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Greece’s residency programme’ has seen increasing popularity over the past year, becoming the programme of choice for individuals wishing to gain residency in the EU, especially when compared to its other European counterparts such as Malta and Cyprus. In this full guide to Greek residency programmes, we go through everything you need to know about becoming a Greek resident.
In 2020 alone, Greece saw over 8,000 applications, the highest number of issuances within Europe. , In contrast, Europe’s second most popular Golden Visa programme, Portugal, saw just slightly over 1,000 applications, which shows just how in-demand the programme has become. This popularity can be attributed to the fact that Greece does not require individuals to visit the country in person. This allows individuals to become a resident of the country, even when international borders are closed.
The programme is particularly popular amongst families, with it being the cheapest route to European residency. The starting price is just EUR 250,000, which will need to be invested into Greek real estate. Unlike other European golden visa programmes, there are no criteria as to which type of property the investor can purchase. As such, there is much greater freedom over what and where applicants can choose to buy. Another advantage of the country’s residency programme is that there are no language requirements. As such, you will not have to learn Greek in order to qualify for the programme. That withstanding, outside of the expat communities and the bigger cities, English is not widely spoken by the locals. Therefore if you are looking to settle down in a quieter area of the country, picking up some Greek would be a big benefit.
What is the process?
The process of Greece’s residency programme is a very simple and straightforward one. You will first need to prepare a series of documents and open a Greek bank account. The next step is to transfer the necessary investment funds, and use the account to purchase your chosen property. You will then be eligible to send a residency application for you and all of your dependents. The entire process should take just 60 days. The residency visa can be renewed every 5 years, providing the investors maintain their property, and can eventually lead to citizenship, which will allow you to gain a Greek passport.
Where to live
Holding a Greek residency permit will allow you to have a whole host of benefits. For a start, it will allow you to live in this beautiful country. Greece has a diverse landscape, with many amazing options to choose from when it comes to deciding where to live.
For those seeking modern urban living, then Athens is definitely the place to be. Athens has managed to effortlessly combine the charm and history, whilst still offering the conveniences of a cosmopolitan city. If you are looking for a more relaxed pace of life, then try one of the beautiful islands. Crete, one of the larger islands, is home to a thriving expat community. If an active, outdoors lifestyle suits you best, then the mountainous areas including Thrace, Macedonia, and Thessaly are stunning places to live. As you can see, there are so many different, varied options when it comes to choosing where to purchase your property
Benefits of Greek residency
Whilst the cost of living can vary from place to place, generally speaking, the cost of living in Greece is very affordable. The bigger cities, such as Athens, are slightly more expensive than the rest of the country, as can be expected with it being a large cosmopolitan capital.
If you tread slightly further afield to smaller towns or islands, then the cost of living is significantly less expensive.
Although the Greek economy has recovered massively since the 2008 market crash, property prices have not increased as fast. When choosing their qualifying property, buyers may be surprised to find that they can get a lot for their money. House prices are some of the most affordable in Europe. Even in Athens, the most expensive area of Greece, it is still considerably cheaper than other European countries.
As the market recovers, house prices are expected to see rapid growth in the upcoming years. This will greatly benefit investors who can profit on their property through capital gains. Investors are also able to rent their property out. With the country seeing some of the highest rental returns in Europe, this can be an attractive option for investors not willing to settle down in the country.
Although living in a beautiful country is not the only benefit that Greek residency can offer. Residents of the country will be able to enjoy visa-free travel throughout Europe’s Schengen Area. This will open the doors to countless more opportunities. Whether you are needing to travel for business purposes, or simply wish to explore and vacation in some of Europe’s treasures.
Residents will also benefit from the high standard of free medical care. There is also the opportunity to study at world-class educational institutions. For applicants that have younger children, they will also benefit from free schooling up until the age of 18.
Greek residency has so many amazing benefits to offer, these are just some of the highlights. For more information about Greece’s residency programme, contact us today to book a free consultation with one of our trusted immigration advisors.