Greece Golden Visa Scheme Extended to More Investment Opportunities

Extension of the Greek Golden Visa Investment

| 28 Feb 2019


Extension of the Greece Golden Visa

Launched in 2014, the Greece Golden Visa has been a priority incentive program for the country’s Ministry of Economy and Development.  In the last year, an expansion of the selection offered for investment had been top on the administrator agenda. Such reforms would include the introduction to other qualifying asset classes typologies, including the acquisitions of publicly traded bonds and equity. Such intention, to extend to areas other than real estate, was officially divulged during the last quarter of 2018. Greek Minister of Economy and Development, Yannis Dragasakis said that once the amendment is ratified, this will offer applicants a wider choice of investment types, hence dubbing the Greek resident solution as one of the most sought after.

Enterprise Greece, whose core mission is to facilitate investment in Greece and to promote export of the highly competitive products and services produced in Greece, has been dealing with mature requests by investors looking for opportunities in Greece. These span across different industry groups such as tourism, real estate, foods and logistics.

The Current Greece Golden Visa

The programme currently offers a five-year residence permit to investors purchasing property valued in excess to more than 250,000 euros. Currently, there is no minimum stay requirement and children up to the age of 21 can be included in the global family application. Proof of health insurance coverage that is valid in Greece also needs to be provided. Renewal of the visa may be carried out every five years upon condition that the real estate investment is retained. Successful applicants and their families are able to benefit from visa-free access to Europe’s Schengen Area within two months of applying.

Plans for Extension of the Greece Golden Visa Programme

The intended plan is to extend the Golden Visa programme to those investing in Greek stocks and bonds via the capital market route, those purchasing state bonds, those injecting capital into societe anonyme real estate investment companies, and investors opening a deposit account in Greek credit institutions or taking part in Greece-based investment funds.

Through these amendments entrance to Greece and residence rights to third-country nationals will be allowed to:

(1) investors spending at least €400,000 ($463,000) in:

bonds or shares of real estate investment companies, or
deposits at the country’s banks OR

(2) investors those placing €800,000 ($926,000) in Greek government bonds.

The majority of investors currently hail from Russia and China, with increased interest from Turkey.

The current programme presents Greece as a serious contender through the most accessible and affordable residence-by-investment programs currently available. These would include five main immigration programs in the EU, being Latvia, Portugal, Spain, Greece, and Malta.

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Dr Priscilla Mifsud Parker

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Dr Antoine Saliba Haig

Advocate, Malta

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