Buying Property in Greece after Brexit
The transition period of the UK’s withdrawal from the European Union is over (as of 1 January 2021). Many Britons who were and still are considering buying property in Greece after Brexit, or in the rest of the EU, could be wondering, “Should I buy a house after Brexit?” or “Can I still buy a property in Europe after Brexit?”.
The Brexit is creating a set of changes and it is only natural if people have questions about owning property abroad. Suppose you want to buy a house in Greece after Brexit. In that case, although the fundamental rights of property ownership in the country by third-country nationals have not changed (since property and land ownership pertains to Greek law and is not affected by EU legislation), there are certain changes that need to be taken into consideration.
First of all, as we all know, the United Kingdom withdrew from the European Union in February 2020. The relevant Withdrawal Agreement provided for a transition period, which ended on 31 December 2020. During that period, various negotiations took place, aiming at establishing mainly a free trade area.
Since the beginning of the Brexit negotiations, the protection of the rights of UK nationals and their family members in Greece has been a significant priority for the Greek State. The Greek public administration has the utmost respect for British expats and their contribution to the growth of the Greek economy, so officials work tirelessly to prepare for the next day, including the vital sector of buying property in Greece after Brexit.
The New Rules of Residency: Two Categories of UK Nationals
UK Nationals and Family Members Covered by the Withdrawal Agreement
If you are a UK national and both you and the members of your family are already residents in Greece, and you wish to remain in the country after the end of the transition period, you are considered to be in scope of the Withdrawal Agreement and beneficiaries of it.
In that case, you are entitled to apply for the new residence document (permit) required by the Withdrawal Agreement in Greece. The residence permit duration is set to ten years if you are already a holder of the so-called “beige card”, proving your status as a permanent resident. If you do not have that card in your possession, the permit is valid for an initial five-year period.
Are you interested in buying a property in Corfu after Brexit? We at Roula Rouva Real Estate have the necessary expertise and knowledge to guide you step-by-step. Whether it is temporary holiday stays or permanent residence you opt for, we have all the answers for you. Call us or drop us an email today.
Applying is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is visit your local police station and deliver the following:
- A copy of your passport
- Four coloured passport photos, both printed and in digital format
- 16-euro stamp duty
- The original beige card, if you have one
- Your fingerprint for the new biometric residence card
- Proof of your health insurance – it can be international with coverage in Greece, or with a Greek insurance company
- Evidence that your income is sufficient for your stay in Greece, such as a bank statement for a minimum deposit of 4,000 EUR per year
The application process began on 1 January 2021 and will provisionally end on 30 June 2021.
UK Nationals and Family Members Not Covered by the Withdrawal Agreement
If you are a UK national and you have not exercised your free movement rights in Greece before the end of the transition period (meaning that you do not fall under the personal scope of the Withdrawal Agreement), but wish to live in Greece after 1 January 2021, you are considered to be a non-EU national, and you will have to follow the relevant rules and procedures of the Greek Immigration Code concerning third-country nationals wishing to reside in Greece (Law 4251/2014).
At that point, your movement options as to buying property in Greece after Brexit will be centered around two main pillars:
– UK nationals who will be second home owners in Greece after Brexit and mainly plan to be visiting the country for holidays or business are allowed to visit Greece and any other EU country for tourist or business purposes, visa-free, for 90 days within a 180-day period. If 90 days are not enough for you and you need more extended periods of stay, you will be required to apply for a national visa and/or a residence permit. There are many types of residence permits for third-country nationals. One of the most common permits is the financially independent person permit: it is an option for those who can support themselves and wish to spend at least six months in Greece.
If you are looking for permanent residence and are not in the Withdrawal Agreement’s scope, your best option would be to apply for a Golden Visa in Greece. The Greek Golden Visa scheme was introduced in 2013 by the Greek State. It is a residence permit that gives people who invest at least 250.000 EUR in real estate the right to live in Greece for an initial five-year period, which can then be renewed every five years. Successful applicants who meet all requirements and get granted the Golden Visa Card can travel across the Schengen Area, an area comprising 26 European countries that have officially abolished all passport and other types of border control at their mutual borders, without the need for an additional visa. They can also travel back to their country of origin without having to go through Greece first.
The Golden Visa extends to the applicant’s family members (children and parents). So, if families are looking for opportunities of quality higher education for their children, it provides access to universities across the Schengen Area.
Get in touch with us
Are you buying property in Greece post-Brexit? Get prepared for all the formalities with us. With help from the right professionals, it is not as daunting a process as it may seem. Find your dream home and be stress-free. Contact Roula Rouva Real Estate today.