Greece - International Residency

Greece

RESIDENCY

Real Estate Investors for Greece Residency 

The Immigration and Social Integration Code of Greece (Law 4251/2014, Government Gazette 1, no 80) gives the possibility of granting residency permits to third country nationals and to the members of their families, who proceed to purchase of real estate property in Greece of a value exceeding €250,000. By decision of the Secretary General of the Decentralized Administration, residency permit for five years, subject to renewal, is granted to a third country national.

The above permit may be renewed for an equal duration, each time, provided that the real estate property remains in the ownership and possession of the third-country national. Periods of absence from the country shall not disrupt the renewal of the residence permit.

Family members:

Third-country nationals may be accompanied by family members to whom, at their request, an individual residency permit is issued that expires together with the residence permit of the sponsor. 

Family members are:

- the spouse

- the lineal descendants o  either spouse, who are under 21 years old.

- the lineal ascendants of the spouses. "

Provision of timeframe:

Under normal circumstances, permanent residency shall be issued by the authorities

within two months from the submission of all documents

Notice:

The residence permits do not establish the right of access to any form of employment.

Business Investors for Greece Residency

The law also provides a chance of receiving the permanent residency card by business investment activities. In the context of this program, the meaning of business investment activity can be separated into three categories:

1-) The construction of new facilities (greenfield investments)

2-) Business acquisitions

3-) Expansion of an existing business activity (brownfield investments).

Beneficiaries of the program:

Depending on criterions described by the law, this program provides the chance for people listed below to receive a permanent residency card, which can be renewed every five years:  

a-) non-EU/EEA citizenswho are investors,

b-) non-EU/EEA citizenswho are executives of the investment,

c-) Family members ofinvestors

-  Spouse

-  Their unmarried children up to the age of 21.

-  The first degree ascendants of the spouses.

As long as the investment activity has positive impact on the Greek economy, there is no restriction on the sector of the investment and the location.

The investors must commit to invest at least €250.000to be eligible for applying for the permanent residency card. Additional executive applications for each investment depend on the size of the investment. The table below summarizes the number of executives allowed by the size of the Business Investment Activity:

Total Investment in €

Number of Executives can apply for PR

Up to 300.000

0

    300.001-1.000.000

1

1.000.001 – 3.000.000

2

3.000.001 – 5.000.000

3

5.000.001 – 10.000.000

4

10.000.001 – 15.000.000

5

15.000.001 – 20.000.000

6

20.000.001 – 25.000.000

7

25.000.001 – 30.000.000

8

30.000.001 – 40.000.000

9

       Over 40.000.000

10


Greece Residency for the "Financial Independent Persons" 

Under Article 20 Αof Law 4251/2014 and by decision of the General Secretary of the Region, a two-year residence permit is granted to a third-country national provided that the third-country national has obtained a special visa and is in possession of sufficient resources corresponding to a stable annual income to cover the living expenses, which may be renewed every three year subject to the fulfilment of the other requirements provided for in the applicable law. The amount of the sufficient resources is laid down in a Joint Ministerial Decision pursuant to para. 7 of Article 136 of the aforementioned Law.

– Such third-country nationals may be accompanied by their family members under Article 1.1 lc, to whom an individual residence permit shall be issued following a relevant application, which shall expire together with the residence permit of the sponsor. The requirement of sufficient resources must be met either by each family member or by all family members in aggregate.

The sufficient resources must be equal to the minimum amount of two thousand (2,000) euros per month (i.e. twenty four thousand euros per year).

In the event that the said third-country national is accompanied by members of his family under para. 1lc of Article 1 of Law 4251/2014, this amount shall be increased by 20 % for the spouse and 15 % for each child. The total amount of the resources may be proved by a foreign pension scheme, by the bank account statement or by evidence that they are in possession in their own right of sufficient legally acquired financial means to cover the living expenses during their residence in Greece without providing salaried work or exercising any independent economic activity. (In the event of third-country nationals entitled to a pension scheme from a Greek Primary Insurance Carrier, the residence permit thereof may be renewed regardless of the amount of pension under Article 20 of Law 4251/2014.)

This type of residence permit does not permit the holder to have any kind of access to the labour market.

NOTE

1. The family members shall include: a) the sponsor’s spouse, provided that he/she is 18 years or older (no more than 1 spouse allowed), b) the unmarried mutual children under 18 years of age, as well as the minor (under 18 years of age) unmarried adopted children thereof c) the other minor children (under 18 years of age) of the sponsor and of his/her spouse, including adopted children, provided that the custody has been awarded either to the sponsor or to the other spouse.

2. In the event of a polygamous marriage, neither a further spouse, nor minor children of a further spouse and the sponsor shall be authorised.

The procedure and the supporting documents required for the issuance of the relevant visa and the relevant residence permit are laid down below:

PROCEDURE

PHASE ONE – Granting of a type D visa by the competent Greek Consular Authority

The person concerned must appear in person at the Greek Consular Authority in his/her country or in the country where he/she legally resides and submit the following general and specific supporting documents. This procedure shall also include an interview. The national visa granted shall be valid for a maximum period of one year.

General supporting documents

1) Application for long-term visa and a recent coloured photo of the applicant.

2) Passport with an effective term exceeding the expiry date of the visa by three months, which has at least two blank pages and was issued within the past ten years.

3) A copy of the criminal records kept by the foreign authorities. If there is a final court judgment, regardless of the penalty imposed, and with a view to verifying the relevance of the crime to issues posing a threat to public order and security, a specific statement of grounds is requested by the Consular Authority, which also takes into account individual parameters, such as the severity of the offence, the recidivism and in general, the delinquent behaviour of the third-country national.

4) A health certificate from a recognised public or private body demonstrating that the third-country national does not suffer from any disease that, according to the international data and the World Health Organization (WHO), may pose risks to public health.

5) Travel insurance with an effective term of a minimum period of one year, which shall cover the expenses that may be incurred in the event of repatriation on medical grounds, for emergency medical care and/or for emergency hospitalisation.

Specific supporting documents

Documentary evidence as to the possession in their own right of sufficient legally acquired resources corresponding to a stable annual income to cover the living expenses without providing salaried work or exercising any independent economic activity. The amount of the sufficient resources is €2,000 per month (i.e. €24,000 per year) and this may be evidenced by a foreign pension scheme, a bank account statement or any other legal evidence. The above documentary evidence must prove:a) the stability of the applicant’s income, b) the minimum monthly amount of the income (€2,000) and c) the legal sources of the income.

NOTE

All foreign documents must bear the necessary attestation (apostille or an attestation by the Greek Consular Authority in the event that the country issuing the document has not concluded the Hague Convention) and must be officially translated into the Greek language.

ON THE FAMILY MEMBERS

Provided that 

– according to the documentary evidence submitted by the initial applicant, the stable annual income, which shall be equal to the minimum amount of €2,000 per month, is increased accordingly for the family members, that is, by 20% for the spouse and by 15% for each child and

– their living and health care expenses shall not burden the national welfare system, a national visa may be granted to these persons subject to a personal interview as long as they submit:

(A) All the above general supporting documents (1-5) for the granting of the national visa

(B) A recent family status certificate issued by the local competent authorities proving the family relationship.

PHASE TWO- Granting of a two year residence permit 

Promptly upon entering Greece by virtue of the national visa and prior to its expiry date, the alien is required to submit to the competent Greek authority an application and the supporting documents required for the issuance of the residence permit.

General supporting documents:

1) A duplicate application form and three (3) recent coloured photographs under the technical specifications set forth for the passport photographs, and the photographs in digital format (CD) in JPEG 2000 file format.

2) A true photocopy of a valid passport with the stipulated applicable visa.

3) A deposit fee equal to € 300.

4) An insurance policy with full medical, pharmaceutical and hospital care coverage during the residence in Greece.

Ministerial Decision no 53821/2014

Explanatory Circular no 58037/2014

Specific supporting documents:

Documentary evidence as to the possession in their own right of sufficient legally acquired resources corresponding to a stable annual income to cover the living expenses without providing salaried work or exercising any independent economic activity. The amount of the sufficient resources is €2,000 per month (i.e. €24,000 per year) and this may be evidenced by a foreign pension scheme, a bank account statement or any other legal evidence. The above documentary evidence must prove: a) the stability of the applicant’s income, b) the minimum monthly amount of the income (€2,000) and c) the legal sources of the income.These are the same documentary evidence submitted to the competent consular authority for the granting of the relevant visa.

[In accordance with an opinion of the State Legal Service (NSK) of Greece, these documentary evidence shall not be required of the alien upon application for a residence permit, but since these opinions are individual, that is, they are delivered on a case-by-case basis, it is quite common that the authorities request the same supporting documents again. Therefore, the person concerned is required to submit certified true copies of the documentary evidence she/he submitted to the Consular Authority.]

ON THE FAMILY MEMBERS

(A) All the above general supporting documents (1-4) for the granting of the residence permit.

(B) A certificate issued by an insurance carrier concerning the coverage of hospitalisation and medical and pharmaceutical care expenses.

(C) A recent family status certificate issued by the foreign authorities proving the family relationship.

(D) A true copy of the residence permit of the sponsor or a copy of the application for a residence permit, if they are submitted simultaneously.

DURATION – RENEWAL OF THE RESIDENCE PERMIT

The residence permit for the financially independent persons is valid for two years and is renewed for three years each time such renewal is requested provided that the other requirements are continuously met. The residence permit for family members shall expire or be renewed simultaneously with the permit of the sponsor. The periods of absence from the country shall not hinder the renewal of the residence permit.