Amendment in Greek Legislation to Reduce Golden Visa Investment Risk
]The Greek parliament has passed law No. 4686/2020 this week that allows investors across the globe to pay in full for the properties from a foreign bank account, a change in the conventional procedure of opening a bank account first in Greece.
Why was opening a bank account in Greece required?
“Before this law, paying from abroad involved a risk from both the buyer and the seller’s side. The investor could be at risk if his money reaches the seller before the property is transferred to the buyer’s name. At the same time, the seller was at risk if he does not receive the money after approving the sale. An annulment clause in the contract stating that sales would be null and void if the buyer’s money does not arrive within a given timeframe could be a possible solution for this; however, this solution was not viable because Greek immigration authorities could only approve the application for properties already bought with full payment, and properties with an annulment clause would be considered as insufficient proof for the approval. That’s why opening a bank account in Greece was previously required for protecting the interests of both parties since the bank issues a cashier’s check to the buyer which they can hand over to the seller during the transaction with the notary as a witness.” explains Varis Sayed, CEO of Fincasa Capital.[/norebro_text][norebro_text]
Reform in law to reduce Golden Visa investment risk
The bill allows the seller to include a clause in the agreement stating that agreement is void in case the money is not received, thereby mitigating the associated risk.
Revision in law for obtaining FIP Visas in Greece
In getting a temporary residence for Financially Independent Persons (FIP), the law seeks the physical presence requirement of the investors.
The previous law for obtaining a FIP Visa stipulated that the applicant deposits EUR 48,000 to a Greek bank account, with no return for two years; the amount would increase by 20% to include a spouse in an application and by 15% per child to include child dependents. FIP Visa holders can get the advantage of Visa-free travel across Schengen countries along with a slew of other benefits.
With no physical presence required, the FIP Visa program was in direct competition with the Golden Visa program, which has a minimum required investment that is 520% higher than that of the FIP Visa. This prompted the government to introduce a physical presence requirement for the FIP Visa holder and mandate investors to be present in Greece for at least six months each year to qualify for a renewal.
Below are a few of the compelling reasons to invest in the Greece Golden Visa program
- Visa-free travel within Europe’s Schengen area.
- No requirement to reside in Greece.
- Residence applicable to the whole family (spouse, children under 21 years old, and parents of the principal applicant and spouse).
- Right to indefinitely reside and settle in Greece.
- Eligibility to apply for citizenship after seven years of residence.
- Ability to hold shares and receive income from the dividends of a company registered in Greece.
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