Portugal and Greece are the most popular golden visa schemes in Europe. These two schemes have helped raise billions of euros in foreign investments, most of these invested in real estate sector.

It is very important to understand the important difference between the two programs. This is also a frequent question asked by many clients who come to us.

Portugal is a very unique program and has some distinct advantages when it comes to citizenship. The first important difference you should know is Portugal will give you citizenship after 5 years without living. (must spend atleast 2 weeks annually).  All other countries including Greece, require you to physically move and live in the country for continuous or uninterrupted periods. This is a very important difference. Greece has civic test and language test for citizenship which is quite difficult takes 7-10 years. So if you looking for long shot at EU citizenship, go with Portugal. If citizenship is not important, you are happy with just permanent residency, go with Greece.

The second important difference you must be aware is Portugal does not offer instant permanent residency. You will only get temporary residence permit valid for one or two years with possible extensions. The EU permanent residence card is issued after 5 years. With Greece, you get permanent residence card valid for 5 years from day one.

Thirdly, to decide which program to pick, think about which country is close to you from where you live. Greece is far away if you are from North America, Canada or Brazil. Portugal is close proximity geographically, this way you dont have to fly far.  Greece is closer to you if you come from middle east or asia.

Golden visaPortugal Greece
LaunchedOct 20122014
Real Estate280,000€250,000€
Processing times3-5 months4-6 months
Property taxesProperty taxes include 6% IMT and 0.8% stamp dutyApproximately 6.4% (16,000€) for transfer tax, legal fees, land registry and notaries. VAT exempted
Permanent residency after 5 yearsimmediate
EU citizenshipafter 5 years (no living required)after 7 years
Residency conditions2 weeks per yearnone
Residence permit typetemporarypermanent
Residence permit validity1-2 years (with extensions)5 years (renewed)
Bank deposit option400,000 € (one year)not available
Government bonds400,000 €1,000,000 €
Govt application fee5,324€2,000€
Global House Prices 2020  (effect of covid from 2019)8.3%6.9%
Taxes if you spend 6 months or more spending 6 months or more
Non Habitual Tax RegimeNHR status issued for 10 years a flat rate of 20% if the income is derived from high value activitiesNon-Dom Regime In The Greek Tax Bill 4646/2019  flat fixed tax 100,000€
CryptocurrenciesTax freeTaxed

Note: Global property prices Q2 2020 shows the affect of Covid-19 on property market published by Knight frank. This shows housing prices in Portugal and Greece have largely resisted Covid.