Who qualifies for the 5-year residence permit?



In early August, a circular was published, setting out the details regarding the issue of 5 year residence permit.

According to the circular 15/6-8-2013, a 5-year residence permit can be granted to citizens of third countries who bought a property in Greece, before Law 4146/2013 enters into force (18-04-2013). More analytically, this permit may be issued even if the property was purchased at a price lower than €250,000, but the current objective value, which is defined by Law and depends on region,  equals or exceeds the abovementioned amount. Consequently, in order to benefit from the provisions of the L.4146/2013, a certification by a notary is required, which indicates except for the legal status of the property, its objective value too.

At this point it is worth a reminder, in the case of strategic investments, the 5 year residence permit application is submitted to the company ‘Invest in GREECE SA’ and can be approved by the Minister of Interior. On the other hand, the 5-year residence permit is granted to people who acquired immovable property worth over 250,000€, upon a relative decision of the Decentralized Administration Secretary.

Other third-country citizens who can obtain a 5-year residence permit are:

  • Owners, who acquired a property by donation or parental benefit.
  • Natural persons, who acquired a property by a legal person (property transfer).
  • Natural person, who bought a property through a company, but owns the entire share capital. If the properties are acquired through legal entities with more than one shareholder, these firms should be based in Greece or a Member State of the EU.

It should be noted that the residence permit ceases to be effective, if the third country national decides to sell the property before the expiry of the 5-year period.

This permit constitutes an important incentive for buying property in Greece. However, since the process is usually confusing and requires considerable time, meeting a qualified professional of the industry and obtaining a piece of trusted advice is considered necessary.