The British couple decided to get a residential status in a European Union country to stay in the EU for an unlimited time.
Paul and Viola are coders that work for European customers. They go to EU countries for business and personal matters at least twenty times a year. The couple is used to a today-in-France-tomorrow-in-Italy active lifestyle.
But with the visa regime between the UK and the EU, Paul and Viola cannot spend as much time travelling as they want. The UK is not that large, and its climate isn’t favourable for the couple.
In this case, we will tell you how Immigrant Invest helped the couple from the UK get residence permit with the prospect of citizenship in the EU, buy real estate there and travel visa-free to the Schengen countries.
First step: contacting a licensed agent
According to government citizenship and residence rules by investment programs, the investor can apply for their programs only through a licensed agent.
Paul and Viola have chosen Immigrant Invest as it is the only company in the industry that conducts preliminary Due Diligence. The check is carried out before signing a contract and takes one workday. For investors, it means that before signing a contract, they will be aware of a list of suitable citizenship programs for them.
Moreover, the couple liked that Immigrant Invest has been checked and accredited by the citizenship and residence permit programs in the EU and the Caribbean. The licences confirm it.
Our internal compliance department conducts a comprehensive preliminary Due Diligence on each applicant before signing a contract with us. The check helps eliminate the risk of failure. Suppose we find points in their background that could result in their application rejection. In that case, we offer a suitable alternative solution or decline to proceed with the application after explaining the situation to the client concerned.
Head of the Legal Department, lawyer, Candidate of Juridical Sciences, Judicial Counsellor of the 3rd Class
Paul and Viola turned to Immigrant Invest for advice on December 12, 2022. On the same day, the lawyers carried out the preliminary Due Diligence. They found no issues preventing the couple from participating in a program: no criminal record or visa denials, the couple get their income as IT specialists and have no tax debts.
The Immigrant Invest team was 99% confident that any citizenship program would approve Paul and Viola’s application. However, there is always a minimal risk of rejection, as the final decision remains with the citizenship program department.
After the preliminary Due Diligence, Paul signed a contract with Immigrant Invest. Both sides were ready to cooperate.
Second step: choosing a suitable investment program for investors’ goals
Paul and Viola’s goal was to get a residential status in a European Union country that would allow them to stay in any EU country for an unlimited time.
Moreover, Paul and Viola wanted their own house in an EU country. Therefore, they were interested in programs with the possibility of investing in real estate. Their budget was €300,000.
Under the couple’s budget, five programs allowed the couple to obtain a residential status in the EU by investing in the country’s real estate.
To get an Austria residence permit, the investor meets the conditions:
- stay in Austria for 183 calendar days per year;
- prove financial independence by a bank statement;
- have your own or rented housing in Austria;
- speak German at level A1, certified by Goethe Institute, TELC GmbH, or ÖIF;
- have no gainful employment in Austria.
Austria allocates 450 residence permit quotas for financially independent persons each year.
Malta residence permit is obtained by renting real estate for €8,750 per year or buying for €220,000. Under the Maltese residence permit program’s terms, the investor becomes a tax resident of Malta and cannot spend more than 183 days a year in any other country.
To obtain Malta permanent residence, an investor rents real estate for €50,000 for five years or buys it for €300,000, pays government fees and contributions in the amount of €98,000, and donates €2,000 to a charitable organisation. Also, an investor should have a capital of at least €500,000, of which at least €150,000 must be liquid financial assets.
Portugal residence permits offer an investor seven options. Under the supporting country’s culture and art option, the minimum investment amount is €250,000. The option of real estate purchasing requires €280,000.
Greece residence permit requires €250,000 — an investor has seven options to choose from. Six of them are related to the purchase or rental of real estate.
How did the investor choose an EU country to buy a house there and get residential status
|Residential status in Europe||Costs under a buying real estate option for a family of two||Visa-free Schengen Area||Stay in the country to maintain a status||EU citizenship||Additional requirements|
|Malta residence permit||€326,100||No requirements. But it’s banned to live in another country more than 183 a year||After 5 years||No requirements|
|Austria residence permit||€100,000||183 calendar days per year||After 10 years||Basic knowledge of German;|
No gainful employment in Austria
|Greece residence permit||€277,750||No requirements||After 7 years||No requirements|
|Malta permanent residence||€374,800||No requirements||After 5 years||No requirements|
|Portugal residence permits||€311,586||No requirements||After 5 years||No requirements|
Paul and Viola chose the Greece Golden Visa as it is the less expensive program with no requirements for staying in the country.
Moreover, in Greece, real estate prices are lower. For example, in Greece, for €250,000, the investor can buy a two or even three-room modern business-class apartment and immediately move into it. In Portugal, investors can only purchase a share in the hotel for this money.
We will have our own comfortable modern house in an EU country by the warm sea. If we like it in Greece, we will live in an apartment. If we don’t — we’ll rent the house.
freelance coder from the UK
If Paul and Viola live in Greece for five years, they can get permanent residence. After another two years, they can apply for citizenship in Greece.
Greece allows its citizens to have multiple passports. Paul and Viola will not have to give up their British citizenship.
Third step: real estate purchasing to get Greece residence permit
1. Choosing real estate. Immigrant Invest Real Estate Chief Operations Officer Natalia Oganesyan selected five suitable properties for the couple. Paul and Viola wanted to have an apartment by the sea.
We offered the investor apartments in the prosperous and prestigious neighbourhood of Athens. The objects differ in value. The farther from the south and central parts of Athens, the cheaper the real estate. Before offering the investor objects for consideration, our lawyers checked the reliability of the developers and the legal purity of the objects.
Real Estate Chief Operations Officer, RICS certified professional
Paul and Viola chose a new two-bedroom apartment worth €250,000, just five minutes walk to the sea. The apartment has property management services, a conditioning and heating system, a fully equipped kitchen, wardrobe cabinets, and a parking zone.
The superb location, just 100 meters from the beach and the apartment's high aesthetics and modern design made the couple, seeking comfort within nature, choose the property.
2. Obtaining a taxpayer identification number and opening a bank account in Greece are mandatory requirements under the Greece Golden Visa program. An investor can get a taxpayer number in Greece in person or remotely by power of attorney. An account in a Greece bank can be opened in person only.
Paul chose a remote way to get a taxpayer number. He signed a power of attorney for Immigrant Invest lawyers to act on his behalf in Greece. The lawyers apostilled power of attorney and sent it to Greece.
Under a power of attorney, the Immigrant Invest lawyer from the Greece office obtained an individual taxpayer number for Paul.
To open a bank account, Paul went to the National Bank of Greece in Athens on his valid Schengen visa. In the bank, the Immigrant Invest lawyer has submitted the necessary documents to open an account for the investor, and Paul submitted biometrics and signed the documents.
3. Buying real estate. When Immigrant Invest lawyers checked the legality of the purchase and sale agreement, Paul signed it. Then, the lawyers submitted the contract for registration in the Real Estate Register to receive a registration certificate for the investor in Greece.
Along with signing the documents, Paul transferred €277,750 from his Greece bank account to the developer’s account. The real estate purchase tax was 10%. Immigrant Invest lawyers checked the legality of the transaction.
€277,750 — Paul’s costs for the purchase of real estate under the Greece Golden Visa program
Fourth step: applying for a Greece residence permit
1. Document preparation. Immigrant Invest lawyers filled out the forms with personal data for Paul and Viola and collected all the necessary documents:
- application in two copies;
- contract for the sale of real estate;
- four recent colour passport photographs;
- a certified copy of a valid passport or travel documents recognised in Greece, provided, where required, a valid visa;
- receipt of payment of state fee;
- sample digital signature;
- insurance contracts concluded abroad and in Greece.
2. Submitting the documents and the biometrics data is carried out in the Greece Department of Migration Policy of the Ministry of Internal Affairs on the same day.
Paul and Viola arrived at Greece Migration Department on the appointed day to take fingerprints while Immigrant Invest lawyers submitted the documents there.
The Greek authorities study the submitted documents, decide on issuing a residence permit and print residence cards for about two months.
Last step: obtaining residence permits in the EU
On June 13, 2022, the Greece Ministry of Immigration notified Immigrant Invest lawyers of Paul and Viola’s application approval.
An investor can obtain a residence permit card themselves or entrust a lawyer to obtain it for them. Upon receiving the documents for a residence permit, the investor’s foreign passport is presented, and a certificate of submission of documents for a residence permit is returned.
Head of the Sales Department
The Immigrant Invest lawyer from the Greece office picked up the couple’s residence permit cards under a power of attorney. Paul and Viola got their Greek residence cards valid for five years at a convenient address two days later.
6 months to obtain a residence permit in Greece
From a permanent residence in Greece to EU citizenship
In seven years, Paul and Viola are obtaining Greek citizenship. After the first five years, they apply for permanent residence in Greece. The main requirement is not to leave Greece for more than six months in a row or ten months in the entire five-year period.
To apply for Greece citizenship, Paul and Viola need to be in the status of permanent residence in the country for two years. All citizenship applicants take a written examination in the language, culture, history, geography and system of government — the couple is eager to learn a new language, the fourth in their background knowledge.
Paul and Viola do not have to renounce their UK citizenship as Greece allows its citizens to hold multiple citizenships at once.
With Greek passports, Paul and Viola can live, work, and study in any EU country with no limitations and feel absolute freedom of travel.