New regulations apply in Greece from 31st of March 2024 with regards to the so called “Golden Visa” residence permit for non-Greek and non-European Union nationals. Citizens of European Union countries can reside pretty much indefinitely in Greece, while citizens of some other countries have a limit of 90 days of stay in the country (and in other EU Schengen Zone states) within a period of 180 days. Citizens of many other countries cannot enter Greece, unless they have first obtained a visa from the Consulate of Greece in their countries.

Those for whom the 90-day limit apply for every 180-day period, and those who need a visa to enter Greece, can obtain a residence permit for five years, including spouse and dependents, if they buy property in Greece worth of 400,000 Euros minimum, while in some areas of Greece the value of the property must be 800,000 Euros. The property in question must be a house or an apartment of a minimum surface of 120 square meters. Moreover, the new law does not allow for more than one properties to be bought, which will together be worth 400,000 / 800,000 Euros. The interested foreign national must buy one single property worth the minimum amount.

In a nutshell, in the areas of Attica, meaning the greater Athens area, Thessaloniki, Mykonos and Santorini and in all the other magnificent Greek islands with a population of more than 3,100 inhabitants, the value of the one property must be at least 800,000 Euros. In all other areas of Greece, where you can still find exquisite homes in ideal locations, the minimum value must be 400,000 Euros. In any case, the interested national of the foreign country must obtain the ownership of one property only of a minimum surface of 120 s.m., which means that he/she cannot obtain more than one properties amounting to the minimum amount, as was the case until now.

There are exceptions where the minimum amount remains at 250K Euros. In cases where the property has today a non-residential use, if the investor who wishes to obtain the “Golden Visa” converts the use to residential, the minimum limit remains at 250K. First the investor completes the change of use to residential and then he can apply for the residence permit. The same lower limit of 250K applies for buildings / houses of historical or architectural value, which cannot be demolished, but require funds for renovation. The investor can pay a minimum of 250K Euros to buy such a property and apply for the “Golden Visa”. The restoration must be completed within five years. Such properties cannot be used as a company registered seat.

What is important to know for the next few months, meaning until end of August 2024, is that an interested buyer can pick the property, enter a pre-contract agreement which outlines the basic terms of the transaction, pay a 10% down payment and conclude the final closing deed of purchase of the property by end of 2024, and thus take advantage of the pre-existing terms, which are a minimum of only 250K Euros property for Golden Visa in all areas of Greece, apart from parts of Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos and Santorini which are 500K Euros. These transitional rules allow investors to still purchase properties for which the minimum worth is much lower than that which comes into play now, as long as they pay a deposit of 10% by end of August and finalize the purchase deed by end of 2024. If the desired transaction, for which the 10% deposit has been paid by 31st of August, does not go through by end of 2024, the investor is allowed to find another property and close its purchase by 30th of April 2025, while still enjoying the previous 250K/500K regime.

It is noteworthy that from now on if you obtain the so called Golden Visa residence permit, you cannot anymore rent out your property with the short term Airbnb procedure, while long term rentals are allowed. If you break the rules of the programme, including renting short term as Airbnb, or selling your property, or not restoring your 250K worth historical / architectural property within five years etc., your residence permit is revoked and you may end up also having to pay a fine of 50K Euros.

These are the basic rules which have recently come into force. Anyone interested must seek advice from a lawyer in Greece, who will specify the rules for the personal needs and wishes of the investor in question, will make the very significant title search at the local land registries and other authorities to verify that the property is free of legal burdens, and will advise on all the aspects of the desired transaction, including what are the costs, how the money is paid to the seller, how a power of attorney is signed, who picks and pays the notary, how we register the purchase deed, what is the annual property tax (very low, compared), how we open a Greek bank account and other related matters, which will allow each buyer to feel safe and comfortable to make their own decisions.

*Christos ILIOPOULOS, is an attorney at the Supreme Court of Greece , LL.M. Can be contacted via or via e-mail @