After two years on the drawing board, the Greek government yesterday approved a variety of new investment options for its golden visa program.
In the official government gazette published on Tuesday, Greek authorities outlined a number of changes, the most salient of which is the introduction of investment requirements for asset types other than real estate.
Greek Reporter has dissected the contents of the gazette:
In a nutshell, prospective Golden Visa applicants must do the following:
- invest at least 400,000 euros in a real estate investment company investing exclusively in Greece or buy shares through a share-capital increase scheme;
- invest at least 400,000 euros in a capital equity company or an equity mutual fund investing exclusively in companies based in Greece;
- invest at least 400,000 to buy Greek state bonds with a maturity of at least three years through a credit institution based in Greece;
- have a time deposit of at least 400,000 euros at a domestic credit institution with a duration of at least 12 months;
- buy shares, corporate bonds or state bonds worth at least 800,000 euros;
- invest at least 400,000 euros in a mutual fund investing exclusively in shares, corporate bonds or state bonds;
- invest at least 400,000 euros in buying shares in an Alternative Investment Organisation set-up in Greece or in another EU member-state that invests exclusively in real estate assets in Greece.
- (It is noted that The minimum price for investing in a real estate asset in Greece is set at 250,000 euros).
Direct real estate investment (i.e., property bought not through a REIT or property investment company) minimum requirements, however, will remain unchanged at EUR 250,000.
Furthermore, reports AMNA, if a main family-owned company acquires approved assets to the tune of EUR 400,000 or more, up to three “shareholders or executives of that company” may qualify for the golden visa.
“This is not the game-changer it might seem,” says Panos Rozakis, CEO of Prime Synergy, a real estate company that specializes in Greek residence by investment. “The law containing the amendments passed in April, subsequent to which it was subject to a public consultation period that’s now ended. Publishing the changes in the gazette formalizes the amendments, but interest in the alternative investments have been anemic in any case.”
Rozakis explains that we’ll now have to wait and see if golden visa specialists, banks, and financial services firms begin to promote these alternatives. “I’m not getting inquiries about anything other than real estate and, even if I did, no Greek banks have structured products available to accommodate those who want alternative investments.”
In a separate but related story, GTP reports that the Greek government is considering the introduction of fluctuating minimum investment requirements, which could mean raising requirements in high-demand areas while lowering them in less developed regions.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.