Golden Visa: Greece Vs Portugal

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The Golden Visa programs of Greece and Portugal are two of the most popular residency-by-investment schemes in Europe. Both programs offer non-EU citizens the opportunity to gain residency rights, and eventually citizenship, through making qualifying investments in the respective countries. Despite the shared goal, there are significant differences between the two programs regarding the investment options, application process, and benefits.

Greece’s Golden Visa Program

The Greek Golden Visa program, launched in 2013, allows non-EU nationals to obtain a five-year residency permit in exchange for an investment in real estate.

Investment Options

The most common route to obtaining the Greek Golden Visa is through the purchase of real estate property valued at a minimum of €250,000. This can be one or more properties, and the total value must meet or exceed the minimum.

Residency and Citizenship

The Greek Golden Visa provides the holder with a residence permit that is renewable every five years, as long as the investment is maintained. The permit includes access to public healthcare and education. However, the Greek Golden Visa does not automatically lead to citizenship.

Golden Visa – A Golden Opportunity for Investors 2023

Portugal’s Golden Visa Program

The Portugal Golden Visa program, launched in 2012, is one of the most popular programs of its kind due to its flexibility and benefits.

Investment Options

In Portugal, there are multiple investment options, including real estate purchase, capital transfer, and job creation. As of my last update in 2021, the minimum investment for real estate in high-density areas was €500,000, or €350,000 for properties more than 30 years old or located in areas of urban regeneration.

Residency and Citizenship

The Portugal Golden Visa grants temporary residence for one year, renewable for two-year periods. After five years, holders can apply for permanent residency, and after six years, they can apply for citizenship, provided they meet all the requirements, including a basic command of the Portuguese language.

Now, let me fetch the most recent updates and changes to these programs.

The Greece Golden Visa program was introduced by the Greek government in 2013 as a residency by investment scheme. This program allows non-EU/EEA nationals and their family members to acquire permanent residence permits in Greece. To qualify for the program, applicants must have a clean criminal history and make an investment in Greece with a current minimum value of €250,000 ($269,000) if it is placed in real estate. It’s important to note that as of May 1, 2023, the minimum investment for real estate will increase to €500,000 ($534,000) to give priority to Greek nationals for property purchases.

The program enables the applicant to acquire Greek residency and the ability to maintain permanent residence provided they hold their investment. Moreover, after seven years of continuous residence, it is possible to become a Greek citizen through naturalization. The Greece Golden Visa is particularly beneficial for those seeking Greece citizenship as it allows applicants to maintain residence long enough to be naturalized.

Benefits of the Greece Golden Visa Program include:

Inclusion of immediate family members: The residency extends to the entire family, which includes children under the age of 21, siblings, and parents of both the applicant and their spouse.
Access to excellent healthcare: Residence visa holders can access Greece’s highly-rated healthcare system and benefit from free and equitable services as well as incredible medical insurance spread across the public and private sectors.

Access to an excellent education system: Children of applicants can benefit from Greece’s well-respected education system available to all residents and citizens.

Visa-free travel in Europe’s Schengen Area: As a part of the European Union and a member state of the Schengen Area, Greek residence permit holders can travel without hassle within the EU and the Schengen Area.

Tax deductions and benefits of a double taxation treaty: Greece has double taxation agreements with 57 countries, which provide residence permit holders with tax deductions and exemptions on their worldwide income.

High returns on investment: Greece Golden Visa holders have the option to rent out their purchased investment property or hold shares in a company registered in Greece and receive dividend income. This means that they will continue to have positive cash flow while maintaining their investments.

The steps to becoming eligible for the Greece Golden Visa are:

Prepare your Golden Visa application: Collect all necessary paperwork, choose your real estate property, or opt for a more general investment.

Submit your Golden Visa application: Open a bank account in Greece, obtain a Greek non-resident tax number, transfer the required investment sum to your Greek bank account, and present your application to the Greek government. You may appoint a lawyer to help you with this step.

Complete the final verification step: Undergo legal due diligence checks of your real estate property, and follow the required legal procedures to secure your Greece Golden Visa. A temporary residence permit will be issued at this time, allowing you to visit Greece to acquire the promissory sale and purchase agreement, as well as the public deed to the property.

Receive your Greek Golden Visa: After using your temporary residence permit to enter Greece and submitting your biometric data during a confirmed appointment with the relevant authorities, your Golden Visa should be issued within 20 business days.
As for the investment options that qualify for the Greece Golden Visa, in addition to real estate, they also include investments in government bonds and shares in venture capital funds​1.

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