Citizens of countries outside the European Union, who are, however, permanent residents of the country, may in the near future be able to obtain Greek citizenship if they acquire real estate in Greece by at least 2 million euros,since the government, following the example of other European countries, is preparing to introduce additional incentives to attract foreign investors to this sector, in addition to the Golden Visa program. The plan was developed at the same time that many investors outside the European Union are looking for a new direction in the real estate market because of Brexit.
It is worth recalling that the Golden Visa program was introduced in 2013 and provides for a five-year residence permit to citizens of countries outside the European Union who purchase real estate property in Greece worth at least 250.000 euros. By law 4605/2019 last March, the “golden visa” was extended to those who invest in stocks and bonds.
In accordance with the plan proposed by the government, Greek citizenship will be granted to a third-country national who acquires property in Greece worth at least 2 million euros. Greek citizenship can be obtained by a third-country national even if he has acquired property in the amount of at least 2 million euros through a legal entity, provided that the shares or block of shares are wholly owned by him. He must also be a permanent resident of Greece and already own property in the amount of at least 500.000 euros and annually pay the costs of maintaining this property in the amount of at least 50.000 euros.
In order to prevent fraud, the plan includes special security measures. In particular, to grant citizenship, the cost of real estate property must be paid in full at the time of signing the contract of sale. The price must be paid by bank check or bank transfer to the recipient’s account. An account must be opened within a Greek bank or credit institution controlled by the Bank of Greece. In addition, it is planned to limit the number of citizenships each year, which is reported to be no more than 200 per year.
First-degree relatives can also apply for citizenship. Spouses will be allowed to apply simultaneously, and children under the age of 21 and their parents will be allowed to apply after the completion of the process of obtaining citizenship by the property owner.