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. Note that Portugal property route terminated in 2023.

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 America, UK, 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.

Key Differences

Here are some of the important differences between the two golden visa programs..

Golden visaPortugal Greece
LaunchedOct 20122014
Real EstateClosed250,000€ (Real Estate)
Processing times15-24 months6 months
Property taxesNAApproximately 6.4% (16,000€) for transfer tax, legal fees, land registry and notaries. VAT exempted
Permanent residency after 5 yearsImmediate
CitizenshipAfter 5 years (no living required)After 7 years (must live)
Residency conditions7-14 days per yearnone
Residence permit typetemporarypermanent
Residence permit validity1-2 years (extensions)5 years (indefinite)
Investment Funds500,000 €400,000 €
Bank deposit optionNA400,000 € (one year)
Government bondsNA400,000 € (3 years)
GV application fee5,324€2,000€
Taxesif you live for 183 days living for 183 days or more
Inheritance tax0%20%
Wealth tax0.7% for property above 600K euro and 1% for 1M euro property 0%
Gift tax10%10%, 20% and 40% depending on kinship
Citizenship testNoYes
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€
Bitcoin / CryptoTax freeTaxed both as capital gain (15%) and personal income tax (22% to 45%)
Military service for CitizensNot requiredCompulsory

It is also important to take inheritance tax into consideration, because when you die the property inherited by family member will be subjected to tax. Portugal levies no inheritance tax a better program than Greece.