Retiring In Greece: A Comprehensive Guide

  • by XpatAthens
  • Monday, 13 May 2024
Retiring In Greece: A Comprehensive Guide
Retiring in Greece is a dream for many, and with its stunning landscapes, rich history, and vibrant culture, it's not hard to see why. But before you pack your bags and head for the Aegean, it's essential to understand the legalities and practicalities involved in making Greece your retirement destination.

Legalities Around Retiring in Greece

Retiring in Greece isn't just about finding the perfect villa overlooking the Mediterranean; there are legal hoops to jump through too. According to Article 20 of the Law on Immigration and Social Integration (4251/2014), citizens of third countries (non-EU countries) can apply for a Greek residence permit based on independent income or funds from outside the country. This income can stem from retirement benefits, pensions, property rents, savings, or grants. Also, non-EU citizens require a three-month entry visa known as the “D” type visa. This visa can be obtained by visiting the Greek consulate in your home country and providing the necessary documents.

EU citizens, as well as citizens of Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein, or Switzerland, have a more straightforward process. They don't need any visa to retire to Greece.

Who Can Apply?

Non-EU citizens with sufficient resources to cover their living expenses can apply for a two-year residence permit. Accompanying family members can also obtain personal residence permits, provided the primary applicant meets the financial requirements.

EU citizens have the right to reside in Greece without needing a residence permit. However, they must register with the local authorities if they plan to stay for more than three months.

Sufficient Income

The minimum income required is €2,000 per month for non-EU citizens, with additional percentages added for spouses and children (20% for the spouse and 15% for each child). Alternatively, For non-EU citizens, proof of at least €24,000 in a bank is required. EU citizens must demonstrate they have adequate resources to support themselves and their family members during their stay in Greece.

Duration of the Residence Permit

The residence permit is initially issued for two years and can be renewed every two years thereafter for both EU and non-EU citizens.

Access to the Labor Market

It's important to note that this type of residence permit does not grant access to the labor market for either EU or non-EU citizens.

Entry Visas For non-EU citizens

Obtaining a residence permit starts with a three-month entry visa, known as the "D" type visa, which can be acquired through the Greek consulate in your home country. To obtain such a visa the required documents include: 
  • Your passport, valid for at least three months after the expiration of the visa
  • A biometric passport Photo
  • The Application form, filled in English or Greek
  • A medical certificate filled out by a licensed doctor
  • Proof of medical insurance valid in Greece
  • An excerpt from the penal register issued by your country of origin or current residence
The Greece Golden Visa

A convenient and popular way for non-EU citizens to acquire permanent residency in Greece is through the Greece Golden Visa Program. Launched in 2013, this program offers permanent residency through an investment in the Greek real estate market. For a minimum investment of €250,000, individuals can become permanent residents of Greece, with the opportunity to apply for citizenship after seven years.

Golden Visa holders also enjoy visa-free travel in the Schengen Zone, providing the freedom to explore neighboring countries.

Taxes in Greece for Retirees

Taxation is a significant consideration for retirees relocating to Greece. Greece's tax laws offer favorable rates for foreign pensioners, with a flat 7% tax rate on foreign-sourced income for ten years after becoming a Greek tax resident.

Healthcare for Retirees in Greece

Greece boasts a comprehensive healthcare system, offering both public and private options. While public healthcare is available to residents with a valid residence permit, private healthcare provides more advanced services and shorter waiting times, making it a popular choice for retirees.

Retiring in Greece offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural richness, and favorable living conditions. If you need assistance navigating the legalities, understanding residency options, or preparing for healthcare and tax considerations, don't hesitate to get in touch with us!

With our expertise, retirees can embark on a new chapter of their lives in this Mediterranean paradise with confidence.