21 April 2013

The Greek government has kept its promise and days ago enacted into law the optional acquisition of a residence permit in Greece via the purchase of real estate property in the country. The citizen of any country in the world, which is not a member state of the European Union (EU), can obtain a five-year long residence permit in Greece, if he/she purchases property worth a minimum of 250,000 euros (value estimated by the tax office). The threshold of the 250,000 euro worth of the property purchased has been lowered from the previously unofficially estimated 300,000 euro limit.

The option of the five-year long residence permit in Greece is offered not only to those who acquire ownership of immovable property, but also to those who purchase a time-sharing right at a Greek hotel, as well as to those who obtain a lease on a furnished Greek property, provided the worth of such contracts is a minimum of 250,000 euros.

The new legislation benefits citizens of non-EU countries, since any citizen of an EU member state can already reside, work, set up business and enjoy most local benefits in any other EU country (Greece included). The main point of the new law is to allow citizens of countries like Russia, China, USA, Australia and many others, to have easy and unobstructed yearlong access to their Greek apartments, villas and properties in general, without having to apply for a visa each time they want to visit their Greek homes with their families.

It is noteworthy that the Greek residence permit in question could have extra benefits for its holders, since their Greek residence permit may offer them travel and residence rights to all the other EU countries.

The five-year residence permit is also offered to the members of the family of the owner of the real estate property. However, such residence permit, at least initially, does not provide the right to work in Greece and the residence period in Greece with this type of residence permit is not included in the time required to legally stay in Greece (seven to ten years) to obtain naturalization as a Greek citizen.

Further details on the application of the above law are expected by the Greek administration in the coming weeks. The law, however, is already in force and applications for residence permit combined with purchase of property in Greece can now be filed.

*Christos ILIOPOULOS, attorney at the Supreme Court of Greece , LL . M .
e-mails: bm-bioxoi@otenet.gr, ktimatologiolaw@yahoo.gr

(Posting date 26 April 2013)

Christos Iliopoulos is an attorney at the Supreme Court of Greece, LL.M., in Athens, Greece, specializing in International and European Business Law. For more information about him, see his brief biographical sketch under the HCS section for Contributing Authors at http://www.helleniccomserve.com/christosiliopoulosbio.html. He has submitted many articles to HCS; readers can browse these in the archives section bearing his name at the URL http://www.helleniccomserve.com/archiveiliopoulos.html. He can be contacted by e-mail at bm-bioxoi@otenet.gr or by phone (from the US) 011-30-210-6400282; mobile 011-30-693-2775920, fax 011-30-210-6400282, or by postal mail at the address: 105 Alexandras Ave., Athens, 11475, HELLAS

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