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European Golden Visas: Greece vs Portugal

Many countries offer residence-by-investment programmes as a way to attract foreign investment. In return, investors are able to acquire residency, and eventually, citizenship and a second passport, along with the host of benefits that come with it. Among the different European programmes, the Greek golden visa and the Portuguese golden visa programmes are two of the most popular schemes due to the relatively easy thresholds. Both programmes allow applicants to obtain permanent residence in the country and bring their spouse, parents and children with them to work and study there. 


Greece Golden Visa vs Portugal Golden Visa

Both golden visa programmes offer some similar benefits, such as:

  • Residency in Europe
  • Visa-free access to the Schengen area
  • Single application for three generations of a family
  • Eligibility to obtain a EU passport


Greece Golden Visa

Greece’s golden visa programme has the lowest investment threshold for obtaining permanent residency in a European country. Successful applicants are granted a 5-year residency permit, which requires renewal every five years. They will then be eligible to apply for Greek citizenship through naturalization once they have met the investment criteria and resided in Greece for 7 years. 

  • Time to citizenship: 7 years
  • Citizenship test: Yes, a civic test and a language test
  • Residency requirement: None
  • Minimum investment: €250,000 in the local real estate market
  • Right to work: No, unless visa holders create their own business
  • Processing time: Around 2 months

Learn more about the Greece Golden Visa


Portugal Golden Visa

Also known as the Residence Permit for Investment (ARI), the Portuguese golden visa programme allows third country nationals to obtain a temporary residence permit to conduct business operations in the country and provide a path towards Portuguese citizenship by naturalization. Compared to the Greek programme, the Portuguese golden visa offers a shorter route to acquire EU citizenship. The programme is a great option for those who are looking to obtain a second passport but are not ready to relocate or reside for a long period in the country. 

  • Time to citizenship: 5 years
  • Citizenship test: No
  • Residency requirement: 7 to 14 days per year
  • Minimum investment: From €350,000 to €500,000
  • Right to work: Yes
  • Processing time: Around 3 months

Learn more about the Portugal Golden Visa


Portugal’s D7 Visa for Remote Workers & Retirees

Another alternative from Portugal is its D7 visa programme. The D7 visa provides non-EU nationals who are ready to reside in Portugal an affordable way to obtain Portuguese residency. They just have to bring proof that they have sufficient funds to sustain themselves during their stay. Also known as the passive income visa, Portugal’s D7 visa programme has been a popular choice among retirees receiving recurring pension income and other types of passive income, such as dividends from shares and interest on savings from their home countries. Although it’s become synonymous as a retirement visa due to  the ease of getting it as a pensioner, salaried remote workers, other demographics such as digital nomads and landlords who can prove a recurring offshore income also fall into the targeted group. 


Key Benefits

  • No investment requirement
  • Access to Portugal’s public healthcare and education system
  • Visa-free travel to the Schengen area
  • Non-habitual tax regime granting exemptions on certain types of non-Portuguese income for up to ten years
  • Newborn children of D7 residency holders who have held the visa for 12 months can Portuguese citizenship by birth
  • Qualification for Portuguese PR or citizenship after 5 years of residency

Learn more about the eligibility of Portugal D7 Visa


Need Help With Obtaining EU Citizenship?

Simard & Associates has a team of immigration specialists that share extensive experience in assisting those who wish to immigrate to their dream destinations. Our team will ensure your application process is as straightforward and hassle-free as possible. Get in touch with us for more information on the Portugal and Greece golden visa programmes or Portugal’s D7 visa scheme.