The Greek Golden Visa Program grants a five-year residence permit in exchange for a minimum €250,000 property investment in Greece (this is in Crete; other areas have higher requirements). We had informed our property lawyer, Kostas, of our intention to apply for these when we first spoke about the purchase. He informed us that the purchase transaction would have to go through our Greek bank account, even though the sellers were based in the UK too.

Once the purchase had completed we needed to fill in the relevant forms (aided by Kostas) and provide copies of our passports and our marriage certificate. This last item required an Apostille Seal so had to be sent to the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office in Milton Keynes. This has a turn-around time of 15 days.

The Greek authorities came back and said that they required proof that the Deborah named on the marriage certificate was the same Deborah who was making this application. After some consultation with the UK Passport Office, we made a Freedom of Information request asking for the holder’s name and number of all passports held by Deborah from the present back to the one prior to her name change. This too required an Apostille Seal.

We met with Kostas this morning to check all the paperwork was correct and one of his colleagues took us to the Chania Immigration Office. Here the paperwork was checked again, our fingerprints were taken electronically and we were issued with temporary residency cards. We will be informed when our cards are ready for collection.