Search Publications

RESIDENCE PERMIT FOR INVESTORS, ENTREPRENEURS AND FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT PERSONS

Financially independent persons, investors in real estate as well as members and directors of Greek companies may apply for a residence permit in Greece.

  1. Investment in Immovable Property : The “Investor’s Permanent Residence Permit”
Who can apply?
  1. A person holding either personally or through a corporate entity the shares of which are fully owned by him/ her, in full ownership and possession, real estate in Greece. The value of the property must amount to at least €250 000.
OR
  1. A person having entered into a timeshare agreement or a lease for hotel accommodations or furnished touristic residences in a combined tourist facility in Greece. Their duration must be at least 10 years and their amount must be not less than 250 000 €.

The holder of an” investor’s permanent residence permit”, may be accompanied by the members of his/ her family. In that case, family members receive a personal residence permit which expires simultaneously with the permit of the sponsor.

The following persons are considered to be family members for the purposes of the foregoing:

  • The spouse
  • The direct descendants of the spouses or of either one of them, who are aged under 21 years old
  • The direct ascendants of the spouses
Duration of the residence permit:

 The residence permit is granted for 5 years. It may be renewed upon relevant application for further five- year periods for as long as the property remains under the ownership and possession of the applicant or the lease agreements remains in force and provided that all the relevant conditions required by law are fulfilled.

 

The sale of the property during the validity period of the residence permit to another non- EU citizen provides to the new buyer the right to be granted a residence permit. Simultaneously,  the residence permit of the seller is revoked.

Access to labour market: this type of residence permit does not provide access to labour market
  1. Financially Independent Persons
Who can apply?

Non- EU citizens having adequate resources at a level of steady annual income for the coverage of their living expenses may apply for a 2- year residence permit.

Such persons may also be accompanied by members of their families to whom a personal residence permit is granted.

Sufficient Income:

The condition for sufficient income must exist for each member of the family. The minimum income is 2000 euros/ month. Additionally, in case the person is accompanied by his family, this amount is increased by 20% for the spouse and 15% for each child.

The amount of the income may be proved by pension abroad, bank account or other proof that the person has its own sufficient income, of legal origin, to cover its expenses without being employed or exercise an independent economic activity in Greece.

Also, persons entitled to receive a pension from a Greek Institution of Principal Insurance may renew their residence permit, independently of the amount of the pension.

Duration of the residence permit:

The residence permit for financially independent persons is issued for 2 years and thereafter it may be renewed.

Access to labour market: this type of residence permit does not allow access to the labour market.
  1. Special purpose residence permit for members of boards of directors, shareholders, managers, legal representatives and senior managing officers of Greek companies as well as subsidiaries and branches of foreign companies
Who can apply?
  • – members of boards of directors,
  • – shareholders,
  • – managers,
  • – legal representatives and
  • – senior executives

of Greek corporate entities as well as subsidiaries and branches of foreign companies.

The aforementioned persons may be accompanied by the members of their family, who shall receive a permit for family reunification.

Conditions:
  • The company/ branch/ subsidiary is legally exercising a business activity in Greece.
  • Τhe Greek company/ business employs at least 25 persons.
Exception:
  • However, the requirement to employ at least 25 persons does not apply in case of members of boards of directors, shareholders, managers, legal representatives and senior executives of subsidiaries and branches of foreign companies legally exercising a business activity in Greece.
Duration of the residence permit:

This type of residence permit is issued for 2 years or for a period equal to the expected duration of the applicant’s stay in Greece. It is renewed every three years.

Access to labour market: the exercise of a specific profession is allowed.
ABSENCES FROM GREECE

In relation to persons having obtained a residence permit through investment in immovable property or persons who are financially independent, the law provides that periods of absence from Greece do not impede the renewal of the permit.

For all other residence permits mentioned hereinabove, the general provisions of the law apply. Consequently, the validity of the residence permit, is not affected by temporary absences which do not exceed six months per year or longer absences, such as in case of military service, or other serious reasons, such as pregnancy, motherhood, serious illness, studies or professional training in another member state or third country.

OUR SERVICES

 Our Firm provides legal advice and assistance in matters concerning the application by foreigners for residence permits.

 FOR FURTHER INFORMATION PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US

This document does not amount to professional legal advice as it is only intended for information purposes.

View PDF

GOLDEN VISA : PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMIT FOR INVESTORS IN REAL ESTATE IN GREECE

Law 4251 of 2014, also referred to as the Immigration and Social Integration Code, (as amended and hereinafter referred to as the “Law”), provides the opportunity to non- European Union nationals to obtain a permanent residence permit by investing in real estate in Greece. This is also known as the Golden Visa Program.

THE INVESTOR’S PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMIT

According to the provisions of the Law, a citizen of a third country (i.e. non EU- national), having entered in Greece legally through any type of entry visa or already residing in Greece legally, is entitled to apply for a residence permit which is valid for 5 years in Greece, if :

  1. The said person holds either personally or through a Greek or EU- based corporate entity the shares of which are fully owned by him/ her, in full ownership and possession, real estate in Greece, with the value of the property amounting to at least €250 000.
  2. – The terms “value of the property” refer to the value mentioned in the sale contract (i.e. it is not a reference to the fair market value of the property).
  3. – The property may consist of several real estate properties. Their total value must be equal to or exceed €250 000.
  4. – In case of co- ownership of the property, the residence permit is granted only if the value of each percentage of ownership of each co- owner amounts to €250 000.
  5. – In case of co- ownership between spouses the residence permit is granted only if the property is owned jointly. This applies also in case of companions having entered into a civil partnership.
  6. – A person having acquired the property either through intestate succession, through a will or as a parental benefit may also benefit of this type of residence permit, provided he or she is over 18 years old.

OR

  • The said person has entered into a timeshare agreement or a lease for hotel accommodations or furnished touristic residences in a combined tourist facility in Greece. Their duration must be of at least 10 years and their amount not less than 250 000 €.
  • The applicant must pay the amount of the lease upfront, upon the execution of the relevant agreement.

The holder of an investor’s permanent residence permit, may be accompanied by the members of his/ her family. These family members, shall  obtain a personal residence permit. The residence permit of the said family members expires simultaneously with the residence permit of the sponsor.

The following persons are considered to be family members for the purposes of the foregoing:

  • – The spouse
  • – The direct descendants of the spouses or of either one of them, who are under the age 21 years old
  • – The direct ascendants of the spouses

DURATION OF THE INVESTOR’S PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMIT

The residence permit is granted for 5 years. It may be renewed upon relevant application for another five- year periods for as long as the property remains under the ownership and possession of the applicant or the lease agreements remains in force and provided that all the relevant conditions required by law are fulfilled.

The sale of the property during the validity period of the residence permit to another non- EU citizen provides to the new buyer the right to be granted a residence permit. Simultaneously the relevant residence permit of the seller is revoked.

PROCEDURE

Step 1:           

Application for an entry visa for the Greek territory at the consulate authority of the applicant’s country of origin.

Step 2:           

Purchase of the property or entry into lease/ timeshare agreement and collection of the required supporting documentation.

Step 3:

Submission of the documents to the relevant authority and payment of the application fee amounting to € 2016. For family members above 18 years old the fee is 166 euros.

It is worth noting that the applicant is not required to submit the documents in person. As such, the filing of the application may be effected through a power of attorney. However, the applicant must enter the country in order to assign his representation to a lawyer, before the expiry of the relevant entry visa.

The applicant shall however need to provide his/ her fingerprints. They may effect this, either at the time of submission of the file or at a later appointment.

Step 4:           

Receipt of a document confirming submission of the application. The said document is valid for one year. The applicant may use it as temporary permit until the issuance of the final permit. This document will allow the applicant to travel freely to and from Greece. However it does not the applicant the right to travel to any other country within the Schengen area.

Step 5:           

Verification by the competent authorities of the application and documents submitted and issuance of the relevant decision/ residence permit.

ADVANTAGES

This type of residence permit allows you to:

  1. Stay in Greece continuously for the entire duration of the residence permit.
  2. Have access to public health and education, in the same terms and conditions as Greek citizens.
  3. Travel freely within the Schengen area, without a visa. The stay in the said countries must not exceed 90 days per six- month period. It also provides a right to multiple entries, without it being required to enter the Schengen area through Greece.
  4. Lease the real estate property or properties acquired in Greece and receive rent.
  5. Renew the residence permit as many times as the applicant wishes (so long as the conditions required by the Law remain fulfilled) for 5- year periods.
  6. Enter into the regimes for long- term residency or acquire the citizenship provided that the specific conditions required by law for accessing those regimes are fulfilled in addition.

Absences from Greece do not impede the possibility to renew of the residence permit.

FOR ANY FURTHER INFORMATION AND/ OR CLARIFICATION PLEASE FEEL FREE TO CONTACT US

*This document does not amount to professional legal advice as it is only intended for information purposes. 

View PDF

RESIDENCE PERMITS FOR OWNERS OF REAL ESTATE IN GREECE 2018

Law 4251of 2014, also referred to as the Immigration and Social Integration Code, (as amended and hereinafter referred to as the “Law”), provides the opportunity to non- European Union nationals to obtain a permanent residence permit by investing in real estate in Greece.

THE INVESTOR’S PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMIT

According to the provisions of the Law, a citizen of a third country (i.e. non EU- national), having entered in Greece legally through any type of entry visa or already residing in Greece legally, is entitled to apply for a residence permit which is valid for 5 years in Greece, if:

 


 

1. THE SAID PERSON HOLDS EITHER PERSONALLY OR THROUGH A CORPORATE ENTITY THE SHARES OF WHICH ARE FULLY OWNED BY HIM/ HER, IN FULL OWNERSHIP AND POS-SESSION, REAL ESTATE IN GREECE, WITH THE VALUE OF THE PROPERTY AMOUNTING TO AT LEAST €250 000.

  • The terms “value of the property” refer to the value mentioned in the sale contract (i.e. it is not a reference to the fair market value of the property).
  • The property may consist of several real estate properties the total value of which must be equal to or exceed €250 000.
  • In case of co- ownership of the property, the residence permit is granted only if the value of each percentage of ownership of each co- owner amounts to €250 000.
  • In case of co- ownership between spouses the residence permit is granted only if the property is owned jointly.

OR

2. THE SAID PERSON HAS ENTERED INTO A TIMESHARE AGREEMENT OR A LEASE FOR HOTEL

ACCOMMODATIONS OR FURNISHED TOURISTIC RESIDENCES IN A COMBINED TOURIST FA-

CILITY IN GREECE, FOR A DURATION OF AT LEAST 10 YEARS, IN AN AMOUNT NOT LESS

THAN 250 000 €.

  • The amount of the lease must be paid upfront, upon the execution of the relevant agreement.

The holder of an investor’s permanent residence permit, may be accompanied by the members of his/ her family, to which a personal residence permit may be granted upon filing a relevant application. The residence permit of the said family members expires simultaneously with the residence permit of the sponsor.

The following persons are considered to be family members for the purposes of the foregoing:

  • The spouse
  • The direct descendants of the spouses or of either one of them, who are aged under 21 years old
  • The direct ascendants of the spouses

 

DURATION OF THE INVESTOR’S PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMIT

The residence permit is granted for 5 years and may be renewed upon relevant application for another five- year periods for as long as the property remains under the ownership and possession of the applicant or the lease agreements remains in force and provided that all the relevant conditions required by law are fulfilled.

The sale of the property during the validity period of the residence permit to another non- EU citizen provides to the new buyer the right to be granted a residence permit along with the simultaneous revocation of the residence permit of the seller.

 

PROCEDURE

Step 1:

Application for an entry visa for the Greek territory at the consulate authority of the applicant’s country of origin (where applicable).

Step 2:

Purchase of the property or entry into lease/ timeshare agreement and collection of the required supporting documentation.

Step 3:

Submission of the documents to the relevant authority and payment of the application fee amounting to € 2016.

It is worth noting that the applicant is not required to submit the documents in person, and thus the filing of the application may be effected through a power of attorney, provided that the applicant has entered the country in order to assign his representation to a lawyer, before the expiry of the relevant entry visa.

Step 4:

Receipt of a document confirming submission of the application. The said document is valid for one year and may be used as temporary permit until the issuance of the final permit. This document will allow the applicant to travel freely to and from Greece, without however granting the applicant the right to travel to any other country within the Schengen area.

Step 5:

Verification by the competent authorities of the application and documents submitted and issuance of the relevant decision/ residence permit.

 

ADVANTAGES

  • Possibility to stay in Greece continuously for the entire duration of the residence permit and to have access to public health and education, in the same terms and conditions as Greek citizens.
  • Possibility to travel freely within the Schengen area, without a visa, provided that the stay in the said countries does not exceed 90 days per six-month period, with a right to multiple entries, without it being required to enter the Schengen area through Greece.
  • Possibility to lease the real estate property or properties acquired in Greece and receive rent.
  • Possibility to renew the residence permit as many times as the applicant wishes (so long as the conditions required by the Law remain fulfilled) for 5-year periods.
  • Absences from Greece do not impede the possibility for renewal of the residence permit.
  • Possibility to enter into the regimes for long-term residency or acquire the citizenship provided that the specific conditions required by law for accessing those regimes are fulfilled in addition.

 

December 2018

*This document does not amount to professional legal advice as it is only intended for information purposes.

View PDF (EN)

View PDF (CHINESE)

RESIDENCE PERMITS FOR INVESTORS, ENTREPRNEURS AND FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT PERSONS

1. INVESTMENT IN IMMOVABLE PROPERTY : THE “INVESTOR’S PERMANENT RESIDENCE PERMIT”

WHO CAN APPLY?

1- A person holding either personally or through a corporate entity the shares of which are fully owned by him/ her, in full ownership and possession, real estate in Greece, with the value of the property amounting to at least €250 000.

OR

2- A person having entered into a timeshare agreement or a lease for hotel accommodations or furnished touristic residences in a combined tourist facility in Greece, for a duration of at least 10 years, in an amount not less than €250 000.

The holder of an” investor’s permanent residence permit”, may be accompanied by the members of his/ her family, to which a personal residence permit may be granted upon filing a relevant application and which expires simultaneously with the residence permit of the sponsor.

The following persons are considered to be family members for the purposes of the foregoing:

  • The spouse
  • The direct descendants of the spouses or of either one of them, who are aged under 21 years old
  • The direct ascendants of the spouses

Duration of the residence permit:

The residence permit is granted for 5 years and may be renewed upon relevant application for further five- year periods for as long as the property remains under the ownership and possession of the applicant or the lease agreements remains in force and provided that all the relevant conditions required by law are fulfilled.

The sale of the property during the validity period of the residence permit to another non- EU citizen provides to the new buyer the right to be granted a residence permit along with the simultaneous revocation of the residence permit of the seller.

Access to labour market: this type of residence permit does not provide access to labour market

 


 

2. FINANCIALLY INDEPENDENT PERSONS

Who can apply?

Non- EU citizens having adequate resources at a level of steady annual income for the coverage of their living expenses may apply for a 2- year residence permit.

Such persons may be accompanied by members of their families to whom a personal residence permit is granted.

Sufficient Income:

The condition for sufficient income must exist for each member of the family. The minimum income is 2000 euros/ month and in case the person is accompanied by his family, this amount is increased by 20% for the spouse and 15% for each child.

The amount of the income may be proved by pension abroad, bank account or other proof that the person has its own sufficient income, of legal origin, to cover its expenses without being employed or exercise an independent economic activity in Greece.

Persons entitled to receive a pension from a Greek Institution of Principal Insurance may renew their residence permit, independently of the amount of the pension.

Duration of the residence permit:

The residence permit for financially independent persons is issued for 2 years and may be renewed.

Access to labour market: this type of residence permit does not allow access to the labour market.

 


 

3. SPECIAL PURPOSE RESIDENCE PERMIT FOR MEMBERS OF BOARDS OF DIRECTORS, SHARE- HOLDERS, MANAGERS, LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES AND SENIOR MANAGING OFFICERS OF GREEK COMPANIES AS WELL AS SUBSIDIARIES AND BRANCHES OF FOREIGN COMPANIES

Who can apply?

  • members of boards of directors,
  • shareholders,
  • managers,
  • legal representatives and
  • senior executives

of Greek corporate entities as well as subsidiaries and branches of foreign companies.

The aforementioned persons may be accompanied by the members of their family, to whom a permit for family reunification may be granted.

Conditions:

  • The company/ branch/ subsidiary is legally exercising a business activity in Greece.
  • Τhe Greek company/ business employs at least 25 persons.

Exception:

  • The requirement to employ at least 25 persons does not apply in case of members of boards of directors, shareholders, managers, legal representatives and senior executives of subsidiaries and branches of foreign companies legally exercising a business activity in Greece.

Duration of the residence permit:

This type of residence permit is issued for 2 years or for a period equal to the expected duration of the applicant’s stay in Greece and is renewed every three years.

Access to labour market: the exercise of a specific profession is allowed.

 


 

ABSENCES FROM GREECE

In relation to persons having obtained a residence permit through investment in immovable property or persons who are financially independent, the law provides that periods of absence from Greece do not impede the renewal of the permit.

For all other residence permits mentioned hereinabove, the general provisions of the law apply, which provide that the validity of the residence permit, is not affected by temporary absences which do not exceed six months per year or longer absences in case of military service, or other serious reasons, such as pregnancy, motherhood, serious illness, studies or professional training in another member state or third country.

 


 

OUR SERVICES

Our Firm provides legal advice and assistance in matters concerning the application by foreigners for residence permits.

December 2018

 

*This document does not amount to professional legal advice as it is only intended for information purposes.

 

View PDF

Our Yacht Registration Center provides Cyprus Leasing Structures

Our Yacht Registration Center provides Cyprus Leasing Structures, which constitute a generally acceptable ownership solution.

Owners utilizing our structures will be compliant with their obligations to the Cypriot Government/EU as VAT is paid to them over the life of the structure, albeit at a reduced rate, and the yacht is in free circulation throughout the EU. Use of our Cypriot solution scheme would allow importation and setting of the yacht in free circulation within the EU. Through the use of our Cypriot Solution, a reduced effective tax on acquisition and importation of a yacht is achieved on the basis of the provisions of the EU VAT Directive which provide that the long-term hiring of a means of transport is subject to VAT within the EU only to the extend it is used and enjoyed within the EU. Specifically, when the lessor is a company registered in Cyprus the charge to VAT for the services rendered is subject to the extent the pleasure boat is used within the European Union.  This applies irrespective of the lessee origin, i.e. whether the lessee is a Cypriot or non-Cypriot physical person or company.

Our Cyprus Leasing Solution provides owners with a complete solution due to the following:

  • The Cyprus Tax Authorities will treat the long-term hiring of means of transport on the basis of the provisions of the EU VAT Directive, which provide that the lease of a means of transport is subject to VAT within the EU only to the extend it is used and enjoyed within the EU.
  • Owners are strongly recommended to obtain an official and indemnified tax opinion on the solution from a reputable source. We, YRC as well as our affiliated partners InterTaxAudit who assisted in the development of our Cyprus Leasing Solution will gladly provide its valuable advice.
  • Every Leasing Structure requires pre-approval from the Cyprus Tax Authorities. The Tax Authorities’ intention is to examine any advance ruling applications on a case by case basis. We note that the final approval of the above scheme is upon the discretion of the Tax Authorities.

ИНТЕРПРЕТАЦИЯ СТАТЬИ 5(2)(G) ЗАКОНА О ПОДОХОДНОМ НАЛОГЕ 118(I)2002, С ПОПРАВКАМИ

Налоговый департамент издал циркуляр от 14 ноября 2017 года, в целях разъяснения важной части закона.

Закон предусматривает, что всякий раз, когда компания предоставляет заем или любую другую финансовую помощь своим директорам или акционерам, являющимся физическими лицами, или их супругам или родственникам до второй степени родства, то считается, что у этого лица есть ежемесячное пособие равное девяти процентам (9%) годовых от суммы займа или любой другой финансовой услуги.

Согласно письменному сообщению Налогового комитета Института сертифицированных общественных бухгалтеров Кипра (ICPAC) членам Института сертифицированных общественных бухгалтеров Кипра (ICPAC) (от 04.10.2012), положения этого закона не будут применяться в отношении лиц, не посещающих Кипр, и для тех, кто будет посещать Кипр в течение нескольких дней, пособие будет ограничено пропорционально дням их присутствия на Кипре.

С выпуском данного циркуляра (№ 14), это эта диспенсация отзывается.

По сути, пособие, которое считается предоставленным директорам или акционерам, являющимся физическими лицами, или их супругам или родственникам до второй степени родства, которые не являются налоговыми резидентами в Республике, будет начисляться на весь год, независимо от их срока пребывания в Республике Кипр.

Однако по нашим данным, это относится к отчетным периодам, начинающимся только в 2018 году.

INTERPRETATION OF ARTICLE 5(2)(G) OF INCOME TAX LAW 118(I)2002, AS AMENDED

Tax Department issued a circular on 14 November 2017 to clarify an important part of the law.

The law stipulates that whenever a company grants a loan or any other financial facility to its directors or shareholders who are individuals, or their spouses or their relatives up to the second degree of kindred, then it will be deemed that this person has a monthly benefit equal to nine per cent (9%) per annum on the balance of such loan or any other financial facility.

According to a written communication by ICPAC Tax Committee to ICPAC members (dated 4/10/2012), the provisions of this law would not be applied in respect of individuals not visiting Cyprus and for those that would be visiting for a few days, the benefit would be restricted in proportion to the days of their presence in Cyprus.

By issuing this circular (No. 14), this dispensation is withdrawn.

In effect, the benefit, which is deemed to be granted to directors or shareholders who are individuals or their spouses or their relatives up to the second degree of kindred who are not tax residents in the Republic, will be calculated on the whole year, irrespective of their period of stay in the Republic of Cyprus.

However, we now understand that will come into effect for accounting periods commencing at 2018 onwards only.

International Comparative Legal Guide (ICLG) to Corporate Immigration 2018

Our Firm is pleased to announce that our Managing Director, Mr. Christodoulos G. Vassiliades, as well as our Head of Immigration, Ms. Marianna Pavlides, recently published an article in the ICLG Corporate Immigration Guide: A practical cross-border insight into corporate immigration law, 5th Edition.

To read the publication please click on the link below.

ICLG to Corporate Immigration 5th Edition

CYPRUS SIGNS A NEW TAX TREATY WITH UNITED KINGDOM FOR THE AVOIDANCE OF DOUBLE TAXATION

The Republic of Cyprus has concluded a new Double Tax Treaty with United Kingdom. The treaty was signed on the 22nd of March 2018. The actual publication of the treaty in the Gazette took place on the 2nd of April 2018.

The new treaty shall enter into force upon both Cyprus and United Kingdom exchanging notifications that the formal ratification procedures have been completed. In Cyprus the provisions of the treaty with respect to taxes will have effect on or after 1 January post ratification.

Read More

Maria Kozakou’s Article “Reflections on the ‘Culture’ of Arbitration in Cyprus” made front page on the Litigation & Dispute Resolution guide by Corporate LiveWire website

Maria Kozakou – Advocate, at Christodoulos G. Vassiliades & Co LLC investigates mechanisms of alternative dispute resolution (‘ADR’), and its increasing popularity in Cyprus arbitration scene.

The Article under the title “Reflections on the ‘Culture’ of Arbitration in Cyprus” made front page on the Corporate LiveWire Website Follow this Link

The Article consists of:

  1. History of Formal Peace and Conflict;
  2. The distinction between Domestic Arbitration and International Arbitration;
  3. The characteristics of the legal framework regulating International Arbitration;
  4. The application of ICAL legislation; and
  5. ADR role in Cyprus.

For the guide, please click here