1. Greece is a Member of the Schengen Area
The Schengen Area consists of 26 European countries, not including Cyprus and the UK. Holders of the Greek residency permit enjoy the same travel privileges with a Greek citizen in the Schengen Area. This means they can:
- Travel directly from their country of origin to any Schengen country
- Travel freely within the Schengen zone without lengthy customs’ checks
- Reside to any other Schengen country up to a period of three months every six month period with the right of multiple entries
* Schengen Area countries: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland.
2. Low Cost Access to a European Golden-Visa
Many European countries have recently offered non EU-citizens access to Europe through Golden Visas. Greece is one of the most economically reasonable solutions and the cheapest in the Mediterranean area. Countries such as Portugal, where the minimum property value must be 500,000 Euros, and Cyprus, where the minimum property value must be 300,000 Euros, are considered very expensive compared to Greece where the similar requirement is only 250,000 Euros.
Note that other popular real estate investment markets, such as the US, now experience a rise in prices driving most investors away.
3. Unique Investment Opportunity
The economic crisis apart from hardships, offers advantages. Non EU – citizens have the chance to invest in Greece today that the real estate prices are at their lowest.
According to the Bank of Greece Monetary Policy report for the first quarter of 2013, from the beginning of the crisis in 2008, house prices have dropped by 29,4%. Combined with the recent tax reduction from 10% to 3% for property transfers, Greece is a unique opportunity for investors.
4. The Mediterranean Climate
What more could anyone ask for than 300 days of sunshine a year! Greece is renowned for its dry summer climate, combining hot days with breezy nights. Greek summer can last well from May to September allowing one to enjoy the sea and the sun to the fullest.
The Mediterranean climate of Greece has four distinct seasons. Autumn and spring also offer lots of sunshine and relatively mild temperatures in the area of 10-25 C, while the short and temperate winters offer the pleasure of beautiful snowed landscapes in the mountainous areas.
5. The Strategic Location
Greece is strategically located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia and Africa.
This allows one to reach within 1 hour via airplane any of these continents and in 3 hours max to be in any part of Europe.
In addition, several budget airlines like Easy Jet and Ryannair operate from the main airports of Greece travelling to most European capitals at low cost.
6. A Long Tradition of Hospitality towards Immigrants
Due to its unique position and its long tradition in tourism, Greece is renowned for its hospitality towards immigrants. In Greece, one can find gastronomical and other traditions of various cultures, without any compromise to matters of safety. The fact that a large portion of the population speaks English makes communication very easy.
7. No minimum Stay Requirement
While in countries like Portugal, applicants for the residency permit are asked to also reside in the country for a minimum of 7 days in the first year, and 14 days in the next two- year period, in Greece there is no such requirement. So the holders of the Greek residency permit are not burdened with annual travel expenses in order to retain their rights.
8. Access to Higher Education
Higher Education in Greece is both public and private. Although the entrance exams to the public higher education system can be tough, the education itself is free of cost.
On the other hand, private colleges and universities do not require entrance exams and their fees can vary. They also often offer specifically designed programs for international students. Needless to say that holders of the Greek residency permit enjoy the same rights to higher education as the Greek citizens.
9. Greek gastronomy
Greek diet is based on healthy olive oil, tasty feta cheese, the world famous Greek yogurt, fresh green salads, meat, poultry and good wine. Here one can also enjoy a unique variety of fruits like figs, cherries and melons, an abundance of fresh fish, especially in the islands and the coastal areas.
Due to its richness and diversity, Greek diet is considered one of the healthiest in the world and is linked to the reduction of cardiovascular diseases and thus, longevity.
10. Beautiful Natural Environment
Greece is synonymous to natural beauty. Crystal clear blue waters, small picturesque islands, white sandy beaches, hills with pine trees and olive groves, are only some of the things one will see in Greece.
While the cities are modern, one can also visit traditional villages with stone houses in mainland Greece and beautiful white-blue houses in the islands. Greece has something to offer for every taste and is waiting for you to discover it.
11. The Birthplace of Western Civilization
Greece is considered the birthplace of western civilization, having contributed the bases for Mathematics, Physics, Literature and other sciences.
Residing in Greece offers the unique opportunity to discover its well preserved monuments and ancient sites that are spread throughout the country. From Ancient Olympia, where the first Olympic Games were held, to Parthenon and the Agora of Athens, where Democracy was born, to Mycenae and Crete, the presence of ancient Greek civilization is astonishing.
12. A Destination for Everyone
As one of the most popular tourist destinations worldwide- about 16,5 million tourists visit Greece every year- the country has something to offer to all types of lifestyle. From its calm, secluded beaches and villages, where one can retire and relax, to its buzzing modern cities, Greece is the place for you.
Whether you are adventurous and you like sports and camping, or you are fascinated with history and art, you can find everything in Greece.
13. Economy Rebound
The ongoing world economic crisis which erupted in 2008 has not left Greece untouched, although signs of recovery are already present.
With the support of the IMF, the European Commission and the European Central Bank the budget deficit has been steadily declining and is becoming viable being kept below 3% of the GDP. This enables the country to enter a stable period of economic growth.
14. Health Services
Greece is known for its excellent health care system.
In 2000, when the World Health Organization ranked the health systems of its 191 members, Greece earned 14th place, well above countries like Germany, UK and Cyprus.
In Greece, anyone can roam the streets without fear even well into the night.
Especially in big cities like Athens and Salonika, the mild climate invites people to stay outdoors until the early morning hours, giving the cities a lively character 24 hours a day.