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Greece’s Offer to Non-EU Citizens: Trade “Residence Permit” for “Real Estate Investment”

In an effort to attract investors the Greek government is examining to  grand residence permit to citizens of third countries (non-EU countries). According to Greek media, the government considers to grant a five-year residence permit with right to extension to those who have received an entry visa and who own a main or secondary residence in Greece. Providing the property value exceeds 300,000 euro.

Another option under consideration is to give a residence a permit to foreign investors who aim to invest over 1 million euros in the real estate sector in Greece.

The duration of residence permit will not be added to the years needed to receive a citizenship (citizenship law is currently under revision), while it will not grand a work permit as well.

The practice of giving residence permits is already in operation in other countries under EU/IMF bailout mechanism, like Portugal and Ireland. Also Spain joined the residence-giving club, however prime minister Rajoy put the property value limit much lower: to 150,000 euro.

According to ekathimerini Development Ministry sources suggest, however, that these ideas have not matured yet and may not be included in the current bill on strategic investments.

State broadcaster NET TV reported that these plans will be matured by early spring of 2013.

PS early spring? short before the bank recapitalization and a possible lifting of eviction ban? with thousands of homes ready for auction? with certain funds from certain countries counting their money in order to buy mortgage contracts from the banks? coincidence? just asking…

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  1. As if 1 property bubble wasn’t enough, they are now planning on laying the foundations of a second one. But of course, non-EU residents don’t have the protection of EU laws, ECB bailouts of their banks or IMF/TROIKA bullies. They are still in quick-fix mode and obviously have not learned a thing. Guess who will pay when this goes wrong?

    • there is not property bubble here.

      • True. It has popped, with all the headaches that come with it. People here are selling houses often 40 or 50K less than what they bought them for. No takers.


        Just one of many…

        • what is the cap for Ireland? any idea?

          • What do you mean with “cap”?

          • price cap for residence permit -real estate

          • Ok, you asked, here goes. Full text here:

            In short:

            a) A once off endowment of a minimum of €500,000 to a public project benefiting the arts, sports, health, culture or education.

            b) A minimum €1,000,000 aggregate investment into new or existing Irish businesses for a minimum of three years. Funding by the investor through the intermediary of a venture capital fund will be considered provided that it can be demonstrated that the net effect is at least equivalent to that of a direct investment.

            c) minimum €2,000,000 investment in a special low interest 5 year immigrant investor bond. There will be one interest payment of 5.1% at the end of the 5 year investment period and this is equal to an annual equivalent interest rate of 1% (AER).

            d) A minimum €1,000,000 mixed investment consisting of €500k in property and €500K in immigrant investor bond

          • thanks 🙂
            PS I asked just to help Greek gov copy paste a ready-made scheme lol

          • Well, there you go, all straight forward. they even have examples of applications forms, draft proposals, the wroks on the site. And, they don’t just want to flog surplus property, they are actually looking for investment in business. Ok, the IFSC around the corner is also helpful, but at least it looks good…

  2. Real estate investment. That the goverment will tax at 3% (one of your earlier posts. Or more when the budget still doesn;t add up. % of a capital value that the bankrupt government decides.

    Yeh, sounds like a really good deal.

    • 3% is just the municipality tax for property, then there is FAP (regular taxes/annually) and emergency property taxes. The statew ill also have profit through the selling/buying process (additional tax, of course). and if investor wants to write the property to somebody else , there are additional tax, of course, and tax for inheritance. there are some minor exceptions for owners’ children.

  3. Don’t know off hand, but will find out. I do know that at some stage you could actually buy an Irish passport directly of the Irish government for the nice round sum of 1 million punts in those days… And then they got smart and opened the International Financial Services Centre in Dublin and got a lot more than just 1 million here and there. AntonisX mentions it in another comment, the Double Dutch Irish Whiskey and Cream Sandwich or something like that. Basically a very complicated financial 3-card trick that allows big companies to save billions in taxes they should pay elswhere. Which is why there are now lots of extremely big Corporations in Dublin, and why president Obama at some stage called Ireland an off-shore haven.

  4. I wonder what Golden Dawn will say if a bunch of African Kings move in? Will they be just as willing to sweep them away if they move into the neighborhood?

  5. I am an American, and I have been planning to retire to Greece for years. In fact, I just got back to the US a few weeks ago. I almost purchased a home while there, but something just didn’t feel right — too many legal questions that neither my agent nor attorney could or would answer. With the almost daily changes or proposed changes happening in Greece for the past two months alone, it is becoming a true conundrum. I was coming to Greece because I wanted to; it was not a decision I made lightly or on the spur of a moment. Now, with this proposal and the EU tax incentive proposal, I worry that I would be resented by my Greek neighbors, and that they would feel I “bought” my way into their country and rightly so. Also, these laws are all very contradictory if you analyze them; it doesn’t take a genius to at least consider that if the Greek government can change the laws this easily, they can also pass new laws expelling any “foreigner,” regardless if they hold a residency permit, own property and pay taxes, are an EU citizen, or any number of things.