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Greece Golden Visa: Requirements & How to Get One
6 min read
Updated on May 14, 2024

Looking to obtain European citizenship or moving to Greece? The Greece Golden Visa program is one way to obtain a Greek residence permit or Greek citizenship to work, do business, travel or live in the European Union. Here’s everything you need to know about the Greek Golden Visa, including how to apply and investment options.

Europe Golden Visa programs are a popular way for foreign investors and third country nationals to gain access to the region. Once certain investment requirements are met, it is possible to get a permanent residence permit or even a Greek passport. This article explains how you can apply for the Greek Golden Visa program by investing in real estate, Greek government bonds, or through other capital contributions.

If you need a different type of entry visa, such as a Schengen visa for Greece, use our convenient visa checker.

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What is the Greek Golden Visa program?

The Greek golden visa program was launched in July 2013 and grants a five-year residency visa in exchange for real estate investment. One of the most competitive Golden Visas in the EU is the Greek Golden Visa. Investments can be made in several ways, but purchasing real estate of EUR 250,000 or more is the most common route, which can be rented out after purchase.

The visa is valid for five years and can be renewed every five years as long as the property investment is maintained. Retaining and renewing an investor visa does not require living in the country. Golden Visas in Greece are very popular among US, British, and Turkish nationals.

Benefits of the Greece Golden Visa program

Obtaining the Greek Golden visa residence permit has several benefits and some extra advantages over other Golden Visa schemes:

  • Relatively low minimum investment value of EUR 250,000 (see below for requirements)

  • The right to live, study and work in Greece

  • Visa-free travel across the Schengen area

  • Direct and extended family members are also eligible

  • Tax benefits for both those living outside of Greece and in the country

  • No minimum stay requirement

  • Immediate residence permit for 5 years

  • Ability to apply remote

Remote Greece Golden Visa application

You can now apply for the Greek Golden Visa completely remotely. You or your dependents don’t have to enter Greece during or prior to the application process, as long as you meet all other requirements. Afterwards, you will receive your blue certificate, or temporary Greek residence permit, in the mail.

After, you will only have to present yourself physically once in Greece in order to provide your biometric data at a Greek Immigration office.

Double taxation treaty for Golden Visa applicants in Greece

Many Golden Visa holders benefit from double taxation agreements with Greece. Investors may not be subject to some of Greece's tax laws, depending on their home country and the amount of time they spend in Greece.

Foreigners living in Greece as tax residents have also been offered a variety of tax incentive programs. The income received by investors within Greece will, however, be subject to a certain percentage tax, for example from renting our real estate.

Who can apply for the Greek Golden Visa?

The following criteria must be met in order to qualify for a Greek Golden Visa:

  • Age of 18 years or older.

  • No criminal record in any country you have lived in.

  • Make a significant investment into the economy of Greece (see options below).

  • Obtain medical insurance from a Greek insurance company for each member of your family that will join you.

Greece Golden Visa eligibility for family members

Family members can be included in the Golden Visa application, such as:

  • Your spouse

  • Unmarried children under 21 years old

  • Dependent parents of yourself or your spouse.

  • Children between 21 and 24 years old who are studying

These family members will be able to enjoy the same rights as the visa holder, and travel visa-free to any country in the Schengen zone.

Real estate property investment and other requirements for the Greek Golden Visa

You must make one of the following investments to qualify for a Golden Visa for Greece:

  • Purchase real estate property with a minimum value of EUR 250,000.

  • Sign a lease contract with hotel accommodation or other furnished tourist residences for a minimum of 10 years.

  • Invest capital of at least EUR 400,000 in a Greek company.

  • Invest at least EUR 400,000 in bonds or shares of real estate investment companies.

  • Deposit a minimum of EUR 400,000 in a Greek bank account.

  • Make an investment of at least EUR 800,000 towards government or corporate bonds.

By far, the lowest financial contribution to obtain the Golden Visa in Greece is required for purchasing real estate, which is why many foreign investors choose the property purchase option. Another benefit is that property prices in Greece are currently amongst the lowest in Europe.

How to apply for the Golden Visa Greece Program

There is a fairly straightforward application process for the Greek Golden Visa. These are the steps:

  • Decide on your investment route.

  • Obtain a Greek non-resident tax number and open a Greek bank account.

  • Purchase property or make your investment as chosen.

  • Prepare all documents needed to apply for the Golden Visa.

  • Submit biometric information to the relevant authorities in Greece, by visiting the country.

Upon approval, you’ll receive a Golden Visa residence permit. The Greek Golden Visa law now allows remote application, including the collection of the residence permits itself. Investors and their families will only need to visit Greece once, just to submit their biometrics.

The application process can take one to two months from submission to approval.

Documents needed for the Greek Golden Visa application

To apply for the Greek Golden Visa scheme and complete the above steps, you’ll need to submit the following documents:

  • Greece Golden Visa application form.

  • Recent passport photos. If you don’t have one, use the convenient iVisa online photo service.

  • Valid passport.

  • Proof of payment for the relevant visa and government fees.

  • Proof of health insurance in Greece for you and all family members that are applying.

  • Proof of funds to cover the investment and how they were obtained.

  • Additional documents according to the investment, such as a real estate purchase contract, agreements for investments made in companies, or Land Registry certificate.

A Greek attorney or the Translation Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens must translate your documents into Greek.

Costs to apply for the Greek Golden Visa

A general rule of thumb is to expect additional costs of between 8% and 10% of the total investment. These costs include legal fees, taxes, application fees (about EUR 2,000 for each member of the family), land registry, and notary fees.

Obtaining Greek citizenship through the Golden Visa program

As long as you maintain the investment, you will be granted a Golden Visa for Greece. The visa will be valid for five years before it can be renewed. It is not necessary to live in Greece to renew your residence permit, unlike most other countries that grant Golden Visas.

It’s possibly to apply for Greek citizenship after 7 years. However, to be eligible, you have to actually live in Greece and pay taxes. It is only possible for an applicant to complete this process if they can demonstrate that they are integrated into Greek society. For example, you must prove your knowledge of the Greek language on a basic level by doing an exam.

How to renew your Greek Golden Visa

Every five years, you can apply to renew your Golden Visa permanent residence card. Family members' residence permits are tied to investors' permits.

Next steps for your Greece Golden Visa application

Have you decided which Golden Visa you wish to apply for? If you can’t choose between the Greek Golden Visa, or another popular program, such as the Portugal Golden Visa, why not take a trip there and find out more? Keep in mind that you may need a short-term Schengen visa to enter the country.

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