Greece introduces new residence cards for Golden Visa holders

February 2017: Greece adopts new Golden Visa (Investment Permanent Residence Permit – RP) system, with the issuance of a biometric electronic card.

The Directorate of Aliens and Immigration at the Decentralised Administrations and the Directorate General of Migration Policy and Integration of the Greek Ministry of Interior have announced the new policy of issuing residence permits (Golden Visas) to non-EU citizens that invest in Greece. As from February 23rd, 2017, the residence permit (Golden Visa) will no longer be a sticker on the passport, but a separate document (card). The metric identifiers stored on the residence permit card chip include a facial image and two fingerprints.

The main characteristics of the new system are the following:

  • Each applicant must provide 4 passport coloured photographs (40mm x 60mm) with no frame and white background plus a CD with their electronic version. If the client is not present at the application day, our law firm can make the application on their behalf. The Migration Office will then give us a 6-month period for the client to come and give fingerprints.
  • Children below 6 years old are not required to give fingerprints.
  • Children below 12 years old are not required to sign the RP application, if they are present.
  • Each applicant has to pay an additional fee of 16 euro for the independent card. All other fees are the same
  • At the moment, the system does not allow clients to give fingerprints at the Greek Consulates in China. Only at the Migration Office. We are trying to change that, or at least give the opportunity for new clients to give fingerprints during their first visit in Greece, before the application process.
  • At the moment, the system requires clients to give fingerprints again when they renew their RPs every 5 years. The system cannot hold the biometric data for renewed RPs
  • Clients that currently hold RP, will only be able to get the independent card when they renew their RPs. So they will not have any problem to travel with their current RP-sticker.
  • When clients renew their RPs, they are required to bring with them the old RP, which will be destroyed.

The new policy is expected to be welcomed by foreign investors, who will now find it easier to travel within the European Union and enjoy a separate residence card.

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