At long last the real estate in Halkidiki business is relieved to hear some positive news as a result of the Covid19 situation! On 23rd December 2020 it was announced that anyone wishing to apply for the Greece “golden visa” may do so from now on entirely remotely without needing to be here in person at any stage of the application process!!
The Greek government has now decided to accept golden visa applications from a third party with a power of attorney and the applicant who successfully meets the criteria will receive their temporary residency permit in the post! All you need to do is find a (bi-lingual) Greek lawyer who specialises in immigration by investment to act on your behalf. Upon later entrance to Greece the local alien and immigration office will take biometric data and issue a 5-year card, which is renewable indefinitely so long as the criteria continues to be met.
This really is great news because for the last year it has been very difficult to travel to Greece if not impossible from some countries so for many, plans to buy real estate in Halkidiki and dreams to relocate now or in the future have had to be put on hold. With a residency permit a third country national would be able to enter Greece without having their passport stamped.
A power of attorney can be obtained from a local Greek Consulate or embassy in any country. It is also possible to buy real estate in Halkidiki by giving a lawyer or some other trustworthy person in Greece a power of attorney to sign the contract on your behalf, which is a good solution for those who had been ready to buy something prior to the lock-down and have since been stuck for a way forward.
Greece requires the lowest real estate investment to qualify for the golden visa program, which enables people from countries outside of the European Union (including now UK citizens!) to live in Greece permanently if they wish AND to travel freely without needing an extra visa within the Schengen zone. You do not necessarily need to become a tax resident in Greece either, however that might be worth investigating further because there are also some new tax benefits meant to entice foreigners to move their tax residency to Greece particularly pensioners and remote workers.
An investment of 250000€ or more in real estate in Halkidiki fulfils one of the essential criteria for a third country national to be eligible for the Greece golden visa, which also includes the entire immediate family of the lead applicant (spouse, dependants under 21, parents and in-laws!). Whilst you must maintain ownership of the initial investment to keep the residency permit, it is not actually necessary to live here permanently but should you wish to, you would have the right to stay without restrictions. Fortuitously, real estate in Halkidiki also always has excellent potential to be rented so an investment doesn't just buy freedom of movement around the 26 countries involved, it can generate an income at the same time.