The Greek government, according to the Article 6 of Law 4146/2013, extends visiting or living period in Greece for people who buy a property of high value. This effort is expected to attract high or medium income investors, since the prices of country houses and land have declined between 20% and 45%, depending on region.
Agents believe that this move can revive buyer interest, for example, from Russia, South America, Africa China and the Middle Eastern (Dubai, Qatar, Abu Dhabi) countries who have expressed at times, their intention to acquire holiday homes in Greece. More analytically, Russians appear really attracted by the Greek residential market, focusing on several areas such as Crete, Corfu, Skiathos, Halkidiki, and popular Aegean islands as Mykonos and Santorini. There is also an increasing request for Attiki and especially in prestigious areas like Voula, Glyfada, Vouliagmeni, Kifisia, Ekali and Kolonaki. Similar moves have also been made by other EU countries such as Portugal, Spain, Hungary, Ireland and Cyprus.
Under the new draft law, a decision of the General Secretary of the Region will be required in order to grant a stay permit to third country nationals, who have already received a visa and own a main or secondary residence in Greece. This permit may be renewed, for the same period, if the property’s value exceeds €250,000. It should be noted that the above amount can be adjusted if a change of objective values takes place. Time spent in Greece will not be counted for granting citizenship and the permit will not allow holders doing any work in Greece. An individual residence permit will also be provided for family members of a person, if requested.
The beneficiaries of stay permit are divided into three categories:
- Citizens of third countries with wholly owned properties
- Third country nationals who own real estate in Greece through a company, of which they own the entire share capital
- Third countries’ citizens who have concluded at least ten-year lease of a hotel accommodation or a furnished residence within a tourist complex.
In addition, if the investments classified as of ‘strategic’ importance, after the decision of the Interministerial Committee for ‘Strategic’ Investments, the procedure for issuing residence permits for foreigners “strategic” investors, for staff and their families gets significantly improved. In this case, the General Secretary for Strategic and Private Investments evaluates the necessity of issuing the relative permits and is responsible to transmit the file for approval to the Minister of Interior. This permit is valid during a ten-year period.
The documents required for obtaining a 5 year stay permit are:
- A copy of the purchase contract showing that the property or properties’ value exceeds €250,000.
- A certificate of the notary confirming that the purchase contract satisfies the requirements determined by the new law.
- Proof of registration to the competent Land Register.
- Certificate of insurance carrier concerning the coverage of hospitalization and medical care costs.
This legislation is considered to have beneficial effects on Greece attracting a large number of investors from developing and developed non-EU countries. Annual Property taxes, conveyance tax and other accounting and legal matters remain the same.
TaxExperts, through its subsidiary www.goldgreece.com, can offer useful advice regarding new trends in real estate market and the most noteworthy regions with remarkable assets. Moreover, if you are already an owner of a property which satisfies the provisions of the new Law, TaxExperts, a company with long experience in dealing with tax issues, can undertake or assist you during the stay permit process and the green card.