Designed for non-EU citizens, both Portugal and Greece Golden Visa programs offer various qualifying investment options, allowing foreign investors and their families to legally reside in the European Union.

Each of these European countries is home to the exquisite Mediterranean climate and delicious food, offers low living costs, a flat tax rate, and the opportunity to travel visa-free to Schengen countries.  

Another major benefit of the Greek and Portuguese Golden Visas is that both programs eventually lead to European citizenship. 

But with so many attractive advantages, which program to choose? This article breaks down the Greece vs Portugal Golden Visa program to help you decide which one to choose.

Inside, you’ll find:

  • Overview of the Greece Golden Visa and Portugal Golden Visatwo golden visas
  • Benefits of the Golden Visa Greece and Portugal
  • Greece Golden Visa and Portugal permanent residency requirements
  • Obtaining European citizenship through the Golden Visas
  • Taxes and application costs
  • FAQs about Greece and Portugal Golden Visa programs.

Greece vs Portugal Golden Visa Compared

Greek Golden Visa Program 

  • Launched in 2013
  • Minimum investment amount of €500,000 in real estate in Greece or Greek government bonds 
  • Family dependents of the primary applicant (including dependent children under 21 and both spouses’ parents) can qualify for a Greek residence visa. 
  • There is no necessity to spend any time in Greece.
  • Visa-free travel in the Schengen Area
  • Becoming a European union citizen is possible after 7 years of residency

Portugal Golden Visa Program

  • Introduced in 2012
  • Minimum investment amount of €250,000
  • Family dependents of the primary applicant qualify for the visa
  • Residency granted for 1-2 years, renewable for 2-year periods
  • Visa-free travel in the Schengen Area
  • Portuguese citizenship is possible after 5 years 
  • Minimal stay requirement: 14 days within two years

Program Characteristics

Greece Golden Visa

Portugal Golden Visa

Application time

One to two months

18 months

Global Passport Index ranking



Time to citizenship

Seven years

Five years

Qualifying investment 

Minimum investment of €250,000 
Investment routes: Real estate, capital contribution, capital transfer, shares, bonds, or government bond 
*This current threshold is subject to change in the coming year, as the Greek government plans on raising the minimum requirement to €500,000 for property investments. 

Minimum investment of €250,000 
Investment routes: Business startup, research, private equity funds, contribution to cultural and national heritage funds 


Income tax starts at a rate of 22 percent. Non-dom tax regime allows tax exemption on foreign income for a fixed annual fee of €100,000

NHR Tax Regime allows tax exemption for up to 10 years 

Residence rule

No requirement

Seven-day requirement the first year and 14 days every two years after 

Ability to work

No, unless you set up your own business


Family eligibility

Spouse, children (under 21 years old), and parents of the main applicant and spouse

Spouse and dependent children (under 18 years old or currently completing studies) 

Greece vs Portugal Golden Benefits

Invest and get residency in Europe

Freedom of mobility in the Schengen area

Entire family is eligible for the program

Attractive investment opportunities

Ability to receive an
EU passport

Waiting Time | Greece vs Portugal Golden Visa

The waiting time for the Golden Visa varies depending on the country and the immigration office’s workload. Due to delays, the analysis and pre-approval of the Portugal Golden Visa can take up to 18 months. However, AIMA is currently working to streamline the process, anticipating faster procedures in the upcoming months. Following this stage, biometric data collection and residence card issuance take place. This phase can take from 6 to 18 months.

The waiting time for the Greece Golden Visa is three months.

Validity | Greece vs Portugal Golden Visa

The validity of your Golden Visa is dependent on the country. The current period residences by investment schemes are:

  • Greek Golden Visa: The residence permit is valid for five years.
  • Portugal Golden Visa: The first residence permit is valid for two years. Portugal Golden Visa holders can renew this residence permit for two more years.

Greece vs. Portugal Golden Visa Investment Options

Greece’s Golden Visa investment options

To obtain European citizenship, the Greek Golden Visa offers two investment options that qualify applicants for residency.

  • Investment in Greek real estate for a minimum of €250,000*
  • A €400,000 capital contribution to Greek government bonds

The investment options related to real estate are divided into two tiers: one and two.

Tier 1 real estate investments:

  • Requires a real estate investment of €800,000
  • Must be in high-demand areas: Attica, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Santorini
  • Property must measure more than 120 square meters

Tier 2 real estate investments:

  • Real estate investment threshold of €400,000
  • Applicable for areas outside of the Tier 1 areas

*Please note that the minimum amount of €250,000 in real estate increased to €500,000 on 31 July 2023. This change only applies to real estate investments in northern and central provinces, the South Athens Attica region, and the municipalities of Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini.

The Greek Minister of Finance is adjusting the Golden Visa Program, specifically introducing a dual-zone system for real estate investments and transactions. For investors, this signifies the creation of two distinct investment tiers, based on geographic zones.

Portugal Golden Visa investment options

Golden-Visa-InvestmentAs of 2023, real estate investment is no longer eligible for the Portugal Golden Visa Program. However, other attractive investment options are still available that allow foreign investors a gateway to EU citizenship.

  • Investment funds: Contribute to a qualified investment fund worth at least €500,000 
  • Investment or donation in the arts or reconstruction of national heritage with a donation of at least €250,000 (Read more: Portugal’s Cultural Production Golden Visa)
  • Scientific Research: Science or Technology research contribution of at least €500,000 
  • Creation of ten jobs: Creation and maintenance of ten jobs during the required period 
  • Share capital and job creation: Incorporation of a company or reinforcement of a company’s share capital, in either case with an investment of €500,000, combined with the creation of five or maintaining ten jobs (5 of them permanent) 

Investment Type

Greece Golden Visa

Portugal Golden Visa

Real Estate

Minimum €250,000 purchase of a real estate property in Greece.
Minimum €500,000 purchase of a real estate property in Greek municipalities.

No longer available

Fund Subscription

Not available


Cultural and Art Donations

Not available


Government Bonds

€400,000 in shares or bonds of real estate investment companies, venture funds, or private equity in Greece

Not available

Scientific Research

Not available


Job Creation

Not available

Ten jobs

Company Share Capital

Not available

€500,000 + ten jobs (five of them permament)

Stay Requirements | Greece vs Portugal Golden Visa

Greece Golden Visa applicants will be glad that a Greek Golden Visa has no minimum stay requirement.

Applicants for the Portugal Golden Visa program are required to stay in Portugal for an average of seven days each year to maintain their residency status.

Citizenship Requirements | Greece vs Portugal Golden Visa Program

A Golden Visa is a pathway to gain permanent residency or apply for citizenship if you fulfill the country’s unique naturalization requirements. Successful applicants then gain EU citizenship, which grants several benefits such as status to live and work in EU states and greater healthcare access.

The following EU citizenship criteria need to be met per country:

Citizenship requirements for Greece

  • Seven years of living in Greece for more than 183 days each year
  • The ability to speak fluent Greek
  • Greek citizenship examination
  • No criminal record in your home country

Citizenship requirements for Portugal

  • Five years of living in Portugal with seven days of physical residence for each year
  • Having no unpaid taxes in Portugal
  • A2 Portuguese language test
  • No criminal record in your home country

Taxes | Greece vs Portugal Golden Visa Programs

Taxation is unrelated to the Golden Visa program and is solely associated with an individual’s tax residency. You aren’t automatically a tax resident of those countries if you hold a Golden Visa from Portugal or Greece. And, as long as you are not a tax resident in these countries, you only owe taxes on income earned in the hosting country. You owe no taxes on your foreign earnings.

If you opt to spend most of your year in these countries and become a tax resident, you’ll have to pay taxes, as shown below.



Corporate Tax

24 percent

21 percent

Income Tax

9 percent to 44 percent

14.5 percent to 45 percent

Inheritance and Gift Tax

10 percent to 40 percent (varies by relation)

0 percent

Tax incentive programs for foreigners

A 7 percent flat rate for 15 years. The non-dom tax regime allows tax exemption on foreign income for a fixed annual fee of €100,000.

Non-Habitual Residence Program (NHR). Ten-year exemption. 

There is a Non-Habitual Residency (NHR) Program in Portugal, a tax policy aimed at helping foreigners become tax residents in Portugal. It is one of the most appealing tax schemes in the European Union and a great advantage for UK citizens and Americans moving to Portugal.

Is NHR ending?

The State Budget Law for 2024 determined the end of the NHR regime from 1st January 2024. However, certain individuals can still apply up until 31st March 2025, and the scheme is being replaced by the Tax Incentive for Scientific Research and Innovation, which has now been implemented. To learn more, please refer to Is The Portugal NHR Ending?

Greece is working on a similar initiative that will allow foreigners wishing to migrate or retire in Greece with a flat tax rate of seven percent for the first ten years of their stay.

Application Costs | Portugal vs Greece Golden Visa

As with any Golden Visa application, the initial capital transfer amount has additional costs. This is an important area for foreign investors to consider when planning their personal and financial goals.

In addition to making qualifying investments, applications for a Golden Visa require paying fees to the relevant authorities. These fees are typically paid per applicant and dependent.

Here is a breakdown of both Greece and Portugal’s Golden Visa costs:

Greece Golden Visa application fees

  • €2,000 for the main applicant
  • €500 per family member older than 21
  • €150 per family member under 21

Portugal Golden Visa application fees

  • Online application submission – 773.74
  • Granting the permit – € 7,730.10  (Approval fee)
  • Per renewal – 3,865.7

Greece vs Portugal Golden Visa : Which one to choose?

Greece and Portugal’s Golden Visa programs are ideal for EU residency seekers. However, the Portugal and Greece Golden Visas have different advantages.

Portugal and Greece offer Golden Visa programs with similarities in application time, passport ranking, minimum investment, and family eligibility. However, Greece imposes more economic restrictions on its foreign investors and residents than Portugal. 

Portugal’s Golden Visa program allows holders to work without restrictions, while Greece only permits residency without employment rights unless the visa holders start their businesses. 

The two Golden Visas offer attractive investment routes, with Portugal offering slightly more diverse options. Portugal Golden Visa holders can also enjoy a faster path to citizenship, requiring five years of residency compared to Greece’s seven years. 

Portugal’s Golden Visa program is recommended for those aiming for EU citizenship, while Greece’s offers faster processing time for permanent residency. Portugal stands out for its quality of life and stability, making it the top choice for Golden Visa programs in Europe.

How Can Global Citizen Solutions Help You?

Global Citizen Solutions is a boutique investment migration consultancy firm focused on finding the right residency or citizenship by investment program for individuals wishing to secure their future and become global citizens. With offices in Portugal, the United Kingdom, Hong Kong, and Brazil, our multilingual team guides individuals and families from start to finish, providing expert advice considering freedom, mobility, taxation, and security.

  • We have helped hundreds of clients from 35+ countries in all the top residency by investment and citizenship by investment programs. With an in-depth and comprehensive understanding of the area, we provide our clients with solid guidance. 
  • Our team has never had a case rejected. Our 100 percent approval rate sets us apart from our competitors and guarantees that you can expect a successful application.
  • Our transparent pricing covers all the processes from opening your bank account, document certification, and legal due diligence to investment and submission. As there is one fee for the entire process, you can be confident that you will not face any hidden costs later.
  • All data is stored within a GDPR-compliant database on a secure SSL-encrypted server. You can be safe knowing that your personal data is treated with the utmost security.
  • Global Citizen Solutions provides an all-encompassing solution. Our support can continue even after you receive your passport. We offer additional services such as company incorporation, Trusts, and Foundations formation.
  • The BeGlobal Onboarding System® allows you to access the status of your application every step of the way, something that sets us apart from our competitors.

FAQs | Greece vs Portugal Golden Visas

What is Greece’s Golden Visa?

The Greece Golden Visa program is an immigration and investment visa launched in 2013 by the Greek government. It gives investors and their families Greek residency in exchange for a current minimum investment of €250,000.

What is Portugal’s Golden Visa?

The Golden Visa Portugal is an immigration and investment visa launched in 2012 by the Portuguese government that offers non-EU investors and their families Portuguese residency, with an eventual pathway to EU citizenship allowed in exchange for a minimum qualifying investment of €500,000.

Can I obtain an EU passport by applying to the Greece or Portugal Golden Visa program?

You can obtain an EU passport by applying for the Greece or Portugal Golden Visa program. The main difference is that you’ll be able to apply for citizenship and acquire a Portuguese passport after five years of residency, while it’ll take seven years to obtain a Greek passport.

Greece vs Portugal Golden Visa: Which program should I pick?

However, we recommend applying for the Portuguese program as it has more investment options, offers great tax benefits to foreign residents, gives its holders the ability to work in Portugal, and ultimately is a faster route to acquiring EU citizenship.

How do I immigrate to Greece?

Greece has several visa programs that enable non-EU citizens to obtain residency status in the country. Some of them require a substantial investment to be placed in the Greek economy in exchange for permanent residency status, while others require a smaller investment in exchange for a shorter residency period.

The Greek Visa for Financially Independent People (FIP) allows third-country citizens to acquire a two-year residency permit in Greece provided they have at least €2,000 monthly income. They must first apply for a long-term Visa (D) at the Greek Consulate or Embassy in their home country and prove that they can cover their living expenses in Greece without engaging in any economic activity – or work – within Greece.

Is it better to live in Greece or Portugal?

Deciding between Portugal vs Greece hinges on personal preferences and investment goals. Both countries offer Golden Visa programs for long-term residency, along with visa-free travel within the EU Schengen area. There are also great tax benefits for those holding a tax residence permit in either country.

In both nations, there’s a low cost of living in comparison with other European nations and the US as well as a high quality of life.

Which Golden Visa is better: Greece or Portugal?

In a comparison between Greece and Portugal Golden Visa programs, it depends on what you are looking for. If your objective is to obtain an EU passport as quickly as possible, then the Portuguese Golden Visa may be the one. It also offers a more diverse range of investment routes and offers great tax benefits to foreign residents. However, the Greek program’s benefits are that there’s no minimum stay requirement and cheaper investment options.

Is property investment available for the Portugal Golden Visa?

No, real estate investment is no longer an eligible investment pathway for the Portuguese Golden Visa program. Real estate-related investment funds and capital transfers have also been eliminated from the program. However, other attractive options remain, such as the investment fund, cultural and art donations, and job creation.

Will changes to real estate investment laws affect current or previous Greece Golden Visa applicants?

No, the real estate changes, which will increase the investment thresholds for properties in Greece, won’t affect current or previous applicants. There will be no retroactive effects for anyone applying for Greece’s Golden Visa.

What are the minimum investment requirements for the Golden Visas in Greece and Portugal?

To obtain a Portugal Golden Visa, a capital transfer into Portuguese investment funds or venture capital funds to the amount of or more significant than €500,000 is needed to procure legal residency in Portugal.

There are several avenues available to acquire a Greek Golden Visa.

  • Investment in Greek real estate for a minimum of €250,000*
  • A €400,000 capital contribution to Greek government bonds

* The minimum investment of €250,000 in real estate increased to €500,000 on 31 July 2023. This change only applies to real estate investments in northern and central provinces, the South Athens Attica region, and the municipalities of Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini.

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