In Part 1, we discussed moving to the USA. We looked into how the EB-5 visa was making it easier for investors to attain residency in the United States. In Part II we turn to Europe and within it, the ancient nation of Greece. Known for its beautiful landscapes, rich culture and Mediterranean cuisine, Greece is becoming a hotspot for investors looking to immigrate to Europe.
Greece’s residency permit program was started in 2013 and has produced almost 1,000 visas to date. As one of many “Golden Visa” countries within Europe, Greece is set apart from the pack by the fact it offers the lowest real estate investment amount of any other country.
So what exactly do you need to invest to attain a residence permit and what does it entitle you to? There’s seven possible situations, however the main ways to invest are:
1. Own the property yourself or through a legal entity you own. The minimum investment must be EUR 250,000.
2. Sign a timeshare lease valued at a minimum of EUR 250,000 ($272,500). The lease must be for 10 years and can be for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts.
3. Purchase a plot of land and then start constructing a building on it. The total value of the land and the contract with the builders must equal a minimum of EUR 250,000 ($272,500).
There you have it, if you have EUR 250,000 ($272,500) then Greece could be the place for you. The property can be residential or commercial and the total amount can be the sum of multiple property purchases. The residence permit is valid for five years. You may renew it for the same duration as many times as you’d like as long as the real estate is still owned by you or the relevant lease agreements are still ongoing. According to La Vida Golden Visas, processing time stands at approximately 40 days.
Who can you bring with you to Greece? Well, family members are permitted to accompany you. This is considered to be your spouse or children under 18 years of age. If your children become 18 while living in Greece, then they will be granted a separate residence permit. Once the residence permit is attained, holders of the visa may travel throughout the Schengen Area and stay in any given country for a maximum of three months in any six-month period. 22 of the 28 current European Union member states take part in the Shengen Area. There are numerous incredible properties available for purchase in Greece. If you’re looking to splurge a bit, a dream home can be had with some of the most beautiful views money can buy. One of the most popular destinations is Mykonos, an island named after the grandson of Apollo and located in the Cyclades.
Villa Ambrosia was built in 2010 and features a stone construction, infinity pool views over the turquoise waters below and 2,852 sq. ft. of living space on just over half an acre lot. It is quite unique in the sense that the property appears to be built into the side of the hill and has a timely feel, while remaining completely modern. When you think of the Cyclades, you think of white and stone buildings and this property is a luxurious representation of just that. Priced at EUR 2.2 million ($2,450,434) this four bedroom, three-bathroom property fits suitably well above the minimum investment required to attain your visa.
Another beautiful property located on the picturesque island of Mykonos is Villa Hypatia. At almost 4,000 sq. ft. this four bedroom, four-bathroom property is located close to the beach and only a short drive from the airport. Priced at EUR 1.45 million ($1,622,832) this is an excellent visa attaining, luxury property, to soak in the relaxing climate and natural surroundings that the island has to offer.
Say you love either one of these houses, but don’t have all the funds yourself to invest in the specific property. The Greek government allows for multiple investors into each property. So you and a few friends can purchase a property and as long as everyone invests over EUR 250,000 ($272,500), then each investor will also receive a visa. You then just have to sort out who gets the biggest room.
This article was first published in Palace.