Golden Visa

With a new vision for development, Greece aims to attract foreign direct investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, energy, tourism, agriculture and other sectors through flexible and fast administrative procedures, and by promoting its natural resources, well-educated human capital and other unique comparative advantages in the broader South-Eastern European region.

Greece has set up a flexible and fast procedure for non- EU/ EEA foreign investors who wish to obtain an entry visa and a residence permit for the purpose of investment activity in Greece. Residence permits can also be granted to company executives involved in the implementation and/or the operation of the investment project. Up to 10 permits may be issued for an investment project (investors and executives), depending on the investment scale.

The investment activity may be implemented through the construction of new facilities (greenfield investments) or business acquisitions, restructuring as well as expansion of current activities (brownfield investments), provided that it has a positive impact on the national economy.

 Residence permits offered to investors and executives can be renewed every five years, as long as they maintain their position in relation to the investment and the investment continues to be active. In addition, they may be accompanied by their family members - spouse, unmarried children up to the age of 21, and the first-degree ascendants of the spouses - who are also beneficiaries of the right to enter and obtain a residence permit. Information about the legal basis and the process is available, along with documentation and application forms, (in Greek) on the website: https://www.ependyseis.gr/sub/nomos4251/n4251.htm.

For more information or clarifications on this program, please contact Enterprise Greece at: mailto:info@enterprisegreece.gov.gr or the Greek consulates in the place of residence. According to Greek Law: A long-term visa (national visa / D-type visa) is an authorization issued by the Greek consulates for the entry and stay on Greek territory of non-EU/EEA citizens for a period exceeding 90 days and up to 365 days, according to the respective national regulations or European Union law. A residence permit is an authorization issued by the Ministry of Migration Policy for the legal residence within Greek territory of non-EU/EEA citizens, in accordance with the provisions of European Union (Council Regulation (EC) 1030/02, as applicable).

There are different categories of residence permits and different types of permits within each category. Employment rights depend on the type of permit issued. The legal basis of the program concerned (entry and residence for investment activity) is found in Article 16 of Law 4251/2014, as amended and completed by Article 8 (par. 21) of Law 4332/2015 and Article 84 (par. 1 to 6) of Law 4399/2016. Details concerning the program implementation, such as the minimum required investment, the procedure and the required documentation, are determined by a Joint Ministerial Decision. O

Legal Framework

According to Greek Law: A long-term visa (national visa / D-type visa) is an authorization issued by the Greek consulates for the entry and stay on Greek territory of non-EU/EEA citizens for a period exceeding 90 days and up to 365 days, according to the respective national regulations or European Union law. A residence permit is an authorization issued by the Ministry of Migration Policy for the legal residence within Greek territory of non-EU/EEA citizens, in accordance with the provisions of European Union (Council Regulation (EC) 1030/02, as applicable). There are different categories of residence permits and different types of permits within each category. Employment rights depend on the type of permit issued. The legal basis of the program concerned (entry and residence for investment activity) is found in Article 16 of Law 4251/2014, as amended and completed by Article 8 (par. 21) of Law 4332/2015 and Article 84 (par. 1 to 6) of Law 4399/2016. Details concerning the program implementation, such as the minimum required investment, the procedure and the required documentation, are determined by a Joint Ministerial Decision

Beneficiaries of the residence permit for investment activity

Beneficiaries of the right to enter and obtain a permanent residence permit under this program are:

a) non-EU/EEA citizens who intend to invest in Greece (investors), either personally or through a legal entity, provided that their investment project meets the conditions set by the legal framework, as outlined below.

b) non-EU/EEA citizens, company executives, involved in the implementation and/or the operation of the investment project described (upper management, middle management or experts necessary for the project). The above provision for non-EU/EEA citizen company executives also applies with the same preconditions to domestic established enterprises which are currently in operation and implement a new investment. Up to 10 permits may be issued for investors and executives for an investment project, depending on the investment scale.

c) Family members of the non-EU/EEA citizen described above who are granted a residence permit and specifically: - The spouse, - The other spouse or partner with whom a third-country national has a cohabitation agreement in Greece, - Their unmarried children up to the age of 21, - The unmarried children of the dependant or his/her spouse up to the age of 21, provided that the right of custody has been legally granted to the sponsor for his/her children and to the other spouse for the children thereof, - The first degree ascendants of the spouses. These family members are granted residence permits for family reunification which does not include access to employment

Duration-Renewal of the residence permit

The residence permit for investment activity (for investors or executives) is granted for a five-year period and is renewed every time for an equal duration, provided that the beneficiary maintains the status (investor or executive) in relation to the investment and that the investment continues to be active. For the family members concerned, their residence permit expires upon the expiry of the sponsor’s residence permit. Note that the unmarried children of the applicant who are originally admitted to the country under the terms and requirements of the residence permit for investment activity are granted residence permits for family reunification until the age of 21. Children reaching the age of 21 are entitled to an autonomous residence permit up to the age of 24 without specific preconditions. This permit is not linked to the status of the family sponsor. After the age of 24, further renewal is possible according to pertinent national immigration legislation.

Application fee

The cost for the issuance of a national entry visa is €180. The fee for the issuance of a five-year residence permit or for its renewal is €2000 for investors and company executives, and €150 for their family members. Minor children (under 18 years old) are exempted from this fee. The fee for the issuance of the electronic residence permit is €16.

Residence permits for investment activity are granted to non-EU/EEA citizens (investors or executives) in the context of the implementation of an investment project following a positive assessment of the investment by the Directorate for Foreign Capital at the Ministry of Economy and Development. b) Investment cost the legal framework does not set specific limits regarding the total cost of the investment project. However, an investor applying for a residence permit under this program should contribute to the investment with an amount of at least €250,000, available through own funds. In addition, the number of permits for executives allowed for each investment project depends on the amount of the total investor contribution. Finally, the total number of residence permits allowed for an investment project cannot exceed 10 (for investors and executives).

Total investor contribution to the investment cost, in €’s Up to 300.000 300.001 – 1.000.000 1.000.001 – 3.000.000 3.000.001 – 5.000.000 5.000.001 – 10.000.000 10.000.001 − 15.000.000 15.000.001 – 20.000.000 20.000.001 – 25.000.000 25.000.001 – 30.000.000 30.000.001 – 40.000.000 over 40.000.000 Max. number of residence permits allowed for executives 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Conditions for the investment activity a) Investment activity There are no restrictions regarding the sector of activity or the location of the investment project. The requirement that must be met by the investment is to have positive impact on national development and the economy. Investment activity may be implemented through the construction of new facilities (greenfield investments) or business acquisitions, restructuring or expansion of current activities (brownfield investments). Factors taken into account for assessing the impact on national development and the economy are job creation, promotion of domestic resources and vertical integration of domestic production, export orientation, innovation and adoption of new technology

Process for granting a residence permit for investment activity

a) Entry requirement to apply for a residence permit To apply for a residence permit for investment activity, non-EU/EEA citizens must: - either enter the country on a national visa (type-D) issued for investment purposes by the competent consular authority, which is valid for up to one year; or - already legally reside in the country and hold a residence permit either under a definite residence permit or a visa or a residence permit granted by another EU Member State (in this case Schengen rules for temporary stay in a member state apply) or a long-term residence permit (2003/109/EC) granted by another EU Member State. In this case, the investment activity should have been approved prior to the application for the residence permit and non-EU/EEA citizen should legally reside in the country at the moment of submitting the residence permit’s application.

b) Granting an entry visa in order to obtain a national visa (type D) for investment purposes, the non-EU/EEA citizen (investor or executive) or his proxy submits an application to the competent Greek consulate, enclosing the necessary documentation for the applicant and the investment project. Family members have the option of entering the country at the same time with the applicant from whom they derive their residence rights (sponsor) or at a later date, and should also be issued the appropriate entry visa. Documentation for investment project (documents a, b and c) should be submitted in printed and electronic form, in Greek (documents issued in other languages should be accompanied with an official translation). In case of difficulty submitting the above information in electronic form or in Greek, assistance can be provided by the Greek consulates. The consular authority will forward the above documentation to the competent department at the Ministry of Economy and Development for assessment with respect to conditions set by the legal framework. The positive opinion of the above department regarding the investment project is necessary for granting the entry visa.

A. GENERAL DOCUMENTATION FOR GRANTING A NATIONAL VISA (type- D)

a) A passport or other travel document recognized by Greece, with a period of validity which must exceed by three months the expiry date of the visa, having at least two blank pages and issued within the previous ten years.

b) Travel insurance with a duration covering at least the entire visa period and providing coverage of costs which might arise in case of repatriation for medical reasons, urgent medical care and/or emergency hospital treatment.

c) Criminal record certificate issued by the foreign authorities certifying the criminal record status of the applicant in the country of his/her residence. In cases where the applicant has lived in a country other than that of his/her origin for more than a year before lodging the entry visa application, the consular authority may request a criminal record certificate issued by the country of origin.

d) Medical certificate issued by a recognized state or private institution, showing that the person concerned does not suffer from a disease that could pose a threat to public health, as defined by the international data of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Union acquis, nor from any other infectious, contagious or parasitic diseases that impose measures to protect public health.

B. DOCUMENTATION FOR INVESTMENT PROJECT

a) Presentation of the investment project to include: - Details of the existing company or one to be established to pursue the investment activity (name, type of legal entity, share-holder / corporate structure) - Description of the investment project - The location of the investment project - The investment budget and its financing structure - A timetable for implementation of the investment - The forecasted results for the first five years of investment (feasibility study and cash flow forecast) - The total number of jobs to be created by the operation of the investment.

b) Information concerning the applicant in relation to the contribution to the investment which includes : - A brief curriculum vitae - The applicant’s position and occupation relative to the investment project - The duration of residence in accordance with the investment implementation The above (a and b) should be presented and documented in accordance with the relevant forms available on the website of the program, taking into account the instructions and notes provided on them (https://www.ependyseis.gr/sub/nomos4251/n4251.htm). Documentation for investors’ own funds the documentation of the investor(s)’ ability to fulfill the requirements for own funds should be based on quarterly statements-certificates of bank deposits or securities for individuals, and balance sheets and other financial statements for legal entitie.

c) Application for the residence permit A non-EU/EEA citizen who has entered the country with a national visa (type-D) for investment purposes should complete the required process for applying for the residence permit before the expiry of the entry visa. In the meantime, visa holders will be able to undertake legal acts and conduct transactions with the competent authorities. The application and the necessary documentation for a residence permit are submitted in person or by a legal representative to the Directorate for Migration Policy at the Ministry of Migration Policy in Greece. Authorization shall be proven in writing by having the authenticity of the authorizing person’s signature verified by any public authority.

d) Exceptional Procedures for non EU/EEA citizens who legally reside in Greece (Law 4399/2016) In order to facilitate the process for non EU/EEA citizens who intent to invest in Greece and legally reside in the country, either under a definite residence permit, or a visa, or a long term residence permit (2003/109/EC) granted by another EU member state, it is possible for them to submit an application with the documentation of the investment project to the authorities in Greece. This application is submitted to the Directorate of Migration Policy (Ministry of Migration Policy), which forwards it to the component department for its required relevant opinion (Ministry of Economy and Development. After the issuance of a positive opinion, the respective non-EU/EEA citizen, under the precondition that he/she legally resides in the country, shall submit an application for a residence permit along with all the necessary documentation as described below.

e) Provisions during the application processing period the authorities receiving the application and all the necessary documentation issue a certificate valid for one year which constitutes an evidencing document/certificate of legal residence of the person concerned in the country. Until the residence permit is issued Certificate holders are entitled to all benefits of the residence permit, they have applied for. Hence, they can proceed with any legal formalities related to their investment and can contact with all the relevant authorities. Once the Directorate for Migration Policy at the Ministry of Migration Policy verifies that the application fulfils all necessary conditions, a five-year residence permit is granted. DOCUMENTATION FOR RESIDENCE PERMIT APPLICATION - Application form - Four (4) printed digital passport photos, also stored in digital form(CD) - A fee paid and obtained through the “e-paravolo” platform according to article 38 par. 6 of Law 4546/2018, which amounts to €2000 for residence permits of up to a five year duration for investors and company executives (code 2112). For family members the fee amounts to €150 (code 2107). Minor children (under 18 years old) are exempted from this fee; - A positive assessment of the investment by the Directorate for Foreign Capital at the Ministry of Economy and Development. - Certification by the competent national insurance agency that the applicant has applied for the required insurance - A fee paid and obtained through the “e-paravolo” platform according to provisions of Law 4018/2011 article 1, which amounts to €16 concerning the printing of the separate document (electronic residence permit). - Certified copy of a valid passport or travel documents recognised by Greece and with the relevant valid entry visa, where required; In addition, For executives: the contract of employment for family members: Declaration for their marital status

Source : EnterpriseGreece


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