Why should overseas property investors consider Greece’s Golden Visa Program?
According to the data released from Enterprise Greece, a total of 8,011 investors obtained residency in Greece through investment. The data cover the years between 2013 and January 2021. The number reaches 23,785 including the family members of the investors.
“We’ve seen a significantly increased demand from UK investors since the beginning of 2021,” says the representative of the Get Golden Visa office in Greece. “Now, they are eligible to apply for a Golden Visa. Many investors from the UK were already considering a second home in Greece, the Golden Visa eligibility has given them some additional benefits.”
Here’s why the Greek Golden Visa through property investment is attractive to UK citizens:
Lowest investment threshold for EU residency
A minimum amount of €250,000 investment for a real estate is sufficient to apply for the Greek Golden Visa. Compared to other Golden Visa countries, this is the lowest threshold to obtain residency in an EU country. Comparatively, Portugal’s minimum investment requirement starts from €280,000. On the other hand, Spain requires a minimum amount of €500,000.
So, what does this mean? It means that the applicant can have a right to residency in Greece by buying real estate at a minimum value of €250,000. Also, it is possible to attain it in a matter of a few months.
Extended family inclusion
Most Golden Visa programs include only immediate family members. Greece Golden Visa, however, offers an extended family inclusion. Along with applicant’s spouse and children under the age of 21, the applicant can include the parents and parents-in-law in this program. Furthermore, it does not require the applicant to take any further steps for this.
So, family members can benefit from the same rights as the applicant.
No stay requirement
Another benefit of the programme is that there is no stay requirement at all. So, it will be sufficient to visit Greece only for the submission of the biometric data. However, the applicant can still benefit from a residency right as long as they renew the residency every five years.
This also provides the freedom of mobility. In case of an unexpected situation like the recent pandemic, it will be easier to travel between the countries. Speaking of which, Greek residency also allows the applicant the right to visa-free travel across the Schengen area.
Remote application is possible
Due to the conditions of the pandemic, Greece has made some amendments regarding the application. As of 2021, applicants and their families can apply for Golden Visa remotely. This means that:
- Firstly, sign a Power of Attorney at a local Greek Consulate,
- Then, a local firm submits the application. In addition, it can complete the investment on the applicant’s behalf. So, it can buy Greek property worth at least €250,000. Or, it can pay a deposit of a minimum of €400,000 in government bonds.
The applicat and his family members will only need to enter Greece once for the proof of biometrics.
So, the remote application is a useful option for investors who wish to apply for a Golden Visa but hesitate due to the pandemic.
Retirees can benefit from tax reductions
Another recent improvement regarding the regulation covers foreign pensioners. According to this, if a foreign pensioner moves their tax residency to Greece, they will be subject to a tax rate of 7%, which is a flat rate. This covers a period of ten years. Furthermore, the tax rate will be applied to any foreign income the investor has.
So, if the applicant plans to retire abroad, or shift the tax residency, Greece can be quite profitable in terms of sparing a huge amount of wealth. Also, the requirement to benefit from this regulation is quite basic. The applicant shouldn’t be a tax resident in Greece in the last five years. Also, the applicant needs to prove the pension status and agree that they’ll stay in Greece at least six months a year.
A positive outlook on the Greek business market
The 2020 EY Attractiveness Survey indicates a positive outlook from potential investors regarding the Greece market. As the survey suggested, investors think that Greece responded to the pandemic quite effectively. “The investment community credits Greece for the level of success in addressing the public healthcare crisis (77%), the speed of digitalisation of the Greek State in response to the crisis (73%) … and the weight and impact of the Greek stimulus package (72%). 41% state that this has positively impacted their view of Greece as an investment destination”, says the survey.
Greece has also gained ground in terms of foreign direct investment in the last few years. The EY survey indicates that “Greece has improved its performance and was ranked 29th in 2019, up from 35th in 2018, also improving on the 32nd place it held on average, during the past decade.” It also emphasised digital technology’s participation in the total foreign direct investment.
Finally, the “quality of life, telecommunications / digital infrastructure and the level of local labor skills, are seen as the main elements of the country’s attractiveness, while for a growing number of companies, Greece’s performance in sustainable development and the country’s policy approach to climate change, as well as the steady socio-political environment, are also positive considerations.”
So, these developments in the country make Greece an attractive destination to live in as well.
The editorial unit