Greece has significantly expanded the scope of its golden visa program, introducing eight new eligible asset classes for investors seeking fast-track permanent residence.
The Greek golden visa program is one of the least expensive programs in the world with investors qualifying for fast-track EU permanent residence by investing just €250,000 in real estate in the country.
Overview of Additional Investment Options
Under the modified rules, an investor can qualify for the golden visa by investing at least €400,000 in any of the following asset classes.
- Shares or bonds issued by a company with its registered office or establishment in Greece.
- Shares of a Real Estate Investment Company intending to invest exclusively in Greece.
- Shares of a venture capital company or a venture capital fund provided such Alternative Investment Organization intends to invest exclusively in companies with registered office or establishment in Greece.
- Government bonds through a credit institution located in Greece provided such bonds have a maturity period of at least three years.
- Bank deposits with a Greek credit institution for a period of at least one year with a standing order for its renewal.
- Shares in an equity fund intending to invest exclusively in Greek government securities, corporate bonds, or listed bonds.
- Shares in an Alternative Investment Firm intending to invest exclusively in real estate in Greece. Such firm may be incorporated in Greece or another EU member state.
- Invest at least €800,000 in listed and traded shares, corporate bonds, or Greek government bonds.
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Investing through Corporate Entities
Applicants also have the option of deploying the investment through a corporate body or institution setup in Greece or in a foreign country.
Minimum investment required in this case would be €400,000 and the foreign national holding all the shares of the Greek entity can apply for permanent residence.
If the shares in the Greek entity are owned by a foreign legal entity, then one third-country national shareholder can apply for every €800,000 invested in Greece. A total of three foreign-country nationals can apply for residence permits and the minimum investment requirement is €2.4 million.
If the foreign legal entity is investing in listed and traded shares, corporate bonds, or Greek government bonds, the minimum required investment would be €1.6 million per third-country national shareholder.
With these changes, Greece has joined Portugal in offering multiple investment options to golden visa investors.
Considering the real estate investment option is unchanged and the majority of demand for the Greek golden visa comes from Chinese investors, it’s unlikely there will be a high demand for the new investment options.
Demand may actually drop if the processing delays faced by investors over the past year are not resolved.
While the €250,000 requirement is the lowest among all popular programs in the EU, high demand has led to long waiting period for investors, which may result in investments and applications being diverted elsewhere.
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