Legal Update: Extension of Golden Visa Program to New Types of Investments
Law 4605/2019 which was published at the Greek Official Gazette on 01/04/2019, amended the Greek Immigration legislation and more particularly article 16 regarding Residence Permits for Investment Activity and introduced new types of investments (other than investment in real estate properties) qualifying for the “Golden Visa Program”.
According to the amended provisions of article 16:
– Within the framework of an investment scheme, there is no limitation on the number of investors, natural persons from non- EU countries, who may participate in the financing and receive a relevant residence permit, provided that each invests at least the minimum required amount, and
– It is heretofore possible to qualify for a residence permit when the investment is made through the participation of a foreign legal entity. In that case, the amended law provides for the possibility for up to 3 persons (shareholders or officers of the legal entity) to apply, depending on the amount of the investment.
Further to the amendments introduced, it also remains possible, in order to ensure the implementation and operation of the investment scheme, for up to 10 non- EU persons to apply for a residence permit in Greece, such number varying depending on the total amount of the investment.
In addition to the foregoing, new provisions are introduced in the aforementioned paragraph 16, operate an extension of the Golden Visa Program to new types of investments, by including also intangible investments to the investment activities pursuant to which a residence permit may be granted to non- EU citizens.
Such investments may be:
- the contribution of capital for the acquisition of shares during the increase of share capital or bonds during the issue of bond loans in certain types of companies, for an amount of at least 400 000 euros,
- the acquisition of Greek Public bonds for an amount of at least 400 000 euros,
- a long term deposit of an amount of at least 400 000 euros,
- the acquisition of shares, corporate bonds and bonds of the Greek Government, which are which are inserted to be listed or are listed in regulated markets in Greece, of an amount of at least 800 000 euros,
- the acquisition of a share in an investment fund established in Greece or abroad, whose object is the investment exclusively in shares, corporate bonds and bonds of the Greek Government, of an amount of at least 400 000 euros.
For the aforementioned investments, the investor may be a natural person or a Greek legal entity wholly owned by the non- EU citizen or a foreign legal entity, in which case a residence permit may be granted to up to 3 persons, shareholders or officers, depending on the amount of the investment.
The non- EU investor meeting all the criteria required by law, must first apply and receive a visa for “investment in securities or bank deposit” and thereafter may apply for a 5- year residence permit for investment in securities or bank deposit, which may be renewed provided that the conditions are still fulfilled.
The aforementioned provisions shall enter into effect 3 months after its publication in the Official Gazette.
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