The Greek Residency by Investment (RBI) program, commonly known as the Greek Golden Visa, has been a popular choice among investors seeking residency in the European Union. However, there is much confusion surrounding the program, particularly when it comes to its marketing as a Permanent Residency (PR) opportunity. In this article, we will address some common questions and concerns, comparing the Greek program to those in other European countries, such as Latvia, Portugal, and Malta.
The Misleading Marketing of the Greek Golden Visa:
The Greek Golden Visa program is often marketed as a PR opportunity by many agents and lawyers, which creates confusion for potential investors. In reality, the Greek PR is renewable every five years, provided that the real estate investment is maintained. This means that even after, for example, 10-20 years of holding Greek Residency by Investment “PR”, investors must still maintain their investment, or they risk losing their residency rights. This differs significantly from the PR programs in other countries, where the investment is not required to be maintained indefinitely.
The Greek PR Renewal Process:
The Greek PR can be renewed after five years for another five-year term, but it is conditional on maintaining the real estate investment. This continuous renewal process underscores the temporary nature of the Greek PR, as opposed to a truly permanent residency status. In contrast, other countries like Latvia, Portugal, and Malta require Temporary Residency Permits (TRPs) for the first five years before granting PR, in accordance with EU law.
Comparing Greek PR with Other European Programs:
When examining the Greek PR program and comparing it with other European countries, the inconsistencies become apparent. For instance, Latvia offers a five-year TRP for a company investment of €50,000. However, once the PR stage is reached in Latvia, maintaining the investment is no longer required.
Similarly, Portugal and Malta also require TRPs for the initial five years before granting PR. These countries adhere to the EU law that mandates temporary residency before PR status is granted, making the marketing of the Greek RBI as a “permanent residency” misleading and confusing for investors.
In light of these findings, it is essential for investors to be well-informed about the Greek Golden Visa program and its true nature. The marketing of the Greek RBI as a “permanent residency” is misleading, and potential investors should be aware of the temporary nature of the residency status and the requirement to maintain their investment indefinitely. By comparing the Greek program to other European countries’ residency programs, investors can make better-informed decisions about where to invest and secure residency within the European Union.
Madara Andersone – Legal Assistant at EC Holdings Latvia