Greek Govt. Moves to Close Loopholes: No More POS Payments for Golden Visa

No more POS sales, no more re-selling property to multiple golden visa participants. The Greek government is moving swiftly to close loopholes.

The Greek government last week put forward amendments in Parliament that aim to prevent what they consider abuse related to the country’s residence by investment program. Measures include a ban on paying for program-qualifying property by way of Point of Sale (POS) systems – credit card terminals – which in the past have been used to circumvent Chinese capital restrictions.

The government has acted swiftly to bring into effect the new rules, according to GTP, which will apply retroactively from December 24th, 2018.

The move follows a series of golden visa acquisitions by Chinese investors, paid for with bank cards on Greek bank-issued credit card terminals but – crucially – from within China, a country that imposes strict controls on the outward flow of capital.

See: Greek Golden Visa Firm in Hot Water for Alleged Bypass of Capital Controls in China

Such payments are now banned outright, and capital transfers must henceforth come through “bank check to a credit institution operating in Greece, or by credit transfer to an account in Greece”.

The new rules also include provisions aimed at tackling the practice of selling the same property – at markups of up to 150% – to multiple consecutive golden visa investors. Going forward, real estate sales will need documentation from the Greek Immigration Service indicating whether the property has previously been used to obtain a residence permit.

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