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Owning property in Greece: How long can I stay?

Investing in property abroad can be a daunting task, especially when it involves understanding residency implications. Greece, with its alluring landscapes and historical significance, has been a top pick for many investors. The Greece Golden Visa Program offers non-EU citizens a unique opportunity to gain residency through property investment. But a question often arises: “How long can I stay in Greece if I own a property?” This article sheds light on the ins and outs of the Greece Golden Visa in 2024.

Recent updates have transformed the program, making it even more attractive for those looking to invest in the Mediterranean haven. With enhanced benefits including tax incentives and the possibility of citizenship, understanding these changes is crucial for prospective investors. Whether you’re seeking visa-free Schengen travel or looking to include your family in the program, the Greece Golden Visa may be your key to a new life in this captivating country.

What changes have been made to the Greece Golden Visa?

The landscape of Greek residency by investment has evolved, with significant amendments enhancing the Golden Visa program. As of recent updates, the minimum investment requirement has risen to €500,000 for property acquisitions in some areas. This change aims to direct investments into regions that need economic upliftment while still offering lucrative opportunities for investors.

Additionally, the Greek government has introduced tax incentives to sweeten the deal. These incentives are designed to attract global investors by reducing the financial burden and maximizing the return on investment. As the program matures, it continues to refine its structure to offer a competitive edge in the global market for residency by investment.

Another pivotal update is the pathway to Greek citizenship. After maintaining their investment for seven years, investors now have the opportunity to apply for citizenship. This offers a permanent solution for those looking to make Greece their long-term home.

The program also ensures that investors and their families can enjoy the beauty and culture of Greece without the obligation to reside permanently. This flexibility is particularly appealing to those who seek a balance between their home country and their investment in Greece.

How can property investment lead to Greek residency?

For those pondering the question, “How long can I stay in Greece if I own a property?“, the answer lies within the Golden Visa program. By making a qualifying real estate investment, non-EU citizens can obtain a residency permit that allows them to live in Greece.

The process begins with selecting a property or asset that meets the program’s criteria. Once the investment is made, applicants can apply for the residency permit, which is initially valid for five years and can be renewed as long as the investment is maintained.

Importantly, the residency permit extends to the investor’s family, including the spouse, children up to the age of 21, and sometimes even parents and parents-in-law. This family reunification aspect makes it a comprehensive solution for those seeking a new life in Greece.

Investors are not required to live in Greece full-time to maintain their residency status. However, should they choose to reside permanently, they can indulge in the country’s rich cultural heritage and relaxed lifestyle.

It’s also worth noting that the residency permit offers visa-free travel across the Schengen region, which includes 26 European countries. This is an invaluable benefit for those looking to explore Europe without the hassle of obtaining separate visas.

What are the benefits of the Greece Golden Visa program?

Is eligibility for the Greece Golden Visa program limited?

Eligibility for the program is quite broad, allowing many non-EU nationals to take advantage of the offer. Primarily, the investor must have the financial means to make the required real estate investment. The program has been particularly popular among citizens from countries like China and Turkey, but it is open to all non-EU nationals who meet the investment criteria.

There are no age restrictions for the main applicant, although there are age limits for dependent children. Furthermore, applicants must not have any criminal record and must pass a due diligence check to ensure the safety and integrity of the program.

The inclusivity of the program is one of its key strengths, enabling a diverse group of investors to gain residency in Greece. It is important for prospective applicants to consult with legal and financial advisors to ascertain their eligibility and ensure that their investment complies with the program’s requirements.

What are the steps for applying to the Greece Golden Visa?

The application process for the Greece Golden Visa is straightforward but requires attention to detail. The steps generally include:

  1. Finding and securing a qualifying property investment in Greece.
  2. Gathering the necessary documentation, including proof of investment and a clean criminal record.
  3. Applying for a visa to enter Greece, if necessary.
  4. Submitting the Golden Visa application along with the required documents.
  5. Attending a biometrics appointment in Greece to finalize the residency permit.

Throughout the process, it is advisable to work with experienced professionals who can guide the investor through each step and ensure that all legal requirements are fulfilled.

Can you renew the Greece Golden Visa after five years?

Renewing your Greece Golden Visa is possible and is an integral part of the program’s design. After the initial five-year period, investors can renew their residency permit for successive five-year terms, provided the property investment is maintained.

The renewal process is relatively simple, with the main requirement being proof that the investment has not been divested. Applicants must also show that they have maintained health insurance coverage in Greece throughout their residency.

It’s important to note that continuous residency in Greece is not required for renewal. Investors have the freedom to come and go as they please, making the Greece Golden Visa an ideal option for those who do not wish to permanently relocate.

For those who wish to solidify their ties to Greece, after seven years of legal residency, there is the option to apply for citizenship. This avenue opens the door to becoming a full-fledged member of the European Union, with all the rights and privileges that accompany EU citizenship.

Further Questions on Greek Residency Through Property Ownership

What is the process for including my family under the Greece Golden Visa program?

Including your family in the Greece Golden Visa program is a key benefit that appeals to many investors. The process involves submitting additional documentation for each family member during the application. This includes marriage certificates for spouses and birth certificates for children, which must be duly authenticated and, if necessary, translated.

Dependent children up to the age of 21 and sometimes dependent parents are eligible for inclusion. The residency rights extend to these family members, allowing them to live, study, and travel freely within the Schengen region. Family reunification under the program is a seamless process designed to keep loved ones together as you embark on this new chapter in Greece.

Can I travel to other Schengen countries with the Greek Golden Visa?

Yes, one of the most attractive features of the Greece Golden Visa is the visa-free Schengen access it provides. The residency permit allows you to travel to other Schengen countries for up to 90 days within any 180-day period without the need for an additional visa. This privilege extends to all Schengen Area countries, offering a significant degree of mobility and freedom for Golden Visa holders and their families.

This benefit is particularly useful for business people who need to travel frequently across Europe or for those who simply wish to explore the continent’s diverse cultures and landscapes. The ability to move across borders with ease underscores the value of the Greek residency program and its popularity among non-EU investors.