Buying Property in Corfu Presents Additional Benefits for Non-EU Citizens
Corfu’s beauty, proximity and unique culture have beckoned people from all over the world for many years, resulting in a thriving international community all year round. Greece itself offers a number of benefits for those who are considering purchasing residential property. Its safety, hospitality and high standards of private health care and education are just a few of the attractions for international investors who want to live here.
Now, owning a property in Corfu comes with even greater benefits for non-EU citizens. When international buyers purchase a property of €250.000 or more, they are eligible for a 5-year (renewable) residence permit that allows the buyer to live in Greece; exit and re-enter Greece at any time without a visa; and to travel to all 26 Schengen countries without further documentation other than a passport. Following are answers to some questions that potential buyers may have about this permit.
Who is eligible?
The residence permit is available to Russian, Chinese, American, Canadian, Israeli, Arabic and any other Non-European citizen.
Is the permit renewable?
Yes, it is renewable for an additional 5 years each time it is renewed and for as long as the ownership of the property remains in the applicant’s name. If the property remains in your ownership forever, you will always hold a European Residence permit.
Can family members request a residence permit?
Yes. Family members may apply for individual permit with separate applications. Their permits will expire at the same time as the property owner’s.
Who is considered a family member?
According to the law, family members of third country citizens entering the country are: a) spouses who are over the age of 18, as well as any unmarried children under the age of 18 where there is shared custody, including children who have been adopted b) other unmarried children under the age of 18, of the other spouse including children who have been adopted, provided that the applicant is their legal guardian.
What are the costs associated with the application process for the residence permit for owners of real estate?
Interested parties are only subject to the Visa fee, which is €75, except in cases where
bilateral agreements provide for a reduced fee or a waiver.
How do I apply?
Once you own your property, you must make an application at the Directorate of Foreign Citizens and Immigration of the Decentralized Administration, in the place of residence. In some cases the application should be submitted to the Municipality of where your property is located.
For more information regarding your specific case, please contact the Municipality where your property is located. For a list of all Municipalities and Decentralised Authorities, please contact the Ministry of the Interior at http://www.ypes.gr/en/.
How long will it take for the residence permit to be issued?
The estimated time is 2 months from the day on which the application was submitted or reached the Decentralized Administration. After the application has been submitted, the applicant receives a receipt confirming the submission of the application, which is valid for one year.
The time required to process the application depends on the specific locality where the application was submitted and the volume of pending applications. When an application for a residence permit is submitted for the first time, proof of submission can be issued even if the supporting the insurance coverage or the medical documents will be submitted at a later date.
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