Golden visa Greece vs Portugal

Both Portugal and Greece offer Golden Visas for wealthy expats. The former country is about to cancel it but there is still time to apply. The latter is planning to carry on — but in 2023, the entry threshold is expected to rise. In this overview, we'll provide a comparison of the Gold Visa of Greece and Portugal. So far, both have been extremely popular among individuals who could afford them.

Benefits of Golden Visa Greece vs Portugal

Both countries share a lot in common. Their climate is warm and sunny. Their inhabitants are friendly and welcoming and they lead a relaxed lifestyle. Both states can boast an incredibly rich cultural heritage and delicious cuisine.

By the standards of Western Europe, their economies are not too powerful. Yet by global standards, these are highly developed states with superb infrastructure and very decent standards of living. These are democratic countries that meticulously respect human rights. The crime rate is low. Healthcare services are excellent. If you want your kids to study in an international school, you'll be able to choose from dozens of establishments.

Both the Greek and Portuguese real estate markets are thriving. The prices had been growing steadily until the current large-scale crisis broke out, caused by external reasons. As soon as it ends, the prices will keep increasing. Now, it seems to be an ideal time to invest in properties.

To apply for Golden Visa in either of these states, you should come of age, be law-obedient and have funds to invest.

After you get the Golden Visa, you'll be considered a local resident. That will enable you to visit the country even when its borders are closed to tourists. You won't be forced to relocate there permanently or stay there for a long time. In a few years, you'll get the right to apply for citizenship. Both governments allow dual citizenship, so you won't need to renounce your previous one (unless the laws of your homeland state the reverse). Alternatively, you may prefer to remain a resident and update your permit every few years.

Greece: Key Details

To obtain the Golden Visa of this Mediterranean country, it's enough to visit it in person just once. Your spouse, kids aged younger than 21 and parents can apply together with you with no extra prerequisites. After you become a resident, you'll be allowed to apply for a permanent residency in 5 years and for citizenship in 2 more years (or in 7 years after submitting the initial application).

Portugal: Key Details

After you become a resident, you'll need to renew your permit in one year, then in two years and then, in two more years. Five years after getting the initial approval, you'll get the right to apply for citizenship. Your kids and parents will be allowed to apply with you only if you prove that they depend on you financially.

Attention: in February 2023, the Portuguese authorities announced their intention to put an end to this lucrative program. On the one hand, this endeavor attracted nearly €7 billion to the country. On the other hand, it made the real estate purchase and rental prices prohibitively high for locals — and that's the main reason for shutting it down.

Nevertheless, you might still have time to apply. The law won't be passed overnight. The government will need time to discuss its details.

To Sum It Up




Minimum required expenses



How long to wait until your Golden Visa is issued

1-2 months

3-6 months

How long you need to stay in the country per year to keep your residence permit

No requirements

1-2 weeks

Date of the first residence permit renewal

5 years after it was issued

1 year after it was issued

When you can apply for citizenship

7 years

5 years

Under which condition your kids and parents can apply together with you

No conditions

They need to be financially dependent on you

Necessity to pass an exam to confirm your language proficiency and the fact that you're integrated into the local society

No for residency, yes for citizenship

No for residency, yes for citizenship

Visa-Free Trips

After you get the Golden Visa of either of these countries, you'll be able to travel freely all over the EU. You'll be allowed to stay for up to 90 days per every 180 days in any EU country without a visa.

If you decide to become a citizen of either Greece or Portugal, you'll be able to visit around 160 states without a visa or get a visa stamp upon arrival. This list includes such popular touristic destinations as Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Cuba, Egypt, India, Indonesia, Israel, Maldives, Mexico, Morocco, Singapore, South Africa, South Korea, Thailand, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates and the US.

Supported Types of Investment

In Greece, you can select from the following options:

  • Spend €250,000 on real estate
  • Sign a lease agreement with a tourist establishment for a decade or longer
  • Invest €400,000 or more in a local business
  • Transfer €400,000 or more to your local bank account for a minimum of 12 months

In 2023, the minimum required threshold for purchasing houses and apartments is expected to rise up to half a million EUR in the areas that generate the highest demand among expats.

In Portugal, there are more options to choose from:

  • Spend from €280,000 to half a million EUR on real estate
  • Invest a minimum of €500,000 in scientific research or a local fund that supports business development
  • Invest a minimum of €250,000 in art and culture
  • Invest at least €1 million in a local business or company shares
  • Transfer at least €1.5 million to your local bank account for a minimum of 12 months
  • Start a business to employ at least 10 locals

Previously, the minimum entry thresholds for some investment routes in Portugal used to be lower.

The exact minimum threshold for property investment depends on the condition of the property (whether it requires renovation or not) and its location (whether it's situated in an area with a dense or scarce population).

There are many old buildings in Portugal — but only selected ones qualify for the "requires renovation" criteria. If you aren't an expert in the renovation, you'd better avoid this type of property because it might eventually require too high expenses.

You'd fail to get a Golden Visa if you buy property in the capital and most coastal areas in Portugal. The territories that are very popular among tourists don't qualify for the program.

In 2023, Portuguese officials said they will renew residence permits only to foreigners who own real estate in the country and either use it for themselves or have been renting it out for a while already. In 2023, it doesn't make sense to apply through alternative investment methods.

By the way, even previously, these alternative methods were not too reliable. The applicants sometimes had to wait for many years to receive their residence permits. It was necessary to hire financial, legal and tax advisors whose services cost a lot. Property investments have always been the fastest and the most straightforward way out — this statement is also relevant for Greece.


In Greece, if you purchase a house or apartment worth €250,000, the total sum of your fees and taxes will be around €16,000. The background check of the property will cost approximately €250 + 24% VAT. The sum of the contract fees related to the purchase can amount to around €1,000.

To get the coveted visa, you need to receive a special stamp on your passport. It costs €2,000 for each applicant. Its renewal will cost you €2,000 per person. The fee that you'll need to pay when applying for local residency will be €300 + 24% VAT for you and each of your dearest and nearest who apply together with you.

In Portugal, the application fee for Golden Visa is €5,324 per person. The renewal fee will cost €2,666. The processing fee is €532 for you and €83 for each of your family members. The total sum of all your expenses can rise up to 8-10% of the property value.


To obtain a Portuguese Golden Visa, an expat should submit the following set of documents:

  • Filled-in form
  • Payment receipt
  • Passport
  • Two passport-style portrait photos
  • Health insurance
  • Proof that they have always been law-obedient
  • Sworn Statement to confirm that they won't withdraw or resell their investment

In Greece, the set of papers should include:

  • Filled-in form
  • Payment receipt
  • Passport
  • Two passport-style portrait photos
  • Health insurance
  • Proof that the applicant has always been law-obedient
  • Proof that the applicant has enough funds to invest

Plus, in both cases, it's necessary to attach the documents that confirm the fact of meeting the investment requirements. For instance, in Portugal, it can be the contract of purchase of a house as well as the proof of the fact that it's located in a territory with a low-density population and requires renovation.


To become a tax resident of either of the states under discussion, you should stay at least 183 days per year in their respective territories. If you live abroad for the most part of the year, you won't have to pay your international taxes in these countries. You'll only be required to pay the taxes for your local belongings (such as the utility bills for the apartment that belongs to you). However, if your homeland hasn't signed a double taxation treaty with either Greece or Portugal, be ready to pay taxes in both territories.

Both Greece and Portugal went to great lengths to make the taxation regimes for expats more lucrative. By offering privileges to Golden Visa owners, they strive to attract wealthy individuals to their economies.

In Greece, you can opt for an annual flat tax of €100,000 if you become a local tax resident. It doesn't matter whether you earn much more abroad and own multiple properties in foreign countries. Your close relatives will be allowed to pay as little as 20% of what you'll pay. You won't even need to declare your foreign income in this country. The local authorities won't make you pay the donation or inheritance tax for your foreign property. Without this privilege, you should be ready to pay a tax of up to 45% of your income on a progressive scale.

Are you a retiree who is planning to relocate to Greece? Then, you'll benefit from a 7% flat tax rate for your pension and all the other sources of income that come from abroad.

Family wealth management firms in Greece can be exempt from paying taxes on their operating expenses and staff costs. It's enough to meet two criteria: have an annual expenditure of at least €1 million and have a staff of at least 5 members.

In Portugal, expats can benefit from the Non-Habitual Resident (NHR) program. To qualify for it, you should have a place to live in this country. It can be either a property that belongs to you or the one that you rent and can show a rental contract of at least 12 months. Plus, it's vital that you shouldn't have been a local tax resident in the preceding 5 years.

Thanks to NHR, you won't need to pay taxes on the income that you get from abroad for 10 years. If you make money in Portugal, the tax rate for such income will be 20% and not 48% as usual. You won't need to pay taxes for being wealthy, inheriting properties or making valuable gifts to your relatives.

Final Thoughts

The terms of the Golden Visa programs in Greece and Portugal have a lot in common. In Greece, the entry threshold is lower but is about to go up in mid-2023. The Portuguese program will be shut down soon but it remains valid so far. Use your chance to become a resident of one of these gorgeous countries together with your family members! Later on, you'll be able to upgrade to citizenship.

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