Logotipo Gentile Law

Spain Golden Visa vs Greece Golden Visa: which is more advantageous?

Spain Golden Visa vs Greece Golden Visa: which is more advantageous? Publicado: 24-06-2024

For those looking to take advantage of the wonderful climate, delicious cuisine, and rich culture of either Spain or Greece, this article is for you. Continue reading for an explanation of Golden Visa more generally, followed by a discussion of some of the key similarities and differences between the programs in Spain and Greece.

What is a Golden Visa? 

A Golden Visa refers to a type of residency permit that is acquired by making a qualifying investment. These residency-by-investment schemes make it possible for individuals who are not citizens of the European Union, European Economic Area or Switzerland to acquire a residency permit that confers several benefits, depending on which country issues it. 

Why obtain a Golden Visa? 

Both the Golden Visa of Spain and Greece offer several benefits that you will receive with this type of residency authorization.

  • Live and study: Golden Visa holders in both Spain and Greece have the ability to live and study in the country for which they have obtained the visa
  • Family inclusion: Both programs allow the applicant to bring their family
  • No tax residency requirement: There`s no obligation to spend a minimum amount of time in the country 
  • Flexibility: This gives visa holders incredible flexibility to spend as much or as little time as they want in the country 
  • Schengen zone travel: Having a Golden Visa allows holders to travel freely in the Schengen zone, making European travel much simpler without the need to apply for any additional documentation 

Spain`s Golden Visa also authorizes the holder to work legally within the country. This can be a huge advantage for those looking to relocate more permanently and who would like to continue working.

Who`s eligible for a Golden Visa? 

The key eligibility requirement for the Golden Visa is a qualifying investment. In addition to the investment, there are some general requirements as well. The types of investments that qualify and the requisite amounts are discussed in more detail below.

To apply for the Golden Visa in either Spain or Greece, the applicant must be 18 years or older and not a citizen of the EU or EEA, or Switzerland.

Additional Requirements: 

  • Private Health Insurance: applicants need to have private health insurance
  • Clean criminal record: a clean criminal record is required for all applicants

Spain-Specific Requirement: 

  • Proof of Sufficient Economic Means: Spain also requires applicants to prove that they have sufficient economic means to support themselves

What investments qualify for a Golden Visa? 

Both Spain and Greece offer several different investment opportunities. However, before discussing further, please note that both countries have recently announced changes to their programs which will impact qualifying investments. 

Spain`s president recently announced that he planned on ending the purchase of property as a qualifying investment. While the president has publicly made this statement, it has not yet been passed by Congress so it is uncertain when the change will go into effect. For the time being, it is still possible to use a real estate purchase as a qualifying investment. 

The current investment options in Spain are: 

  • Real Estate Pufchase *≥ € 500.000
  • Deposit into Spanish Bank Account ≥ €1.000.000
  • Purchase of Spanish stocks or investing in private investment funds ≥ €1.000.000
  • Purchase of Spanish Public Debt ≥ €2.000.000

Greece passed a law in April this year, which changed the minimum investment amount for property. The law will not go into effect until August 31st, 2024 so it is still possible for investor to take advantage of the lower investment threshold. Under the current law, the minimum real estate investment is €250.000 (except for specific areas where it is €500.000), however, this amount will increase from €250.000 to €400.000 at the end of August. For areas where the minimum was €500.000, the new investment amount will be €800.000.

The current investment options in Greece are: 

  • Real estate investment of ≥ €250.000 except in certain areas such as Athens, Mykonos, Santorini, and Thessaloniki where the minimum is €500.000*
  • 10-year lease of a hotel or furnished tourist residence
  • Purchase of Greek government bonds, or of private equity funds which are headquartered in Greece ≥ €400.000

How long is the residency authorization valid for? 

Both countries grant Golden Visa holders the opportunity to establish permanent residency, and eventually citizenship. However, they have different timelines.

In Spain, the first residency authorization permit that the applicant obtains will be valid for 3 years. At the end of these 3 years, the applicant may then renew the permit which will be valid for 5 more years. If the applicant desires, they may apply for permanent residency after 5 years. Citizenship may be applied for after 10 years of residency in Spain, with exceptions allowing for citizenship application after one year, two years, or five years of legal and permanent residence in Spain.

In Greece, the applicant receives permanent residency with their initial application. They may apply for citizenship after 7 years, provided that they have been full-time residents. 

Can the investor`s family members also qualify for the Golden Visa? 

Yes! Both Spain and Greece allow for the primary applicant to include qualifying family members on the application.

For Spain, family members who meet the requirements include: the spouse, minor children, dependent adult children, and dependent parents over 65 years of age. 

Greece allows the visa to be extended to one`s spouse, children, (<21 years old and/or children ages 21-24, if they are students), and dependent parents. 

At Gentile Law we help you to manage your residency

If you want to take advantage of the current Golden Visa opportunities in Spain or Greece before they change, our expert attorneys at Gentile Law can address your concerns and assist you in the process of obtaining the visa swiftly and securely. At Gentile Law, our team of highly qualified bilingual attorneys (English/Spanish) will provide you with the guidance you need to feel confident  in your investment and ensure a smooth process.

Send Comment