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Greek passports for foreign investors

*Hippokrates Kargas, Lawyer

A joint ministerial decision published in Government Gazette No. 4155/2019 is broadening the supporting documents, procedures and other matters regarding the granting of entry and residence permits in Greece to third-country nationals for investment in securities or bank deposits, pursuant to Law 4251/2014.

In more detail, a third-country national should meet one of the following criteria in order to obtain a Golden Visa:

  • Capital contribution, at least 400.000 , to a company which has its registered office or establishment in Greece (excluding portfolio investment companies and real estate investment companies) for the acquisition of shares in equity or bond issuance when issuing a bond loan.
  • A capital injection of at least 400.000 € to a Real Estate Investment Company, which aims to invest exclusively in Greece, for the acquisition of shares to increase its share capital.
  • A capital contribution of at least 400.000 to a Venture Capital Company for the acquisition of shares or a Venture Capital Fund for the acquisition of shares, provided that the aforementioned Alternative Investment Organizations aim to or installation in Greece.
  • Purchase of Greek government bonds with an acquisition value of at least 400.000 € and a residual maturity of at least 3 years at the time of purchase through a credit institution located in Greece, which is also their custodian.
  • Time deposit of at least 400.000 € to a domestic credit institution of at least one year duration with a standing renewal order.
  • Purchase of shares, corporate bonds or bonds of the Greek government with a minimum of 800.000, which are admitted to trading or are traded in regulated markets or multilateral trading mechanisms operating in Greece.
  • Purchase of at least 400.000 € worth of equity shares in a mutual fund, which is intended to invest exclusively in Greek government securities, corporate bonds or bonds that are listed for trading or are traded in regulated markets or multilateral trading mechanisms operating in Greece.
  • Purchase of units or shares of at least EUR 400.000 € worth in Alternative Investment Organization, which is incorporated in Greece or in another EU Member State and is intended to invest exclusively in real estate in Greece.

According to the Joint Ministerial Decision of the Ministries of Development and Investment, Citizenship and Foreign Affairs for granting the 5-year residence permit in Greece to anyone making an investment, in addition to the necessary supporting documents, the application must be accompanied by a recent certification, not earlier than two months, by the Ministry of Development and Investment's Foreign Funds Directorate.

In the case of investment by a company, the entry and residence of third-country nationals shall be permitted as follows:

  • in case of an investment of at least 400.000 € carried out by a domestic company, the entry and residence in Greece of a third-country national allowed when that person holding all of his corporate shares.
  • in case of an investment carried out by a foreign company the entry and residence in Greece of a third-country national allowed up to three (3) third-country nationals who are shareholders or executives. The maximum number of permits to enter and reside in Greece, depending on the amount of the investment made by the legal entity and especially investment: a. at least 800.000€ for a license, 1.6 million euro for 2 licenses and 2.4 million euro for 3 licenses.

These new rules will apply along with the existing scheme that requires an investment of 250.000 in local real estate assets.

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