Many of them have also opted for the residency programmes/options Greece offers to international investors.
The Greek Golden Visa Programme is the most competitive and affordable programme in Europe, with the lowest investment threshold of €250,000 for real estate investment or €400,000 for fixed term deposit or purchase of Government Bonds.
Key advantages include:
- Lowest entry cost amongst the other alternative EU Programmes.
- Initial procedure to be done remotely by Power of Attorney.
- Only one visit is required for the biometrics of the residence permit.
- Permanent residency is granted in just two months for three generations (main applicant and spouse, children up to 21 years and parents of main applicant and spouse).
- The most recent enhancement means minors can be main applicants for the Golden Visa though the purchase of real estate or the opening of a Time deposit account.
- For the Real Estate Option, the main applicant may purchase several properties in order to make up the investment amount of €250,000.
- Property(ies) can be rented out.
- Fixed term deposit of €400,000 is easier and provides an easy way out and a capital guarantee.
- No minimum residency requirement and periods of absence do not hinder the renewal of the Permanent Residency Card, which is every five years.
- Visa free travel to 27 EU countries.
- Eligibility for Greek Citizenship Application after seven years of residence.
- No work permit, however, applicant can be the CEO of his company.
It is wise to directly employ a local lawyer for the due diligence of property purchase/s and the opening of accounts, avoiding the all-inclusive offers of various promoters or agents. Currently the real estate market is at the correct price entry level.
Financially Independent Persons (FIP) Visa: Those who can show a minimum monthly income of €2,000 are eligible for a two-year Residence Permit - the amount increases if family members are to be included in the application. Advantages are almost the same, as with the Golden Visa, with the exception of a 180 days minimum stay requirement per calendar year in order to renew the Residence Permit at the end of the initial two-year permit period. The renewals are for three years thereafter. This programme is suitable for families who want their children to attend Greek or international schools.
The NON DOM Tax Regime provides the exhaustion of tax liability for any foreign-sourced income by paying an annual flat tax of €100,000, regardless of the amount of income earned abroad and with no obligation to declare any foreign income in Greece. The special regime also provides for an exemption from any inheritance or donation tax for any property abroad. The taxes, that may have been already paid abroad, do not decrease tax liability arising in Greece under the special Non-Dom regime. The special scheme may also be extended to family members of the individual by contributing, for each member annually, an additional flat tax of €20,000 and is valid for a 15 year period in return for a €500,000 investment.
Family Offices: The Greek parliament approved a new law that sets the legal framework to secure transparency and provides incentives for Family Offices to be set up in Greece:
- The Family Office company must employ at least five people in Greece within the first 12 months of its establishment;
- Its operating expenses in Greece must be at least €1,000,000;
- A seven per cent profit margin will be added to the gross income of the company that will only be collected through bank transfers.
Greece’s government is planning to introduce a special visa for digital nomads, which would permit internationals engaged in remote jobs to work from Greece. This kind of visa could be coupled with tax incentives.
All the above procedures can be carried out remotely and only one visit to Greece is necessary for the biometrics.
Vardikos & Vardikos is a fully fledged Athens headquartered law firm, with offices in the Caribbean Islands of Dominica and St Lucia, providing inter alia Ship/Yacht Registration Services and is a Government Approved Service Provider for the respective Citizenship by Investment Programmes of both islands.
Christos is an attorney at law at Vardikos & Vardikos law firm. He is also Consul of the Commonwealth of Dominica and Vice President of the Consular Corps in Greece.