Under the «golden visa» program and according to data, up to the 31st of January 2017, 1,573 licenses have been issued to property investors.
The first country of origin of the buyers is China with 664 licenses, followed by Russia with 348, Egypt is the third with 77, Lebanon the fourth with 73 and Ukraine the fifth with 67. The first countries in residence permits, including the permits granted to the investors’ relatives (3,809 in total), are China with 1.580 permits, Russia with 787, Iraq with 211, Lebanon with 203 and Egypt with 179. The prerequisite is that the minimum price of the property should be 250.000 €. More specifically:
- A minimum investment of 250.000 euros for the purchase of a property.
- The investors have the right to a permanent residence permit and the citizenship. The application for citizenship may be filled after seven years of residence permit providing that the other criteria are met. For example, it requires among other things, the stay in the country for 7 years, learning the Greek language and other criteria.
- All family members (spouse and children under 21), their parents and their spouse’s parents can obtain a residence permit. Even after their 21 years of age, the children can obtain an extension of their residence permit for three years.
- The investors have the option of transferring their property to another foreigner along with the residence permit. In fact, there is no minimum time to keep the property in their possession before transferring it.
- It is not necessary for the property buyer or for the members of his family to stay in Greece in order to keep their residence permits.
- Holders of residence permits can travel freely to other Schengen member states. They can travel directly from the countries where they live, without the need to cross Greece first.
- If an investor wants to purchase a property in Greece with a friend or a second-degree relative, in order to acquire the rights of the «Golden Visa», each investor must spend at least 250.000 Euros for the same property.
- If an investor in Greece wants to buy more than one property and the value of each property is smaller than 250,000 € but the total value is equal or exceeds 250000€ then he /she is also granted a residence permit.
- The interested investor may invest in any form of property (business, residential or a land) or in any combination providing that the total investment amount is at least 250.000 €. The law refers to a contract value of 250.000 € and does not make any distinction between business and residential properties.