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How can I invest in securities to get a Greek Golden Visa?

I have read about changes to Greece’s program to include investment in Greek securities and companies. What are these new requirements that don’t involve buying property? When do they start and do you have any advice for pursuing them?


Answers
  • Sasha Taktikou

    Key To Success Limited
    March 17, 2019

    As per latest developments in the Greek Golden Visa program, investors will be eligible for obtaining a Golden Visa as follows. Investors will now be able to apply for a Golden Visa (permanent residence permit) by depositing funds, 400,000 euros or more, in a Greek bank without the option for withdrawals for several years. They will also be able to invest in an already established Greek company by becoming a shareholder by participating in the capital increase of the company by investing once again 400,000. Investors may also start their own business and invest 250,000. Moreover, assets like government bonds or listed shares will also be considered an eligible investment, further broadening the options for investors. From my perspective as an investment legal consultant on the Greek Golden Visa program, the first and most popular branch of the Golden Visa law is real estate investment of 250,000. It still seems to be the prevailing and most valuable choice. With thousands of investors buying property in Greece, the terms are flexible, including every type and number or properties. It allows an immediate and steady return on investment while offering a significant remaining value for re-sell opportunities as a tangible asset. The real estate investment option is still prevailing for the fact that taxation impositions are reasonable (starting at 3 percent for older properties and/or depending the location of the property) and up to 15 percent for brand-new properties in Athens. Whereas, tax impositions to business owners and shareholders may vary according to any legal amendments to tax law which can become much higher and, furthermore, the business owner/shareholders must also consider side costs such as auditing, bookkeeping and levies at the tax authority that will be imposed from time to time pursuant to applicable authorities (i.e., national insurance costs).

  • Mary Tsiganou

    Energopiisi SA Investment Consulting Services
    March 17, 2019

    The Greek government submitted to the Greek parliament the following draft law for public discussion on July 3, 2019. The above regulation aims to improve and supplement the current resident permit scheme for third-country nationals investing in Greece (the Golden Visa), taking into account the needs of the Greek economy, the interest shown by foreign investors and the relevant international practice. According to article 42, paragraph 3 of the related draft law, the Greek government extends the scope of the existing scheme by adding intangible investments to investment activities for which a permanent resident permit may be issued to third-country nationals. In particular, this provision adds the following eight alternative categories of intangible investments which contribute to the development and stimulation of the national economy: purchase of shares in a share capital increase or bonds issued on a bond loan for companies based or located in Greece, and listed on the Greek stock market; with a set contribution to a real estate investment company aiming to invest exclusively in Greece, to acquire shares in share capital increase; with a set contribution to a private equity fund toward the acquisition of shares, or to a venture fund to acquire shares provided these are invested exclusively in companies with headquarters and or established in Greece; with the purchase of Greek government bonds, with a minimum acquisition cost and a residual maturity of at least three years from the time of purchase through a credit institution based in Greece; with a minimum time deposit in a national credit institution for at least one year with a standing order for its renewal; with the purchase of shares, corporate bonds and/or of Greek government bonds traded or up for trade on regulated markets, or in multilateral trading facilities operating in Greece; with the purchase of stakes in a mutual fund established in Greece, or elsewhere, which intends to invest exclusively in shares, corporate bonds and/or in Greek government bonds; with the purchase of stakes or shares in an alternative investment fund established in Greece, or in another EU country, and aims to invest exclusively in real estate in Greece. Joint ministerial decisions of ministers of migration policy, economy and development and, where appropriate, foreign affairs, deal in particular with issues of application of these provisions. The related law is expected to be voted in the middle of April, and subsequently the framework and the details of the implementation of the above investment options should be defined through circulars of the competent authorities. The above options have nothing to do with property acquisition and are coming as alternative ways for foreign investors to participate to Greek Golden Visa program.

  • Anastasios Michopoulos

    Anastasios D. Michopoulos
    March 14, 2019

    Once the amendment is ratified, non-EU citizens seeking Greek residency rights – which provide instant access to the Schengen Area – can select one of the following eight alternative options: with the purchase of shares in a share capital increase or bonds issued on a bond loan for companies based or located in Greece, and listed on the Greek stock market; with a set contribution to a real estate investment company aiming to invest exclusively in Greece, to acquire shares in share capital increase; with a set contribution to a private equity fund toward the acquisition of shares, or to a venture fund to acquire shares provided these are invested exclusively in companies with headquarters and or established in Greece; with the purchase of Greek government bonds, with a minimum acquisition cost of 400,000 euros and a residual maturity of at least three years from the time of purchase through a credit institution based in Greece; with a minimum time deposit of 400,000 euros in a national credit institution for at least one year with a standing order for its renewal; with the purchase of shares, corporate bonds and/or of Greek government bonds traded or up for trade on regulated markets, or in multilateral trading facilities operating in Greece, valued at a minimum of 800,000 euros; with the purchase of stakes in a mutual fund established in Greece, or elsewhere, which intends to invest exclusively in shares, corporate bonds and/or in Greek government bonds; with the purchase of stakes or shares in an alternative investment fund established in Greece, or in another EU country, and aims to invest exclusively in real estate in Greece. No, the buying of property is not by any means related to that.

  • Aggeliki G Androutsou

    Aggeliki G. Androutsou
    March 14, 2019

    The Greek authorities have not yet voted on the law. We do not know the conditions yet.

  • John Kyriakopoulos

    Kyros Law Offices
    March 14, 2019

    Yes, indeed. The law is going to be passed shortly.

  • Stilianos Proestakis

    Stilianos Ch. Proestakis
    March 13, 2019

    There is a draft law to be adopted after June 2019 (barring something unforeseen, as we are almost at pre-election period for new government) for obtaining a Golden Visa (good for five years, at first). If the investment is at least 400,000 euros to companies, funds, deposits at Greek banks and more flexible investments, this could allow more foreigners to get visas, especially if the real estate property option wasn't suitable for them.