Greece Vs Portugal Golden Visa
Greece Golden Visa Vs Portugal Golden: Which One?
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Golden Visa Greece vs Portugal
Both Greece and Portugal offer Golden Visas for affluent expatriates. While Portugal is on the verge of discontinuing its program, there is still an opportunity to apply. On the other hand, Greece intends to continue its program, although the entry threshold is expected to increase in 2023. In this comprehensive overview, we will compare the Gold Visa programs of Greece and Portugal. So far, both programs have garnered immense popularity among individuals with the means to afford them.
Benefits of Golden Visa Greece vs Portugal
Both have many similarities. They both enjoy a warm and sunny climate, with friendly and welcoming inhabitants who lead relaxed lifestyles. Additionally, they both boast a rich cultural heritage and offer delicious cuisine.
While these countries may not have the same economic power as some Western European nations, they are highly developed by global standards. They have excellent infrastructure and provide a very decent standard of living. Both countries are democratic and place great importance on respecting human rights. The crime rate is low, and healthcare services are of high quality. If you are considering an international education for your children, you will have numerous options to choose from.
Both Greece’s and Portugal’s real estate markets are flourishing. Although there has been a temporary setback due to external factors, the prices have been steadily increasing and are expected to continue doing so once the current crisis subsides. This presents an ideal opportunity for property investment.
To apply for a Golden Visa in either of these countries, you must be of legal age, law-abiding, and have the necessary funds to invest.
Once you obtain the Golden Visa, you will be considered a local resident, granting you the ability to visit the country even when its borders are closed to tourists. There is no requirement to permanently relocate or stay for an extended period of time. After a few years, you will have the right to apply for citizenship. Both governments allow dual citizenship, so you will not need to renounce your previous citizenship, unless the laws of your home country state otherwise. Alternatively, you may choose to maintain your residency status and simply update your permit every few years.
Golden Visa Greece: Key Details
To obtain the Greece Golden Visa of this beautiful Mediterranean country, a single visit is all it takes. Your spouse, children under 21, and parents can join your application without any additional requirements. Once you become a resident, you can apply for permanent residency in just 5 years and citizenship in an additional 2 years (or 7 years from the initial application submission).
Golden Visa Portugal: Key Details
Once you become a resident, you will need to renew your permit annually for the first two years, and then every two years thereafter. After five years since the initial approval, you can apply for citizenship. If you can demonstrate their financial dependence on you, your children and parents will be eligible to apply with you.
Please note that in February 2023, the Portuguese authorities announced their intention to terminate this lucrative program.
While it attracted nearly €7 billion to the country, it also led to exorbitant real estate purchase and rental prices for locals, which is the primary reason for its discontinuation.
Nevertheless, there may still be time for you to apply. The law will not be passed overnight, as the government will require ample time for deliberation and discussion of its intricate details.
To Sum It Up
Minimum required investment
How long do you need to stay in the country
When do you need to Renew your residency
Every 5 years
1 year after it was issued
When can you apply for citizenship
Can children and parents apply with you
Yes! No conditions
They need to be financially dependent on you
Any exams necessary to get residency
No for residency, yes for citizenship
No for residency, yes for citizenship
Visa-Free Trips in the EU
Once you obtain the Golden Visa from either of these countries, you will enjoy the freedom to travel throughout the EU without any restrictions. You can stay for up to 90 days within every 180-day period in any EU country without the need for a visa.
Moreover, by becoming a citizen of Greece or Portugal, you will have the privilege to visit approximately 160 countries without a visa or the hassle of obtaining a visa stamp upon arrival. This extensive list includes popular tourist destinations such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Egypt, Cuba, Indonesia, India, Israel, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, South Africa, Singapore, South Korea, Turkey, Thailand, the United Arab Emirates, and the United States.
Supported Types of Investment
In Greece, there are several options available to you:
- Invest €250,000 in real estate.
- A lease agreement in a tourist establishment for a minimum of ten years.
- Invest a minimum of €400,000 in a local business.
- Transfer a minimum of €400,000 to a local bank account for a minimum of 12 months.
Please note that in 2023, the minimum required amount for purchasing real estate is expected to increase to half a million EUR in areas with high demand among expats.
In Portugal, you have a wider range of options to choose from:
- Invest between €280,000 and half a million EUR in real estate.
- Invest €500,000 or more in scientific research or a local fund supporting business development.
- Invest €250,000 or more in art and culture.
- Invest €1 million or more in a local business or company shares.
- Transfer a minimum of €1.5 million to a local bank account for at least of 12 months.
- Start a new business and employ at least ten locals.
It is important to note that the minimum entry thresholds for some of the investment routes in Portugal used to be lower.
Properties requiring renovation and located in areas with dense population typically qualify.
If you are not knowledgeable in renovation, it is advisable to avoid properties that require it, as it may lead to significant expenses.
It is important to be aware that purchasing property in the capital and most coastal areas of Portugal will not qualify you for the Golden Visa program. The program is focused on territories that are less popular among tourists.
Starting in 2023, Portuguese officials have stated that residence permits will only be renewed for foreigners who own real estate in the country and either use it for themselves or have been renting it out for a while. Therefore, applying through alternative investment methods in 2023 may not be beneficial.
It is worth mentioning that even previously, these alternative methods were not always reliable. Applicants sometimes faced long waiting periods to receive their residence permits, and the services of financial, legal, and tax advisors were often required, adding to the cost. Property investments have consistently been the fastest and most straightforward path, and this holds true for both Greece and Portugal.
Read next our list of the easiest European Golden Visa Programs.
For Greece’s Golden Visa, if you purchase a house or apartment valued at €250,000, the total fees and taxes will amount to approximately €16,000. The property background check costs around €250 + 24% VAT. Contract fees related to the purchase of real estate can amount to about €1,000.
To obtain the coveted visa, you must receive a special stamp on your passport. The cost is €2,000 per applicant, with a renewal fee of €2,000 per person. When applying for local residency, the fee is €300 + 24% VAT for you and each accompanying family member.
In Portugal, the application fee for the Golden Visa is €5,324 per person, with a renewal fee of €2,665. The processing fee is €534 for you and €83 for each family member. The total expenses can reach 8-10% of the property value.
To obtain a Portuguese Golden Visa, expats are required to submit a specific set of documents. These include a filled-in form, payment receipt, passport, two passport-style portrait photos, health insurance, proof of law-abiding behavior, and a sworn statement confirming that they will not withdraw or resell their investment.
In Greece, the document requirements are similar and include a filled-in form, payment receipt, passport, two passport-style portrait photos, health insurance, proof of law-abiding behavior, and proof of sufficient funds for investment.
In both cases, it is crucial to provide supporting documents that verify compliance with the investment requirements. For example, in Portugal, this may include a contract of purchase for a property located in an area with a low-density population and in need of renovation.
To become a tax resident of either of the states being discussed, you must spend at least 183 days per year within their respective territories. If you reside abroad for the majority of the year, you will not be subject to international taxes in these countries. Instead, you will only be required to pay taxes on your local assets, such as utility bills for an apartment that you own. However, if your home country has not signed a double taxation treaty with either Greece or Portugal, be prepared to pay taxes in both jurisdictions.
Both Greece and Portugal have taken significant measures to create more favorable tax regimes for expatriates. They offer incentives to Golden Visa holders in order to attract wealthy individuals to their economies.
In Greece, if you become a local tax resident, you have the option to choose an annual flat tax of €100,000. This applies regardless of your higher earnings abroad or your ownership of multiple properties in foreign countries. Your close relatives will only be required to pay 20% of the amount you pay. Furthermore, you are not obligated to declare your foreign income in Greece, and you are exempt from donation or inheritance taxes on your foreign property. Without this privilege, you could face a progressive tax rate of up to 45% on your income.
If you are a retiree planning to relocate to Greece, you can benefit from a flat tax rate of 7% on your pension and other income from abroad.
In Greece, family wealth management firms can be exempt from taxes on their operating expenses and staff costs, as long as they meet two criteria: annual expenditure of at least €1 million and a staff of at least 5 members.
In Portugal, expatriates can take advantage of the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) program. To qualify, you must have a place to live in the country, either through ownership or a rental contract of at least 12 months. Additionally, you must not have been a tax resident in Portugal in the past 5 years.
Through the NHR program, you are exempt from taxes on income earned abroad for a period of 10 years. If you earn money in Portugal, the tax rate for such income will be 20%, rather than the usual 48%. Wealth tax, inheritance tax, and gift tax to relatives are also waived.
The Golden Visa programs of Greece and Portugal share many similarities. In Greece, the entry threshold is currently lower but is set to increase in mid-2023. Meanwhile, the Portuguese program will soon be discontinued, although it is still valid for now. Seize the opportunity to become a resident of these stunning countries, along with your family members! In the future, you’ll even have the chance to upgrade to citizenship.
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