Brief Guide for Residence Permit in Greece for Non-EU Real Estate Owners

Residence permits in Greece

A residence permit is any documentation issued by the Greek authorities, according to which a third country citizen is given the right to reside legally within Greek territory, in accordance with the provisions of the European Union. Different categories of residence permits exist, as well as different types of permit within each category.
Employment rights depend on the type of permit issued. Applications for the granting and renewal of residence permits are submitted directly to the municipality or the relevant authority of the Aliens and Immigration of the Decentralised Authority in the applicant’s place of residence, or to the General Secretariat for Immigration of the Ministry of the Interior.

Residence permits for real estate owners and who they apply to

A residence permit for real estate owners is a new type of residence permit, for third country citizens who have received a type D Visa for the same purpose.
Beneficiaries of the right of entry and residence, for a period of five years, are:

  • third country citizens who either own, or intend to own (supported by the
    relevant documentation), real estate property in Greece, provided its minimum value is €250.000;
  • third country citizens who have signed a lease – for a minimum of 10 years – for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts, provided the minimum cost of the lease is €250.000;
  • family members of the third country citizens described above (1).

(1) According to the law, family members of third country citizens entering the country are:

  1. Spouses who are over the age of 18, as well as unwed children under the age of 18 where there is shared custody, including children that have been adopted.,
  2.  Other unwed children under the age of 18, of the other spouse, including children that have been adopted, provided that the applicant is their legal guardian.


Preconditions for a residence permit for real estate owners in Greece

The following conditions must be fulfilled to receive a residence permit:

  1. The real estate property must be owned by and be in possession of its owners.
  2. In cases of joint ownership, where the value of the property is €250.000, the residence permit is only granted if the owners are spouses with undivided ownership of the property. In all other cases of joint ownership, the residence permit is only granted if the amount invested by each of the joint owners is at least €250.000.
  3. If the owner has acquired the property through a legal entity, the applicant must own 100% of the company shares.
  4. The residence permit is also granted in cases where the third country citizen is the owner, either directly or through a legal entity, of more than one real estate property with a combined value of at least €250.000.
  5. The documented intention to own property should be supported by documentation which prove the financial capacity (e.g., certificate of an A-class certified bank, or other recognised financial institution), which certify the existence of bank accounts or other mobile assets, such as bonds or shares, which can cover the cost of the investment of at least €250.000, and which certify the intention of the applicant to purchase the property (contract with a law firm or with a real estate office).

In all cases outlined above, the value of the real estate property will be determined based on the value of the property, or the lease, indicated in the contract.

Entry Visa requirement to obtain a residence permit for real estate owners.

An entry Visa is necessary (type D Visa). Following the issuance of a residence permit, and for its duration, there is no need for a Visa.

Duration of the residence permit for real estate owners

This residence permit is valid for 5 years.

Renewal of residence permits for owners of real estate – Duration and Preconditions

The residence permit can be renewed. More specifically, the residence permits may be renewed for the same duration and for as many times as the applicant requests.To renew the residence permit, the following condition must be met:

  • The real estate property must remain in the ownership and possession of the applicant.

Absences from the country do not impede the renewal of the residence permit.

Residence permits for family members

According the information above, third country citizens can be accompanied by their family members, who will be granted the appropriate entry Visa.

Family members have the option of entering the country at a later date from the applicant, from whom they draw their residence rights.

These family members are issued with a residence permit of the same duration as the applicant, but this permit does not include access to employment.

The children of the applicant, who have been originally admitted to the country under the terms and requirements of residence permits, are issued an independent residence permit when they reach the age of 18 which can be renewed annually until their 21st year. Further renewals are possible in accordance with immigration legislation.

Procedures until the final issuing of the permit

Upon Arrival: A third country citizen who intends – and has the necessary supporting documentation – to own real estate property and has received a Visa entry for this purpose, is required to complete the required actions to apply for the residence permit before the expiry of the entry visa. In this case, the prospective applicant is able to undertake legal acts and transactions with the competent authorities, using their entry visa.

Application process: The submission of the application for the issuance of the residence permit, the submission of additional documentation, the receipt of the residence permit or of a rejection, or any additional documentation from the relevant file, can be done either in person by the third country citizen, or through a proxy. Even if the application in question has been submitted by a proxy, the applicant is required to be in Greece on the date of the application submission. The documentation outlined in the previous steps should be attached and submitted with the application.

Documentation check:The authorities receiving the application will issue a confirmation that the application has been submitted, provided that all the necessary documentation has been submitted with the application. The confirmation is valid for one year.

Application processing timeframe

The owner of the real estate property is not affected by the duration of the processing of their application, from the moment the application is submitted to the relevant authorities until the issuing of a decision by the Secretary General of the Decentralised Authority regarding their residence permit. After the application has been submitted, the applicant receives a receipt confirming the submission of the application, which is valid for one year. The time required to process the application depends on the specific locality where the application was submitted and the volume of pending applications. Authorities have been instructed to give priority to this type of application, and all
efforts are made to process the applications within two months.

Provisions during the application processing period

The third country citizen, who has submitted an application and received the confirmation receipt described above, can reside legally in the country for the duration of the confirmation receipt. The holder of the confirmation receipt is entitled to the benefits of the residence permit that they have applied for. Hence, they can proceed with any legal transaction regarding their investment and can transact with all the relevant authorities.

Issuing of the decision

Once the authority of Aliens and Immigration of the Decentralised Authority has verified that the application fulfils all necessary conditions and, in accordance with the decision of the Secretary General of the Decentralised Administration, they will issue a five-year residence permit.