The New Provisions for the Greek Golden Visa by Investing in Shares and Bonds
Under the explicit provision of the law No 4605/2019, a third-country national who has invested in one of the following new investment categories, subject to the specific conditions stipulated therein, is allowed to enter and reside in Greece:
a) With the purchase of shares in a share capital increase or bonds issued on a bond loan for companies based or located in Greece, and listed on the Greek stock market, i.e. a capital contribution of at least EUR 400,000 to a company which has its registered office or establishment in Greece, with the exception of Portfolio Investment Companies, and Real Estate Investment Companies subject to (b), for the acquisition of shares or bonds.
b) a capital contribution of at least EUR 400,000 to a Real Estate Investment Company (REIC) (article 21 of Law 2778/1999), which aims to invest exclusively in Greece, for the acquisition of shares in a share capital increase.
c) a capital contribution of at least EUR 400,000 to a Closed-end Investment Company (CIC) or to a Closed-end Mutual Fund (CMF), provided that the above Alternative Investment Institutions (AIF) are intended to exclusively invest in companies headquarters or establishment in Greece. For the investment in CICs, a single bank account shall be created, from which disbursement is allowed, provided that the sum of a. its remaining balance, b. the nominal value of the residual investment in the AIF and c. the balance in the blocked account (created in the event of a partial payment) is at least equal to the amount initially invested on the basis of which the residence permit has been granted.
d) Purchase of Greek Government bonds, with a minimum acquisition cost of 400,000€ and a residual maturity of at least three (3) years at the time of purchase, via a Credit Institution established in Greece, which will also be the custodian of these bonds. The realization and retention of the investment is certified by certificates issued by the credit institution.
e) Term-deposit of a minimum amount of EUR 400.000 at a domestic Credit Institution, of at least one-year duration, with a standing order for renewal.
f) Purchase of shares, corporate bonds and / or Greek Government bonds, which are admitted for trading or are traded on regulated markets or multilateral trading mechanisms, that are operating in Greece, with an acquisition value of at least 800,000€. The investment is effected by a brokerage investment firm referred to in Article 4 of Law 4514/2018, which provides the investment service of Case 4 of Annex I to Section A& of the same law, or credit institution, with head office or branch in Greece, with the creation of a personal stake of the investor in the Hellenic Central Securities Depository SA (DSS). The investor is obliged to keep a unique and exclusive account with a credit institution established in Greece for the transactions in the investment and the subsequent management of his portfolio and not to disburse any amount from the liquidation of the securities, except for the re-investment, so that the average annual balance of the above account does not exceed twenty percent (20%) of the amount of the initial investment. The realization and retention of the investment is certified by certificates issued by the investment firm referred to in article 4 of Law 4514/2018, which provides the investment service of case 4 of Annex I to Section A& of the same law, or the credit institution , with a head office or branch in Greece, holding the operator account, for moving the investor's portfolio, and for the credit institution of the third subparagraph, for moving the account held by the investor.
g) Purchase of units of a minimum value of EUR 400,000 of a mutual fund incorporated in Greece or another country and with scope to invest exclusively in shares, corporate bonds and or Greek Government bonds that are admitted for trading or are traded on regulated markets or multilateral trading mechanisms, operating in Greece and provided that: aa) the fund's assets amount to at least 3,000,000€ and bb) the mutual fund and its manager are licensed by the authority overseeing the capital market of the country in which it is established, which for countries outside the European Union is required to be a member of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) and have a bilateral information exchange agreement with the Hellenic Capital Market Commission. The investment of the fund is effected by a brokerage investment firm referred to in Article 4 of Law 4514/2018, which provides the investment service of case 4 of Annex I to Section A& of the same law, or credit institution, with head office or branch in Greece, with the creation of a share in the Intangible Securities System (DSS) of the "Hellenic Central Securities Depository SA". The fund shall be held in a unique and exclusive use credit institution located in Greece for the operations of its investments and subsequent portfolio management transactions and the collection of dividends. When transferring the amounts to be invested in the above account, the fund manager shall disclose to the credit institution the details of the unit-holders and the units associated therewith. It is forbidden to disburse any amount from the above account and the manager is obliged to invest the funds in the securities mentioned above so that the average annual balance of the account does not exceed twenty percent (20%) of the nominal value of the fund. Disbursement of funds from the above account is solely permitted to make an investment in accordance with the purpose of the fund, to cover management expenses and to distribute dividends to shareholders or to redeem shares.
h) Purchase of units or shares with a minimum purchase value of 400,000€ of an Alternative Investments Fund (AIF) established in Greece or another country of the European Union and intended to exclusively invest in immovable property in Greece, provided that: aa) the assets of the AIF amount to at least 3,000,000€ and bb) the AIF and its manager are licensed by the authority that supervises the capital market of the country in which it is located. It is required that a unique bank account is created, with a credit institution established in Greece, which would be of exclusive use for the transfer of the funds related to the realization of the investments and to the collection of the funds from their exploitation or liquidation.
The application for entrance to Greece and the supporting documents shall be submitted to the competent Greek consular authority of the investor's place of residence within the next year following the investment year. Within one (1) month of receipt, the consulate shall have sent them to the competent authority to certify the realization and holding of the investment, i.e. the Directorate of Foreign Capital of the Ministry of Economy and Development. The above service examines the supporting documents submitted and transmits within a month (1) of their receipt to the consular authority relevant certification in order to obtain the national entry visa for "investment in securities or bank deposit". To third-country nationals who have received a national visa for an investor, provided that they have submitted a recent certification of the competent department for the holding of the investment and the other required supporting documents referred to in Article 136, paragraph 1 of Law 4605/2019, a residence permit is issued by decision of the Minister of Immigration Policy, of five years, renewed for an equal period of time each time, provided that the holding of the investment still applies and the other conditions for granting the license are met. The Migration Policy Directorate of the Ministry of Migration Policy (located in Athens) is responsible for examining the application and issuing a decision to grant or renew the residence permit to third-country nationals who have invested as per the new provisions. The residence permit shall be withdrawn or refused if the conditions for granting it are no longer fulfilled.
A similar residence permit is granted to the family members of the investor, i.e:
1) the spouse or partner,
2) the parents of the applicant and his/her spouse or partner,
3) the children under 21. The holder of such a residence permit is not allowed to work in Greece, but he can be a member (or exclusive shareholder) of a company, on the condition that he/she appoints a Greek or EU citizen as managing director.
The applicant has to pay 2,016 euros as government fees in order to file the application for the issuance of the residence permit. He/she has to also submit a valid health insurance policy, which has to be renewed every year.
By Law Office of Dafni Siopi & Associates, GreeceAUTHOR: Dafni Siopi
Law Firm Website: https://www.siopi-law.gr/
Call +30 (231) 3079293
Law Firm Website: https://www.siopi-law.gr/
Call +30 (231) 3079293
Copyright Law Office of Dafni Siopi & Associates
Disclaimer: While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of this publication, it is not intended to provide legal advice as individual situations will differ and should be discussed with an expert and/or lawyer. For specific technical or legal advice on the information provided and related topics, please contact the author.