The Immigration and Social Integration Code (Law 4251/2014, Government Gazette 1, no 80) contains provisions that facilitate the stay of third-country investors, whose investments are characterized as strategic investments, via the provision of extended stay time limits for the representatives of investment bodies and their partners.
Moreover, it is given the possibility of granting residence permits to third country nationals and to the members of their families, who proceed to the purchase of real estate property in Greece, the value of the one exceeds 250,000 Euro.
A. "Permanent residence permit of the investor." (Article 20)
1. By decision of the Secretary General of the Decentralized Administration, residence permit for five years, subject to renewal, is granted to a third country national who:
(a) has legally entered the country with any type of visa or legally resides in the country, even if the type of residence permit that he possesses, does not permit change of purpose.
(b) has personally the full ownership, possession and peaceful enjoyment of real estate property in Greece. In the case of jointly owned property, worth 250,000 euro, the right of residence is granted only if the owners of the property are spouses with indivisible shares in the property. In all other cases of joint ownership, the right of residence is granted only if the joint ownership rate of each joint owner is worth 250,000 euro.
(c) has the full ownership, possession and peaceful enjoyment of real estate property in Greece via a legal entity, whose shares are fully owned by him.
(d) has concluded an agreement for at least ten years lease of hotel accommodation or furnished tourist residences in tourist accommodation complexes, pursuant to the Article 8 par. 2 of the Law 4002/2011 (Government Gazette 1, no 180).
(e) has concluded a time sharing agreement pursuant to the provisions of the Law 1652/1986 "Time sharing agreement and related issues" (Government Gazette 1, no 167), as in force.
2. The minimum value of the real estate property, as well as the contractual consideration of hotel accommodation or tourist residences leases of this Article, is determined at two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) euro and must have been paid in full upon the signing of the contract.
"The consideration is paid by crossed bank check or by the deposit of bank transfer to the beneficiary's account which is held in a banking institution of Greece or in a credit institution under the supervision of the Bank of Greece, the specific elements of the ones should be solemnly stated by the contracting parties before the notary, who redacts the agreement and declared on it."
By joint decision of the Ministers for the Interior and Finance, the value of the above real estate property may be adjusted and shall result from the property value stated in the contracts or from the lease agreements.
3. Το third country nationals, real estate property owners, the possibility of leasing that property is granted.
4. The above third-country national may be accompanied by the members of his family to whom, at their request, an individual residence permit is issued, that expires together with the residence permit of the sponsor.
Family members shall mean:
(a) the spouse
(b) the lineal descendants of the spouses or either spouse, who are under 21 years old.
"c. the lineal ascendants of the spouses. "
5. The above permit may be renewed for an equal duration, each time, provided that the real estate property remains in the ownership and possession of the third-country national or the agreements of paragraph 1 of this remain in force and all other requirements, provided by law, are fulfilled. Periods of absence from the country shall not disrupt the renewal of the residence permit.
"The resale of the real estate property during the period of validity of the residence permit, to another third-country national shall provide the right to the granting of residence permit to the new buyer with simultaneous withdrawal of the vendor's residence permit."
6. The residence permits, being granted pursuant to the paragraphs 1 and 4 of this Article, do not establish the right of access to any form of employment.
7. The residence permit shall be issued within two months from the submission of all the documents of the file to the issuing authority.
Please download here a Brief Guide to Residence Permits for real estate owners in Greece, edited by Enterprise Greece, in the following languages: English, Greek, Chinese, Russian, and Arabic.
B. Issue and renewal of residence permit for investment activity (Article 16)
A. 1. The entrance and residence of third country nationals is permitted in Greece, for the purpose of making investments that will have a positive impact on national development and economy.
Depending on the amount and the characteristics of the investment, up to ten third country nationals may enter and reside in the country, including the investors, for the implementation and operation of the investment.
2. On the motion of the Directorate of Foreign Investments of the Ministry of Economy and Development, concerning the characterization of the investment and the feasibility of granting residence permit, the entry and residence of third-country nationals may be permitted in Greece for the implementation and operation of the investment.
3. The application and the required documents, as specified by the Joint Ministerial Decision, referred in paragraph 12 of the Article 136, are submitted to the Greek Consular Authority of the area of residence of the interested persons, which, within one month, forwards them to the Directorate of Foreign Investments of the Ministry of Economy and Development.
The above Directorate, within a month, examines the application and forwards the relevant motion to the competent Consular Authority in order for the required national visas to be issued.
The competent Consular Authority, in case of delay of forwarding the relevant motion of the Directorate of Foreign Investments of the the Ministry of Economy and Development.
4. To the third-country national, to whom has been granted a visa for the realization of an investment, a residence permit shall be granted for the same reason, on procurement of the required documents.
The duration of validity of the residence permit is for five years and is subject to renewal for an equal period each time, since the implementation of the investment or its operation is continued after its completion.
5. The above third-country nationals, by way of derogation from the provisions of the Article 70, par. 1, may be accompanied by the members of their families who are granted a residence permit for family reunification, expiring simultaneously with the residence permit of the sponsors.
6. The Directorate for Migration Policy of the Ministry of Interior and Administrative Reconstruction is competent for the examination of the application and the decision on the issue or the renewal of the residence permit for the realization of investment activity.
7. The provisions of this Article shall apply accordingly for the entry and residence of third-country nationals in the context of new investments realized by Greek undertakings, already operating or third country nationals who already reside legally in Greece and hold residence permits for purposes of independent economic or investment activity.
8. In the residence permit of third-country nationals referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, it shall be stated “Residence permit for investment activity "and in the" Remarks " the professional status of the holder shall be referred.
II. 1. Up to ten (10) third country nationals, per investment, deemed necessary, are allowed to enter the country if they have been granted, where necessary, visa (Visa D), in order to realize investments, which have been characterized as "Strategic Investments" , pursuant to a decision of the Interministerial Committee of Strategic Investments on inclusion in Law 3894/2010 (Government Gazette 1, no 204).
The above visa is issued free of charge, on the procurement of the decision of the Interministerial Committee of Strategic Investments, which characterizes the investment as "Strategic Investment" and the motion of the Secretary-General for Strategic and Private Investments referring to the relation of third country nationals with the entity realizing the strategic investment .
2. The above are granted, by decision of the Minister for the Interior, ten-year residence permit, which is renewed for ten years, since the same requirements apply.
3. For the granting of the residence permit, an application with the required documents is submitted to the Directorate for Migration Policy to the Ministry of Interior, as these are defined, by the provisions of Article 136, par. 1, in the Joint Ministerial Decision. The residence permit shall be issued within five (5) days from the date that the application was submitted.
4. The above third-country nationals, by way of derogation from the provisions of Article 70, par. 1, may be accompanied by the members of their family, being granted residence permit for family reunification, expiring simultaneously with the residence permit of the sponsors, as well as by the support staff, in the case of people with disabilities.
III. 1. Third country nationals, being subject to Chapters A and B of this Article and legally residing in the country, are not obliged to leave the Greek territory in order to apply for a residence permit.
2. The competent departments of the Ministries of Development and Competitiveness shall notify, in writing or by e-mail, the Directorate for Migration Policy of the Ministry of Interior, about any change in the evolution of implementation of the investment activity.
C. All other categories of Residence Permits
Please download here the whole of the Law 4251/2014 "Immigration and Social Integration Code and other provisions", which includes all other categories of residence permits.