Greece Golden Visa 2024: My Application Journey

Greece Golden Visa 2024: My Application Journey

The Greece Golden Visa program is one of the most popular residence by investment programs in Europe, as well as the world.  

I’m Arthur. Robin kindly asked me to contribute with a case study, elaborating on my Greek Golden Visa. And so, I did.

I’ve personally applied for a Golden Visa in Greece. I did so, because:

  • The program offers relatively affordable investment options that qualify you for a residence permit in Greece
  • As a resident, you are not required to spend any time in Greece, at all
  • With your Greek residence card, you can travel within the European Schengen states without the need for an additional visa
  • You can easily include a wide range of family members within your application and spread the joy
  • The program is a trustable residence by investment scheme that is not on any blacklists
  • If and once you become a Greek citizen, you can live and work anywhere in the European Union
  • Greece is a safe and stable country with a great quality of life, low cost of living, good education and healthcare services, and a wonderful climate

What You’ll Find in This Article

The past few years have been tough on many British citizens, like myself. Brexit, and all the political turmoil that followed it, not to mention the economic challenges all became rather overwhelming. Between all this, my aspiration to eventually retire in Europe remained constant. And so, I went for the residency by investment program in Greece.

During my research, I’ve come across lots of misinformation and opposing statements. 

I wanted to make sure that this comprehensive guide does not suffer from any of that misinformation.  That’s why I made a huge list of questions and approached four different law firms in Greece that have experience with the Golden Visa program.  I also got in contact with a number of professionals, real estate professionals, and immigration consultants, in order to identify the nitty-gritty of the program.  Having said that, I should warn you that I am neither a lawyer nor a financial advisor.

Back in 2022, I’ve submitted my application through the acquisition of a handsome 2-bedroom apartment in central Athens that now serves as an income-generating property for me. 

With that, let’s get started.

Greece Golden Visa Program in a Nutshell

Launched in 2013, the Greece Golden Visa Program allows non-EU/EEA nationals to obtain permanent residency by investing as low as €250,000 in real estate

As of 31 July 2023, certain regions such as Athens, 
Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini will see a minimum increase to €500,000, but the remaining locations will stay at €250,000.

Qualifying Investments

The Golden Visa program offers multiple investment options and opportunities.

Any one of the below investment options will qualify you for the program:

  • A minimum investment of €250,000 in a Greek real estate property in areas other than certain municipalities of Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini
  • A minimum investment of €500,000 in a Greek real estate property in Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, or Santorini
  • A minimum capital contribution of €400,000 in Greek government bonds
  • A minimum capital contribution of €400,000 in bonds or shares of real estate investment companies or a qualifying fund in Greece
  • A minimum capital contribution of €800,000 in shares, corporate bonds, or Greek Treasury bonds, listed in trading facilities operating in Greece

Greek Golden Visa Fees and Costs

Unfortunately, you’re not done once you buy your property. There are extra costs and fees to consider that add up: taxes, legal fees, and other administrative costs.

Assuming you choose the real estate investment route, like I did, you can expect to pay around 10-12 percent of the investment property value on top.

Here are some estimates:

  • Property transfer tax: Roughly 3.09 percent of the property value
  • Notary fees: Roughly 1-1.5 percent of the property value
  • Land registry fee: About 0.6-0.8 percent of the property value
  • Greek government fee: Roughly €2000 for the main investor and €150 per each dependent family member
  • Appointed lawyer fees: This depends on the law firm you choose; my overall legal costs were just shy of €10,000 for a family of 2

Mind you, these are only estimates, and not exact figures.

Step by Step Process: Applying for a Greek Golden Visa

To make your life easier, we have broken down the application process into eight easy steps.

Week #1

Selection of investment route and property

You first need to determine your investment criteria and browse properties to find the property you’d like to invest in. You may want to use a real estate professional in this step. You then need to reserve the property by transferring a reservation fee and signing the reservation agreement.

Week #2

Legal steps

This step can be completed by obtaining a Greek Non-Resident Tax number and opening a Greek bank account. And as an optional step, you can have the execution of power of attorney. Yes, you guessed right, you do need to hire a Greek Law Firm for this.

Week #3

Acquisition of the property

This step consists of executing the ‘Legal Due Diligence’ of the property by a lawyer on your behalf. This, in my case took roughly 6 weeks, longer than I expected. Once this is done, you’ll need to acquire the promissory sale and purchase agreement and the execution of a public deed.

Week #4


To get through this step, you’ll need to prepare all the required documents regarding the Golden Visa application. Your lawyer or advisor will be of great help to smoothen things up.

Week #5

Visit Greece

Here you’ll need to submit all the biometric data to the relevant authorities in Greece.

Weeks #6-7-8

Golden Visa Approval

The authorities do this step, your Golden visa application will be approved, and then you’ll be issued a Golden Visa Residence Card.

Year #5


Every five years, you can apply to renew your Golden Visa residence card, making it easy to access the permanent residence. You just need to make sure you hold on to your investment.

Year #7

Applying for citizenship

This is clearly optional and not necessarily easy. Living in Greece for seven years, full time, and paying taxes would make you eligible to apply for citizenship and the Greek passport.

Benefits and Drawbacks of the Greek Golden Visa

Here are a few of the pros and cons the Greek residency by investment held in my case:


The ability to live in Greece and travel within the Schengen Zone: Flocks of tourists are not coming to Greece for no reason. Greece is all about culture and heritage. Add to that fantastic beaches, forests, and islands, and of course, the cuisine. It does not stop there, the Greek healthcare and education are also second to none.

Family Reunification: The program allows you to include your spouse and children under 21. And it provides the Extended Family benefits. This means that the principal applicant’s parents and parents-in-law can be covered without any further requirements. The application process is a small price to pay for permanent residency for all your family.

Low investment threshold in a highly promising real estate market: With €250,000, you can possibly make a profitable investment in this underestimated and underpriced European real estate market.


Golden Visa in Greece doesn’t allow you to work in Greece or the EU: The type of residence you can receive from this program allows you to enjoy many benefits. Unfortunately, working in Greece or in the EU is not one of them. However, you can set up business as a Greek resident.

Naturalization is complicated: Becoming a Greek citizen is rather complicated with the Golden Visa program in Greece. It requires you to live in the country full-time and pay taxes in Greece for seven years.

What About Taxes?

In recent years, Greece has been actively incentivizing foreign nationals to make the country their home. Here are the major points:

  1. The Non-Dom Regime: Foreign nationals can exempt foreign income from taxation by paying an annual fixed tax of €100,000. This exemption is also extendable to family members, with an extra fee of €20,000 per resident.

  2. Double Taxation Treaties: Greece’s double taxation agreements with 57 countries ensure that many Golden Visa holders do not suffer from double taxation on their income.

  3. Tax Incentives for Various Demographics: Retirees, digital nomads, and expats may enjoy specific tax exemptions or reduced rates. Investors must still pay taxes on income earned within Greece, including real estate-related taxes.

  4. A Path to Citizenship: The more time investors spend in Greece, the more eligible they become for citizenship. Permanent residency leads to becoming tax residents, and adherence to Greece’s taxation laws becomes mandatory.

  5. Income Taxation and a Special Rate: Income taxation at a flat rate of seven percent for the first ten years applies to foreign income brought into Greece. This includes pensions, investments, and other overseas-generated income. Check out our article on the Greek flat tax rate.

  6. Gift and Inheritance Taxes: Greece imposes varying rates of gift and inheritance taxes depending on the relationship between the giver and recipient.

The Real Estate Market

The Greek economy is still in the recovery stage after the major crash in 2009. It has been steadily and quickly regaining power, with an approximate 2.7% increase in 2017 and 3.1% in 2018.

The real estate market, however, hasn’t bounced back quite as quickly. Property prices are at nearly half their value since the market’s peak in 2008. The number of transactions in that sector reported about a 72% decrease since 2008. But with the country’s winning methods to bolster the economy, the industry has seen an improvement of about 0.5% to 0.6% annually. This all means that there has never been a better time to own Greek property while it’s low and then sit back and watch the value go steadily upwards. Slow and steady does eventually win the race.

In the table below you’ll find an approximation of the costs of buying real estate in Greece.

For ease of calculation, we assumed a used residential property at €100,000 selling price;

Property TypeUsed Residential Apartment 
Property Price€100,000 
Legal Fees1,5% – 2% + VAT€1,860 – €2,480
Notary Fees1,5% + VAT€1,860
Title Transition Fee3,09%€3,090
Real Estate Broker Fee2% + VAT€2,480
Mortgage Registry Fee**0,5%€500
VAT is 24% in Greece
** Assuming a mortgage is used in the property acquisition

Why Did I Choose an Apartment in Athens?

I went back and forth between various investment methods, but my eyes were set on residential real estate, particularly in Pagrati, Athens.

Ultimately, there were four reasons why I chose to invest in real estate:

  1. Prime Location: Pagrati, with its cultural heritage and modern urban lifestyle, seemed like a perfect fit for my investment.
  2. Attractive Price at €250,000: Before the 2023 changes on the minimum investment requirement, the residential real estate option was set at €250,000, which felt more accessible to me.
  3. Potential for Rental Income: I saw the opportunity to earn returns through renting out the property on a short-term basis to tourists.
  4. Personal Connection: Having a home in Greece that I could personally use or share with family was appealing, and I was drawn to the idea of being part of a local community.

In retrospect, I am pleased with my decision but would probably be more careful in selecting the property. Researching the neighborhood, potential rental income, and long-term property appreciation would have been areas for more thorough exploration.

Did I Receive Any Help Along the Way?

Absolutely. Even though I love to handle matters myself, the complexity of investing in a foreign country led me to seek professional assistance.

Greece, while rich in history and culture, was new territory for me. I needed guidance to navigate the legal, cultural, and business aspects of the investment. That’s why I hired an advisory firm and a legal team specialized in Greek Golden Visas.

They assisted me in selecting the property in Athens, negotiating the deal, and guiding me through the Golden Visa application process. Their local expertise ensured a smooth transaction and made me feel more comfortable about my significant investment in Greece.

Looking back, I am glad that I worked with professionals. The process was smooth, and their support was invaluable. If you are considering a similar path and need assistance, I shared the contact information of the advisory company I worked with with Robin, email here. They truly made this journey much more manageable.

I hope my experience sheds light on the process, and I wish you success on your own Greek Golden Visa journey!

Related Articles

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it necessary to hire a lawyer to collect the documentation?

It is not legally required, but it is a good idea to always consult a professional.   

Who is considered a family member?

According to the law, family members of third-country citizens entering the country are:

  • Spouses
  • The direct descendants of the spouses, who are under the age of 21
  • The direct relatives of the spouses in the ascending line

Are unmarried partners entitled to a Greek residency?

Family members do not include unmarried partners.

Can the investor travel to other countries within the EU with the residence permit in Greece for owners of real estate?

Yes. The permit and long-term visas are valid as far as the person’s free movement in the Schengen area is concerned.

Can the Greek residence permit be considered as a work permit?

In no case does the permit provide access to any type of employment.

Does the residence permit in Greece give the holder the right to apply for citizenship?

It does not grant direct access to Greek citizenship. However, it allows its holder to become a long-term resident, which is a qualification required for citizenship.

Does the amount of €250,000 include the Value Added Tax? What should the value of the investment be if the ownership/sale document includes the name of both spouses?

The amount of €250.000 refers to the price indicated on the contract. In cases of joint ownership of the real estate property by spouses, the residence right is granted to both spouses.

Is it possible to obtain more than one piece of property, the individual value of which is less than €250.000, if the combined value is equal or greater than € 250.000?

The investors of the residency program are allowed to invest in more than one property. As long as the combined value is equal to or greater than €250.000, the application is valid. This is not valid in the areas where the minimum investment amount is €500,000. There, it has to be one single property.

Can the investor buy commercial property or a combination of commercial and residential properties or land?

The law states that €250.000 must be the stated price on the contract. It does not distinguish between commercial and residential properties.

Can the applicant take a mortgage out on the property to receive a loan?


Is it required of the buyer to prove economic capacity?

The income of the applicant must be proven by documentation, which shows their capacity. The existence of bank accounts or other transferable securities. Especially shares or bonds must be certified.

If third-country citizens jointly make a property purchase for €2.000.000, are all the joint owners entitled to a residence permit?

Yes, provided that the amount invested by each one is of a minimum value of €250.000.

What happens in the cases where someone tarnishes their criminal record, either in their country of origin or in Greece, during the period when their residence permit is valid?

This leads to the revocation of the residence permit.

Is it possible to rent the real estate property to third parties?

Third-country citizens who own real estate have the right to rent their property.

Do I have to know Greek to obtain residence?

No, this residency scheme only requires a minimum investment of €250.000 to be eligible for residency. No knowledge of the language is required. You might have to learn Greek if you wish to obtain citizenship.

How long is the permit valid for?

The permit is valid for five years and can be renewed indefinitely, provided the property investment is kept.

How long do I have to live in Greece?

This program doesn’t require the investor to live in Greece. However, if you wish to apply for citizenship, then you have to live there for seven years.

If I obtain the Greece golden visa and become a resident, do I have to pay taxes there?

You have to pay taxes only on the income you receive in Greece, thanks to the double taxation treaty. Of course, if you spend most of the year there, you become a tax resident in Greece and must pay taxes.

Can I buy Greek citizenship?

Directly purchasing Greek citizenship is not an option. However, naturalization after seven years of living in Greece opens the door to obtaining a Greek passport. Key criteria include:

  • 183 days minimum in the country annually during those seven years.
  • Registered tax resident status.
  • Passing Greek citizenship and language tests.
  • Demonstrating a genuine connection to Greece.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Get in touch
Terms of Use