Greece broadens criteria for Golden Visa scheme

Greece broadens criteria for Golden Visa scheme

A joint ministerial decision broadening of the criteria for non-European Union citizens to be granted a five-year residence permit, or Golden Visa, was published in the government gazette on Thursday.

The new law foresees permits being issued for third-country nationals (and their families) who invest a minimum of 400,000 euros in Greek securities and companies, with the aim of increasing foreign direct investment.

Therefore a time deposit at a Greek bank of at least that 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 of at least three years’ duration 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.

Greece's Golden Visa scheme mirrors similar incentives offered by other crisis-hit EU members such as Portugal, Cyprus and Spain.

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