With the aim of increasing foreign direct investment, the new law grants resident permits being issued to third-country nationals and their families who invest a minimum of 400,000 euros in Greek securities and companies. Therefore, a one-time deposit at a Greek bank of the required amount for at least 12 months with a fixed order for renewal will suffice for a Golden Visa. Similarly, an investment of the same amount in a real estate investment company will also do. The new criteria include the investment of a minimum of 400,000 euros in state bonds for at least three years through a Greece-based bank, or the investment of a minimum of 400,000 euros in a mutual fund set up in Greece or abroad to invest exclusively in shares and bonds trading in Greece and with total assets of least 3 million euros. Foreigners may also obtain the permit with an investment of 800,000 euros in stocks or corporate bonds in the Greek capital markets. These new rules will apply along with the existing scheme that requires an investment of 250,000 euros in local real estate assets.
Have the bonds and shares investment options become effective for the Greek Golden Visa?
I’ve read news yesterday reporting the joint ministerial decision where the shares and bonds investment options for the country’s Golden Visa program are finally available for foreign investors. Is it true? I am in the process of preparing my Golden Visa application based on the old guidelines. Is there anything I need to pay attention to under the new rules?
The shares, bonds and fixed-term bank deposit investment options are now in effect. The joint ministerial decision, which provides the necessary details regarding the documentation that the investor must make available in order to qualify for a resident permit in Greece was issued this month. The process involves a three-step process as follows. Step one: The investor makes the investment of at least 400,000 euros in the public offering of shares or bonds of a company established in Greece and receives a certificate of the broker confirming that a ledger was opened for the specific investor in the traded securities system, the number of shares or corporate bonds that he bought, the name of the company who issued them, and their acquisition value and heir retention throughout the date of the certificate. Alternatively, the investor can buy Greek state bonds that require at least three more years to maturity and receive a certificate from the bank through which it purchased the state bonds. There are also a few more investment options in accordance with the law. To mention a few, units in REICs of a minimum value of 400,000 euros, mutual funds, fixed-term deposit accounts with at least 400,000 euros remaining in the account, or the purchase for a value of at least 800,000 euros of traded stocks or corporate or state bonds. Supporting documents for each case are required. Please note that investments in REIC venture capital and mutual funds can qualify only if such collective investment schemes are first included in the catalog of eligible investments. Step two: The investor provides the relevant supporting documents of his investment, no later than one year after its realization, to the Greek consulate of the place where he stays, together with his criminal record and the health certificate, which, unlike the real estate residence permit, are also required. The consulate forwards the documents to the Directorate of Foreign Capital of the Ministry of Development, which must certify within one month from their receipt that the conditions are met. Step three: While the validity term of the visa has not expired yet, the investor applies to the immigration agency for the relevant 5-year residence permit.
Ιt is true! The joint ministerial decision was published in the Governmental Gazette on Dec. 11, 2019 and the financial alternative options are now active. There is no difference in the main legal provisions of the related Law, regarding the minimum amounts and the alternative options, the decision defines the procedure and the needed documentation for the implementation of the related investments.