Greece’s golden visa is losing out to rivals despite being among the cheapest residency-by-investment programs available in Europe.
The Greek program requires a €250,000 property investment, which is the same as Latvia and €100,000 less than the €350,000 required in Portugal.
Property investment requirements
- Greece: €250,000
- Latvia: €250,000
- Portugal: €350,000
- Cyprus: €300,000
Portugal is currently enjoying a surge in the popularity of its program, which has generated more than €2 billion in investment since it was introduced in October 2012.
The Greece problem appears to be centred around too much red tape.
For a country desperate for money following the disastrous fallout from the global economic crisis, some of the documents being asked for from potential investors are questionable.
One Chinese investor was told he needed a certificate from a Greek hospital to prove he did not have tuberculosis.
Another had his application rejected because he paid for property in cash, despite a notary saying the transaction had happened in front of him.
Benefits of Greek residency program
- Live and work in Greece
- Visa-free travel in 26 Schengen area countries
- Right to attend schools and universities within any EU country
Greek authorities ask for more than 15 documents which candidates say take many months to gather together. Only then can the search for a property begin.
The Greece program requires an investment of €250,000 in a single or multiple properties making it one of the cheapest European investment residency options. In return, candidates receive a renewable five-year visa without any physical presence requirement.
Further uncertainty is created by the fragile Greek economy, including on-going fears of an exit from the Eurozone, fluctuating levels of property tax and the current migration crisis.
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