PLAYFAIR’s gateway into the Schengen zone of Europe is situated in Athens Greece, a location of both strategic and symbolic importance within Europe.
Greece sits at the crossroads between Europe, Asia and Africa and prides itself on its long tradition of hospitality and welcoming trade amongst travellers and migrants to Schengen zone.
Greece, influential since ancient times, is often called the cradle of Western civilisation. The Greek invention of comedy and tragedy, the western alphabet, the Socratic method, the Platonic and Aristotelian philosophy, the political ideals of democracy and freedom, and the Olympic games have created enduring traditions that have continuously influenced and reshaped modern western literature and drama, philosophy and science, politics and sports.
With our motto “humanise – globalise – mobilise” at the heart of everything we do, PLAYFAIR Athens office provides our international clients with access to trusted advice from a company with a well-established reputation of excellence within the field of migration.
PLAYFAIR provides a customised service for Schengen Zone Residence Permit Visas, such as:
- marriage and family reunion visas
- employment visas
- study, voluntary work, research and vocational training visas
- humanitarian and exceptional reasons visas (e.g., victims of human trafficking and smuggling of immigrants)
- investment visas (specialising in the “Golden Visa”)
Greece’s Golden Visa offers a unique chance for those wishing to enter Europe for a comparatively low investment, whilst taking advantage of the current low price of real estate within Greece. This makes it an attractive opportunity for both investment and movement into Europe.
The average processing time for the Greek Golden Visa is about 40 days from application through investment in one of the following areas:
- Real Estate*, from €250.000 (+€50.000 for taxes/fees)
- Tourism, from €300.000
- Energy, from €300.000
- Food & Beverage, from €300.000
* For jointly owned property the right of residence is granted only if the owners of the property are spouses with indivisible shares in the property.
Greek Golden Visa holders are offered Residency (excluding work rights) for all family members (children up to 21 and parents), with no minimum stay (renewable after five years provided investment is maintained), with no requirement to reside and with free access to:
- education (primary, secondary and higher education subject to passing entrance exams)
- medical services
- movement within the Schengen zone
The Golden Visa offers a pathway to Citizenship after seven years. As policy is currently subject to change to provide more beneficial pathways to citizenship, we would be pleased to discuss this further with our clients.
Greek citizenship offers:
- a European Union passport
- freedom of movement and full work rights within the Schengen zone
Cypriot Golden Visa
Cyprus offers two Golden Visa programmes, which are probably the fastest and simplest in Europe.
By investing €300.000 (plus VAT) in Real Estate a ‘Permanent Residency Status’ is granted. Dependent family (spouse, grandparents, parents and children up to the age of 25 years) can be included in the application, which typically is processed within two months. There are minimal residency obligations as Permanent Residency holders are only required to visit once every two years.
Alternatively, by investing €2.000.000 in property purchase, construction or residential/commercial projects, a ‘Cypriot Citizenship’ is granted (typically issued within six months). Investors can reduce their investments to €500.000 after three years. The Cypriot passport provides holders with the right to travel, live and work within EU countries, offering one of the simplest and quickest routes to ‘European Citizenship’.
Cyprus has a very favourable tax regime for individuals and companies. Residents and citizens of Cyprus enjoy a high standard of healthcare, education (several UK universities have branches on the island) and one of the lowest crime rates in Europe (it is rated as the fifth safest country in the world).
Portuguese Golden Visa
The Portuguese Golden Visa is one of the most popular visa options for investors and their families wanting freedom of movement throughout the Schengen Zone, and provides holders with pathways to permanent residency and Citizenship.
To qualify for the visa, applicants must make an investment in one of the following:
- €500,000 in real estate (this can be reduced to €350,000 for the refurbishment of properties older
than 30 years or in an area of urban regeneration, including the cost of renovations)
- €1,000,000 into an approved investment or Portuguese bank account
- €350,000 into approved research activities
- €250,000 minimum investment into the arts, or into the reconstruction and/or refurbishment of
national heritage projects
- Establishing a Portuguese business which creates a minimum of 10 jobs
On successful grant of a Portuguese Golden Visa, holders are able to live and work in Portugal, ultimately becoming eligible for permanent residency. This is initially a 12-month visa which only requires holders to reside in Portugal for seven days in the first year. After this, the visa is then renewable for two-year periods. Once this visa has been held for five years, holders may then apply for permanent residency.
As a permanent resident, there is no need to live in Portugal other than for an accumulated period of two weeks every two years.
Portuguese Citizenship by naturalisation is possible after 6 years of legal residence (with one of those years spent as a permanent resident) if applicants are able to demonstrate personal or cultural ties to the country and speak basic Portuguese.
Portuguese Citizenship grants the right to live, work and study anywhere in the European Union.
This is an extremely rewarding visa option providing significant opportunities for investors, their families and future business development with considerable tax benefits, making it an especially sought after and desirable program.
© Photo credits: Shutterstock, European Commission, Creative Commons