Choosing the Best Golden Visa: Spain, Portugal vs Greece

The Golden Visa Program is greatly favored by non-EU citizen investors who want to settle in Europe and increase their capital while improving their standard of living. Being in effect in several countries, this program is particularly popular in Spain, Portugal, and Greece.

Portugal, on the other hand, decided on terminating the golden visa program. The majority of the parliament is predicted to approve the draft law, whose details are now being made up.

Yet, there’s still time. If you work with a professional, you can complete your task on schedule. Therefore, we have provided essential information for Portugal as well. Click here for additional details about Portugal’s decision about the Golden Visa.

This article is for you if you’re torn between them and want to know which one is best for you. We have investigated the differences, requirements, and benefits of these three golden visa programs here. Keep reading!

What is a golden visa, and how does it work in Spain, Portugal, and Greece?

A golden visa is basically an immigration program that allows qualified investors to obtain a residence permit or citizenship in these countries by making an investment, donating, or buying property.

Depending on the country, investment options may differ. For example, you could invest in company shares/stocks, the country’s public debt, or government bonds rather than purchasing a home. You can set up a company and employ the number of people indicated in the application. You can even obtain a golden visa by supporting the nation’s technological or scientific development.

Following your choice of investment type, you must meet the application requirements. You will need to take a lot of actions in this process, gather the required paperwork, meet with authorities, and conduct financial transactions.

What are the investment options available for obtaining a golden visa in Spain, Portugal, and Greece?

The most preferred investment options for golden visa acquisition are:


  • Minimum €500.000 property purchase that can be more than one property.
  • Minimum €2.000.000 investment to Spanish Public Debt.
  • Minimum €1.000.000 stock purchase from Spanish companies.
  • Minimum €1.000.000 investment to a Spanish investment fund.


  • Buying residential real estate or a commercial worth at least €500,000.
  • Contribute to a qualified investment fund worth at least €500,000.
  • Make a capital transfer of at least €1.5 million.
  • Science or technology research contribution of at least €500,000.
  • Company incorporation and creation of ten jobs worth at least €500,000.
  • A donation of at least €250,000 on an investment in the arts or the restoration of national heritage.


  • Buying residential real estate or a commercial worth at least €500,000.
  • Invest a minimum of €400,000 in Greek government bonds.
  • Make a capital contribution of at least €400,000 in securities or a bank deposit.
  • Make a capital contribution of at least €400,000 in bonds or shares of a venture capital fund, private equity fund, or mutual fund.
  • Invest €800,000 in shares, corporate bonds, or Greek Treasury bonds listed in trading facilities operating in Greece.

What are the requirements for obtaining a golden visa in Spain, Portugal, and Greece?

To begin with, you must be at least 18 years old in all three countries, meet the requirements for the minimum investment, and not sell it. Additionally, the periods of stay vary by country and must be met before you are eligible for citizenship.

Along with your investment, you should also collect detailed documents that clearly show your identity and financial situation. The application form, passport, clean criminal record, health insurance, paperwork demonstrating that you have the financial means to support yourself while you are in the country, and the title deed are some of the documents required in all three countries.

Additionally, you must not have previously had your visa or entry into the Schengen Zone in these countries denied or be on the list of undesirables.

How long does it take to obtain a golden visa in Spain, Portugal, and Greece?

The approval process ranges from 2 to 6 months depending on the total duration of the three countries. Spain has the fastest and the most comfortable process among the three for investors. Here are the details:

In Spain, the first part usually takes 2 months for the investor to choose and buy the investment property, collect the required paperwork, and apply for Spain’s golden visa program. The authorities have 20 days to review the application. This process takes two to three months.

After being issued, you are granted an investor visa that is valid for a year. You will be granted a Golden Visa (Spanish Investor Visa) for three years at the end of the first year. If you continue to keep your investment in Spain, you can renew and extend your residence visa after the third year at intervals of five years.

In Portugal, the approval and issuing of your residence card usually take three to six months. Your residency card is valid for two years after receiving your golden visa. You can renew and extend your residence visa after the second year at intervals of two years.

In Greece, the approval and issuing of a Greece Golden Visa takes between three to five months. You have a five-year validity period. Then, you must renew it every five years.

What are the restrictions on residency and citizenship with a golden visa in Spain, Portugal, and Greece?

In Spain, you are initially granted an investor visa, which is valid for one year. At the end of that year, you are then granted a golden visa, which is valid for three years. Then, every five years, you can extend your visa. You can apply for Spanish citizenship after ten years.

Spain’s golden visa requirements are flexible. You can be kept the visa without having to live there. For your biometrics collecting session and each renewal of your permission, you just need to travel to Spain.

After acquiring your golden visa, your residency card in Portugal is valid for two years. After the second year, you can extend your visa every two years. To apply for Portuguese citizenship, you must keep your investment for five years. In the first year, Portugal has a minimum seven-day requirement. Every two years, there is a minimum requirement of 14 days.

Greece’s citizenship requirements require more dedication than the length of stay. It is possible to get citizenship by naturalization after seven years of residence. You also need to demonstrate a genuine connection to the country, pass Greek language and citizenship tests and have been a registered tax resident throughout those seven years. You can get a Greek passport if you meet these requirements.

What are the tax implications of obtaining a golden visa in Spain, Portugal, and Greece?

You are obliged to pay taxes in all three countries if you stay in the country for more than 183 days in a year. Even non-residents must pay taxes if they buy a property or earn any money within the country, such as through a business or property rental.

For new tax residents, there are specific tax laws in Portugal and Spain that may considerably decrease the amount of required income tax. New tax residents in Portugal are subject to a flat income tax of 20%. Those who are subject to a beneficial tax regime in Spain pay a flat tax of 24%.

But, the most advantageous tax residency option is provided by Portugal’s Golden Visa program. The Non-Habitual Residence (NHR) Portugal Tax Regime provides tax advantages for its holders for up to 10 years. That’s why it is advantageous to foreign investors who intend to live in Portugal.

In Greece, the starting rate for income tax is 22%. The tax rates on rental income from property range from 11% to 33%. Some costs can be deducted from gross revenue. On the sale of real estate, capital gains tax is assessed at 15%.

How much does it cost to obtain a golden visa in Spain, Portugal, and Greece?

You already need to invest the required minimum amount, which is given above. Additional legal payments will roughly be as follows:

For an initial application, legal fees typically cost a single applicant €8,000 and €2,500 for each renewal for Spanish Golden Visa.

Golden visa in Portugal, the legal fees are between €5,000 and €8,000 for a single applicant, and the renewal legal fees are between €1,000 and €2,500. Dependents under the age of 18 may be listed on the application for free.

In Greece, you may prepare to pay between 11 and 12% of the worth of investment property. The application fee is €300 and €500 for the renewal fee for a single applicant. There are also property transfer taxes, notary public fees, healthcare insurance, etc.

What are the benefits of a golden visa in Spain, Portugal, and Greece?

First of all, you will have the right to live, work, and study in these countries. As part of the European Union and a member state of the Schengen Area, golden visa holders can travel the entire EU and the Schengen Area.

Your family can be eligible for a golden visa with you in Spain and Portugal. Additionally, you can easily renew your visa as long as you keep your investment.

Spain and Portugal are in a better position to increase their investment value, especially due to their location in the Mediterranean. The intense tourism activity in the summer and winter encourages market demand by significantly raising the value of your property.

On the other hand, the fact that the government legislation does not impose a minimum term of residence is a major benefit of the golden visa in Spain.

What are the differences between the golden visa programs in Spain, Portugal, and Greece? Which one is better?

The minimum investment requirement is previously different among these three countries, but it is now the same: 500,000 €. There exists a lot of confusion about this pricing because many websites do not update their information.

The length of time it took to become a citizen is the first obvious difference. It takes five years in Portugal, seven years in Greece, and ten years in Spain. It is obvious that this period is long for a more stable investment climate in Spain because the government has already attracted a sufficient amount of qualified capital.

Despite the lengthy citizenship process, Spain’s 2-month application phase is the quickest and most organized. This period can last up to six months in Portugal and Greece.

Legal fees are usually in the same lane. We cannot select any of them profitably because there isn’t much of a difference between them.

It is possible to find properties for sale for many budgets in all three countries, but Spain is in a better position as an investment environment. Particularly recently, the market’s value has expanded significantly, which has drawn more competent investors to the country.

Moreover, the Mediterranean countries Spain and Portugal offer a lifestyle closer to the sea and intertwined with nature at more affordable prices. You can buy a modest flat by the sea for much better deals than in Greece. It will also be easier for you to sell it later.

You may make a lot of income renting them out without ever selling your house because they are more popular during the holiday season. In Mediterranean countries, year-round tourism is available, so tourists are not hard to come by.

After all, when we consider several factors, Spain and Portugal are more advantageous, however as we indicated above, Portugal has decided to end its golden visa program. Spain is the finest choice as a result. Click here for more information about the Golden Visa in Spain.

Contact the lawyers at Tekce Visa to find out which Golden Visa program you qualify for. We can assist you in selecting the best Golden Visa program for you and your family while taking into account your financial situation and the goals you have for your investment.

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