Greece is a strategically located country at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa. It is known for its charm and beauty and is considered the cradle of Western civilization. Greece is the birthplace of democracy, Western philosophy, the Olympic Games, major scientific and mathematical principles, and Western drama including both tragedy and comedy. 18 UNESCO World Heritage Sites also reflect Greece’s rich legacy. Greece offers a good quality of life to its residents.
Taxes in Greece are burdensome compared to other tax regimes. A residence permit in Greece allows for visa-free travel to all countries of the Schengen area.
Under the application process, an applicant must first apply for a national “D” visa for permission to enter Greece, in order to then apply for a residence permit and buy a property. This visa is issued at a Greek consulate or embassy in the applicant’s home country. It usually takes five to ten days and then requested to appear for interview.
Upon granting of the national “D” visa, the applicant must purchase a property/properties of a total value of at least €250.000 plus VAT, and start the permanent residency procedure within 90 days from first entry into Greece. In contrast to other global residence programmes, it takes a long time to gain residence in Greece. Due diligence processes are less strict than other countries.
The purchase of a single or multiple properties to a value of at least €250.000 value plus VAT is reasonable when compared with other investment programs. A residence permit is renewed every five years under the condition that the applicant continues to be the owner of that particular property or any other properties of the same value.
Greece Permanent Residency by Investment features
|Visa Type||Residence Permit|
|Requirements||Real estate of €250.000 for a residential property, or equivalent investment in either a timesharing agreement with a duration of at least 10 years or lease of at least 10 years of hotel facilities or furnished homes in combined tourist facilities, no criminal record, medical certificates, travel insurance|
|Taxation||Personal Income Tax rate 42%; Corporate Tax rate 29%|
|Years to qualify for Citizenship||7 Years|
|Language for Citizenship||Yes|
|Other requirements||No pending decision for deportation|
The Cyprus Permanent Residence Permit has been in existence for a number of years, and the requirements, as well as the process, have been amended to become simple. The Cyprus government has introduced recently a new procedure for granting the permit to applicants who are third-country nationals and intend to invest in Cyprus.
The tax burden on residents is low when compared to other countries. Although residence permit holders are not allowed to be employed in Cyprus, they are entitled to be a shareholder and receive income from the dividends of a company registered in Cyprus, and subsequently benefit from a low corporation tax of just 12,5% on net profits and 0% tax on dividends for non-tax residents.
The authorities aim to grant the permit within two months from the date of submission. According to the provisions of Regulation 6(2) of the Aliens and Immigration Regulations, the permit may be granted to third-country nationals who fulfill the following criteria:
(a) purchase of one or more properties in Cyprus, with a value of €300.000 (plus VAT)
(b) provide a clean criminal record certificate issued by the authorities of the country of origin
(c) provide a statement of no intention to work in Cyprus, and
(d) visit Cyprus at least once every 2 years
There are many foreign families who decide to move permanently to the island to take advantage of the warm weather, high standard of living and EU residency, or might be their preferred jurisdiction through which to conduct international business.
Cyprus Permanent Residency features
|Visa Type||Residence Permit|
|Time Frame||2 months|
|Requirements||Purchase of one or more properties with value of €300.000, payment of the property and preparation of residence documents|
|Taxation||12,5% corporation tax for profits of any Cyprus entity and 0% tax on Cyprus dividends and all other worldwide income|
|Years to qualify for Citizenship||7 years residence but can apply at any time under the Individual Investor Programme (Citizenship by Investment)|
|Language for Citizenship||n/a|