How Can You Get Greece Citizenship?
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Greece is renowned for its rich cultural heritage, breathtaking landscapes, pleasant climate, and welcoming people, making it a sought-after destination for those seeking to relocate. Whether for ventures, real estate investments, or retirement plans, Greece offers numerous advantages. Notably, the Greek passport is ranked among the top 20 in the world according to the Quality of Nationality Index.
Here are some of the benefits of Greek citizenship:
- Visa-free travel to over 170 countries
- Access to European banking services
- High levels of personal security
- Excellent education system
- Quality healthcare and pristine environment
- Affordable real estate prices
- Tax advantages
While obtaining Greek citizenship can be a challenging and time-consuming process, the potential rewards make it worthwhile. Experience the benefits of being Greek and embrace a new chapter in your life.
Types of Greek citizenship
There are various pathways to acquire Greek citizenship, including:
- Descent: If you have Greek ancestry, you may be eligible for citizenship.
- Marriage: Marriage to a Greek citizen can grant you the opportunity to become a Greek citizen yourself.
- Military Service: Serving in the Greek military can also lead to the acquisition of Greek citizenship.
- Naturalization: Meeting the requirements for naturalization allows individuals to obtain Greek citizenship.
- Investment: Another option is to attain Greek citizenship through investment in the country.
Now, let’s delve into each of these pathways in more detail.
Citizenship by Descent
Citizenship by descent is granted based on the following criteria:
- One of your parents, either your mother or your father, must be a Greek citizen, as confirmed by municipal records. However, if your parents are not married and only your father is a Greek citizen, you will need to undergo a paternity test or present an affidavit acknowledging your birth from your father.
- You must have been born on Greek territory, and at least one of your parents must have legally resided in Greece for a minimum of five years.
- If you have been adopted by a Greek citizen.
- If your grandfather or grandmother was born in Greece or obtained Greek citizenship through naturalization.
These conditions ensure that individuals meet the necessary requirements to be eligible for Greek citizenship through descent.
Citizenship by Marriage
Marrying a Greek citizen after 1984 does not grant you the right to apply for a Greek passport; it only allows you to obtain permanent resident status.
However, if any of your ancestors married a Greek national before 1984, they are eligible for citizenship, even if they are no longer alive. This makes you a Greek descendant, entitling you to apply for a Greek passport by descent.
Citizenship by Military Service
Greek citizenship can be acquired through alternative pathways. Joining the Armed Forces of Greece, even as a volunteer, is one option for individuals of Greek ethnicity. Another route is attending a military academy within the country. Once officially enrolled, citizenship is automatically granted.
Alternatively, becoming a monk in any Agion Oros monastery also makes one eligible for Greek citizenship.
Citizenship by Naturalization
Obtaining a Greek passport through naturalization is a relatively challenging process compared to many other countries. Since 2012, this option has only been available to individuals of Greek descent or those who obtained residency through the Golden Visa program.
In this case, applicants must have seven years of continuous and lawful residence in Greece to be eligible for a Greek passport. However, this duration can be reduced to three years under certain circumstances:
- If the applicant is married to a Greek citizen and they have a child together
- If the applicant has a minor child who is a Greek citizen
- If the applicant is a refugee
Considering the aforementioned conditions, it is important to note that the only way to obtain a Greek passport without Greek ethnicity is to first obtain residency through investment, and then, after seven years, apply for citizenship. The Greek Golden Visa Program is widely recognized and popular due to several advantages it offers:
- The required investment amount is relatively low.
- Under the program, family members, including spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 (or under 24 if they are students), are automatically eligible for residency.
- There are no requirements to reside in Greece for residency renewal; however, you are allowed to live and invest in the country.
Types of Investment
Investors have the opportunity to acquire real estate in Greece with a minimum investment of €250,000. Alternatively, they can explore other avenues such as Real Estate Lease or Timeshare arrangements, which also require the same investment threshold and steps to Apply for a Greek Golden Visa.
While many investors are inclined towards purchasing real estate for its income potential, they have the flexibility to choose between residential or commercial properties located on the Greek mainland or any of the captivating islands. It’s important to note that the requirement is not limited to a single property worth €250,000; investors can choose to invest in multiple real estate assets with a combined value of €250,000. Joint ownership is also permitted, offering possibilities for couples and other interested parties.
By providing a range of investment options and accommodating diverse preferences, Greece presents an appealing proposition for those looking to enter the real estate market.
Steps to Apply for a Greek Golden Visa
To invest in Greece, certain steps need to be followed.
- Purchase Real Estate Property in Greece
- Gather all the necessary documents, which include
– the application form, recent passport-size photos adhering to Greek requirements, a valid passport and its copy, proof of payment for the government fees (€700 for first-time applicants from non-EU countries and €200 for subsequent applications), medical insurance, confirmation of income, a clean criminal record, and proof of investment.
- If you are purchasing real estate, you will need a contract of purchase that includes details such as the price, method of payment, and property information, along with a Land Registry certificate. For renting a hotel or tourist establishment, a contract of at least five years, a Land Registry certificate, and a National Tourism Organization certificate are required. Additional documents may be requested.
- Once you have gathered all the documents, submit them to the Alien and Immigration Department and await their decision, which typically takes between 40 to 90 days.
- If the decision is positive, you will need to personally submit your biometric information in Greece.
Upon approval, you will obtain a Golden Visa with a validity of five years.
Important Note: It is important to note that all documents must be translated into Greek by the Translation Service of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Athens or by an attorney from the bar association, and they must also bear the Apostille.
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Over the course of five years, individuals have the flexibility to reside in Greece as well as other countries, without any specific requirement for the number of days spent in Greece. The Golden Visa can be renewed indefinitely by demonstrating ongoing investment maintenance.
However, it is important to note that in order to obtain Greek citizenship, actual residence in Greece is necessary. As previously mentioned, after seven years of residency, investors are eligible to apply for a Greek passport. Several factors should be considered in this process:
- Residency in Greece is mandatory, with a minimum stay of six months per year for a period of seven years.
- If an individual spends more than 183 days per year in Greece, they are subject to taxation in the country.
- It is advisable to verify if the individual’s country of origin permits dual citizenship.
- Basic knowledge of Greek language and culture must be demonstrated.
- For comprehensive guidance on all aspects of citizenship, feel free to contact our team of friendly and knowledgeable experts for a complimentary consultation.
We are here to provide you with the most up-to-date advice.