Immigration Law, Legal Advice

The new changes in the Greek Golden Visa procedure after Law 5100/2024

Radical changes are about to take place in the process of issuing investor residence permits in Greece (Golden Visa) following the publication of Law 5100/2024. In this article, we will try to present briefly all the changes:

– The amount of the investment made is significantly changed and, more specifically, it is stipulated that for the Region of Attica, the Regional Unit of Thessaloniki of the Region of Central Macedonia, the Regional Units of Mykonos and Thira of the Region of South Aegean and for the islands with a population, according to the last census, of more than three thousand one hundred (3. 100) inhabitants, the minimum acquisition value of the immovable property at the time of its acquisition, as well as the total contractual rent for cases of conclusion of a long-term tourist accommodation rental contract, shall be set at eight hundred thousand (800,000) euros. Furthermore, it is specified that in the case of investment through the purchase of real estate in the above areas, it shall be carried out in a single property, while in the case of built-up real estate or real estate for which a building permit has been issued, a minimum surface area of one hundred and twenty (120) square metres of main premises is required.

– For the other regions of the country, the minimum acquisition value of real estate at the time of its acquisition is set at four hundred thousand (400,000) euros. Similarly, it is also stipulated here that in the case of investment through the purchase of real estate, this is carried out in a single property, while in the case of built-up real estate or real estate for which a building permit has been issued, a minimum surface area of one hundred and twenty (120) square metres of main premises is required.

– An exception to the above investment limits is established in cases of investment through purchase in real estate and if the main premises are changed from commercial into a residence, as well as in cases of investment through purchase in real estate consisting of an industrial building or part of an industrial building or within which an industrial building is located, exclusively if no industry has been installed and operating therein for at least five (5) years. The amount of the investment in these cases remains at EUR 250,000 and it is stipulated that the investment must be made in a single property and the change of use must be completed before the application for the granting of the investor’s permanent residence permit is submitted.

– Another exception is introduced with regard to investment through the purchase of immovable property consisting of a listed building or part of a listed building to be restored or reconstructed or within which a listed building is located. Similarly, the amount of the investment remains at EUR 250,000 and the investment must be made in a single property. At the same time, it is stipulated that the transfer of the property in this case before the complete restoration or total reconstruction of the property is completed is void. If a contract for the transfer of property is concluded despite this prohibition, the residence permit shall be revoked and a separate administrative fine of one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) euros shall be imposed on the owners and/or occupiers of the property. In the case of an investment made in this way, it is provided that in order for the investor’s residence permit to be renewed after its first expiry, it must be proved that the full restoration of the elements of the real estate or their total reconstruction has been carried out, regardless of the cause of the deterioration, collapse or demolition of the buildings or parts thereof. In the event of failure to comply with this condition, the law stipulates that an independent administrative fine of one hundred and fifty thousand (150,000) euros shall be imposed on the owners and/or occupiers of the property.

– Changes are also made to the way in which the investments made are exploited and, in particular, the new law provides that properties acquired for the purpose of obtaining an investor’s residence permit are prohibited from being leased on a short-term basis in the context of the sharing economy, as well as from being subleased. Also, in the case of an investment through the acquisition of real estate in which a change of use to a residence takes place, it is stipulated that it may not be used as a headquarters or branch of a business. In such cases, the residence permit shall be revoked and a separate administrative fine of fifty thousand (50,000) euros shall be imposed on the owners and/or occupiers of the property.

– It is also important to note that the new law provides that as regards investor residence permits issued under the provisions of the previous legislative framework, the same conditions shall continue to apply for their renewal.

– Finally, the new law includes transitional provisions and, in particular, stipulates that if a third country citizen advances an amount equal to 10% of the purchase price or the total contractual rent and either a notarial contract or a private agreement with a definite date of 31.08.2024 is drawn up, he/she can obtain an investor’s residence permit (Golden Visa) based on the current limit (250.000 or, under certain conditions, 500.000 Euros), provided that the investment is completed by 31.12.2024. If the purchase of the property is not completed in accordance with the above, the third country citizen may complete his investment in another property or properties under the conditions currently in force, no later than 30.04.2025.

To sum up, we can safely say that the new legislative framework is particularly strict, including provisions for the imposition of high administrative fines, which of course can only serve as a deterrent to investment in Greece for the purpose of obtaining a residence permit.

*Our office has extensive experience in all types of foreigners and residence permit law issues (granting and renewal of residence permits, appeals, legalization of illegal aliens, acquisition of Greek citizenship, cancellation of deportations, objections against detention of foreigners, etc.) For further legal advice or to assign your case to our office, please contact us at 2313 079293 or by email at info@siopi-law.gr. *

Dafni I. Siopi

Attorney at Law, LLM

52 Tsimiski, Thessaloniki, Greece

Τ. 2313 079293, 6977 568673

E. info@siopi-law.gr, dsiopi@siopi-law.gr

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