Immigration. Travel. Living.

Relocation guide: Greece

Flag of Greece on Island

The possibility of legalizing in the EU through Greece is simpler and cheaper than a similar procedure in Germany, France, or Belgium, but you must first study the main steps that will greatly facilitate the relocation to Greece with the prospect of obtaining citizenship.

Why choose Greece for immigration?

It’s hard not to fall in love with Greek nature, Greek cuisine, and the Greek lifestyle after your first visit to Hellas. Together with a residence permit in Greece, you get the sea, sun, air, and the whole atmosphere of Greek prosperity at your disposal.

Hellas is a safe country. When you chose island Greece, you have to force yourself not to close the car and the house. Many of those tourists who came to Greece in the wake of general excitement after Turkey, Egypt, and other countries, discovered that in Greece everyone has an opportunity to leave the hotel and go on an independent trip around the district, where Greek hospitality always awaits for foreigners.

Most, of course, in Greece look for solitude and tranquillity from the hustle and bustle. But some conduct their business from Greece, as the modern telecommunications infrastructure allows you to be in touch even when you are on your own island in the Aegean Sea.

You can immigrate to Greece according to several programs:

  • Job
  • Study
  • Business
  • Moving to family
  • Investments
  • Buying a property
  • VIP immigration.

Family reunion program

The program involves the issuance of a residence permit to foreigners who have relatives living permanently and legally in Greek territory. You can move to Greece to spouses, parents, or children with permanent residence status or as citizens of this state.

A marriage or birth certificate will be a good argument for obtaining a residence permit. It must be submitted to the relevant Greek migration office, and it will assign the status of a residence permit. Cohabitation in marriage on Greek territory for three years gives every reason for obtaining Greek citizenship.

Student visa as a way to relocate to Greece

man with backpack beside a books

Greek diplomas are appreciated all over the world. To obtain a student visa, a letter of guarantee from the administration of the Greek university is required. It should indicate that the foreigner is enrolled in the students, faculty, and specialty, as well as the duration of his studies. Based on this letter, a student can obtain a national visa for a long stay of category D. The visa will be valid for the entire period of study. At this time, you can do a residence permit and search for prospects. After the student residence permit is over, you will need to find another way to stay in Greece, for example, marriage or employment.

Residence permits under the labor immigration program

The labor legislation of the EU countries provides for strict rules for foreigners from states that are not members of the Eurozone. Employers are required to employ primarily their citizens and immigrants from the EU. Therefore, if a foreigner does not have a European blue card, then it will be difficult for him to get an official job in Greece. Nevertheless, many people hold vacancies in this country, despite the bureaucratic slingshot of European labor law.

In this case, it will be necessary to supplement the main package of documents with an official invitation from the Greek employer, which should indicate the details of the inviting party, the position of the employee to be hired, his salary, and the duration of the contract. Besides, the Greek side should justify the need for a citizen of another country that is not part of the EU. In practice, Greek employers are willing to cooperate with citizens of the CIS countries, especially if the candidate is not demanding salaries. A work permit in Greece for the entire duration of the contract will become the basis for issuing a residence permit.

Business immigration

You can move to Greeсe from another country to open your own business.

To register a private company, start-up capital is required, the value of which varies depending on the type of enterprise. For example, opening a Greek analog of a closed joint-stock company will cost at least 20 thousand Euros, of which 18 thousand should be included in the authorized capital.

Under this program, it is necessary to submit to the Greek consulate an officially drawn-up document in which to describe your business plan in detail. The Commission will consider the proposal and decide on the advisability of opening such an enterprise in their country. 

Attitude towards businessmen in Greece is very loyal, therefore, in recent years, commission failures have been extremely rare, which was largely facilitated by the need to create new jobs.

Investor Residence Permit

turned-on MacBook Pro

To obtain a residence permit under this program, it is necessary to invest at least 300 thousand Euros in the country’s economy. A one-time investment makes it possible to obtain a Greek residence permit for a period of two years with the prospect of further extension. To do this, it is necessary to show officials the effectiveness of investments and the tangible benefit of the country from them. In case of fraud or lack of professionalism, the investor will be denied the extension of the residence permit. Decisions to issue a residence permit under this program are taken jointly by the Greek Ministry of Internal Affairs and the Ministry of Economy.

Residence permits when buying Greek real estate

It is easy to obtain a residence permit in Greece when purchasing real estate on its territory. The main condition is that the cost should be at least 250 thousand Euros. The location of the object does not matter; the main thing is that it is located within the Greek territory (on the continent or the islands). 

Foreign citizens who are owners of Greek real estate automatically get the right to a residence permit. Then they acquire permanent residence status and in seven years become citizens of Greece.

Interestingly, these conditions are also relevant for family members of the property owner, close and distant relatives, even though the spouse. And this factor is a significant advantage of obtaining Greek resident status through the acquisition of real estate in this country.

Emigration to Greece for wealthy retirees

This program is suitable for businessmen, retirees, and all those who have a significant and constant source of income, not depending on possible financial shocks. When issuing a residence permit under this program, the Greek authorities will carefully check the source of income and make sure of its independence and permanence. The Greek authorities consider the criterion of security a minimum income of 24 thousand Euros per person per year and monitor compliance with this condition.

Wealthy pensioners often use this method of acquiring Greek residency status. For citizens of the CIS, the size of the pension will not be enough, it is even approximately incomparable with the norms of European life at the end of the working life. They will need to have an additional source of income.

Documents required obtaining a residence permit

Before applying for a residence permit in Greece, a national visa is issued. This will require:

  • correctly completed application form for a Greek national visa with a mention that the applicant plans to visit the country to obtain residence permit status;
  • 3 relevant photos that meet the requirements;
  • original passport and photocopy of its first page with personal information;
  • certificate of no criminal record;
  • a medical certificate with a mental health report;
  • confirmation of financial security;
  • a medical insurance policy with a coverage limit of at least 30 thousand Euros, a standard for EU countries.

Also, documents must be attached to this package, based on which the foreigner intends to request a residence permit in Greece.

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