GRANTING A RESIDENCE PERMIT IN GREECE DUE TO THE PURCHASE OF REAL ESTATE
According to Laws 4251/2014, Art. 20, case B, 4332/2015 art 14, paragraph 1, and 4686/2020, the procedure and the conditions required for a person or legal entity to acquire real estate in Greece is drastically simplified. Especially, those who intend to acquire real estate the value of which exceeds 250.000,00 euro in Greece, are given the opportunity to obtain a 5-year renewable residence permit for themselves and their families
The main condition for the issuance of such residence permit is the value of the property which should exceed the amount of 250.000,00 euro in total. This right is offered to the owners of the property, provided they are citizens of a third-country (non-EE) along with the members of their families (i.e., spouse and children under the age of 21 and their direct ascendants).
▪ Granting of National VISA
The potential investor is required to have been awarded a VISA, in order to be eligible to enter the country. This VISA constitutes a prerequisite in order for the relevant residence permit to be issued. As far the acquisition of real estate in Greece is concerned, a special type of VISA can be obtained (Type D) which is issued for a one- year period, offering the ability for multiple entrances and free movement from and to Greece.
IMPORTANT NOTICE: According to Article 155 of the Law 4764/23-12-2020, citizens of a third-country (non-EE) who meet the conditions for inclusion in the Golden Visa program, can apply for a residence permit through a power of attorney, without having previously entered the country. The power of attorney is drawn up before the Greek Consular Authority. The applicant must, within 12 months from the issuance of the certificate of deposit of the application, enter Greece and submit to the competent service the required biometric data.
▪ Necessary Documents for the conclusion of the contract of purchase
- A proxy to our law office.
- Personal data of buyer (Identity card or valid passport).
- Issue of a Tax Identification Number by the competent Greek Public Finance Authority.
The expenditures on purchases depend both on the price that will be agreed and on the objective value. The higher amount is always taken into account.
If the price written in the sale contract is higher than the objective value, then there should be a payment of property transfer tax. In any other case the property transfer tax is estimated according to the objective value of the real property based on the following:
The Price of the Real Property → Base rate: 3%
A municipal tax of 3% will be further imposed on the total amount of tax.
When the building is recently constructed and subsumed under VAT, there is a tax of 24 % plus a municipal tax of 3 %.
- The price is paid by a crossed check or a bank transfer deposit on the beneficiary's account held at a bank in Greece or at a credit institution under the supervision of the Bank of Greece (Law 4537/2018, article 4, paragraph 24)
- A Bank Account in a Greek bank could be opened provided there is no active bank account already. Physical presence in this process is compulsory.
After the acquisition of the real estate, the owner is eligible for a residence permit, with an initial duration of five years. After the passage of this period and on condition that the beneficiary remains the owner of the property, the option for multiple successive renewals, for five years each time is offered.
This residence permit enables its owner to travel to the member states of the Schengen Treaty for up to three months within a six-month period.
The above residence permit does not provide a right to work (work permit), while the beneficiaries (property owner and his family members, i.e., spouse and children) have access to public education and health system, as every Greek citizen does.
According to the decision of the Minister of Interior no. 130181/6353/27.3.2018, published in the Government Gazette 1208/B/2.4.2018, the owner of an investor residence permit may obtain Greek citizenship through the naturalization process, provided that he resides in Greece for at least seven (7) consecutive years and provided that he succeeds in the relevant test (interview).
Athanasios I. Papathanasiou, Lawyer
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