NEW RULES for the Greek Golden Visa (full text) 02.04.2024

MAIN POINTS OF NEW CHANGES:

The Greek Parliament voted on the long-awaited amendments to the Greek Golden Visa program, which are detailed below.

TWO ZONES 800/400k:

For the Region of Attica, the Regional Units of Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini, and the islands with a population of more than 3,100 inhabitants, the minimum value of real estate at the time of acquisition is 800,000 EUR. For all other regions of the country, the minimum value of real estate at the time of acquisition is set at 400,000 EUR. The investment must be carried out in a single property with a minimum surface area of 120 square meters.

The minimum threshold in Mykonos and Santorini will be increased from 500k to 800k EUR. Additionally, 32 more islands have been added to the same 800k investment list, but the minimum threshold for these islands will be raised directly from 250k to 800k EUR, as follows:

However, thirty two (32) more islands are added to the same list, the minimum threshold will be increased from 250k to 800k are the followings:

  • Crete
  • Euboea (Evia)
  • Rhodes
  • Corfu
  • Lesbos
  • Chios
  • Zante (Zakynthos)
  • Salamis(Salamina)
  • Kos
  • Kefalonia
  • Samos
  • Lefkada
  • Syros
  • Naxos
  • Kalymnos
  • Lemnos
  • Paros
  • Thassos
  • Aegina
  • Tinos
  • Ikaria
  • Andros
  • Leros
  • Karpathos
  • Skiathos
  • Milos
  • Skopelos
  • Spetses
  • Kythera
  • Patmos
  • Poros
  • Alonissos

EXCEPTIONS:

  1. Conversion from commercial to residential: In case the Golden Visa property is converted from commercial (i.e. industrial, etc.) into residential use, the minimum threshold remains 250,000 EUR, regardless of the location and the size of the property. The above investment is carried out on a single property, and the conversion of the use must be completed before submitting the golden visa application.
  2. Restoration of listed buildings: In case the Golden Visa property is located in listed buildings (i.e. buildings with historic interest under special protection) that are to be fully restored or reconstructed by the Investor, the minimum threshold remains 250,000 EUR, regardless of the location and the size of the property. The above investment is carried out on a single property, and the full restoration is a prerequisite for the first renewal of the golden visa after five (5) years. The property cannot be sold until restoration is complete. Failure to restore will result in a revoked residence permit and a 150,000 EUR administrative fine.

USE RESTRICTIONS – NO AIRBNB:

All golden visa properties are prohibited from being rented out short-term in the context of the sharing economy, even by third parties under sublease agreements. It is not yet clear whether this provision will be finally voted on with retrospective effect for all individuals who currently hold a Golden Visa.

Golden Visa properties under the “conversion” scheme (from commercial to residential) are also prohibited from being used as a Company Registered Seat.

In the event of non-compliance with the above provisions, the residence permit is revoked, and an independent administrative fine of 50,000 EUR is imposed on the property owners.

TRANSITIONAL PERIOD:

However, investors may apply under the current 250k minimum threshold, provided that they pay a 10% deposit by August 31, 2024, and finalize the investment by December 31, 2024. In case the purchase of the property is not completed on time, the investor is allowed to complete their investment in another property no later than April 30, 2025.

All other provisions of the current Golden Visa Law remain unchanged.

FULL TEXT OF THE AMENDMENT BILL

Article 100

Investments in real estate (investor’s permanent residence permit)

(Residence permit “type B.5.”)

1. With a decision of the Secretary of the Decentralized Administration, a residence permit for five (5) years, with the possibility of renewal, is granted to a citizen of a third country, who:

a) Has entered the country legally with any entry visa, or resides legally in the country, even if the residence permit he holds does not allow a change of purpose.

b) Has, by full ownership and possession immovable property in Greece. In cases of undivided co-ownership with an acquisition value at least equal to that defined in par. 2, the right of residence is granted, only if the co-owners are spouses or partners who have entered into a cohabitation agreement. Otherwise, the right of residence is granted, only if the percentage of each co-owner is of a value equal at least to that defined in par. 2

c) Has, by full ownership and possession of immovable property in Greece with an acquisition value of at least equal to the one defined in par. 2, through a legal entity based in Greece or another EU member state, whose stocks or corporate shares he owns entirely

d) Has entered into a long-term contract of complex tourist accommodation, according to par. 2 of article 8 of Law 4002/2011 (A’ 180) or a timeshare rental contract of tourist accommodation, according to Law 1652/1986 (A’ 167), of a value at least equal to the one defined in par. 2.

e) Is an adult and has acquired full ownership and possession, as a result of interstate succession or as a result of succession due to a will, or through parental donation, of immovable property of an objective value equal at least to the one defined in par. 2.

2. For the Region of Attica, the Regional Unit of Thessaloniki of the Region of Central Macedonia, the Regional Units of Mykonos and Thira of the South Aegean Region and for the islands with a population according to the latest census, of more than three thousand one hundred (3,100) inhabitants , the minimum value of the real estate at the time of its acquisition, as well as the total contractual rent of the contracts of point (d) of paragraph 1 hereof is set at eight hundred thousand (800,000) euros.

In the case of the investment through the purchase of real estate in the areas of the above section, the investment is carried out in a single property.

Specifically, if it is an already constructed/built property, or a property for which a building permit has been issued, a minimum surface area of one hundred and twenty (120) square meters is required. In the case of investment through purchase in undivided co-ownership percentage of a property, the minimum value of the co-ownership percentage is set at eight hundred thousand (800,000) euros, subject to the conditions of the previous paragraphs.

b) For the rest of the regions of the country, the minimum value of the real estate at the time of its acquisition, as well as the total contractual rent of the contracts of point (d) of paragraph 1 hereof is set at four hundred thousand (400,000) euros.

In the case of the investment through the purchase of real estate in the areas above, it is carried out in a single property.  Specifically if it is a constructed/built property, or a property for which a building permit has been issued, a minimum surface area of one hundred and twenty (120) square meters is required.

Inthe case of investment through the purchase of an undivided coownership percentage of a property, the minimum value of the co-ownership percentage is set at four hundred thousand (400,000) euros, subject to the conditions of the previous paragraphs

c)  Specifically in cases of investment through purchase in real estate, and provided that the property’s main areas are converted into residential use, the minimum value at the time of its acquisition is determined at two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) euros.

The above terms also apply in cases of investment through purchase in immovable property which consists of an industrial building, or part of an industrial building, or within which an industrial building is situated, exclusively if for the last five (5) years at least there was no established and operating industry in it.

The investment of the above section is carried out in a single property and the conversion of the use must be completed before submitting the application for the granting of the investor’s permanent residence permit.  In the cases of the above sentences, the conversion of use can also be carried out by the seller.

In the case of investment through the purchase of an undivided co-ownership percentage of a property, the minimum value of the co-ownership percentage is set at two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) euros, subject to the conditions of the previous paragraphs.

d) In cases of investment through the purchase of real estate consisting of listed buildings that are to be restored or reconstructed, or parts of listed buildings, or real estate within which a listed building is located, the minimum value at the time of its acquisition is set at two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) euros.

The investment of the above section is carried out on a single property.

In the case of investment through the purchase of an undivided co-ownership percentage of a property, the minimum value of the coownership percentage is set at two hundred and fifty thousand (250,000) euros, subject to the conditions of the previous paragraphs.

Transferring of the ownership of the real estate asset of this section before the completion of the full restoration or reconstruction is void.

3. The minimum value of the immovable property at the time of its acquisition, as well as the total contractual rent of the leases of hotel accommodation or tourist residences herein, as derived from the notarial deeds of purchase, and, in case the purchase is subject to the payment of a credited price, from the corresponding, legally transcribed, notarial acts of repayment and removal of dissolution clause, or the lease contracts, respectively, determined according to par. 2, must have been paid in full before submitting the request for the granting of the permanent investor residence permit.

4. Citizens of third countries – holders of an investor’s permanent residence permit may renew their residence permit, for an equal duration each time, as long as the real estate remains in their ownership and possession or the contracts of par. 1 remain in force and the other conditions are met of the present.

Exceptionally for the cases of citizens of third countries – holders of a permanent residence permit of an investor who have implemented an investment of case (d) of paragraph 2, an additional requirement for the first renewal of their residence permit is the implementation of the full restoration of the real estate and/or its total reconstruction, regardless of the cause of the   deterioration or collapse or demolition of the building, or parts of it.

Periods of absence from the country do not constitute an impeding reason for renewing the residence permit.

5. The agreed price or rent is paid in full in the following ways: a) by two-line bank check to the beneficiary’s account held at a credit institution operating in Greece, b) by credit transfer, according to section 24 of the article 4 of Law 4537/2018 and c) through a POS installed by a payment service provider, which operates in Greece, by charging the buyer’s bank credit or debit card, to the beneficiary’s payment account held at a payment service provider, according to paragraph 11 of article 4 of Law 4537/2018, which operates in Greece. The above payment can also be made by the buyer’s spouse or relatives by blood or by marriage up to the second degree. All the above provisions also cover the payments that have taken place with the above payment methods from 1.1.2017 until today. All particulars of the payment, including in particular the identification details of the seller, the buyer and any third party payer, the payer’s payment account number, their address, their official personal document number, the payer’s identification number or their birthdate and of his place of birth, the method of payment and the relevant payment accounts of credit for the payer and debit for the beneficiary,, as well as the solemn declaration of the buyer about the marital relationship or kinship with a third payer, are declared and submitted responsibly by the contracting parties before the Notary Public who drafts the contract and are referenced in it.

6. The third country citizen, when submitting the application for the granting of the permanent residence permit of an investor, submits a certificate from the notary who drew up the notarial acts of sale or the lease contracts of point d) of paragraph 1, which certifies the details of the contracting parties, the details of the property, the method of payment of the agreed price or rent and all the specific details of making the payment, in accordance with the provisions hereof, the existence of any dissolution clause, as well as whether the specific property has been used by the seller for the issuance of a permanent investor’s residence permit. In cases of acquisition due to sale, a copy of the investor’s real estate data declaration (E9) is submitted.

7. Citizens of third countries, owners of real estate, are given the possibility to rent out their properties.

7A. The properties acquired in full ownership by citizens of third countries for the initial granting or renewal of an investor’s residence permit, are prohibited from being rented out short term in the context of the sharing economy, and also to be subleased/sub-rented.

In addition, the properties acquired by full ownership by citizens of third countries for the initial granting or renewal of an investor’s permanent residence permit under the conditions of point (c) of paragraph 2 are not allowed to be used as a company headquarters or branch.

In case of non-compliance with the provisions of the first and the second sentences, the residence permit is revoked and an independent administrative fine of fifty thousand (50,000) euros is imposed on the owners and/or holders of the property.

In case of non-compliance of the provisions of the second sentence of paragraph 4, an independent administrative fine of one hundred fifty thousand (150,000) euros is imposed on the owners and/or holders of the property.

In case that a contract to transfer the ownership of the property is signed despite the prohibition set out at case (d) of paragraph 2, the residence permit is revoked and an independent administrative fine of one hundred fifty thousand (150,000) euros is imposed on the owners and/or holders of the property.

The fines of the present paragraph are considered public revenue and are collected in accordance with the Public Revenue Collection Code.

8. The resale of the real estate during the validity of the residence permit to another citizen of a third country, gives the right to grant a residence permit to the new buyer with the simultaneous revocation of the seller’s residence permit.

9. Residence permits granted under this article do not establish any right of access to any form of employment.

10. The residence permit is issued within two (2) months from receipt of all the elements of the file to the issuing authority.

11. In case of entering into a contract for the sale of a property at any price, the seller, a citizen of a third country, must provide a certificate from the locally competent Aliens and Immigration Service of the Decentralized Administration, mentioning whether the specific property has been used for the issuance of an investor’s permanent residence permit. The above applies accordingly in the case of the sale of a property by a legal entity, the shares of which are wholly owned by a citizen of a third country, in accordance with point c) of paragraph 1.”

2. (typical authorization provisions)

3. Investor residence permits that have been granted to citizens of third countries under paragraph B of Article 20 of Law 4251/2014 (A’ 80), the special conditions of Article 92 of Law 5007/2022 (A’ 241) or the conditions that were in force before the entry into force hereof remain in force and are renewed, as long as the conditions that were in force at the time of their grant continue to be met.

4. Under the requirements of article 92 of Law 5007/2022 (A’ 241) citizens of third countries may finalize their investment by December 31, 2024 subject to the conditions that were applicable until the entry into force of the present (amendment), under the condition of an advance payment of ten percent (10%) on the purchase price or the total contractual rent of the contracts of para. d) of par. 1 of article 100, or the payment of the agreed price or rent in accordance with par. 5 of article 100, either by signing a notarial preliminary agreement or by signing a private agreement of certified date and submitting relevant proof of credit from the buyer’s bank regarding the remittance of the amount of the advance payment to the seller’s account until August 31st, 2024.

If the purchase of the property or properties of the previous paragraph is not completed, the citizen of a third country may complete his investment in another, or other properties under the conditions that applied before the entry into force of the present (amendment), under the requirements of article 92 of Law 5007/2022, and no later than April 30, 2025 in any case.

Latest news & articles