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Choose Your Side: Greece vs. Portugal Golden Visa

Moneymagpie Team 19th May 2024 No Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

European Golden Visa programs offer access to Europe for individuals seeking Plan B solutions. Among all other options, Greece Golden Visa and Portugal Golden Visa are the most popular, with Greece offering a lower investment threshold and Portugal providing a clear route to citizenship for Plan B investors. 

By reading our guide below, you’ll be able to dive deeper into these two Golden Visa programs and select the best option based on your needs.

Which Golden Visa Program is Right for You: Greece or Portugal?

We’ll go over the key aspects of each program, such as the investment options, the advantages of residency, and the several ways to citizenship. This comparison will assist you in understanding the distinct benefits and chances that each country provides to wealthy investors looking to settle in Europe, whether they are drawn to Greece’s historic appeal or Portugal’s robust cultural legacy.

Greece Golden Visa: A Low-Cost Route to EU Residency

Greece’s Golden Visa Program, introduced in 2013, offers a five-year residency permit in return for a reasonably priced Greek real estate investment. Living in Greece and traveling throughout the Schengen area without a visa is possible with the Greek Golden Visa. Currently, the minimum investment amount for the Greece Golden Visa Program is 250,000 EUR.

Portugal Golden Visa Program: Best Plan B Route to Obtain EU Citizenship Through Investment

The Golden Visa Program was started in October 2012 by the Portuguese Government. The primary goal was to draw in foreign income to the nation, which was greatly needed following the 2008 financial crisis. Since then, the program has raised almost €7.5 billion, demonstrating its remarkable success.

In October 2023, Portugal’s Golden Visa Program went through some important modifications that have no impact on applications that have already been submitted. The investment options are the primary area of change. Purchasing real estate and investing in real estate-associated funds are no longer considered qualified investments. Other investment categories are still permitted under the program, though, including venture capital funds, investments in scientific research, support for cultural heritage, and firm creation.

A Comparison of Investment Options

What’s the best Golden Visa program for you? Take the first few steps of your journey by finding out just what Portugal and Greece Golden Visa programs are, who is eligible to apply, what the investment requirements are, and all the other details before you make a decision. Let’s get the ball rolling.

Real Estate Investment Is Still Possible with the Greece Golden Visa

To make an investment through the Golden Visa Greece Program, applicants must meet the primary eligibility requirement of investing in real estate. The minimum investment amount for real estate is €250,000. However, this minimum does not apply to municipalities around Santorini, Attica, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Santorini, and islands with a population of more than 3,100. This can be spread over a number of properties or just one.

Real estate in the municipalities of Attica, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Santorini, and islands with a population of more than 3,100 requires a minimum investment of €800,000 as of August 31, 2024, and this must be invested in a single property.

Additionally, a lease agreement of ten years can be made, whether for a furnished vacation rental home in an integrated resort or hotel rooms.

Portugal Golden Visa Offers a Variety of Active Fund Investment Choices

The minimum requirement for Portugal Golden Visa investment funds is €500,000. The investment fund option is the best alternative to the expired capital transfer or real estate routes. It avoids property taxes and offers potential tax efficiencies for non-residents. Strict regulation by Portuguese authorities ensures security and compliance.

Investment funds also diversify an investor’s portfolio, allowing for broader investment opportunities beyond a single asset like real estate.

What About EU Citizenship?

Both programs eventually led to EU residency. But how about becoming a European Union Citizen?

Theoretically, you can apply for Greek citizenship after residing there for seven years and paying taxes. However, in practice, this is a challenging way to obtain EU citizenship, and there isn’t much information available about this process.

Portugal Golden Visa, also widely known as Portugal Citizenship by Investment Program. After obtaining permanent residence, Portugal Golden Visa holders may be qualified for Portuguese citizenship after five years, with a minimal stay requirement of 7 days per year. It’s the only option in Europe where you can obtain an EU passport and investment returns simultaneously.

Can the Application Process and Eligibility Criteria be Handled Easily?

At first glance, the application process may seem complicated for applicants. We have summarized the eligibility criteria for both programs for you:

Portugal Golden Visa Eligibility Criteria:

Any non-EU/EEA/Swiss national can apply for the Portugal Golden Visa, provided they are at least 18 years old and have a clean criminal record from both their home country and Portugal.

The investment funds must come from outside Portugal. Qualifying investments include venture capital funds, company formation with employer responsibilities, and donations.

Additionally, the Golden Visa can be extended to family members under family reunification.

Greece Golden Visa Eligibility Criteria:

Applicants must be non-EU/EEA citizens, at least eighteen years old, free of criminal records, have family health insurance, and of good character in order to be eligible for a Golden Visa in Greece and be granted residency. It is no longer required to physically visit Greece in order to begin the application procedure as of 2021.

Are You Choosing the Road to Greek or Portuguese Golden Visa?

Both of these programs are extremely popular among investors. The Golden Visa Program of Portugal offers a path to citizenship, making it particularly attractive. Despite recent modifications, Portugal remains active and fascinating, with a wide range of investment options. The new citizenship law has reduced the waiting period to five years, further increasing the program’s appeal.

For many prospective investors who wish to enter the real estate industry, Greece is a good choice. However, in contrast to the Portugal Golden Visa, the residency requirements are more stringent.

With this article, you can now discover your own path by selecting the program that suits you best!

Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.

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Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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