our daily correspondence, EMS Pulse. It's currently enjoyed by over 37,000 expats and expat-hopefuls worldwide. And as a special bonus, you will also get our report on the 19 International Strategies To Grow And Protect Your Wealth Abroad, all completely FREE. Click on the link above for more information.

 

WORK WITH ME

I help my clients to move offshore for freedom, privacy and autonomy by focusing on the immigration, legal, and tax issues that you will face when becoming an expat. If you would like to work one-on-one with me on getting out of Canada or the USA (or setting up a Plan-B location), then read this important letter and fill in an application form to become a Private Client. My fees are not cheap; however, I can assure you that when you work with a professional firm like ours, the results will be worth it.

Mikkel Thorup

Written by Mikkel Thorup

Mikkel Thorup is the world’s most sought-after expat consultant. He focuses on helping high-net-worth private clients to legally mitigate tax liabilities, obtain a second residency and citizenship, and assemble a portfolio of foreign investments including international real estate, timber plantations, agricultural land and other hard-money tangible assets. Mikkel is the Founder and CEO at Expat Money™, a private consulting firm started in 2017. He hosts the popular weekly podcast, the Expat Money Show, and wrote the definitive #1-Best Selling book Expat Secrets - How To Pay Zero Taxes, Live Overseas And Make Giant Piles Of Money.

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