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Greece Citizenship By Investment Factsheet

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Greece is a country steeped in history and culture. The capital Athens is often considered the birthplace of modern civilisation and democracy, with countless ancient monuments, temples and sites of global archaeological significance throughout the islands.

Life in the Mediterranean sunshine is an aspiration for many expats, with lower living costs in Greece making it an increasingly popular destination for foreign nationals, particularly investors looking for full citizenship opportunities to streamline their international relocation.

While the Greek mainland is often more affordable than some islands, many of which are home to exclusive resorts and private estates, life in the major cities is supported by excellent infrastructure. The economy is multiplying, with unemployment rates typically higher than the EU average beginning to decline.

Most people in tourist and business areas speak English; the mountains, beaches and miles of coastline offer a beautiful backdrop, and foreign nationals can choose to live in various islands, metropolitan areas or more rural regions with a quiet, peaceful pace of life.

The Greece Golden Visa Program offers investors residency permits within two months, with investment thresholds starting at €500,000 (£429,700), with citizenship eligibility after seven years, and providing a European passport and travel freedom throughout the Schengen Zone.

About Greece


Euro (EUR)


The capital of Greece is Athens, one of the world’s most ancient cities, with several landmarks and UNESCO World Heritage Sites, including the Acropolis and the Parthenon.

Towns and cities

Greece’s largest cities by population size are Athens, Thessaloniki, Patras, Piraeus, Larissa and Heraklion.


10.64 million

British expats

The latest 2019 statistics showed that 17,230 UK nationals lived in Greece.


The official and most spoken language is Greek, although people also speak varied dialects, alongside Macedonian, Albanian and Turkish.


The climate in Greece, is Mediterranean, although temperatures can vary significantly from southern areas and islands and the northernmost points, particularly those with a higher elevation. Summers are hot and sunny, with heat waves regularly occurring. Average August temperatures reach lows of 23.6°C (75°F) and highs of 33.4°C (92°F). Winters are cool and sometimes rainy, and much cooler in the north. Thessaloniki experiences lows of 1.4°C (35°F) during January.


Greece’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) is $214.9 billion (£168.6 billion). It has a growing economy recovering from numerous pressures due to political and fiscal uncertainty. Still, it is projected to grow 2.2 per cent in 2023, with primary industries including tourism, food processing, textiles, shopping and chemicals.


Greece location on the map
Source: Wikipedia

Greece is a southeastern European country south of the Balkans, surrounded by the Mediterranean and Ionian Seas. The country shares borders with Turkey, Macedonia, Bulgaria and Albania and comprises a mainland and around 227 inhabited islands with thousands of much smaller, unpopulated islands within its territory.

Citizenship By Investment Options

The Greek Golden Visa Program offers one of the lowest investment thresholds to gain permanent European residency status – even following the increased minimum investment from May 2023, rising from €250,000 to €500,000 (£214,850 to £429,700).

Non-EU nationals can apply for residency with family members and dependents, with initial permits renewable every five years allowing residents to maintain residence indefinitely or apply for citizenship after seven years.

Eligible real estate investments include:

  • Purchasing a property for at least €500,000 (£429,700) plus taxes.
  • Investing in a ten-year lease for a tourist residence, such as an apartment in a tourist complex or a unit within a hotel.
  • Investing in a ten-year hotel timeshare.

While investors must comply with minimum stay requirements to be treated as tax residents and apply for citizenship, they can apply for permanent residency by investing in non-residential accommodation and renting out the property to earn an income against their capital funds.

Other investment routes include making a contribution of €400,000 (£343,760) into a Greek-registered company, excluding real estate investment businesses. Foreign nationals can also make the same contribution to a property investment firm that only invests in Greece or to a closed-end investment company.

Investors may also qualify by contributing €400,000 (£343,760) to Greek government bonds with at least a three-year maturity period, buying share units in a mutual fund or alternative investment fund for the same value, or buying at least €800,000 (£687,520) of corporate bonds or shares, provided they are linked to trading only in Greece.

Finally, another eligible investment route involves transferring at least €400,000 (£343,760) via a term deposit into a domestic bank or financial institution, with a commitment to retain the invested deposit for at least one year, renewable by standing order.


Permanent residents can travel to and from Greece and the Schengen area. Once they have applied for full citizenship, expats can travel visa-free to over 150 countries worldwide.


Applications are normally approved within one to two months of submission.


British passport holders can visit Greece for up to 90 days in any 180 days and will not require a visa. However, the 90-day limit applies to all travel across the Schengen area, and longer stays will need a valid visa, work permit or other travel authorisation.

Learn more about Greek entry conditions, visas and work permits.


The standard tax residency test looks at how long a resident lives in Greece each year, compared to their time in other countries. Usually, living in Greece for at least 183 calendar days will mean you are considered a tax resident and are liable to declare and pay taxes against all worldwide income and assets.

Greece has a standardised system where foreign nationals and citizens pay the same tax rates, although non-tax residents only pay tax in Greece on domestic income.

Cost Of Living

Living costs in Greece are around 16.4 per cent lower than in the UK, with property rental prices 59.1 per cent more affordable. An average family of four requires a monthly budget of approximately €2,528 (£2,170) per month, excluding accommodation, and a single person around €746 (£640).


Citizenship by investment applicants can purchase property to meet the minimum contribution thresholds. Still, non-EU citizens may need to apply to the Ministry of National Defence for permission beforehand. The approvals process includes assessing the intended use of the property and the applicant’s links to Greece.

Expats can also rent a home, with a range of modern properties, apartments, townhouses, rustic farmhouses, plots of land and villas available to rent or buy depending on the location.

One-bedroom city centre apartment€415 / £357
One-bedroom apartment elsewhere€352 / £303
Three-bedroom city centre apartment€710 / £610
Three-bedroom apartment elsewhere€635/ £546
Source: Numbeo

View Greek properties for sale on Rightmove.


The Greek healthcare system provides largely free services and treatments to all residents, with a mixture of public and private hospitals, clinics, doctors and practitioners throughout the country. All working residents are obliged to pay contributions towards the social security system, deducted automatically from their payslips, although around 15 per cent of residents choose to purchase private healthcare insurance.

Residents who wish to register with the national health insurance body must first apply for an AMKA number, the equivalent of a national insurance number, which entitles all holders to basic treatment free of charge in state health centres and hospitals, alongside subsidised medications.

Registering with the EOPYY – the national health insurance body – allows residents to access free care in both private and public facilities, provided they visit private centres that offer services in partnership with the EOPYY.

Greece Citizenship By Investment FAQ

Can the Greek government take away citizenship?

While revoking citizenship status would be unusual, the law does allow the Greek authorities to withdraw citizenship where an individual not originally of Greek ethnicity holds a passport but does not return to the country for an extended period or has no intention of returning.

When is a citizenship application rejected?

UK nationals can apply for full citizenship after seven years of residency through the naturalisation visa process. They must prove that they have integrated with Greek society and have close ties – this could involve factors such as finances, income, family, primary residences and other links.

Applicants may be refused citizenship if they do not meet any qualification criteria or if they cannot pass an exam to show they have an adequate understanding of the Greek language.

How long is the flight from Greece to the UK?

Flight times vary depending on where you are flying to and from, but a direct flight from Corfu takes around three hours and ten minutes, and a flight to Rhodes just over four hours.

What’s the currency in Greece?

Greece is an EU member and uses the Euro (EUR) as its currency.

Do British passport holders need a visa?

UK nationals can visit Greece without a visa for short-term visits of up to 90 days, with a 90-day limit on all visa-free EU travel in any 180 days. Longer stays and those intending to work in Greece will need an appropriate visa or permit.

Below is a list of related articles you may find of interest.


  1. Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs – Greek Citizenship:
  2. Greek National Tourism Organization – Visit Greece:
  3. European Union – Your Europe – Living in Greece:
  4. Hellenic Republic Ministry of Interior – Golden Visa:
  5. Bank of Greece – Economic and Financial Data:

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