Real Estate Greece
Author: Ivana Stankovic
Residence and work permits in Greece can be based on marriage, coexistence agreements, studies, family reunion and exceptional reasons (sports, science etc, which barely exists). Also, those who already had residence permits based on elements that no longer exist (for example, divorce), and were employed at that moment, can extend their work license, but it is necessary to prove that they have at least 100 workdays per year. The same is with students who managed to get a job after studying. The only difference is that student permits are renewed more often than those based on marriage. Permits based on marriage last five years in the first phase, and the next phase is a ten year and it is considered permanent. All other permits, except this 10 year permit and student permit, are also work permits. The difference is that student’s permit allows student to be employed only half-time, and the 10-year permit allows person not just to work but to open their own business.
Getting a work permit in Greece is almost impossible in practice, if there is not one of the above-listed elements. When I say that, I think of finding an employer and getting work permits. Theoretically, a foreigner from a country that has not joined the EU can get a job in Greece only in case that the employer first completed all necessary actions in the sense that he published to the labor office that he needs a worker of certain qualifications and than if no Greek or foreigner who already resides in Greece is found, then he can hire the one outside of the EU he intended. It is clear to you that it is almost impossible not to find someone looking for a job, and in addition, the procedure is long and hard and expensive so there is no employer that will enter into all of this, unless there is some personal relationship with a foreigner he wants to hire, and even than the requests are usually refused. I went through the procedure with my brother, had a lawyer who is married to lieutenant in charge of the Chalkidiki region (the reason I hired her) and it failed. Always available jobs here are for professions like cowman and farmer, which are mostly unwanted, and we have here mostly Albanian people working on them. Some people searched for political asylum here, but this is only a short-term extension of residence to the final decision that is always negative.
Foreigners who buy a property of 250,001 euros automatically receive a residence permit (and their families), but they do not have a work permit. Essentially, it’s only for very rich people who want to come to Greece on vacation occasionally, because everyone else has to work, and when they do not have a permit, life is realistically impossible.
People who own real estate of lesser value have the right to use their property for 180 days a year.
** Purchase of real estate and taxes **
When buying, you will have to pay about extra 10% on the price of the property you want for all taxes and fees . It depends on the how old property is. Generally this is not too much.
When it is about the annual real estate tax, there is no reason to be afraid. No one can tell you exactly how much it will be without information which property it is, because the tax depends on various parameters such as location, how old real estate is, how many floors does it have, how many open sides the apartment has, how much square meters there are, and at the end what is your total property value in Greece. The last one is subject to the extra tax only if you own real estate worth more than 300 000, then you are taxed with extra tax rate from 10% to 50% (if I’m right, but this refers only to properties with market value several millions or more).
However, for an average apartment 70 to 100 square meters in the building and depending on the location and other parameters, you will pay from 200 to 500 euros per year. There are exactly defined coefficients for each given parameter by which you multiply the number of square meters. And that is all. I do not think that this is especially big expense.
When it is about citizenship, the right to apply has everyone after a continuous stay of 7 years, and if person has children with a Greek citizen than can apply after 3 years. The tax is 700 euros and it is not refundable in the case of refusal, but I did not hear that someone had been refused. The problem is that approval waiting lasts for at least 5 years, so the one who applies even forgets that he did it. As a matter of fact, citizenship is necessary to all of us only if we want to work in the civil service, which we can not if we are not citizens, to vote, to apply for various non-refundable grants - EU lending and to travel where the Greeks can. Of course, there are more reasons, but these are the most important ones.
Read more about life in Greece, expenses and incomes here.