Tranio: Greece offers the cheapest Golden Visa program with €250,000 only

Α Decrease font Enlarge font
Tranio: Greece offers the cheapest Golden Visa program with €250,000 onlyGolden Visas in Southern Europe offer "carte blanche" to investors

Overseas property broker Tranio with over 80000 listings of property abroad for sale notes in the following recent report that Golden Visas in Southern Europe represent "carte blanche" for investors:

In 2008, the financial crisis took hold in Europe with economic problems affecting local real estate markets: investment volume shrank with property prices falling 20–40 %. Certain Southern European countries launched ‘Golden Visa’ programmes to stimulate capital inflow from abroad: Greece, Spain, Cyprus and Portugal started issuing residence permits to foreign nationals investing in their economies. Malta, implementing such a programme since 1988, made the investment terms more flexible. Investment vehicles for ‘golden visas’ generally include one or more of the following options — property, business, state bonds, bank deposits or funds — apartments and houses remain the most popular capital investment vehicles.

The fruits of the programmes can already be seen: thousands of foreign nationals have used the opportunity to obtain residence by investing billions of euros in participating countries’ real estate markets. Foreign buyer interest has encouraged the prices per square metre to grow.

The most popular Golden Visa programme in Southern Europe is Portugal’s: between its inception and late May 2018, almost 6,300 foreign nationals obtained Portuguese residency, investing €3.8 billion in the country's economy.’

Golden Visa: freedom for a price

Golden Visa programmes enable any foreign national above 18 to become resident in a host country. The procedure is relatively straightforward and short in comparison to other ways of obtaining residency (via marriage, employment or family reunification). The authorities do not require applicants to be fluent in the host’s national language or even know the country's history, and document checks take from a couple of weeks to several months.

All Southern European residence-for-investment programmes include property investment as an option. In Spain, the minimum property price is €500,000; in Portugal, the property must be at least €350,000 (if over 30 years or located in an area of urban renovation). Malta requires an investment in both bonds and real estate: €250,000 has to be invested in securities and a minimum of €50,000 has to be spent on property rent over five years (for property purchase the amount increases to €270,000, putting total investment at €520,000). Cyprus offers residence to investors buying property worth at least €300,000 and depositing €30,000 in a local bank account. Greece offers the cheapest programme: Greek residency can be obtained with a property investment of just €250,000.

Investors get a number of important advantages for participating in such programmes:

  • visa-free access to the Schengen area;
  • the freedom to live where they like – at home or in the host country. Participating countries impose nominal or no stay requirements within their territories;
  • investors spending less than 6 months in the host country do not have to change their tax residency;
  • residence permits are issued to all family members: spouses, children, parents of both the applicant and spouse in certain countries;
  • in practice, the issued residence permits are permanent: they can be extended an unlimited number of times;
  • the purchased property can be leased out; thanks to the popularity of this region among tourists such real estate can yield 5–7 % per annum.

Investors choosing to live in the host country can apply for citizenship after a certain period. Cyprus offers an easier path to citizenship with a Cypriot passport being issued after several months upon buying property of at least €2 million.

Tax abuse points spotlight on the programmes

However, residence-for-investment programmes can become a tax loophole. As stated in a report by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), the absence of tax residency control under the programmes leads to violations in data reporting under the Common Reporting Standard (CRS) which obliges all EU member countries to send data related to non-resident bank accounts to the local tax authorities.

The OECD report highlights two hypothetical violations.

A resident of Country A may buy property in Country B for €500,000, obtain a residence permit and change tax residency without paying tax on the income received outside this country. Then the resident opens a bank account in Country C. All countries of residency need to be specified for tax purposes when opening a bank account, but the resident specifies only Country B. As a result, the bank of Country C will not detect the individual being linked to Country A and not exchange financial data with this country.

An investor may obtain an investment-based residence permit and provide utility bills for the property purchased under the Golden Visa programme when opening a local bank account. The bank assumes that the investor is a tax resident of this country and does not exchange data related to the bank account with an external bank in a country where the investor is actually a tax resident.

According to OECD experts, the programmes that do not impose strict requirements on the investor's physical presence in their countries pose the highest risk of violating the CRS MCAA principles. This applies to all Southern European programmes and investors consider it an advantage. Greece, Spain and Malta do not regulate the investor's stay within their territories at all, Cyprus requires one visit every two years, and in Portugal, as little as one week must be spent during the first year and two weeks during each of the next two years. Another risk factor is the refusal to participate in the CRS, but all the Southern European countries offering Golden Visa programmes are taking part in the exchange.

To prevent such violations in the future, the OECD is insisting on more thorough documentary proof of the investor's physical presence in a certain country and instruction to applicants on the necessity to specify all jurisdictions of tax residency at the time of opening an account with foreign banks. These suggestions currently remain abstract, but there is a possibility that Golden Visa programme requirements will be toughened to comply with the OECD demands. Cyprus has already announced limiting the annual number of investment-based passports to 700 after being accused of granting citizenship to those charged with corruption in their home countries.

 Read more at tranio.com by Yulia Kozhevnikova

Originally published on Hotel Management Questex

RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinations Greek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

 

 

Tornos
  1. 17/01 21:31

    PM: Greece will veto Libya solution by EU if MoUs with Turkey are not revoked

  2. 17/01 19:29

    Record tourist arrivals in Cyprus during December and all of 2019

  3. 17/01 19:23

    Survey: Brexit a good time for Greece to ask for Parthenon Sculptures back

  4. 17/01 19:16

    Renovated Greek National Gallery of Art to reopen in Athens during 2021

  5. 17/01 18:58

    Bank of Greece: Realty prices are on a rise

  6. 17/01 18:53

    Onassis Stegi: Culture start-ups present ideas at innovation meetup in Athens

  7. 17/01 18:46

    Ministers: Environment and climate crisis a top issue for the Greek government

  8. 17/01 18:37

    Greece among top-25 countries to raise children in the world

  9. 17/01 18:05

    Greek and Moroccan FMs share their concerns over the situation in Libya

  10. 17/01 18:01

    Greek Minister in Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development meeting

  11. 17/01 17:54

    Revenues from ”Tsitsipas Souvlaki” to be donated to Australian wildfire victims

  12. 17/01 17:44

    Albanian artist presents his artwork at Cultural Centre of Ioannina in Epirus

  13. 17/01 17:22

    EBRD proposals to slow down ‘overtourism’ on iconic Greek island of Santorini

  14. 17/01 17:03

    Greek artist to present creative origami fashion in Athens and Thessaloniki

  15. 17/01 16:55

    "Eastern Railway Egnatia" project back to the spotlight in Greece

  16. 17/01 16:01

    Greek budget recorded a primary surplus of €5.5 billion during 2018

  17. 17/01 15:36

    Foreign Minister: Libyan Commander Haftar agreed with all Greek points

  18. 17/01 15:21

    New asylum policy is the new Greek Migration Ministry's priority

  19. 17/01 14:43

    European Commission VP: Greece has already succeeded in the field of tourism

  20. 17/01 12:17

    NYPL central Manhattan branch to reopen as Stavros Niarchos Foundation Library

  21. 17/01 12:07

    PM: EU NSRF funding delivers fertile growth opportunity for Greek economy

  22. 17/01 10:51

    EU invests €1 trillion to make its economy more ecology-friendly

  23. 17/01 01:33

    6th Peloponnisos International Documentary Festival in Kalamata (video)

  24. 17/01 01:26

    New Greek Migration Ministry to accelerate international agreements (video)

  25. 17/01 00:47

    Onassis USA and the New Museum’s NEW INC announce ONX Studio in NYC

  26. 17/01 00:36

    Religious Tourism: Feast Day of Agios Antonios celebrated today in Greece

  27. 17/01 00:21

    Climbing Tourism: Female Greek mountaineer conquers 7 top peaks on Earth

  28. 17/01 00:16

    Aegean Airlines announces record passenger traffic during 2019

  29. 16/01 23:56

    9th edition of Gameathlon returns to Tae Kwon Do stadium in Athens

  30. 16/01 23:42

    UNWTO concludes International Tourism Marketing project for Yunnan

  31. 16/01 23:12

    PM meets board of Greek-American and American-Jewish organisations

  32. 16/01 19:37

    "West of Athens" shows travellers at Athens Airport a taste of the capital's history

  33. 16/01 18:16

    Etihad Airways announces return flights from Australia to Greece from $1,150

  34. 16/01 16:57

    US Ambassador for religious freedom to visit Ecumenical Patriarch in Istanbul

  35. 16/01 16:02

    Greek tourism: Average spending per trip increases by €61 during 2019

  36. 16/01 13:29

    Media: Rejected Hard Rock won’t give up contest for Hellenikon casino

  37. 16/01 12:12

    UNWTO joins support of Albania's post-earthquake recovery effort

  38. 16/01 11:17

    ITB Berlin and IPK contrast travel trends in the Americas

  39. 16/01 10:07

    Hellenic Caucus co-chairs meets with United Nations Special Representative for Cyprus

  40. 16/01 00:29

    After Hard Rock's bid, Mohegan advances for Hellenikon Casino license in Athens

  41. 16/01 00:18

    Olive Oil Symposium at the center of the ancient world in Delphi

  42. 16/01 00:08

    Minister: National Archaeological Museum in Athens to get major overhaul

  43. 15/01 23:47

    New record volume of traffic at Greek airports during 2019

  44. 15/01 23:30

    Congressman: Greek Prime Minister hit a home run in United States visit

  45. 15/01 23:09

    Associated Press: Cyprus repays crisis-era IMF loan ahead of schedule

  46. 15/01 22:49

    Greek Culture Minister meets with National Art Museum of China director

  47. 15/01 21:40

    Greek ferry firms competing over popular routes

  48. 15/01 21:13

    Visitors and revenues in museums and archaeological sites grow in Greece

  49. 15/01 21:06

    Insider: Greece among world’s top destination for 2020 (video)

  50. 15/01 20:44

    Religious Tourism: Greek Orthodox Epiphany marked in Sydney (video)

  51. 15/01 20:32

    Greek PM proposes for first time top female judge for President of Republic

  52. 15/01 17:32

    Heads of new migration and asylum ministry sworn in Greece

  53. 15/01 16:46

    Greek group to construct shipping waste treatment plant in United Arab Emirates

  54. 15/01 14:17

    Greek state budget recorded a primary surplus of €4.96 billion in 2019

  55. 15/01 14:05

    Greek Premier receives Tourism Ministry leadership at Maximos Mansion

  56. 15/01 11:36

    Greece's golden visa program attracts investments of €2 billion

  57. 14/01 20:09

    Cretan artists' show with Nederlands Blazers Ensemble in Amsterdam (videos)

  58. 14/01 20:04

    UNWTO at FITUR 2020: Focus on sustainability, innovation and accessibility

  59. 14/01 19:36

    American Hellenic Institute announces six new members of Board of Directors

  60. 14/01 19:29

    State Department denies mediation initiative on Greek-Turkish relations

  61. 14/01 19:09

    Greek farmers switch from tobacco to stevia cultivation for sweet tooths

  62. 14/01 18:53

    Minister: Greek government has a comprehensive plan for refugees

  63. 14/01 18:47

    First cookies baked in space return to Earth

  64. 14/01 17:24

    5th edition of Hellas Film Box Berlin 2020 returns from January 15-19

  65. 14/01 17:01

    Greek PM begins ministries meetings' round with Tourism Ministry

  66. 14/01 16:52

    AP: Tom Hanks’ family offered Greek passport too for assistance in fire

  67. 14/01 16:46

    11 new McDonald's restaurants opened in Greece

  68. 14/01 16:29

    New amendment to assist non-EU entrepreneurs come to Greece tabled in parliament

  69. 14/01 16:24

    Greece reviews plans to slow down overtourism on iconic island of Santorini

  70. 14/01 15:15

    Greek tourism 2019: South Aegean islands the top destination among all regions

  71. 14/01 14:34

    Ecumenical Patriarch offers condolences to President of Ukraine for downed jet

  72. 14/01 14:18

    'Nikola Tesla: Τhe man ahead of his time' show in Athens extended to March 18

  73. 14/01 12:43

    President Pavlopoulos declares 'absolute alignment between Greece and Cyprus'

  74. 14/01 02:01

    Construction enterprises eye waste management in Greece

  75. 14/01 01:52

    Precursory works for Hellinikon project in Athens before the gates

  76. 14/01 01:35

    President Anastasiades: Momentum in Cyprus real estate market to continue

  77. 14/01 01:32

    Education Ministry: Holy Hierarchs day no longer a school holiday in Greece

  78. 14/01 01:23

    Film Tourism: Greek connections at this year’s Oscar nominations

  79. 14/01 00:03

    Greek PM attends the American-Hellenic Chamber of Commerce (video)

  80. 13/01 23:50

    City of Heraklion in Greek island of Crete offers free tours to visitors

  81. 13/01 23:40

    Kastellorizo documentary festival invites film-makers to take part

  82. 13/01 22:26

    First decision over casino concession at Helleniko site expected this week

  83. 13/01 21:22

    Greece’s annual winter sales begin for 2020

  84. 13/01 21:03

    Ambassador Pyatt: US actively interested in stability in the East Med

  85. 13/01 20:01

    Anti-abortion ads removed from Athens metro after Transport Ministry order

  86. 13/01 19:03

    Societe Generale and Citigroup forecast good year for Greek bonds

  87. 13/01 18:56

    Naked man stands outside church in northern Greece to be re-baptised

  88. 13/01 16:47

    Greece and Cyprus ink MoU on political consultations and tech cooperation

  89. 13/01 14:41

    International Monetary Fund supports Greece's primary surplus case

  90. 13/01 13:12

    Study: Greece ranks 5th in VAT rates among European Union countries

  91. 13/01 12:13

    One hundred taxpayers owe VAT of more than €100 million in Cyrpus

  92. 13/01 01:56

    An art museum you can visit from a hospital in Montreal (video)

  93. 12/01 22:58

    Applications for 9th Athens half-Marathon open

  94. 12/01 19:28

    New police raids to empty squats reclaimed by anarchists in Athens

  95. 12/01 14:55

    New electricity interconnection plans in Aegean Sea and the Eastern Med

  96. 12/01 14:52

    Revenue from tourism down by 1.1% in Cyprus between January - October 2019

  97. 12/01 14:48

    Kayak Travel Platform: Athens among top 10 destinations for 2020

  98. 12/01 14:45

    24-month debt installment e-platform to be launched in Greece within Q1 2020

  99. 12/01 14:39

    Conde Nast Traveler readers Choice 2019: Skiathos has the best beaches in the world

  100. 12/01 14:36

    IATA issues statement on downed Ukrainian International Airlines (PS 752)