The past few years have not been kind in a financial sense for many countries in Europe, which is why many of them have started the so called Golden Visa programs. A foreign investor can take advantage of those programs in order to acquire a residence permit in a European country and a resident visa. In order to do that however, they will first need to make a rather sizable investment, usually in the form of a real estate purchase. Recently Greece has started its own Golden Visa program and it manages to stand out from others like it, so much so that for many it is considered the best of the bunch. Let’s find out why.
It is the cheapest
Like we said above, Greece is not the only one to offer such a program, what sets the Greek golden visa program apart however is the fact that it requires the smallest investment when compared to other similar programs. Greece requires investors to invest at least 250.000 Euros in order to be eligible for a Golden Visa while Spain demands a minimum investment of 500.000 Euros and Cyprus one of around 350.000. The difference in cost is by no means negligible.
Prime real estate at bargain prices
Greece has been in the throes of a horrible financial crisis which has left its real estate market in shambles. This means that prime real estate even in highly sought after areas such as Mykonos, Santorini and the center of Athens has greatly reduced in value and is not available at prices that are a great bargain. To put things into perspective, real estate prices in Athens have gone down as much as 60% compared to what they were before and during the Olympics. Greece is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world so real estate in an area that attracts lots of tourists is essentially a goldmine. What you need to take away from this is that for just 250.000 you can get prime real estate AND an EU residence permit. What better deal could you ask for?
A relatively easy process
In order to be eligible for a Golden Visa one will first need to make an investment. After that, the bureaucratic process can begin. All in all, it will take you about 40 days to get your visa and the whole process can be handled by specialized lawyers who will take care of everything for you. You won’t even have to be in the country. All in all, the whole application process will cost an extra 15.000, which is again very cheap as far as golden visas go.
Visas for the whole family
Unlike other countries in the EU, Greece doesn’t just issue the residence visa to the investors themselves but they issues residence visas to all member of their immediate families, which includes their spouses, children and in some cases even the parents. The visa is valid for five years, as long as the investment exists and is owned by the investor, after which it will have to be renewed. In case that they chose to part with the investment, the visa will be transferred to the buyer, provided that they meet the legal requirements and that they are foreign. As long as the property remains within the possession of the investor, they can renew the visa.
The fact that you will own land in Greece means that you should also pay taxes there, however, the taxes you will pay will only be about the property that you own in the country. You won’t pay anything for property that you own in other countries.