Spain and Greece has made important changes in easing the golden visa regulations to boost investments in the real estate market from foreign investors. The Coronavirus has made a significant impact in Europe, many countries with the economy shrinking and GDP growth projected to grow less than expected for 2020
Both countries are looking to restart the economy attracting foreign investments through golden visa schemes.
Here is a brief overview of updates with golden visa programs in Greece and Spain
Greece is reopening the golden visa scheme which has been suspended currently due to coronavirus outbreak, with more relaxed rules to stop the slowdown of real estate market in Greece. The reopening of golden visa scheme with new set of rules proposed, likely coming to effect in May.
Among the most important changes include
- Foreign investors will be allowed to apply through power of attorney authorization (proxy) without any personal visit.
- The Government will lift restrictions in the property market making it easier for applicants.
- Long term investors will be given tax incentives.
Greece was previously considering some changes in the Golden Visa scheme, such as upgrading the total value of the property for applying in the program to 300.000 euros in the big towns such as Athens and reducing the 250.000 euros for other parts of Greece. These changes have not been implemented yet.
Greece at the moment requires 250.000 euros invested in property market to get a five year golden visa.
Applicants can buy property through legal entities but must own 100% of shares to qualify for golden visa.
A ten year permanent residence permit for strategic investments is possible under Greek golden visa scheme.
Spain has been an epicenter for Covid-19 in Europe, . Spain has the fastest golden visa programs in the world with processing times less than 10 days. With more relaxing the rules, Spain expects to revive the declining property sector hit by Covid-19 pandemic
These are the important changes made for 2020
- Applications decision taken within 10 days. The Act facilitates a swiftness of processing, generally establishing a resolve within 10 days for all visa applications relevant to golden visa law.
- The renewal of residency may take place even if absences exist for longer than six months per year for foreign investors and
- Share of investment in excess of the required €500,000 amount may be subjected to charges or encumbrances.
- Prove financial capacity atleast 2130€ monthly for yourself and 532€ for every family member coverage
- Investors with incomplete or pending real estate can receive visa for 6 months.
The following investments qualify for Spanish golden visa
- Real estate (€500,000).
- Public debt (€2 million). Shares (€1 million).
- Investment funds, investment funds of close end type or venture capital funds set up in Spain (€1 million). –
- Bank account deposits (€1 million).
- Job creation (no investment require)
Under the Law 14/2013, there are two types of visa categories which can be applied depending on where the investor is applying
- Investor visa – Applied at spanish consulate outside spain (valid for 1 year)
- Residence permit – Applied at immigration office in Spain (valid for 1 year)
- Residence extensions are issued for period of 5 years
Both Greece and Spain have the friendliest golden visa programs in Europe. The only difference is Greece is half the price cheaper than Spain but many HNW property buyers are interested in Spain.
UK nationals will be able to apply for golden visa programs in Europe from 2021, once the brexit transition periods changing their status as non-EU nationals who are eligible to apply for golden visas.
We leave to clients to decide on which golden visa program they like.