If you are looking to gain EU citizenship by investing fast and easily, you won’t find better ways than the programs presented by Greece and Portugal.
Both will pave a way for you and your family to the European Union passport and have rather similar investment options and waiting periods. However, it is all in the details when choosing which one you should pick.
In this article, we will compare Greece and Portugal’s golden visa programs and go over their requirements and conditions to help you choose one that fits you best.
Benefits of Golden Visa: Greece vs. Portugal
The benefits of Portugal’s golden visa program have almost 100% parity with Greece’s golden visa benefits. With both of them, you get:
- Freedom of movement across the Schengen zone.
- Ability to reside in the country indefinitely.
- Tax exemptions.
- Opportunity to become a citizen in several years
However, there are some major differences between the programs in terms of benefits. First of all, let’s take a look at tax legislation. Under the Greece golden visa program conditions, if an investor becomes a Greek tax resident, he or she pays a fixed global income tax of €100,000 per year instead of the usual 45% and up.
Portugal golden visa participants can file for non-habitual resident status and don’t pay global income taxes at all, while local income tax is reduced to 20%. The status is given for 10 years, so while Portugal’s tax exemption sounds better, Greece may prove more profitable in the long run.
Secondly, the time needed to get citizenship. Under both Greece and Portugal’s golden visas, an investor can apply for permanent residency after five years. But in the case of the Portugal program, they can apply for citizenship as well. Investors in Greece will need to wait another two years before they can apply for citizenship.
Comparison of Program Conditions
Here are the key differences between golden visas in Greece vs. Portugal:
- Waiting period
The application time in Greece usually takes from 1 to 2 months. In Portugal, the waiting time will be 3-6 months. Surely, each separate case may have a different processing time, especially when additional documentation is required.
- Residence requirements
Under the conditions of the golden visa program in Portugal, an investor must spend at least a week in the country to be able to apply for citizenship in five years. Greece doesn’t impose any residency requirements.
- Relatives you can include in the application
In Portugal, investors can get a residence permit and then citizenship for their spouse and children under 18. In Greece, the age of eligible children is under 21, and parents of both an investor and their spouse can be included.
As Svetlana Gorchakova, an expert from Immigrant Invest, told us when we consulted with her, Greece is a good choice for those who want to save money, while Portugal is for those who want flexible investment options. Here are all the available options and minimal requirements in both countries:
- Investment in property of at least €280,000.
- Investment fund purchase for €500,000.
- €250,000 contribution to arts and culture.
- €500,000 R&D investment.
- €1,500,000 capital transfer.
- Investing €500,000 in business.
- Starting a business that creates at least 10 workplaces.
- Investment in property of at least €250,000.
- 10-year rent of a hotel spending on it €250,000 overall.
- Purchase of a plot of land for €250,000.
- Leasing residual property for 10 years with a €250,000 total worth.
- Inheriting or being gifted real estate worth at least €250,000.
- Opening a bank account in a Greek bank and depositing at least €400,000 in it.