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In our website, https://oikonomakislaw.com/golden-visa-in-greece/, you can be informed on all Legislation, the Statistics and the Expenses in order to get a Golden Visa in Greece.

However, going beyond the façade and the allures regarding the acquisition (and -of course- going beyond the undoubted necessity of it) there is a Myth regarding the possibility of its owner to access both the Greek and the European territory, as well as the possibility of acquiring a Greek (therefore and in essence a European Passport), by acquiring Greek Nationality through the acquisition of citizenship.

But where does the Myth end and Reality begins?

Thousands of interested people on a daily basis – non European civilians – seek to get information on the Greek Golden Visa, but only a handful of them are conscientious about it and prepared to move forward with an actual effort to acquire it. This article is addressed to this part of interested people: the mature ones who wish to get the procedure done, to the ones who –by following the relevant procedure as provided by Law – shall be acquiring the Golden Visa in Greece, but mainly after having acquired it, they shall be handling all issues related to its beneficial use!

Three are the main problems and malfunctions (at least from our point of view) that appear both in order and also after the acquisition of the Golden Visa in Greece:

PROBLEM 1: By instigating the allure of acquiring the Golden Visa in Greece it has been noted that properties seem to be offered in exorbitant prices, while their real commercial value is actually extremely lower. That malfunction of the sort is mainly due to the involvement of too many middlemen (be it professionals or not) and the exploitation of the investor’s desire to acquire it! Due to this handling, the danger of hidden charges as a burden of the investor exists.                                                                                                                                                  SOLUTION: The evaluation of the suggested properties by a real estate professional, reliable and unbiased.

PROBLEM 2: Golden Visa in Greece does not allow the investor to work or be involved in any financial activity in Greece. The issue of access in the labor market becomes even greater, when there is the spouse and even the children of the investor, all of whom do not have access in that same market either. There is always the option of financial activity as a shareholder who is a member of the Board of Directors or is acting as General Manager.                                                                                                                                                                          SOLUTION: The investor who wishes to get employed in Greece must not proceed with the purchase of a property worth of 250.000 euros as a natural person, but it should be purchased by a company which shall be established by him/ her as a shareholder, and in which he/ she, his/ her spouse, their parents and their children shall be employed as Directors involved in the management of the company. In this way they will not be able to work as employees in a different employer nor shall they be able to work as freelancers, however, they will be assisting their company with its business activities and with the achievement of their goals as provided for in the company’s statute (by being employed practically and only by this company as such).

PROBLEM 3 (and the most important of all):  Golden Visa offers the option of citizenship in Greece and the acquisition of Greek passport (therefore of a European passport as well) seven years after the acquisition of a Golden Visa, according to article 31 of Greek Law 4531/2018, due to which the provisions of the Code of Greek Nationality were amended and which are valid as of 05/04/2018 and onwards.

In addition, according to the under nr. 130181/6353/2018 decision of 02.04.2018 of the Minister of Internal Affairs of Greece (Official Gazette 1208/Β), to the already established deeds of final residence in order for different origin foreigners to acquire nationality the following currently also read, in particular the permits of indefinite duration, of ten year duration, residence permit for investment activities, residence permit of a property owner and permanent residence permit of an investor. The addition of these permits is valid as of the day of the ministerial decision’s publication, i.e. since 02/04/2018.

Unfortunately, and even though the Greek Law offers the option to whomever is the owner of a Golden Visa in Greece to get Greek Nationality through the procedure of acquiring citizenship, by submitting a relevant application after seven years of constant issuance of Golden Visa, however  – and given the fact that the Golden Visa program was launched in the year 2013 and onwards – until today no such owner has been eligible to submit an application to acquire Greek Nationality, so as to have a sufficient sample on getting safe conclusions regarding the successful application of Law, on the percentage of applications to become accepted and on the amount of time needed so as to officially acquire Greek Nationality.

Let’s have a look on the actual facts regarding the acquisition of citizenship of different origin foreigners in Greece:

A diagram follows on the pleas of acquiring Greek Nationality status per year and category going back form year 2011 and until 25-6-2019, from which it derives the number of different origin foreigners that since 2011 and until June 2019 had submitted a n application in order to acquire Greek Nationality through Citizenship (for instance, for the year 2018 there were 7.069 applicants).

ATTENTION: wherever in the body of the document at hand there are colored lines, these refer to the issue of different origin applicants wherein the investors already in possession of a Golden Visa in Greece are included

It is to be noted that the number of pending applications of citizenship from 2011 and until June 2019 before the Regional Managements of Nationality in Terms of the Hellenic [Greek] Republic, have significantly risen up to 28.020 (applications).

Let’s have a look, though, indicatively on the different origin foreigners that have acquired Greek citizenship for the time period of the years 2011-2018:

Greek Nationalities to be established per category and for the years 2011 to 2018

2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018
Citizenship of same origin foreigners    12.616    13.495    22.574    15.791      8.563      7.476      3.713      2.693
Citizenship of different origin foreigners    930        1.149        1.866        2.019        1.487        3.624        3.486        2.528  
born/educated in Greece (l.3838/10), ν.4332/15)      3.103      5.543         529             –         305    19.367    25.528    21.294
Arrangement procedures (due to birth/recognition etc)         946         928      1.917      2.029      1.529  1.18.3         978         884
Minor children of those having acquired citizenship (art. 11 of GCN)      1.627         622      3.337      1.990      2.294      1.837      1.096         483
Citizenship acquired by same origin foreigners from former USSR  –  –  –  –  –            13         182
TOTAL    19.222      21.737      30.223      21.829      14.178      33.487      34.814      28.064  

 

Acquisitions of Greek Nationality as sorted out in categories

Indicatively, and as derived from the aforementioned table7.069 people of different origin submitted an application in order to get Greek nationality through Citizenship for the year 2018 , while for the exact same year  2.528 people of different origin acquired Greek Nationality through the acquisition of Citizenship.

In particular regarding year 2018

 Acquisitions of Greek Nationality for the year 2018 per category

 

category Total
Citizenship of Same Origin Foreigners 2.693
Citizenship of Different Origin Foreigners 2.528
Born/Educated in Greece (l.4332/15) 21.294
Arrangement procedures (through birth, recognition etc) 884
Minor/unmarried children of those having acquired Greek Nationality 483
Same origin foreigners from former USSR gaining citizenship 182
TOTAL 28.064

 

Analysis based on the first five countries of former Nationality

Country of former Nationality Total Percentage
ALBANIA 1.640 64,87%
UKRAINE 116 4,59%
RUSSIA 92 3,64%
MOLDOVA 78 3,09%
ROMANIA 74 2,93%
REST OF COUNTRIES 528 20,89%
TOTAL 2.528

 

Rejections of Pleas

Acquiring Greek Nationality on the year 2018

Category Total
Citizenship of Same Origin Foreigners 919
Citizenship of Different Origin Foreigners 1.273
Born/Educated in Greece (l.4332/15) 179
Same origin foreigners from former USSR gaining citizenship 336
Arrangement procedures (through birth, recognition etc) 140
TOTAL 2.848

Percentages regarding the acceptance of pleas on acquiring Greek Nationality

category 2018 2017
Citizenship of Same Origin Foreigners 74,55% 96,78%
Citizenship of Different Origin Foreigners 66,51% 79,56%
Born/Educated in Greece (l.4332/15) 99,17% 98,93%
Same origin foreigners from former USSR gaining citizenship 35,13% 83,64%
Arrangement procedures (through birth, recognition etc) 86,32%

 

It has to be pinpointed that:

  • The average waiting time-period bewtenn the time of submitting the application for acquiring citizenship until the actual interview of the different origin applicant extends far beyond the year
  • The average waiting time-period  from the day of signature of the decision to acquire nationality as issued by the Minister until the day of the ceremonial procedure could take 2-3 months’ time
  • The average time of residing in Greece of a different origin foreigner until the signing by the Greek Minister of Internal Affairs of the decision on acquiring citizenship sums up to   22,2 years.

Due to the aforementioned:

  • even though the Greek Law offers the option to whomever is the owner of a Golden Visa in Greece to get Greek Nationality through the procedure of acquiring citizenship, by submitting a relevant application after seven years of constant issuance of Golden Visa, however – and given the fact that the Golden Visa program was launched in the year 2013 and onwards – until today no such owner has been eligible to submit an application to acquire Greek Nationality, so as to have a sufficient sample on getting safe conclusions regarding the successful application of Law, on the percentage of applications to become accepted and on the amount of time needed so as to officially acquire Greek Nationality
  • the statistics so far regarding the acquisition of Greek Nationality by different origin foreigners – as explained above – is frustrating given that it portrays an average waiting period of  22,2 years and a high rate of negative decisions on submitted applications

The Greek Government is expected to intervene in order to facilitate the procedure by prioritizing in relation to the Golden Visa owners in Greece by decreasing in this way the waiting time-period in getting Greek Nationality

SOLUTION: Turn to professionals who can provide beneficial legal assistance and prepare a consistent file to be submitted in order to acquire Greek Nationality and who will be in possession of the expert means to follow through with the supervision of your case

In case you wish us to assist you, please contact usoffice@oikonomakislaw.com 

We do underline the fact that further clarification, information and guidance on top of the ones mentioned in our website shall be bearing a cost proportional to the Provision of our Legal Services

 

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