Portugal’s or Greece’s residence by investment is the best way for the whole family to settle in Europe. In this article you will find the peculiarities of the Greek and Portuguese programs, which will allow you to choose the perfect option based on your purposes and possibilities.
Advantages of European residence
It is prestigious, beneficial and reasonable to have one of the European countries’ citizenship. To substantiate these words, let’s take a look at the major advantages of having the European citizenship:
- The opportunity to travel without a visa to the Schengen countries. EU citizens do not have to waste time and resources on visa-related processes. Mobility is of particular value for business people working with international partners.
- No requirements regarding permanent residence. The only exception is Portugal where one has to live at least a week within a 365-day period in order to have one’s status in the country extended.
- Fast processing. Spanish temporary residence is issued 2-3 months after the case submission, while in Portugal the process takes 8 months.
- A European country as a backup plan. High standards of living, progressive healthcare system and quality education.
- Residence for the whole family. A spouse and children can receive residence together with the main applicant. In some jurisdictions it is allowed to include parents in the application.
The conditions of status obtaining differ from country to country. Moreover, each country offers its unique set of advantages to encourage investors to make a choice in its favor.
Golden Visa Greece: How to purchase real estate for at least €250,000 and receive residence of the EU
The opportunity of getting Greek residence by investment appeared not so long ago, as the program was introduced in 2014.
ACCORDING TO THE OFFICIAL DATA, STARTING FROM THE PROGRAM LAUNCH TO OCTOBER 2017, THE GOVERNMENT ISSUED MORE THAN 1,700 ID CARDS. OVER 50% OF APPLICANTS ARE CHINESE INVESTORS AND PEOPLE FROM THE POST-SOVIET AREA.
Golden Visa Greece is a great option for those who want to freely travel to the Schengen countries and facilitate the communication processes with foreign banks. Greece’s residence is a sort of insurance in case one needs to urgently relocate or in case something unpredictable happens in one’s homeland.
One of the simplest and fastest ways of settling in Europe is to invest in Greek real estate. It is possible to buy a house, a commercial building, one or several property items. The main condition is to reach the minimum contribution amount of €250,000.
The investor is also expected to pay the following additional expenses:
- about 10% of the real estate object price, which is the cost of agreement of sale and purchase execution;
- €500 — state duty for the ID card issuance (for each adult participant of the program);
- €300 is the cost of medical insurance (for each applicant).
The residence is issued for a 5-year period, with the applicant receiving the right to have the status renewed for the same period. The number of such renewals is unlimited, however, this applies only to the term the candidate has real estate in possession. After a while, one can change the property by selling one object and purchasing another object for the equivalent amount. It is allowed to rent out the property thus receiving passive income.
The candidate submitting the application must be 18 years of age. The key requirement is to have perfect personal and business reputation. In the meantime, the provision of deliberately false information and a criminal record are compelling reasons for rejection.
Can residents apply for the citizenship of Greece? Yes, but the general procedure is to be followed. After the Golden Visa Greece application approval, one can start the countdown towards the submission of the citizenship application. This goal can be reached without any additional investment. However, first one will have to receive permanent residence (after a 5-year period), and 5 more years later the candidate can apply for citizenship. The issuance of permanent residence is carried only to the foreigners who spend in Greece at least 183 days per year.
Portugal’s residence is a step towards the European passport
Portugal’s Golden Visa program was launched in 2012. Throughout the period of the program existence, it has proved to be a simple and understandable tool of getting residence in Europe. It has also attracted millions of investment funds to the country: 5,412 investors have received ID cards within this 5-year term, with €3,360,000,000 having been contributed to the state budget.
Golden Visa program operating in Portugal opens access to the vast Schengen area and allows one to live in Portugal for the unlimited number of days. In the meantime, the jurisdiction does not force its residents to change the residence. In order to comply with the program requirements and have the status renewed, one should spend 7 days a year in the country.
Where to invest? Portugal’s immigration program provides for 3 options of investment:
- Real estate. The investor must buy property in the territory of the country for at least €500,000. The other variant, which is more affordable and is worth €350,000, is the purchase of objects with at least a 30-year history, for further restoration.
- Government bonds. The candidate can invest funds in the national economy in the amount of equivalent or exceeding €1,000,000.
- Own business. For receiving residence, one can launch a company from the ground up. There are no limitations imposed on the type of business activity, but one is obliged to employ at least 10 Portuguese.
According to Portugal’s SEF (Foreigners and Borders Service), the first option of investment is the most popular among foreigners.
The candidate applying for Portugal’s residence must have perfect credit history and reputation in the business environment and also be ready to comply with the program conditions.
The issued ID card is valid for 1 year, after which one can have it renewed every 2 years. Five years after receiving temporary residence, one can upgrade the status to a permanent one and get Portugal’s citizenship in the 6th year.
Real estate markets in Europe have switched from stagnation to renaissance
Greek real estate market is gradually recovering. According to the data by the Bank of Greece, the cost of one square meter has gone down only by 1%. This is a record figure, as since 2009 the prices have been dropping by 6.5% on average.
The rates of prices decline in the past year were slowing going down each quarter: from January to March the housing got 1.9% cheaper, while the figure or the past quarter corresponds only 0.35%. Prices in Athens for the 4th quarter of the previous year decreased by 0.1% in comparison with the same period of 2016.
Portugal’s real estate market is also showing positive growth rate.
IN 2017, THE BUYING ACTIVITY INDEX IN PORTUGAL GREW BY 50%. THE INVESTMENT FLOW IN 2018 IS EXPECTED TO BE FROM €2,000,000,000 TO 3,000,000,000.
Real estate prices growth in Portugal was caused by the shortage of offers and high demand. The consumer confidence index has gone down from 41% to 36%. The real estate prices have already almost reached the ones recorded before crisis, with the demand in Portugal’s property still remaining high.
Thus, if you are interested in quickly getting the resident status, it would be reasonable to apply for Golden Visa Greece. You will be able to receive the ID card within 2-3 months. By the way, the residence of Greece is of lower cost than Portugal’s Golden Visa. However, while in Greece you have to own property to maintain the resident status, in Portugal you can sell the asset in a 5-year period and get the investment return.