Background: why did the couple need a European residence permit?
Arsen and Amina are pensioners from Kazakhstan. They live in Nur-Sultan, receive a pension, and earn income from their investments in securities.
They often travel, especially to Europe. Arsen and Amina had bought an apartment in the Czech Republic. In 2021, they decided to obtain a residence permit in an EU country and live there for several months, and if they liked it, they would move there.
Their Czech residence permit had to be renewed every year, and they would be eligible for permanent residence until they had lived there for at least five years. At the same time, they were not allowed to leave the Czech Republic for more than six months in a row. They decided that the Czech Republic did not suit them and would prefer to sell their property and get a residence permit by investment in a European country by the sea.
Their children helped them choose a reliable agent, Immigrant Invest, to help them apply for the residence permit by investment. Our company is the only one in the industry that reduces the risk of our clients’ applications for residence permits or citizenship by investment to 1% due to our preliminary Due Diligence check.
Why Arsen and Amina have decided to invest in real estate in Greece?
Immigrant Invest’s experts on residence permit programs recommended the Greece Golden Visa Program, the most inexpensive residence permit program for investors in the European Union.
The program offers seven investment options, including purchasing residential real estate for €250,000. Real estate is allowed to be rented out. After five years, investors can get a permanent residence permit and sell the property.
Benefits Greece Golden Visa. One of the program's advantages is that investors do not need to take exams in the Greek language or the country's history. They do not have to live in Greece to renew their residence permit.
A Greece residence permit card is issued immediately for five years. The resident cardholders do not have to collect documents and pay state fees yearly to renew their residence permit.
Greece is a country with a comfortable Mediterranean climate and relatively low cost of living. Arsen and Amina, like that from Greece, are easy to get to any European country and do not require a visa to stay there up to 90 days out of 180.
The conditions attached to the Greece residence permit program suited the couple. In addition, Arsen and Amina had been on vacation in Greece many times. They liked the coast of the Aegean Sea, the measured way of life, the friendliness of the locals, and Greek cuisine.
What real estate is suitable for Greece Golden Visa by investment
Participants in the Greek residence permit by investment program are offered six options. The option to purchase residential or commercial real estate is the most popular. Investors can then rent out the property. Five years later, they can sell the property.
The investor can own the property. Another option is registering real estate to an EU-based company where the investor owns 100% of its shares. A couple can own one property together only if they invest at least €250,000. For example, if a couple buys property for €500,000.
The property price must have been at least €250,000 when the investor purchased it or applied for the Golden Visa.
Examples of property suitable for Greece Golden Visa
Preliminary Due Diligence check
Arsen contacted Immigrant Invest on November 25, 2021. Before he signed an agreement with us, our certified Anti-Money Laundering Compliance Officer conducted a preliminary check on Arsen on international legal and business information bases.
The process took one day. Arsen's financial history is clear: he has no criminal record, receives a pension and income from interest on investments in securities, and pays his taxes yearly.
Immediately after our preliminary Due Diligence check, Arsen signed an agreement with Immigrant Invest.
Preparation for purchasing real estate for the Greece residence permit program
The next step in obtaining a Greece residence permit is selecting and purchasing real estate. Immigrant Invest has its own database of verified properties in Greece.
Selection of real estate. Immigrant Invest’s real estate experts helped Arsen and Amina find a suitable property. The couple chose a three-bedroom villa in Crete.
Legal verification of the transaction and prepayment. When Arsen selected property to buy to participate in the residence permit program, Immigrant Invest's lawyers checked the property's legal validity, the seller's integrity, and the sale and purchase agreement terms. Then the investor transferred an advance payment of 10% of the cost of the villa to the seller from Arsen's bank account in Kazakhstan.
Conclusion of the sale contract and payment for the property. Our lawyers acted on behalf of Arsen in Greece: Arsen remotely signed a power of attorney in his name. The document was apostilled and sent to Greece.
Our lawyer, by proxy, arranged for an individual taxpayer number to be issued for the investor. The investor then paid the remaining 90% of the value of the property and the property transfer tax of 3.09%. After that, the lawyer and the notary prepared the documents for participation in the residence permit program.
How Arsen created a problem when paying for the villa
In order to buy a villa in Greece, Arsen and his wife sold their apartment in the Czech Republic. The money from the sale remained in the account of the Czech agent.
Without informing us, Arsen told the agent in the Czech Republic to transfer the money directly to the account of the Greek seller of the villa because he wanted to save some money on banking fees.
However, you are not allowed to do that. Payment for real estate under the residence permit program in Greece can be made only from the investor’s personal account or his next of kin.
The seller of the villa had to return the money to the agent’s account in the Czech Republic. The agent then transferred the money to Arsen’s account. Only then was Arsen able to pay for the property in Greece.
As a result, he lost a week and paid a commission for four transactions instead of two.
Head of the Sales Department
Registration of a contract for the sale of real estate. After Arsen paid the full price of the villa, our lawyer in Greece, by proxy, registered the sales contract with a Greek notary.
As soon as the notary certified the documents, our lawyer submitted the registration agreement to the real estate registry and received a registration certificate. The process took about a month.
Documents preparation and submission of an application for a Greece residence permit
The investor’s documents start being prepared simultaneously with the selection and purchase of the real estate.
Arsen and Amina bought a medical insurance policy and provided the documents and photographs required for the application. Our lawyers filled out the relevant government forms, translated the documents, and certified copies, helped pay fees and compiled the required package of documents.
The application for a Greece residence permit is submitted personally by the investor, his wife, an adult relative, or a lawyer by proxy. For Arsen and Amina, the documents were submitted by our lawyer by proxy to the relevant department of the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum of Greece.
The investor was immediately issued a certificate that allowed him to stay in Greece for one year.
The main documents required when applying for a Greece residence permit:
- Copies of the passports of the investor and his wife.
- Marriage certificate.
- Birth certificates of the children included in the program together with the investor.
- Contract for the sale of the real estate.
- Certificate of ownership of the real estate in Greece.
- Medical insurance.
- Four 3.5 × 4.5cm photographs;
- A notarised power of attorney in the name of a lawyer in Greece.
Biometrics are usually taken on the day of application. If the investor cannot come to Greece and the lawyer submits the documents for him, the biometrics are scheduled for the following day. An investor can undergo the Due Diligence check under the program without submitting their biometrics. Still, they cannot get a residence permit card until they have undergone a Due Diligence check.
While the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum department was considering the application of Arsen and Amina, the couple were enjoying their time in Greece. At the same time, they submitted their biometrics.
Obtaining Greece residence permit cards
The department approved Arsen and Amina's residence permit application of the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum in early June 2022. Their lawyer, by proxy, collected the cards on behalf of the investor and his wife and couriered them to Nur-Sultan via a delivery service.
€356,995: the cost for Arsen’s family to participate in the Greece residence permit program:
- investment in real estate: €327,000;
- tax on the transfer of ownership, 3.09%: €10,104;
- municipal property tax, 2%: €6,540;
- lawyers’ services in Greece, 1.5%: €4,905;
- services of a Greek notary, 1.5%: €4,905;
- technical expertise, 0.3%: €981;
- VAT for the services of a lawyer, notary, and technical expertise, 24%: €2,560.
Step-by-step process to get Greece residence permits for Arsen and Amina
How the Arsen and Amina’s life has changed since getting Greece Golden Visas
We recommended a real estate agency to our clients, where they rented a villa for a month to a family from Germany. Arsen and Amina made an additional profit from the rental and planned to repeat this experience from time to time.
Previously, we had not thought about leaving Kazakhstan. However, recently we have been travelling around Europe increasingly frequently, rediscovering our favourite places and getting to know the locals.
We have been considering a residence permit for a long time to avoid applying for a Schengen visa. But now, with a residence permit in Greece, we want to try on life in another country by the sea: we will come to Greece in autumn for two or three months.
If we like it, we will move to Greece permanently. And our children will inherit the villa.
Pensioners from Kazakhstan