What You Need To Know
Two most popular Golden Visa programs compared: Greece and Portugal

The Golden Visa Programs in Greece and Portugal are two of the most popular programs in the world,

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Israel, Greece
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The Golden Visa Programs in Greece and Portugal are two of the most popular programs in the world, providing residency and citizenship along with the same rights as EU citizens. Their popularity will be more clear to you when you see the numbers of applicants:

  • A total of 7.903 main investors and 23.618 dependents of the investors have gained residence permit in Greece via the Golden Visa Program by September 2020 according to the data on Enterprise Greece (the official agency of the Greek State charged with promoting investment and international businesses in Greece), and

  • A total of 9.015 investors and 15.431 family members of these investors have benefited from Portugal Golden Visa between the periods October 2012 and July 2020, according to SEF (The Portuguese Immigration and Borders Service) statistics.

No doubt that there is a reason why they are preferred this much: According to the 2020 Global Peace Index, Portugal is the third most peaceful country in the world and the second safest in Europe. Not to also mention that Greece ranked 29th in Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) attraction in the world, according to the EY(Ernst & Young) Attractiveness Survey in 2019. Another outstanding feature of these two countries is their low cost of living: Portugal is, in fact, the cheapest country in Western Europe, and Greece follows Portugal as being the second one in Western Europe.

Common Features of Golden Visa in Portugal and Greece

First of all, a Golden Visa means a permanent residency visa given to investors who invest in a country by purchasing mostly real estate property. Some countries like Greece and Portugal offer more than residency, though. The common benefits the two countries provide are namely:

  • The right to reside in the country

  • The right to visa-free travel to the countries in the Schengen area

  • Inclusion of the family members into the program

  • The right to benefit from DTA (Double Taxation Agreement) to avoid taxation in both countries. Double Taxation Agreement (DTA) is a treaty signed between two countries. Its aim is to avoid taxation on the same income in both countries. If your country of origin has a DTA with Portugal or Greece, the income you gain from other countries are not subject to taxation in Portugal (if you obtain Portugal Golden Visa) or Greece (if you obtain Greece Golden Visa).

Comparison of the Golden Visa Programs in Greece and Portugal in Detail

Investment Options

Different types of investments are available in both countries.

Greece Golden Visa Program Investment Options

  • Buying a property with a minimum investment amount of € 250,000

  • Ten years of a lease agreement signed for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences in integrated tourist resorts

  • Investing €400,000 for Greek government bonds, kept for three years

  • Investing €400,000 for bonds or shares of real estate investment companies

  • Capital investment of €400,000 in bonds and shares of a Greek company in the Greek Stock Market

  • Investing €400,000 for shares and bonds of venture fund and private equity which have headquarters in Greece

  • Investment of €400,000 in bank deposits

  • Investment of €800,000 in corporate or government bonds

  • Investment of €400,000 in stakes of Greek mutual fund investing only in the Greek estate market

  • Acquisition of stakes with minimum worth of €400,000 of an alternative investment fund that invests in the Greek real estate market.

Portugal Golden Visa Program Investment Options

  • Purchase of a real estate property with a minimum value of €500.000. If the property is in a rural area, the minimum investment amount is €400.000.

  • Purchase of a real estate property with a minimum value of €350.000 which is older than 30 years and which needs renovation. In addition to these, if that kind of property is also in a rural area, then the minimum investment amount would be €280.000

  • A capital transfer of €1.000.000 to the country

  • Owning a company which creates a minimum of ten jobs for citizens of Portugal

  • Investing an amount of €500.000 in Portuguese investment funds or venture capital

  • Investing an amount of €350.000 in a Portuguese risk fund

  • Investing a minimum amount of €250.000 in the arts or in the reconstruction or refurbishment of national heritage projects

The Right to Live and Work

In Greece Golden Visa Program, you gain the right to live in, but not work in Greece.

In Portugal’s Golden Visa Program, however, you gain both the right to live and work in the country.

Requirement of Stay for Residency

For Greece Golden Visa Program, there is no minimum duration of stay requirement. So, you don’t need to stay in Greece to receive your residence permit. For Portugal Golden Visa Program, on the other hand, you need to stay in the country for seven days per year.

Validity Periods

For Greece Golden Visa Program, the initial permit is valid for 5 years. You should renew it every five years.

As to the Portugal Golden Visa Program, the initial permit is normally valid for one year However, it changed in 2020 to two years due to pandemic. It is not certain if this duration will be permanent or temporary. The rest of the permits are valid for two years each.

Family Inclusion

You can include your family members in this program. For Greece Golden Visa, family members include the investor’s spouse, dependent children, parents, and parents in law.

For Portugal Golden Visa, family members include the investor’s spouse, dependent children, and dependent parents.

Issuing Time of the Golden Visa

The issuing time of the Golden Visa may vary depending on the workload of the immigration office in the country. In general, the issuing time for Portugal is around seven months, and for Greece, it is around three months.