The Greek government is putting forth a new bill that will allow non-EU citizens to acquire Greek citizenship if they spend at least 250,000 euros on real estate property in Greece.
According to a Kathimerini daily report, Angelos Syrigos, General Secretary for Population and Social Cohesion at the Ministry of the Interior, said that the initiative is part of a Greek government plan to make property investment in Greece more attractive. The announcement was made during an Enterprise Greece event on Wednesday.
The program seeks to court buyers from countries outside the European Union. It will be tabled in parliament over the next weeks and could come into effect by the end of the year.
To date, investors who have spent at least 250,000 euros on property in Greece have been entitled to a five-year residence permit. Under the new program, their permit will be renewed. After seven years of residence, they will be entitled to become Greek citizens.
The program amendment also foresees the provision of residence permits for the parents of property investors. A young investor who acquires 250,000 euros worth of property in Greece will be able to secure residency permits for his parents, for instance. If the investor marries someone from outside the EU, his wife and her parents will also be granted a residence permit. Until now, only spouses and children (up to the age of 21) have been entitled to residence permits.
If a third-country investor has bought a property and obtained a residence permit and wishes to sell the property to another non-EU resident before the five years have expired, the permit will be transferred to the new buyer. This is not currently allowed under existing legislation.