Greece is a unique destination and an ideal place to stay. Despite its small size, the country features areas of exceptional natural wealth, ideal for escapes to both picturesque islands and imposing mountains. The country’s stunning topography offers a wide range of entertainment options. Also, the Greek lifestyle, which blends ancient and modern culture, makes Greece an extraordinary destination.
As the birthplace of Western civilization, Greece’s cultural legacy lives on in Modern Greek society. While countless archaeological sites and museums offer visitors a chance to experience Greek history in person, the country’s deep heritage is also felt in the spectacular concert halls, the summer open-air theaters, and the bustling neighborhood art galleries found throughout Athens and other cities. Greece allows both visitors and residents to explore the roots of Western Civilization.
Nowadays, Greece is an attractive place for investment, as it offers entrepreneurs a variety of investment opportunities that stem from the country’s strategic geographical location and unique competitive advantages. Greece is a natural gateway to the markets of Southeast Europe and the Eastern Mediterranean, areas with more than 140 million consumers and a GDP of almost 1 trillion euros.
In addition to its rich history and cultural offerings, Greece’s warm climate with over 300 days of sunshine per year, makes it a year-round destination for outdoor activities such as tennis, sailing, swimming, skiing, golfing, and rock climbing. For those seeking after-hours entertainment, restaurants, clubs, and cultural venues provide a vibrant nightlife scene. Greece’s modern tourist infrastructure also allows for easy weekend getaways to some of the world’s most beautiful locales.
Furthermore, Greece is renowned for its healthy and delicious cuisine. The Mediterranean diet, a global brand that needs no introduction, finds its roots in Greek culture. With fresh seafood, olive oil, cheeses, and other dairy products, as well as tempting pastries and specialty wines, Greece offers a wide variety of traditional products to satisfy every epicure and thrill every cook.
Overall, Greece’s unique blend of natural beauty, cultural heritage, investment opportunities, and healthy lifestyle make it an ideal destination for both tourists and investors alike.
Investing in Securities or Bank Deposits
In recent years, the Greek government has introduced a program called the Golden Visa, which offers non-EU/EEA citizens the opportunity to obtain a residence permit in Greece by investing in the country’s economy. The program has several investment options, including investing in securities or bank deposits. In this article, we will discuss the categories of investment and conditions for investment activity in Greece.
I. Investment in Securities or Bank Deposit by an Individual
Non-EU/EEA citizens who wish to obtain a residence permit under the Golden Visa program by investing in securities or bank deposits must invest in one of the following categories:
a. Capital Contribution to a Company: Non-EU/EEA citizens can obtain a residence permit by investing at least €400,000 in a company headquartered or established in Greece, except for Holding Companies and Real Estate Investment Companies. This investment can be in the form of stock in a capital stock increase or bonds upon the issuance of a bond loan, which are listed for trading in regulated markets or multilateral trading facilities operating in Greece. The investment must be made with the intermediation of an investment company under article 4 of Law 4514/2018, which provides portfolio management investment services, or a credit institution with headquarters or a branch in Greece, by creating a personal account of the investor in the System of Dematerialised Securities (SDS) of Hellenic Central Securities Depository
b. Capital Contribution to a Real Estate Investment Company (REIC): Non-EU/EEA citizens can obtain a residence permit by investing at least €400,000 in a REIC whose object is to invest exclusively in Greece. This investment is for the acquisition of stock in an increase of its capital stock. During the initial stage and until the listing of the REIC in a regulated market, the implementation and holding of the investment is confirmed with certificates issued by the company. If the REIC, under the provisions of the law, has been listed in a regulated market, the investment must be made as defined for category (a).
c. Capital Contribution to a Venture Capital Company (VCC) or Fund (VCF): Non-EU/EEA citizens can obtain a residence permit by investing at least €400,000 in a VCC for the acquisition of stock or capital contribution to a VCF for the acquisition of shares. The AIF must invest exclusively in companies headquartered or established in Greece. In the case of partial payment of the participation, according to the AIF’s operating conditions, the investor must place the remaining amount of their participation in an escrow account at the credit institution that is the custodian of the AIF.
d. Purchase of Greek Treasury bonds, with an acquisition value of at least four hundred thousand (400,000) euros and a residual duration, at the time of purchase, of at least three (3) years, through a credit institution established in Greece, which is also their custodian.
e. Term deposit of at least four hundred thousand (400,000) euros, in a domestic credit institution, for at least one year, with a standing renewal order.
f. Purchase of stock, corporate bonds, or Greek Treasury bonds, which are listed for trading or traded in regulated markets or multilateral trading facilities operating in Greece, of an acquisition value of at least eight hundred thousand (800,000) euros.
This category differs from categories a. and d. because the acquired shares are not required to relate to a capitalstock increase and the corporate bonds are not required to refer to the issuance of a new bond loan. The condition of the residual duration of three (3) years does not apply to Greek Treasury bonds.
The investment must be made with the intermediation of an investment company under article 4 of Law 4514/2018 (OJHR A-14), which provides the portfolio management investment service, or a credit institution with headquarters or a branch in Greece, by creating a personal account of the investor in the System of Dematerialised Securities (SDS) of “Hellenic Central Securities Depository S.A”.
g. Purchase of shares of an acquisition value of at least four hundred thousand (400,000) euros in a mutual fund, which has been established in Greece or another country and whose object is to invest exclusively in stock, corporate bonds or Greek Treasury bonds that are listed for trading or traded in regulated markets or multilateral trading facilities, operating in Greece.
The mutual fund, in this case, must:
1) have assets amounting at least to three million (3,000,000) euros; and
2) the same and its manager must be licensed by the authority supervising the capital market of the country in which it is established, which, for countries outside the European Union, must be a member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and have concluded a bilateral information exchange agreement with the Hellenic Capital Market Commission.
h. Purchase of shares or stock of an acquisition value of at least four hundred thousand (400,000) euros in an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF), which has been established in Greece or another Member State of the European Union and whose object is to invest exclusively in real estate in Greece, provided it is included, upon its request, in the list compiled by the Foreign Funds Directorate of the Ministry of Development and Investment in cooperation with the Hellenic Capital Market Commission.
The AIF, in this case, must:
i) have assets amounting at least to three million (3,000,000) euros
(ii) thesame and its manager must be licensed by the authority supervising the capital market of the country in which it is established, which, for countries outside the European Union, must be a member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and have concluded a bilateral information exchange agreement with the Hellenic Capital Market Commission.
Granting a national entry visa
To obtain a national visa (type D) for investment in securities or a bank deposit, the non-EU/EEA citizenor his/her proxy submits an application to the competent Greek consulate, enclosing the necessary general and special documentation.
Family members have the option of entering the country at the same time with the applicant from whom they derive their residence rights (sponsor) or at a later date, and should also be issued the appropriate entry visa.
The investor may submit the application with the documentation immediately after the completion of the investment in one of the investment categories in securities or a bank deposit and, in any case, no later than one (1) year from the beginning of its implementation.
The consular authority shall forward the application with the attached documentation to the Foreign Funds Directorate of the Ministry of Development and Investment to certify the implementation and holding of the investment. The above department examines the data submitted and, within one (1) month from receipt, issues the relevant certification, which it transmits to the consular authority with a copy to the Migration Policy Directorate of the Secretariat-General for Migration Policy of the Ministry of Migration and Asylum, for the national entry visa to be granted, provided that the other conditions are met.
Process for granting a residence permit for investment in securities or a bank deposit
The supporting documents are submitted in original form and, if issued abroad, must be legally certified and accompanied by an official translation into Greek.
The special supporting documents, as applicable, must be recent and not issued earlier than one month at the time of their submission and three months at the time of issue based on those of the certification of the implementation and holding of the investment. If this time limit has elapsed until the examination of the request, recent supporting documents must be re-submitted to the Department responsible for issuing the certificate.
For the procedure to be expedited, the application may be accompanied by the documentation submitted in digitized form, so that it can be immediately sent by the Consular Authority to the Foreign Funds Directorate of the Ministry of Development and Investment by e-mail () so that it proceeds with their examination pending the receipt of the printed application.
If you are interested in learning more about the Greek Golden Visa program and how it can benefit your investment strategy, be sure to speak with us !
At Amoiridis Law Services® we are dedicated at assisting our well-respected clients successfully complete any of their investment projects in Greece. Thanks to our longstanding experience, we are able to provide a full package of consultancy services to our almost exclusively international clientele, customized to their specific needs.
As a result, we have represented clients from all around the globe regarding their projects in Greece. Our network of associate experts, composed by both in-house and external solicitors, notaries, accountants, tax experts, currency exchange experts, realtors etc., enables us to provide an all-in-one package of consultancy services, guiding you through the ways to properly protect your investments.
For any further information and clarifications please do not hesitate to contact our qualified legal team, ready to provide you with further personalized information tailored to your needs and your profile.
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Athens, March 2023