For many years, the Greek Golden Visa program has offered one of the more affordable investment thresholds among its European counterparts, whereby applicants could qualify for a minimal real estate property investment worth at least €250,000, among other investment options.
This minimum threshold has made the program compete for the golden allure of Portugal’s Golden Visa since many foreign investors have been equally interested in the Portugal Golden Visa €280,000 real estate option. However, a recent amendment to the Greece Golden Visa has been spurring across the media after officials announced the implementation of Greece Golden Visa’s new rules. In this article, we explore these changes and the new terms of the program.
What is the main change to the Greek Golden Visa?
The Greece Golden Visa changes are tied explicitly to the program’s property investment route. Namely regarding increasing the minimum investment requirement for property acquisition and defining the locations where qualifying commercial and residential properties are to be considered under the new rules. Additionally, there is unofficial talk about increasing the investment requirement for Greek government bonds.
Nevertheless, the relevant authorities in the Hellenic Republic have recently enforced a compulsory increase to the minimum investment amount for acquiring real estate properties. As stated by the Greek Prime Minister, Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis, the investment threshold for the Greece Golden Visa for real estate purchases will rise from €250,000 to €500,000. This change will only apply to purchases in northern and central provinces, the South Athens Attica region, and the municipalities of Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini, and will come into effect on 31 July 2023.
Investors who make a ten percent deposit on real estate investments in the specified areas before 31 July 2023 have been granted a grace period by the Greek Government, giving them until 31 December 2023 to finalize the purchase.
Prime Minister Mitsotakis stressed in his speech that the Greece Golden Visa’s new rules aim at making the Greek real estate market more affordable for Greek locals. The changes consider local young couples and families who seek to purchase property in Greece – or renovate their properties – but have been struggling due to high competition from foreign investors.
In which areas will the Greece Golden Visa program changes be implemented?
According to Kathimerini, a leading political and economic newspaper in Greece, the minimum investment is to double in northern and central provinces, the South Athens Attica region, and the municipalities of Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini.
While this new regime is set to control the real estate market value in Greece, it does not exclude the possibility of Golden Visa applicants obtaining their permits through the purchase of at most two properties in northern and central provinces, the South Athens Attica region, and the municipalities of Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini totaling €500,000 – each at a minimum value of €250,000 – as long as they are both located on the same premises.
When will the changes to the Greek Golden Visa take place?
According to Kathimerini, the Greek Golden Visa’s new rules will be implemented on 31 July 2023.
The Greece Golden Visa 2023: A Brief Overview
Golden Visa Greece is one of many European residency-by-investment schemes aiming to attract foreign direct investments to nourish their respective nation’s economy. These investment programs, geared towards non-EU, non-EEA, and non-Swiss third-country nationals, grant successful applicants and their family members temporary and permanent residence permits in their respective nations in exchange for a qualifying investment in their economic development.
The Greek residency-by-investment program provides a handful of benefits on top of residency rights to those who succeed in holding the Golden Visa permit. These benefits include, but are not limited to, access to top-tier healthcare and education systems, visa-free travel across Europe and other Schengen member states, high returns on investment, tax benefits, family inclusion, and the possibility of acquiring Greek citizenship and a Greek passport after seven years of living in Greece.
Individuals and avid investors alike have been applying to this scheme via the real estate investment route, specifically for the thrilling financial benefits they would reap from the generally low property taxes in Greece and the even more affordable cost of living in Greece. All of these benefits above, including the program’s currently low investment threshold, have made it one of the most sought-after worldwide.
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At Global Citizen Solutions, we work for the investor and aim to change the imbalance in many foreign real estate investments. With nearly a decade of experience, we have a 100 percent success rate in Golden Visa applications. You can contact us for more information on how we can help you with your Golden Visa needs.
Frequently Asked Questions about the Greece Golden Visa Changes
What are the new Greek Golden Visa changes?
The new Greek Golden Visa changes are an increase from €250,000 to €500,000 for the minimum investment in real estate; however, the changes only apply to real estate purchases in northern and central provinces, the South Athens Attica region, and the municipalities of Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini.
When will the changes to the Greek Golden Visa program occur?
The changes to the Greek Golden Visa will take effect from 31 July 2023.
What is the Greece Golden Visa scheme?
The Greece Golden Visa Program offers non-EU nationals a permanent residence permit in Greece through real estate investments, bonds, capital contributions, or capital transfer . This program is one of the most competitive golden visas in Europe, attracting many golden visa holders due to its low investment threshold and tax benefits.
How can I Visit Greece to explore its investment programs?
You may need an entry visa to visit Greece to explore investment programs, including the Golden Visa Program. Once in Greece, you can explore various options like purchase property or invest in a Greek company.
Are there any tax benefits for Golden Visa holders?
Yes, the program offers tax incentive programs for investors. These may include relief from Greek taxes under double taxation agreements with other countries, making it beneficial for tax residents.
How long is the permanent residence permit valid?
The permanent residence permit is initially valid for up to five years and can be renewed as long as the property investment is maintained. This permit allows visa free travel within the Schengen Zone.
Are family members included in the Golden Visa?
Yes, the main investor can include immediate family members, such as a spouse, unmarried dependent children, and sometimes dependent parents, under the same application.
Can I apply for European citizenship through this program?
The Greece Golden Visas do not directly lead to European citizenship. However, obtaining Greek citizenship is possible after seven years of residency and under certain conditions.
What other investment options are available?
Apart from real estate investment, investors can consider government bonds, company shares, or setting up a business. Investment requirements differ for each option.
How to apply for the Greece Golden Visa?
To start the Greece Golden Visa application, you will need to make a significant real estate investment in Greece. This process involves selecting a real estate property, preparing the necessary legal documents, and applying for a Golden Visa residence permit.
What are the financial requirements for the Golden Visa?
The minimum investment threshold for the Golden Visa program is typically set at a specific amount, depending on the investment option.
- €500,000 investment is required for real estate such as furnished tourist residences or commercial property in areas like Northern and Central provinces, the South Athens Attica region, and the municipalities of Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini.
- Capital transfer of at least €400,000 to a Greek bank account.
- €400,000 to invest in a Greek company shares, government bonds, etc
- Purchasing company shares, corporate bonds, or government bonds worth at least €800,000 listed or traded in Greek stock exchanges.
- A minimum investment of €400,000 in Greek government
- Another option is a capital contribution of at least €400,000 to a company that will invest exclusively in Greece.
What type of residence permit do I get through the Greece Golden Visa?
Investors initially receive a temporary Greek residence permit, which can be upgraded to a permanent residence permit after maintaining the investment for a specified duration, usually up to five years.
What are the differences between the Greek program and other Golden Visa programs?
While similar in concept to other Golden Visa programs in the European Union, the Greek program is known for its competitive Golden Visas, offering a lower minimum investment threshold and the potential for permanent residency.
What documents are needed for the application?
The Golden Visa application requires various documents needed, such as a valid passport, purchase agreement of the property, and possibly an apostille stamp on foreign documents. Two copies of each document are typically needed.
Can I travel in europe with the Greek Golden Visa?
Yes, the permit allows Greece visa free travel within the Schengen zone, hence you get to enjoy visa free movement in many European countries.
What happens after five years of residency?
After five years, you may be eligible to apply for permanent residency and potentially Greek citizenship, contingent upon meeting certain conditions like passing a Greek language test.
Is there support for education and healthcare?
Investors and their families can access private schools and must have medical insurance. There are also education benefits associated with residency.
Can I apply remotely for the Greek Golden Visa?
Yes, there’s a provision for a remote application process. However, at least one visit to Greece is typically necessary to finalize the investment and complete certain formalities.
What if I want to invest in multiple properties?
The program allows investment in multiple properties, as long as the total investment meets the minimum amount required. This could be a mix of residential and commercial properties.
What legal processes are involved?
Investors will incur legal fees and notary fees for the property transaction. It’s important to have a certified copy of all transactions and agreements.
Are there any additional requirements for non-eu nationals?
Non-eu nationals may have specific additional requirements, such as proving the source of investment funds or additional background checks.