Taking into consideration the needs of the recovering Greek economy and aiming to bring in much-needed revenue, the Greek government is examining expanding the current golden visa scheme to include investments in shares and bonds, first announced in 2017.
Greece’s current investor visa program grants five-year residency rights for third country nationals who purchase, individually or through a legal entity, property in Greece valued at a minimum of 250,000 euros, or who have taken out a minimum 10-year lease in hotel, accommodation, or tourism facilities.
The revised draft bill, to be tabled in parliament by the economy ministry, will pave the way for the purchase among others of shares or bonds through participation in share capital increase or bond issue, as previously reported by Greek daily Naftemporiki.
Once the amendment is ratified, non-EU citizens seeking Greek residence rights – which provide instant access to the Schengen Area – can select one of the following eight alternative options:
- With the purchase of shares in a share capital increase or bonds issued on a bond loan for companies based or located in Greece, and listed on the Greek stock market,
- With a set contribution to a real estate investment company aiming to invest exclusively in Greece, to acquire shares in share capital increase,
- With a set contribution to a private equity fund towards the acquisition of shares, or to a venture fund to acquire shares provided these are invested exclusively in companies with headquarters and or established in Greece,
- With the purchase of Greek government bonds, with a minimum acquisition cost of 400,000 euros and a residual maturity of at least three years from the time of purchase through a credit institution based in Greece,
- With a minimum time deposit of 400,000 euros in a national credit institution for at least one year with a standing order for its renewal,
- With the purchase of shares, corporate bonds and/or of Greek government bonds traded or up for trade on regulated markets, or in multilateral trading facilities operating in Greece, valued at a minimum of 800,000 euros,
- with the purchase of stakes in a mutual fund established in Greece, or elsewhere, which intends to invest exclusively in shares, corporate bonds and/or in Greek government bonds,
- with the purchase of stakes or shares in an alternative investment fund established in Greece, or in another EU country, and aims to invest exclusively in real estate in Greece.
In the meantime, the government included earlier this year revisions to the legal framework covering the golden visa scheme in efforts to ensure transparency following reports of illegal dealings.