At Savva & Associates we remain intent on providing our contacts with the latest and most updated developments in the realm of Tax, VAT, Audit, Company Formation, International Trusts, Investment Funds, the Cyprus Investment Programme, the Cyprus Permanent Residency Permit and much much more.
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Greece’s Permanent Residence Programme (“Golden Visa”)
Greece’s Permanent Residence Programme (“Golden Visa”) enables an entire non-EU family, including dependent children up to the age of 21 and the parents of both spouses, to obtain permanent residency status in Greece within just 2 to 3 months, with a real estate investment of only €250,000. It is now the most competitive permanent residency scheme in Europe, attracting the highest number of applicants each year.
Why Choose Greece?
Compared to its relatively modest surface area of 131,957 km², Greece boasts a staggering 13,676 km coastline — one of the world’s longest and second only to Norway in all of Europe. The country’s natural beauty is unparalleled and presents endless opportunities for tourism, leisure, and exploration.
As of 2019, Greece has a population of 10,450,180 and its capital, Athens, just over 3,153,350. The country is still rather sparsely populated and can offer a welcome respite from the hustle and bustle of the big metropolises of the 21st century.
Greece is also a member of some of the world’s most exclusive geopolitical clubs. The country became a member of the EU on January 1, 1981, and has had the Euro (€) as its currency since joining the Eurozone on January 1, 2001. As of January 1, 2000, Greece is also a member of the border control-free Schengen Area.
It should also be noted the recent economic crisis has driven Greek property prices down, resulting in prime real estate assets being offered at especially attractive terms. The landscape is now ideal for investors seeking a broader investment plan via property ownership.
Legal Framework - What Is the Greek Permanent Residence Programme?
By virtue of the Immigration and Social Integration Code (Law 4136/2013 as amended by 4251/2014, Government Gazette 1, no 80) in 2014, the Greek government introduced provisions to obtain permanent residency in Greece for non-EU nationals and members of their families. Non-EU nationals who purchase real estate property in Greece worth €250,000 or more (excluding VAT, if applicable) are eligible for Permanent Residency in Greece, which is often referred to as the Greek “Golden Visa”.
What Are the Benefits of the Greek Permanent Residence Programme?
The Greek Permanent Residence Programme is now the EU’s most popular permanent residency programme. Some of the reasons for its appeal include:
What’s more, Greek Permanent Residence Permit holders can:
As of December 27, 2019, a total of 18,616 permanent residence permits have been issued to investors and members of their families. The top ten countries of origin are China (13,075), Turkey (1,342), Russia (1,004), Lebanon (466), Iraq (369), Iran (337), Egypt (336), Syria (212), Jordan (206), and Ukraine (183).
The scheme is clearly becoming increasingly popular with each passing year. While only 723 residence permits were granted in 2014, the year when the Greek Permanent Residence Permit program was launched, the numbers have been rising steadily ever since. A total of 1,805 permits were granted in 2015; 3,151 in 2016; and 5,687 in 2017. That was followed by a drastic increase to 11,279 in 2018 and an all-time high of 18,616 in 2019.
The Greek Permanent Residence programme, is a residence only investment scheme, unlike the many “citizenship by investment” programs which have raised much controversy in other EU member states.
The option for citizenship is however available to applicants who live in Greece for the minimum of seven consecutive years. This subject to conditions introduced in the domestic immigration law and EU immigration legislation.
What Types of Real Estate Transactions Qualify for the Greek Permanent Residence Programme?
There are several ways in which non-EU nationals can obtain a Greek Permanent Residence Permit. These include:
a) Purchasing real estate satisfying the below requirements:
It should be noted the vast majority of applicants chose the above investment route.
b) Signing a 10-year Lease Agreement satisfying the below requirements:
c) Being the owner of real estate in Greece, acquired prior to the entry into force of Law 4146/2013 regarding the Greek Permanent Residence Permit scheme, satisfying the below requirements:
d) Purchasing Land or Acreage satisfying the below requirements:
e) Signing a timeshare agreement satisfying the below requirements:
f) Being the owner of real estate in Greece, acquired through intestate succession, will or parental concession, with a minimum value of €250,000.
In all aforementioned cases, the real estate value amounts to the value of the lease or property, as stated in the contract of purchase.
How is the investor taxed for a Greek Permanent Residence investment?
Greek Permanent Residence programme investors may continue to be non-Greek tax residents and pay tax only on their income derived in Greece. Greek tax for property rental starts at 15% (for income up to EUR 12,000) and goes up to 45% (for over EUR 35,000).
There are certain deductible operating expenses while in case of real estate held through a legal entity, all expenses for the use of the property are tax deductible*.
There is no Capital gains tax on real estate sales. Such transactions are only subject to a transfer tax of 3.09%, burdening the purchaser and imposed on the higher between the purchase price and the objective tax value of the real estate. VAT at the rate of 24% is applicable on the purchase of new buildings.
Who Is Eligible for Greek Permanent Residence Programme?
Provided that the investment criteria have been met, the following persons are eligible for a Greek Permanent Residence Permit:
How to Apply for Greek Permanent Residence Programme: A Step-By-Step Guide
Step 1: Obtaining an Entry Visa
Depending on nationality, the main applicant(s) and any eligible family members may first have to apply for entry visas. They may do so at the Greek consular authorities in their country of origin or the country where they currently reside.
Any visa category is suitable, as all that is required is to ensure legal entry into the country. After the applicants apply for residence permits, they no longer need a valid visa.
Step 2: Gathering the required documentation for the Greek Permanent Residence Programme Application
After obtaining entry visas, the applicants must provide the following:
In addition, valid Greek residence permits must also be provided in cases where the applicant(s) and any eligible family members:
Finally, if the seller of the real estate is a third-country national, the applicant(s) must submit a certificate from the Aliens and Immigration Department of their competent Decentralized Authority. This requirement applies even if the real estate has already been used for residence permit applications in the past, as well as if the property is sold by a legal entity.
Any supporting documents must be in Greek. The applicants would need to have any documents in a foreign language translated and certified.
Applicants can have their foreign-language documents translated:
Two methods of certification are acceptable:
Step 3: Submission of the Documents
The application and all supporting documents may be submitted at any office of the Aliens and Immigration Department at the Decentralized Authorities in Greece.
The applicants may submit the documents in person or through an appointed lawyer acting via a Power of Attorney. In both cases this must be done before the expiry of the entry visas.
Eligible family members do not need to submit their application for initial residence permit simultaneously with the main applicant(s). They may do so at a later date, after they enter the country.
Step 4: Upon Arrival
Upon arrival each applicant would need to provide:
If the application is submitted by an attorney, the applicant(s) will be asked to present themselves in person at a later date to submit their biometric data (signature and fingerprints).
Step 5: Processing of the Application
The processing time of residence permit applications may not exceed two months after all required paperwork has reached the competent authority.
In the interim, if all required supporting documents have been included, the applicant(s) will be issued a confirmation that their application has been successfully submitted. The confirmation:
Step 6: Issuing of the Residence Permit
If the applications meet all relevant criteria, the Aliens and Immigration Department of the Decentralized Authority will issue permanent residence permits valid for five years. Eligible family members will receive residence permits of the same duration as that of the main applicant.
It is important to note, however, the residence permit does not entitle its holder to the right to work in Greece.
The children of the applicant will be issued with residence permits that are valid until they reach the age of 21.
As of February 20, 2017, all EU Member States issue electronic residence permits. These replace the printed stickers that were previously affixed in the holder’s passport or travel document.
Step 7: Renewal of Residence Permits
While the residency rights under the Greek Permanent Residence Permit program are permanent, each permit is valid for five years. Therefore, the permits must be renewed at the end of each five-year period.
The children of the main applicant(s) must renew their residence permits when they turn 21. These will be valid until they reach the age of 24. After that, the children would be able to apply for further renewal as per the applicable immigration legislation.
Applicants must meet two conditions in order to be able to renew their residence permits:
All applications for renewal of residence permits must be made at least two months prior to the expiry of the applicant’s current residence permit. Late submission of up to a month from the expiry of the active permit is possible, but subject to a €100 fine.
Periods of stay abroad do not prevent the renewal of permanent residence permits.
In cases where the holder of a permanent residence permit sells their property to another third-country national, they lose their residency rights, as the rights pass onto the new owner.
How Much Does the Greek Permanent Residence Permit Cost?
The application fee is €2,000 for the main applicant and €150 for every adult family member. Children under the age of 18 are exempt.
Electronic residence permits cost a further €16 per person.
Legal and Other Expenses
In addition to the government fees, the applicants would also need to cover the relevant legal fees and other costs arising from the relevant real estate transaction. These include:
How Can Savva & Associates Assist You?
Savva & Associates offers the following professional services to third-country nationals interested in obtaining permanent residency through real estate investment:
Real Estate Transactions
Tax, Finance, and Accounting
Greek Permanent Residence Programme Applications
Our team of highly experienced professionals can advise you further on the Greek Permanent Residence Permit application, on the basis of your particular circumstances. Please feel free to contact Charles Savva at email@example.com to discuss how we can be of assistance to you.
We are very happy to welcome you to C. Savva & Associates Ltd’s website privacy notice.
About C. Savva & Associates Ltd:
This privacy notice is provided in a layered format, so you can click through to the specific areas set out below. Please also make use of the Glossary to understand the meaning of some of the terms used in this privacy notice.
PURPOSE OF THIS PRIVACY NOTICE
This privacy notice aims to give you information on how we collect and process your personal data through your use of this website, including any data you may provide through this website when you contact us.
This website is not intended for children and we do not knowingly collect data relating to children.
It is important that you read this privacy notice together with any other privacy notice or fair processing notice we may provide on specific occasions when we are collecting or processing personal data about you so that you are fully aware of how and why we are using your data. This privacy notice supplements the other notices and is not intended to override them.
We have appointed a data protection officer (DPO) who is responsible for overseeing questions in relation to this privacy notice. If you have any questions about this privacy notice, including any requests to exercise your legal rights, please contact the DPO using the details set out below.
Our full details are:
Legal entity: C. Savva & Associates Ltd
Contact Name: Constantinos Pavlides
Email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Postal address: 75 Prodromou Avenue, 1st Floor, 2063, Nicosia, Cyprus
Telephone number: Tel: +357 22 516 671
Fax Number: +357 22 516 672
You have the right to make a complaint at any time to the Commissioner for the Protection of Personal Data in Cyprus. We would, however, appreciate the chance to deal with your concerns before you approach the ICO so please contact us in the first instance.
CHANGES TO THE PRIVACY NOTICE AND YOUR DUTY TO INFORM US OF CHANGES
This version was last updated on [24/5/2019].
It is important that the personal data we hold about you is accurate and current. Please keep us informed if your personal data changes during your relationship with us.
This website may include links to third-party websites, plug-ins and applications. Clicking on those links or enabling those connections may allow third parties to collect or share data about you. We do not control these third-party websites and are not responsible for their privacy statements. When you leave our website, we encourage you to read the privacy notice of every website you visit.
Personal data, or personal information, means any information about an individual from which that person can be identified. It does not include data where the identity has been removed (anonymous data).
We may collect, use, store and transfer different kinds of personal data about you which we have grouped together follows:
We also collect, use and share Aggregated Data such as statistical or demographic data for any purpose. Aggregated Data may be derived from your personal data but is not considered personal data in law as this data does not directly or indirectly reveal your identity. For example, we may aggregate your Usage Data to calculate the percentage of users accessing a specific website feature. However, if we combine or connect Aggregated Data with your personal data so that it can directly or indirectly identify you, we treat the combined data as personal data which will be used in accordance with this privacy notice.
We do not collect any Special Categories of Personal Data about you (this includes details about your race or ethnicity, religious or philosophical beliefs, sex life, sexual orientation, political opinions, trade union membership, information about your health and genetic and biometric data). Nor do we collect any information about criminal convictions and offences.
IF YOU FAIL TO PROVIDE PERSONAL DATA
Where we need to collect personal data by law, or under the terms of a contract we have with you and you fail to provide that data when requested, we may not be able to perform the contract we have or are trying to enter into with you (for example, to provide you with goods or services). In this case, we may have to cancel a product or service you have with us, but we will notify you if this is the case at the time.
We use different methods to collect data from and about you including through:
We will only use your personal data when the law allows us to. Most commonly, we will use your personal data in the following circumstances:
Generally, we do not rely on consent as a legal basis for processing your personal data other than in relation to sending third party direct marketing communications to you via email or text message. You have the right to withdraw consent to marketing at any time by Email: email@example.com
PURPOSES FOR WHICH WE WILL USE YOUR PERSONAL DATA
We have set out below, in a table format, a description of all the ways we plan to use your personal data, and which of the legal bases we rely on to do so. We have also identified what our legitimate interests are where appropriate.
Note that we may process your personal data for more than one lawful ground depending on the specific purpose for which we are using your data. Please Email: firstname.lastname@example.org if you need details about the specific legal ground we are relying on to process your personal data where more than one ground has been set out in the table below.
To register you as a new customer
Performance of a contract with you
To process and provide you with our services, including:
(a) Manage payments, fees and charges
(b) Collect and recover money owed to us
(e) Marketing and Communications
(a) Performance of a contract with you
(b) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to recover debts due to us)
To manage our relationship with you which will include:
(b) Asking you to leave a review or take a survey
(d) Marketing and Communications
(a) Performance of a contract with you
(b) Necessary to comply with a legal obligation
(c) Necessary for our legitimate interests (to keep our records updated and to study how customers use our products/services)
To administer and protect our business and this website (including troubleshooting, data analysis, testing, system maintenance, support, reporting and hosting of data)
(a) Necessary for our legitimate interests (for running our business, provision of administration and IT services, network security, to prevent fraud and in the context of a business reorganisation or group restructuring exercise)
(b) Necessary to comply with a legal obligation
To deliver relevant website content and advertisements to you and measure or understand the effectiveness of the advertising we serve to you
(e) Marketing and Communications
Necessary for our legitimate interests (to study how customers use our products/services, to develop them, to grow our business and to inform our marketing strategy)
To use data analytics to improve our website, products/services, marketing, customer relationships and experiences
Necessary for our legitimate interests (to define types of customers for our products and services, to keep our website updated and relevant, to develop our business and to inform our marketing strategy)
To make suggestions and recommendations to you about goods or services that may be of interest to you
Necessary for our legitimate interests (to develop our products/services and grow our business)
Without prejudicing any of the above-mentioned purposes, in connection with any transaction which we enter into with you:
1.We, and other companies in our group, may carry out credit and fraud prevention checks with one or more licensed credit reference and fraud prevention agencies. We and they may keep a record of the search. Information held about you by these agencies may be linked to records relating to other people living at the same address with whom you are financially linked. These records will also be taken into account in credit and fraud prevention checks. Information from your application and payment details of your account will be recorded with one or more of these agencies and may be shared with other organisations to help make credit and insurance decisions about you and members of your household with whom you are financially linked and for debt collection and fraud prevention. This includes those who have moved house and who have missed payments.
2.If you provide false or inaccurate information to us and we suspect fraud, we will record this and may share it with other people and organisations. We, and other credit and insurance organisations, may also use technology to detect and prevent fraud.
3.If you need details of those credit agencies and fraud prevention agencies from which we obtain and with which we record information about you, please write to our Director at 75 Prodromou Avenue, 1st Floor, 2063 Nicosia, Cyprus.
MARKETING AND OTHER COMMUNICATIONS
We strive to provide you with choices regarding certain personal data uses, particularly around marketing and advertising. We have established the following personal data control mechanisms:
PROMOTIONAL OFFERS FROM US
We may use your Identity, Contact, Technical, Usage and Profile Data to form a view on what we think you may want or need, or what may be of interest to you. This is how we decide which products, services and offers may be relevant for you (we call this marketing).
You will receive marketing communications from us if you have requested information from us or purchased services from us and you have not opted out of receiving that marketing.
We will get your express opt-in consent before we share your personal data with any company outside the group of companies for marketing purposes.
Without prejudicing any of the above, by submitting your email address you are consenting to receive the particular piece of information you requested, as well as allowing us to send you appropriate and useful communications. This includes, but is not limited to; invitations to our events and webinars, our latest assets (blog posts, whitepapers, guides, reports, info graphics, videos and case studies) and promotional offers on software and services. We would also like to keep you abreast of the charity events and initiatives we partake in. If you are a customer of C. Savva & Associates Ltd, you will also receive regular updates. These updates will highlight information relevant to the services we deliver.
You can ask us or third parties to stop sending you marketing messages at any time by logging into the website and checking or unchecking relevant boxes to adjust your marketing preferences or by following the opt-out links on any marketing message sent to you or by Email: email@example.com at any time.
Where you opt out of receiving these marketing messages, this will not apply to personal data provided to us as a result of a service purchase.
CHANGE OF PURPOSE
We will only use your personal data for the purposes for which we collected it, unless we reasonably consider that we need to use it for another reason and that reason is compatible with the original purpose. If you wish to get an explanation as to how the processing for the new purpose is compatible with the original purpose, please contact us by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
If we need to use your personal data for an unrelated purpose, we will notify you and we will explain the legal basis which allows us to do so.
Please note that we may process your personal data without your knowledge or consent, in compliance with the above rules, where this is required or permitted by law.
We may have to share your personal data with the parties set out below for the purposes set out in the table in paragraph 4 above.
We require all third parties to respect the security of your personal data and to treat it in accordance with the law. We do not allow our third-party service providers to use your personal data for their own purposes and only permit them to process your personal data for specified purposes and in accordance with our instructions.
We do not transfer your personal data outside the European Economic Area (EEA).
Whenever we transfer your personal data out of the EEA, we ensure a similar degree of protection is afforded to it by ensuring at least one of the following safeguards is implemented:
Please contact us by Email: email@example.com if you want further information on the specific mechanism used by us when transferring your personal data out of the EEA.
We have put in place appropriate security measures to prevent your personal data from being accidentally lost, used or accessed in an unauthorised way, altered or disclosed. In addition, we limit access to your personal data to those employees, agents, contractors and other third parties who have a business need to know. They will only process your personal data on our instructions and they are subject to a duty of confidentiality.
We have put in place procedures to deal with any suspected personal data breach and will notify you and any applicable regulator of a breach where we are legally required to do so.
HOW LONG WILL YOU USE MY PERSONAL DATA FOR?
We will only retain your personal data for as long as necessary to fulfil the purposes we collected it for, including for the purposes of satisfying any legal, accounting, or reporting requirements.
To determine the appropriate retention period for personal data, we consider the amount, nature, and sensitivity of the personal data, the potential risk of harm from unauthorised use or disclosure of your personal data, the purposes for which we process your personal data and whether we can achieve those purposes through other means, and the applicable legal requirements.
In some circumstances you can ask us to delete your data: see Request erasure below for further information.
In some circumstances we may anonymise your personal data (so that it can no longer be associated with you) for research or statistical purposes in which case we may use this information indefinitely without further notice to you.
Under certain circumstances, you have rights under data protection laws in relation to your personal data. Please click on the links below to find out more about these rights:
If you wish to exercise any of the rights set out above, please contact us by Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
NO FEE USUALLY REQUIRED
You will not have to pay a fee to access your personal data (or to exercise any of the other rights). However, we may charge a reasonable fee if your request is clearly unfounded, repetitive or excessive. Alternatively, we may refuse to comply with your request in these circumstances.
WHAT WE MAY NEED FROM YOU
We may need to request specific information from you to help us confirm your identity and ensure your right to access your personal data (or to exercise any of your other rights). This is a security measure to ensure that personal data is not disclosed to any person who has no right to receive it. We may also contact you to ask you for further information in relation to your request to speed up our response.
TIME LIMIT TO RESPOND
We try to respond to all legitimate requests within one month. Occasionally it may take us longer than a month if your request is particularly complex or you have made a number of requests. In this case, we will notify you and keep you updated.
Legitimate Interest means the interest of our business in conducting and managing our business to enable us to give you the best service/product and the best and most secure experience. We make sure we consider and balance any potential impact on you (both positive and negative) and your rights before we process your personal data for our legitimate interests. We do not use your personal data for activities where our interests are overridden by the impact on you (unless we have your consent or are otherwise required or permitted to by law). You can obtain further information about how we assess our legitimate interests against any potential impact on you in respect of specific activities by contacting us by Email: email@example.com
Performance of Contract means processing your data where it is necessary for the performance of a contract to which you are a party or to take steps at your request before entering into such a contract.
Comply with a legal or regulatory obligation means processing your personal data where it is necessary for compliance with a legal or regulatory obligation that we are subject to.
EXTERNAL THIRD PARTIES
YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS
You have the right to:
Request access to your personal data (commonly known as a “data subject access request”). This enables you to receive a copy of the personal data we hold about you and to check that we are lawfully processing it.
Request correction of the personal data that we hold about you. This enables you to have any incomplete or inaccurate data we hold about you corrected, though we may need to verify the accuracy of the new data you provide to us.
Request erasure of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to delete or remove personal data where there is no good reason for us continuing to process it. You also have the right to ask us to delete or remove your personal data where you have successfully exercised your right to object to processing (see below), where we may have processed your information unlawfully or where we are required to erase your personal data to comply with local law. Note, however, that we may not always be able to comply with your request of erasure for specific legal reasons which will be notified to you, if applicable, at the time of your request.
Object to processing of your personal data where we are relying on a legitimate interest (or those of a third party) and there is something about your particular situation which makes you want to object to processing on this ground as you feel it impacts on your fundamental rights and freedoms. You also have the right to object where we are processing your personal data for direct marketing purposes. In some cases, we may demonstrate that we have compelling legitimate grounds to process your information which override your rights and freedoms.
Request restriction of processing of your personal data. This enables you to ask us to suspend the processing of your personal data in the following scenarios: (a) if you want us to establish the data’s accuracy; (b) where our use of the data is unlawful but you do not want us to erase it; (c) where you need us to hold the data even if we no longer require it as you need it to establish, exercise or defend legal claims; or (d) you have objected to our use of your data but we need to verify whether we have overriding legitimate grounds to use it.
Request the transfer of your personal data to you or to a third party. We will provide to you, or a third party you have chosen, your personal data in a structured, commonly used, machine-readable format. Note that this right only applies to automated information which you initially provided consent for us to use or where we used the information to perform a contract with you.
Withdraw consent at any time where we are relying on consent to process your personal data. However, this will not affect the lawfulness of any processing carried out before you withdraw your consent. If you withdraw your consent, we may not be able to provide certain products or services to you. We will advise you if this is the case at the time you withdraw your consent.