- What is the Schengen agreement between European countries ?
The Schengen Agreement led to the creation of Europe’s borderless Schengen Area in 1995.The treaty was signed on 14 June 1985 near the town of Schengen in Luxembourg. It proposed the gradual elimination of border checks at the signatories’ common borders allowing residents in border areas to cross borders away from fixed checkpoints and the harmonisation of visa policies.The Schengen Area operates very much like a single state for international travel purposes with external border controls for travellers entering and exiting the area, and common visas, but with no internal border controls.It currently consists of 26 European countries covering a population of over 400 million people and an area of 4,312,099 square kilometres.
- How can I obtain a residency permit in Greece, if I am not a citizen of the European Union?
You can be granted residency permits in Greece for you and your family, upon purchasing a property as an individual, with a contractual value of 250.000 Euros or higher.You may also purchase the property through a legal entity if you are the sole stockholder of the entity.Alternatively, you may lease tourist accommodation properties for a period of ten years (hotels or holiday homes) or participate in a time-sharing agreement for the same period. The total lease or time-sharing value must equal or exceed the amount of 250.000 Euros.
- Can I share the investment with another party ?
Only spouses can share the investment and jointly own the property of total value 250.000 Euros. In all other cases of shared ownership, the right of residence is granted only if the amount invested by each co-owner is a minimum 250.000 Euros.
- Where do I start?
Before you travel to Greece for this purpose, you must visit the Greek consulate in your country and apply for a special purpose VISA to Greece.You will be asked to prove your funds (your bank will certify that) for the property purchase and you must also present an agreement with our company stating your intention to purchase or lease a property in Greece.Ask about the agreement in our web form and we will email it to you right away. These two documents are a necessary precondition.If you come from a country where a VISA is not necessary to enter Greece, then keep reading.
- Do I need a Visa to travel to Greece?
If you come from one of the following countries and carry an ordinary passport, you do not need a Visa in order to visit Greece :Vatican City, San Marino, Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Venezuela, Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, USA, Japan, Israel, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Barbados, Bahamas, Brunei, New Zealand, Nicaragua, South Korea, Honduras, Uruguay, Panama, Paraguay, Seychelles, Singapore, Chile.If your country is not listed above then you need a “Type D—national visa” in order to enter Greece. You can obtain this visa from the Greek Consulate of your country.
- Are there any extra charges apart from the net value of the property?
Yes, there is a transfer tax. From January 1st, 2014 the transfer tax becomes 3%. For properties that are for sale from Construction Companies and not private sellers the transfer tax is replaced by VAT 24%. You will also be charged for legal, notary and service fees. The amount charged for service fees depends on the value of the property and it goes down as the property value rises. Please note that the minimum amount of €250.000 refers to the price indicated on the contract and does not include taxes.
- Can I obtain more than one piece of property?
Yes. You are entitled to residency rights irrespective of whether you own one or more properties, commercial and residential, provided that their combined value is equal to or greater than €250.000.
- Which family members may accompany the main investor?
Spouses who are over the age of 21, as well as unwed children under the age of 21.Family members are issued a residence permit of the same duration with the main applicant.Please note that unmarried partners are not entitled to a residence permit.
- Who deals with the authorities in order to issue the residency permit ?
Your Greek lawyer does. We will propose you the lawyers we cooperate with successfully for years.
The lawyer will take care of:
– The application process for the initial residence permit,
– the submission of any additional required documentation
– and finally the collection of the receipt of the residence permit. We also deal with all aspects regarding the purchase of the property.As soon as you submit the residency application you will receive a confirmation receipt that serves as a one year provisional residency permit. You can reside legally in the country for the duration of the confirmation receipt (one year) and you are entitled to all the benefits of the final permit. In the mean time (around two months) you will receive the final residency permit certificate.
- Am I obliged to go through your company in order to file the residency application ?
Definitely not but we have the means to do it fast and effectively.
- What is the necessary paperwork for my residency application?
Basically, it’s proof of purchase for the property, and health insurance that will cover your medical expenses if needed. You may obtain the insurance coverage in Greece from a local company.
- How long is the residency permit valid and what happens next?
The residency permit is valid for a period of five (5) years. It can be renewed repeatedly if the initial conditions still apply. That is, if you still own the property.
- Does the residence permit give me the right to apply for citizenship ?
No. The years covered by the residence permit for real estate owners are not taken into account for the years required for obtaining citizenship by residents.
- What about access to education and health services ?
The holders of the residence permit have access to public education, in the same way as Greek citizens.Regarding access to health services, residence permit holders and their family members, must have insurance that covers their healthcare and medical care expenses.
- Can I purchase and drive a car with Greek license plates ?
Yes, under the specific regulations of the Ministry of Transport, which apply to non EU citizens.
- Can I use the residency permit in order to travel to other European Union countries?
You may travel with your passport and the residency permit to all countries that are part of the European Union, as well as, to all countries that belong to the Schengen Area:Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Czech Republic and Finland.You may also travel to these Non-EU countries that belong to the Schengen Area:Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.Please note that after the residence permit has been issued, you may also travel to any Schengen country directly from your country. You do not need to go through Greece first.
- What are my obligations as a property owner in Greece?
You must apply for a tax registry number. As a property owner you are required to have it. You must declare your property by filing the E9 form with the local tax office. You do this only once. Every property has a yearly tax called ENFIa that is calculated from the State according to the size and the location of the property.
- My new property will definitely need some services like cleaning, maintenance etc. Who will take care of all these?
We can suggest you the best management offices in the location of the property. You can discuss with them independently the services you need.