Frequently Asked Golden
Visa Questions

We have collected all the questions arising from our
experience in practicing golden visa during the last years.


1. If I get the Golden Visa residence permit am I allowed to work in Greece?

The Golden Visa residence permit does not grant working rights in Greece. Therefore, the holder of a Golden Visa cannot access the work market either as an employee or freelancer. However, the holders of Golden Visa have the right to establish a company in Greece and exercise control as shareholders or non-executive BOD members. Still, they will need to employ someone to appoint the company’s director.

2. I need to have valid life insurance in Greece to qualify for the Golden Visa. Do I also need to insure my properties to maintain my residence permit?

It is indeed imperative to have valid health insurance in Greece for every applicant included in the Golden Visa programme (main applicant and family members) as the Greek Golden Visa law requires that. On the other hand, the Golden Visa law does not oblige you to have your property insured. However, it is always recommended to insure your investment against various risks, but the final decision depends entirely on you.

3. How many times do I have to travel to Greece to get the Golden Visa?

Typically, only one visit is mandatory for the submission of your biometrics. The rest of the process can be handled by your lawyers through a Power of Attorney (POA). However, it is recommended to travel at least once more at the beginning of the process to sign a POA, open a bank account and choose a property on your own.

4. Is it possible for all family members to apply for the Golden Visa at the same time?

Yes, all family members may apply together. The only limitation is that the dependent family members cannot apply before the main applicant. It is also possible for other family members to apply later; however, their residence permit will expire at the same time as the one of the main applicant.

5. I have my own company in UAE. Can I buy properties through my company and be eligible to get my own Golden Visa this way? 

The Greek Golden Visa Law provides that a residence permit is granted to individuals who purchase property in Greece with a minimum value of 250,000 EUR. Furthermore, a residence permit is also granted to individuals who have full ownership of real estate property in Greece of a minimum value of 250,000 euros through a legal entity established either in Greece or in another European Union member state, in which the individual must own 100% of the company shares. Subsequently, since your company is established in UAE, you cannot use it for your Golden Visa planning.

6. My daughter is 20 years old. Will I be able to include her in my application? How long will her residence permit be valid?

Your 20 years old daughter is considered an adult; however, you will be able to include her in your application as a member of your family, as there are special provisions in the Greek Golden Visa Law for the applicant’s family members. More specifically, residence permits are issued for the investor’s spouse and all their children up to 21 years old, provided they are still unmarried. Subsequently, your daughter’s golden visa will be valid until her 21st birthday.

Once her Golden Visa expires, she may switch to another type of residence permit, called an “independent residence permit”, for three more years, also granting working rights in Greece. When she turns 24 years old, she may renew it further, according to pertinent immigration legislation (for example, for studies in Greece, employment etc. ) or make a new investment under the Golden Visa Law.

7. My daughter is 22 years old. Will I be able to include her in my application?

If your children have already exceeded 21 years old, they cannot qualify as dependent family members of a Golden Visa holder. In that case, you may appoint your children as the main investors, and you may qualify as their dependent parent, which comes with no conditions or further requirements.

8. I want to apply for the Greek Golden Visa for myself and my parents who are divorced.  My father has been remarried.  Can I include in my application both my natural mother and the wife of my father?

According to the Greek Golden Visa Law, the investor’s parents and parents-in-law are family members and may also be granted a Golden Visa without further requirements. Therefore, if your parents are divorced, and your father remarried, only your natural mother and father may apply, as your father’s wife is not considered a family member. However, suppose the investor has been adopted by the new spouse of his/her parent. In that case, the foster parent is considered a family member, and he is eligible to apply for a Greek Golden Visa.

9. What kind of health requirements do the applicants of the Golden visa have to fulfill?

The Golden Visa Law does not provide that the applicants should meet any health requirements, unlike other procedures, such as the issuance of a Type D Schengen Visa.
Regarding access to health services, third-country citizens- applicants of Golden Visa and their family members who fall under the provisions of this law, are required to have insurance that covers their healthcare and medical care expenses.

10. My husband has a daughter aged 14 from his previous marriage. His ex wife has custody of her but we wish to include her in our Golden Visa application. Is that possible. What kind of procedure do we need to follow? 

Yes, of course, you are able to include your husband’s 14-year-old daughter from his previous marriage. Since her mother has her custody, at the time of submitting your daughter’s application, you must also present to the immigration authorities her mother’s written consent for the submission of the golden visa application, according to the law governing your family issues.

1. What is the average time needed in order to conclude a real estate purchase?

After choosing the desired property and agreeing on the price with the seller, some basic steps must be followed.

The first step is to conclude the legal due diligence on the selected property to identify if it is free and clear of burdens and encumbrances. This is conducted by a lawyer who will research the previous title deeds at the corresponding land registry or cadastral office going back at least 20 years. An enhanced Due Diligence may be concluded usually in one week, but a first estimate can be obtained within a couple of days. 

If all goes well and the property is clear, then the procedure of the purchase contract begins. A Notary public has to be appointed to evaluate the property file and draft the purchase contract.  The law requires the seller to provide specific documents to the Notary public for the contract to be concluded.  Usually, the seller needs about a month to collect all the required documents. Regarding individual sellers and resales, it is common for the Notary to find mistakes or ask for the issuance of some documents with corrections. Based on that, the average time needed to conclude a real estate purchase is about 6-8 weeks if the property is clear.

However, this time may vary depending on various factors.  For example, if the property is owned by more than 2-3 owners, it might require more time for them to collect all the documents (often, they are different for each one).  Or in case the property is rented or needs any legal amendment to be legally transferred, this might also prolong the time needed for the final purchase contract.

On the other hand, if the seller/s are extremely diligent with collecting the documents required on their side, the procedure can be concluded fast, even within 2 weeks.

2. How are ownership rights protected and secured according to Greek law?

The Greek legal system provides a rich and effective mechanism for the protection of ownership rights.

First of all, under Greek law, all ownership rights are registered to public records kept in Books at Land Registries, and in electronic files at the Cadastral Offices. The public character of the above records ensures that everyone has access to the information concerning the ownership status of a property and that this information is official and can be trusted by any interested person, thus creating the necessary legal security.

Furthermore, Greek law allows a property owner to protect his ownership status judicially effectively.

A property owner can file court actions and ask for interim measures against anyone who infringes his/hers property rights. The competent court can issue binding judicial decisions forbidding further infringements of property rights and/or imposing relevant monetary compensation obligations to the violator of the property rights.

3. Is it possible to buy or sell real estate property in Greece via power of attorney? How is it drafted and which is its validity time?

Yes, someone can buy or sell property in Greece via a power of attorney (POA).  Through a power of attorney, the principal transfers powers to one or more proxies who may conclude all the required legal actions and transactions on behalf of the principal from A to Z: That is from the initial issuance of a Greek Tax Identification Number on behalf of the principal up to the signing of the final contract and the deed of payment.

Of course, the PoA can be general or more specific depending on the number of powers that the principal wishes to transfer the proxy/ies.

A power of attorney is a legal document therefore its content and the specific mandates it will include have to be drafted and signed by a Greek Notary Public. The  POA has to be addressed to the proxy/ies but it does not need to bare their signature. Only the principal has to sign it in front of the Greek Notary Public or in front of the Greek Consulate in his country of origin. The Notary Public or the Consulate will verify the principal’s signature and validate the Power of Attorney.

In some cases, PoAs drafted by a foreign Notary Public can be accepted as long as they bare the proper certification or Apostille stamp and the legal validated translation in the Greek language.

The POA will be effective until the principal chooses to cease it, which can occur through revocation.  The revocation may concern all the mandates included in the original PoA or specific ones. To revoke a PoA, the principal has to visit either a Notary Public or the Greek Consulate and announce the revocation in writing through a bailiff to the Notary public who has issued it and to the proxies that were included.

Additionally, both the principal and the proxy/ies can specify the duration of the PoA’s validity upon the initial signing.

4. Is it obligatory according to Greek legislation to apply for a house insurance as an owner?

House insurance in Greece is optional and not obligatory for most property owners. 

There is, however, one case where house insurance is mandatory for the final purchase to take place, and that is when the property is acquired through a bank loan.  In that case, the property has to be insured for the basic risks such as fire and earthquake.

In every other case, it is the owner’s right to choose whether he wants to have his property and its contents insured or not and also choose the spectrum of insurance (basic, full insurance) to protect their investment better.

5. Is it possible to buy an island?

Yes, it is possible to buy an island in Greece.

As with every other property transaction, it requires extensive legal expertise, and the following should also be taken under consideration:

Greek legislation provides for certain restrictions when it comes to transactions in areas that have been declared as forest areas to protect the natural and cultural environment. As many islands in Greece have parts of them declared as forest areas, legal advice is strongly recommended before making relevant investment decisions.

Furthermore, kindly note that Greek law poses some restrictions to foreign citizens who are not citizens or residents of the Member States of the European Union and the European Free Trade Association when it comes to buying property located in a limited number of border regions. Individuals or legal entities that are affected by the restrictions above can request the lifting of the ban for the border regions by submitting an application that should clearly state the intended use of the property to the competent ministerial committee.

6. Which are the buyer’s obligations regarding the real estate transaction?

Each part of a real estate transaction undertakes certain obligations imposed by the Greek Civil Code.  The buyer’s main obligation is the purchase price payment upon the terms agreed in the purchase contract. Moreover, the buyer is obliged by law to pay all the relevant transaction costs, namely the property transfer tax, the notary public fees, and the fees for the registration of the purchase contract at the competent Land Registry or Cadastral Office.

7. How can the buyer be protected when the seller is acting in bad faith?

The seller’s main obligation is to deliver and transfer the immovable property free from any legal and actual defects. To protect the buyer’s interests, if the buyer detects legal or actual defects after signing the purchase contract, he has the general right to rescission the purchase contract and demand compensation for the seller’s contractual liability.

More specifically, in cases of actual defects, the Greek Civil Code provides the buyer with further special rights as follows: a) the right to demand the repair or the replacement of the sale object with another object suitable for the use and purpose and if this is possible (the aforementioned right applies to movable property) or, b) the right to demand a reduction of the sale price to intended or, c) to rescind from the sale contract.

8. Which are the main costs involved in buying property in Greece?

The main costs involved in buying real estate property in Greece involve:

  1. The property transfer tax amounts to 3,09 %. For newly built properties (with a building license from 01.01.2006), the previously mandatory application of 24% VAT on the delivery is currently suspended.
  2. Land Registry or Cadastral Office fees that amount to approximately 0,475% of the property price for Public Land Registries and to 0,575% of the property value for Public Cadastral offices. Please note that in the case of a private Land Registry/ Cadastral Office, an extra cost of VAT 24% applies to the 0,3% of the property value.
  3. Notary Public Fees amount to approximately 1-2% of the property value.

Please note that the above are the standard fees for any property purchase. Apart from the above, attorney and real estate agent fees should normally be taken under consideration, as well as the applicable banking fees (i.e. to issue a cashier’s check for the property price, a 0,10% of the amount is charged).

9. In case someone wants to sale his property is there any capital gain tax imposed?

Capital gain tax or goodwill tax was introduced in Greece in 2013. Capital gain tax is imposed by a complex system introduced by the Ministry of Finance mainly on the difference between the acquisition price and the sale price of the real estate property, also taking into account some further information. It is always paid by the seller. In practice, the implementation of the aforementioned tax has been suspended by the Greek government since 2014. Currently, capital gain tax is suspended until the 31st of December 2023.

1. What are the current tax rates for rental income in Greece?


Regarding the rental taxes, please note that the average yield is 3-4% after taxes for long-term leases. Let’s suppose that with the short-term lease, you make the double, i.e. 8% yield, which is 20,000 EUR per year for a property of 250k. The NET rental income is calculated after an automatic deduction of 5% covering possible expenses during the year.

Under the current tax legislation, the rental income is taxed at these rates as follows

  • 15% for income up to EUR 12,000; 
  • 35% for income from EUR 12,001 up to 35,000;
  • 45% for income exceeding EUR 35,001. 

For example, if you receive gross annual rental income EUR 20,000 per year then you will receive (20,000 – 5% automatic deduction =) EUR 19,000 taxable net income, and you will pay:  (12,000 x 15% = 1,800) + (7,000 x 35% = 2,450) = EUR 4,250.

Therefore, for a gross rental income of 20,000, which is a high 8% yield for a 250k property, you will pay 4,250 EUR, which is around 21,25% total tax.


There is a standard tax rate of 22% for corporate entities that rent real estate without scales. Therefore, if we have to deal with large-scale investments, we recommend acquiring the property through a holding company.

2.  If I get the Golden Visa will I be taxed in Greece for my global income?

The holder of the Golden Visa residence permit is taxed in Greece for the income produced in Greece.  For example, the rental income one receives from renting the properties they have acquired.  So, in that case, your worldwide income will not be taxed in Greece but in the country where you are considered a tax resident.

In order to become a tax resident of Greece, there are two conditions that need to be fulfilled:

a) if Greece is your permanent residence country where your vital interests (personal and economic) are established.

b) if you spend more than 183 days per year in Greece.

If both conditions are met, you have to declare yourself as a tax resident of Greece, and you will be taxed in Greece for your worldwide income.

3. What taxes do I have to pay for the two properties I have bought recently in Greece to qualify  for  the  Golden Visa? One of them is rented but the other is not.

All property owners in Greece are subject to an annual property tax (ENFIA), according to the provisions of Law 4223/2013. The annual property base tax varies, as it depends on the special characteristics of each property, which determine its estimated value, i.e., the location, the surface, the floor, the façade, the price zone, the age of the building, the percentage of ownership etc.
Furthermore, rental income is also subject to annual taxation in Greece. Rental income tax rates are the following:
• Rental Income 0-12,000 euros. Tax rate 15%
• Rental Income 12,001-35,000 euros. Tax Rate 35%
• Rental Income over 35,001 euros. Tax Rate 45%

4. What kind of tax obligation will I have in the Greek tax authorities after the property purchase? Will I need to file a tax declaration every year even if I don’t rent out the property?

All property owners in Greece are subject to an annual property tax (ENFIA), according to the provisions of Law 4223/2013. The annual property base tax varies, as it depends on the special characteristics of each property, which determine its estimated value, i.e., the location, the surface, the floor, the façade, the price zone, the age of the building, the percentage of ownership etc.
Furthermore, rental income is also subject to annual taxation in Greece. Please check Question 1 for the rental income tax rates.

5. I need a Greek Tax Identification Number (TIN) to buy a property in Greece. Does getting a Greek TIN create any tax obligations for me?

Getting a Greek Tax Registration Number (AFM) is mandatory for everyone acquiring real estate assets in Greece or/and opening a bank account. Possessing a Greek TIN does not create any obligations for its holder.

1. In my country, we use escrow accounts for real estate transactions. Can I do that to buy a property in Greece?

Escrow accounts may be a common way of payment for property acquisition in other countries. However, in Greece, escrow accounts are not regulated for such actions, and the acquisition of a property should proceed in specific ways to comply with the Greek tax provisions and European anti-money laundering regulations as well.

The amount intended for the purchase of real estate should come from your own personal bank account from your country of origin to your personal bank account in Greece.  Then you can proceed with the payment through your Greek bank account to the seller’s account either through bank transfer or through a crossed bank cheque. 

If you don’t want to be exposed to potential severe tax fines or be subject to possible investigation from the Greek Financial Intelligence Unit, this is the recommended way to proceed with a real estate purchase in Greece.

3. Is it possible for a foreigner individual to be engaged in the construction of immovable property? What are the steps to be followed?

Yes, a foreigner can be engaged in constructing an immovable property.

To be engaged in such an activity, it is common for a construction agreement to be signed between the constructor and the owner of the plot of land, apartment or apartment building.

This type of construction agreement usually contains all the relevant details concerning the construction works undertaken by the constructor, like an analytical description of the construction works and their specific cost, the constructor’s remuneration, the way and the time his remuneration will be paid off, his obligations towards the owner of the property if the work Is not duly completed.

Common clauses of such agreements include the obligation of the constructor to carry out on his own accord, at his own expense and with his due diligence, the works required to complete the task of constructing an immovable property (or, e.g. renovating an apartment), in due time, following the instructions given by the owner of the property, following the rules of science and art, by making use of qualified and experienced staff and appropriate materials.

Also, a constructor is usually responsible for paying the salary and the insurance contributions and deductions in favour of insurance agencies for the work of staff who may be involved in the construction and for holding or issuing all the necessary building permits required by law for the performance of the construction work.

4. I have read that there are a few programmes which accept bitcoins for the investment. Is it possible to invest through cryptocurrency and apply for the Greek Golden Visa?

Currently, Greek law does not provide the possibility to apply for a Golden Visa using bitcoins or other kinds of cryptocurrency, as the law stipulates that the relevant investments should be made in the euro currency, the official currency of Greece. Be cautious when you hear that a Golden Visa can be granted using bitcoins. Even if you get the golden visa, you may be exposed to potential tax or money laundering investigations.

Nevertheless, the Greek Golden Visa program is a residency-by-investment program that evolves dynamically over the years, so maybe in the future, the possibility to invest using bitcoins or other kinds of cryptocurrency may also be provided.

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I have a diplomatic passport which allows me to travel freely in the Schengen zone. I wish to apply for the Greek Golden Visa and include my family members. Can I do that while travelling with my diplomatic passport or do I still need to issue a tourist visa with my regular passport?


I am the owner of a property in a Greek island since 1993. At that time the value of the property was 180,000 euros. Is there a way to proceed to a renovation in order to increase its current value to meet the minimum of 250,000 euros and in that way be eligible for the Golden Visa?


I have received my residence permit in Greece a few months ago through the Golden Visa program but now I have a different passport than the one I used at the time. Do I have to take any actions?

According to the Greek Immigration Code, the Golden Visa residence permits cannot be granted to employees in diplomatic and consular posts who enjoy a legal status subject to the 1961 Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations or to the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, as well as to officials of international organizations notified to the competent Greek authorities, to the extent that their legal status is governed by the relevant international law contracts. So, a diplomatic passport cannot be used for the Golden Visa residence permit application.

First of all and before proceeding to any renovation of your property you have to calculate the property’s objective value. The objective value of the property is a tax value per property, calculated on the basis of certain predetermined criteria. Should the objective value of your property be of a minimum of 250,000 euros, then you are eligible to apply for the Golden Visa. However, in case the objective value is less than 250,000 euros, you should then proceed to renovation works to increase the objective value up to the required amount and then apply for your residence permits.

If you have issued a different passport then you should declare your new passport to the relevant immigration authorities in Greece in order to have your personal data updated. Otherwise, you might face problems during your transportations and you will not be able to renew your residence permits after the period of five years. Therefore, it is imperative to contact your lawyer in Greece and make the necessary arrangements in order for your new passport to be submitted to the immigration authorities and replace the old one in their records.

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A second residency gives you travel freedom
and safeguards the next generations.