Greece has a mild climate, warm waters and friendly people. This country is chosen for life by those who not only want to live in a warm climate, but to also do business or make profit from renting out real estate. There are other reasons for obtaining a residence permit and then Greek citizenship: traveling around the world without visas or the ability to open an account with a European bank.
Greek citizenship can be obtained by investment, not immediately, but through the Greece Golden Visa Program. Applicants invest in real estate, stock or deposit. The money can be returned after five years. In this article, we will also explain the paths to citizenship that do not require investment.
Unlike other residents, investors have no obligation to live in the country: they can come and go whenever they want. They will keep their residence permit even if they do not visit Greece. However, to become a citizen, you have to live in the country.
How to obtain Greek citizenship
Naturalization. The residence permit card is issued to the applicant for 5 years. After the expiration of the term, the status can be extended or documents can be applied for permanent residence, and after another 2 years — for Greek citizenship. The main thing is to live permanently in the country for 7 years.
Marriage. Greece citizenship is not issued to those who officially register relations with the citizens of the country. But this simplifies the procedure for obtaining permanent residence: you can apply in three years and submit documents for a passport in 5 years.
Repatriation. It is possible to obtain Greek citizenship if the parents and grandparents were citizens of the country. To do this, you need to provide documents with proof of Greek origin to the country's diplomatic mission for migration.
Military service. Citizenship can be obtained by ethnic Greeks who serve in the Armed Forces of Greece or go to study at the Military Academy.
How to get a residence permit in Greece by investment
Investors over 18 years old, with official income and no criminal record, can participate in the residence permit program in Greece. Simultaneously, the family of the investor also receives status including spouses, partners without marriage registration, children under 21 years of age and parents.
The purchase of real estate in Greece requires approximately €250,000. The objects can be sold after 5 years with the money back. This is the most popular investment option.
Conducting economic activities. An investor can open a deposit in a bank or buy shares and bonds of Greek companies for the amount of €400,000 or more. The applicant has the right to close the deposit or sell securities after 5 years.
A residence permit card for investment is issued for 5 years. Then the status can be extended or documents for permanent residence can be applied, and after another 2 years to obtain Greek citizenship.
Residence permit for financially independent people. If income exists outside of Greece, you can get a residence permit card for two years and then extend it for another three. To do this, you need:
- have an income of €2,000 for the main applicant;
- open an account with a Greek bank in the amount of €24,000 or more;
- reside in Greece for 183 days a year.
A residence permit for financially independent people is more difficult to obtain than an investment status. For example, it is mandatory to obtain a type D visa, and the approval period is stretched over several months.
How to get a residence permit in Greece when buying real estate
More about how to invest: for example, let’s take the option with the purchase of real estate.
1. Preliminary check. Immigrant Invest lawyers conduct a preliminary Due Diligence check. It helps to identify the risk of rejection and find a solution. The verification is confidential and takes one business day.
2. Choosing an investment option. After Due Diligence, the applicant invests in real estate. There are different options:
- rent a hotel for 5 years;
- rent an apartment in a tourist complex for 10 years;
- buy a plot of land for 5 years — for construction or for farming;
- buy a share in a tourist property for 5 years.
Experts from Immigrant Invest help with the selection and offer properties from reliable developers. If desired, the property can be viewed in person or remotely.
3. Preparation of documents. When the investor has decided on the property, the preparation for the application begins. Basic list of documents:
- passport photos;
- a certified copy of a valid passport;
- a receipt confirming the payment of the fee in the amount of €2,000 for the investor and €150 for family members over 18 years old;
- a receipt confirming the payment of a fee of €16 for the production of an electronic residence permit card;
- sample digital signature;
certificate from an insurance company.
Immigrant Invest lawyers help to draw up the documents: they translate into Greek, notarize and apostille.
4. Submission of the application. As soon as the documents are ready, they are submitted for consideration, in person or by proxy. On the same day, you need to submit biometric data — fingerprints. If the documents are submitted by an authorized lawyer or a close relative, biometrics are prescribed the next day.
Immediately after submitting the application, the investor receives a certificate with which he can legally reside in Greece for a year or until he receives a residence card.
5. Consideration of the application. Within two to three months, the authorities at the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Greece study the documents and decide on the issue of a residence permit card.
6. Obtaining a residence permit card. After a positive decision, the applicant is issued a residence permit card. It is not necessary to come and collect as the card can be delivered to your home.
Who can get a residence permit in Greece with an investor
You can get residence permits for the whole family right away: spouse, partner, children and parents.
|Family members ||Conditions ⚙️|
|Spouse||Financially dependent on the main applicant|
|Partner||Civil marriage agreement in Greece and financial dependence on the main applicant|
|Children under 21||Financially dependent on the main applicant. The status can be extended up to 24 years|
|Parents||Financially dependent on the main applicant|
What is the difference between a residence permit in Greece and citizenship
A residence permit in Greece opens up many opportunities for the investor and his family. And after 7 years of permanent residence in the country, it will be possible to apply for citizenship. A passport gives investors additional opportunities: for example, to move to any EU country under a simplified registration procedure.
What gives a residence permit and citizenship in Greece
|Opportunities||Residence permit in Greece||Greek citizenship|
|Living in the country at will||Yes||Yes|
|Access to medical services and education||Yes||Yes|
|Registration of status for a family||Yes||Yes|
|Account in a European bank||Yes||Yes|
|Social benefits for Europeans||No||Yes|
|Transfer of status by inheritance||No||Yes|
|Residence in any EU country||No||Yes|
Who can become a citizen of Greece
Investors usually can have a second citizenship. Upon arrival in Greece, a person is a citizen of Greece, and upon arrival in his motherland, a citizen of that country.
A person can pay taxes, serve in the army and perform other duties in one of the countries — where he permanently lives and works.
Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent of the Greece residence permit program by investment. We help cosmopolitans to obtain residence permit cards, and with them — new opportunities for themselves, family and business. Our lawyers accompany the investor at every stage: with paperwork, to choose real estate and replace residence permit cards after five years.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you are not an ethnic Greek, then you will not be able to immediately obtain citizenship. First you need to issue a residence permit card, then permanent residence and only then apply for citizenship. The process takes at least 7 years.
Wealthy people can get a residence permit in Greece by investment.
Citizenship can be obtained by naturalization, repatriation, birth and military service. If you do not have Greek roots, it is still easier to obtain Greek citizenship through a residence permit card by investment.
With Greek citizenship, you can:
- Travel to the Schengen zones with a Greece passport visa-free countries.
- Open an account with a European bank.
- Reside in Greece at will.
- Use medical services.
- Reside in any EU country for up to 90 days.
- Apply for citizenship for a family.
- To transfer Greek citizenship by inheritance.
The first step towards Greek citizenship is a residence permit. A residence permit card can be obtained for investment.