NEW TYPES OF INVESTMENTS QUALIFYING FOR THE GREEK GOLDEN VISA RESIDENCE PERMITS
The Golden Visa Regime in Greece has attracted a significant number of international investors which have used the option of investing in Real Estate in Greece in return for the granting of a Greek residence permit. This provided them with access to other EU countries due to Schengen. In order to attract more investors taking advantage of the said regime, the Greek Government introduced a new law (Article 42 of the new Law 4605/2019, from 1 April 2019) that gives additional options for investments in Greece which are linked with the right for obtaining of Greek residence permit. The new legislation will enter into fore as from 1st July 2019.
Under the new provision of the law, a non-EU national who has invested in one of the following new investment categories for a duration of 5 years (with an option for renewal), subject to the specific conditions, is allowed to enter and reside in Greece:
a. A capital contribution of minimum of EUR 400,000 to a company which has its registered office or establishment in Greece (exempt Portfolio Investment Companies, and Real Estate Investment Companies), for the purchase of shares or bonds.
b. A capital contribution of minimum of EUR 400,000 to a Real Estate Investment Company (REIC), which aims to invest exclusively in Greece, for the purchase of shares in a share capital increase.
c. A capital contribution of minimum € 400,000 to a Closed-end Investment Company (CIC) or to a Closed-end Mutual Fund (CMF), provided that the above Alternative Investment Institutions (AIF) are aiming to invest only in companies with registered seats or establishment in Greece.
d. Purchase of Greek Government bonds, with a minimum acquisition cost of 400,000€ and a residual maturity of at least three (3) years at the time of purchase, via a Credit Institution established in Greece, which will also be the custodian of these bonds.
e. Term-deposit of a minimum amount of 400.000€ at a Greek Credit Institution, of at least one-year duration, with a standing order for renewal.
f. Acquisition of shares, corporate bonds and / or Greek Government bonds, which are acknowledged for trading or are being traded on regulated markets or multilateral trading mechanisms, that are operating in Greece, with a purchase value of minimum of 800,000€.
g. Purchase of units of at least 400,000€ of a mutual fund incorporated in Greece or another country and aiming to invest entirely in shares, corporate bonds and or Greek Government bonds that are admitted for trading or are traded on regulated markets or multilateral trading mechanisms, operating in Greece and provided that:
i) the fund’s assets amount to minimum of 3,000,000€ and
ii) the mutual fund and its manager are licensed by the authority overseeing the capital market of the country in which it is registered, which for non-EU member states, must be a member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and have a bilateral information exchange agreement with the Hellenic Capital Market Commission.
h. Acquisition of units or shares with a purchase value of at least 400,000€ of an Alternative Investments Fund (AIF) registered in Greece or another country of the European Union and aiming to exclusively invest in immovable property in Greece, provided that:
i) the assets of the AIF amount to a minimum of 3,000,000€ and
ii) the AIF and its manager are licensed by the authority that supervises the capital market of the country in which it is located.
✔ Until now, the applicable legislation provides that if a non-EU legal entity invests in Greece, ten (10) third country citizens are eligible to be granted a Greek residence permit for the implementation and operation of the specific investment plan. The new law states that in addition these individuals, up to three (3) more non-EU citizens with the capacity of a shareholder or executive of the investing legal entity may apply and be granted a residence permit in Greece.
✔ For categories: C, F, G and H, the opening of an exclusive account in a Greek credit institution is required and the disbursement of amounts from this account is subject to restrictions.
✔ For the categories A to F above, with a non- EU shareholder, such person may apply for a residence in Greece, only if he holds the total (100%) of the company’s shares. In case, that the investment is performed by a non-EU legal entity, the entry and residence in Greece of up to non-EU citizens who are shareholders or executives of the said entity is permitted, depending on the amount of the investment.
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