Spain vs Greece Golden Visa Program

Spain vs. Greece Golden Visa

Updated: 21 February 2024

The Greek Golden Visa Program began in 2013 and provides non-EU citizens with Greek residence through real estate or other investments. The investment requirement raised to €500,000 in some locations from €250,000. In addition, this program allows for a five-year residence permit, family inclusion, and as well as visa-free travel inside the Schengen area.

On the other hand, the Spanish Golden Visa Program offers a compelling journey for non-EU nationals desiring to live, study, and work in Spain. You may have chances for permanent residency and eventual citizenship. After five years of temporary residence, you can apply for permanent residency. It then leads to citizenship after ten years, subject to certain restrictions.

If you plan to live your life in Europe, you can find useful gateways from both golden visa options in Spain and Greece.

Greece vs. Spain Golden Visa Programs: Benefits

The Golden Visa programs in Greece and Spain provide interesting perks for investors. Neither option needs a minimum stay and allows investors to keep residence without physically being present in the country.

Visa-free travel to Schengen areaYesYes
Right to live, work, and study in the countryYesYes
Family reunificationYes, includes spouse, children, parents, and parents-in-lawYes, includes spouses, children, and parents
Investment optionsReal estate, cultural and artistic donations, venture capital funds, business set-up, job creationReal estate, government bonds, shares, business projects
Investment threshold€250,000 for real estate€500,000 for real estate
Minimum stay requirementNoNo
Citizenship optionNot availableYes, after ten years of residence (or two years for former Spanish colonies)

Greece vs. Spain Golden Visa Investment Options

Investment TypeSpainGreece
Real Estate InvestmentMinimum €500,000€250,000 – €500,000
Business DevelopmentMinimum €1 millionNot available
Capital TransferMinimum €1 millionNot available
Lease AgreementNot availableMinimum €250,000
*Other InvestmentsNot availableMinimum €400,000

Spain Golden Visa Investment

Real estate investment

Invest at least €500,000 into commercial or residential properties that can be rented out. Investments may be combined or mortgaged above the minimum.

Business Development

Aims to strengthen the Spanish economy by generating jobs, having a socioeconomic impact, and contributing to scientific or technical innovation, with a minimum investment of €1 million.

Capital Transfer

Making a minimum of €1 million investment in Spanish Treasury Bonds, Spanish company shares, or bank deposits, all of which are recognized for their financial stability and competitive returns.

Greece Golden Visa Investment

Real Estate Investment in Greece Golden Visa

Investment requirements range from a minimum of €250,000 outside key municipalities to €500,000 inside Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini, with options for investing in multiple properties or a single investment property in high-value locations.

Lease Agreement in Greece Golden Visa

A ten-year lease agreement for hotel accommodations or furnished tourist residences, with a €250,000 minimum rental sum payable in one installment throughout the ten-year duration.

*Other investments include a minimum of €400,000 in Greek government bonds, real estate 

investment company shares or bonds, and Greek-based venture funds/private equity.

Greece vs. Spain Golden Visa Requirements

The required documents differ between the two as they reflect the two countries’ governments’ attitudes while welcoming investors and their families.

Minimum Investment– €500,000 in real estate – €2 million in government bonds – €1 million in shares– Real estate investment starting from €250,000
Age RequirementAt least 18 years of ageAt least 18 years of age
Criminal RecordClean record in the last five yearsClean criminal record
Health InsuranceRequired private healthcareMedical insurance for applicant and family
Residency RequirementNo minimum stay requiredNo need to visit Greece to start the application
Proof of FundsYes, sufficient funds to live without workingNot explicitly mentioned, but financial stability required
Required Documents– Valid passport – Proof of funds – Medical insurance – If applicable, document confirming schooling for children– Application document – Passport photos – Valid passport – Insurance covering hospitalization and medical care
Application Process NotesDocuments translated into Spanish and legalizedApplication can start without visiting Greece; certain fees apply

Greece vs. Spain Golden Visa Application Process

Spain Golden Visa vs Greece Application Fees

Fee TypeGreeceSpain
Application Fee€2,000 per main applicant – €500 per family member€70.40 per applicant
Residence Permit Fee€16 per applicant€10.60 per applicant
Legal FeeAround €5,000 (varies by lawyer)Around €10,000 (varies by lawyer)
Translation FeeAround €100 per document (varies)Around €100 per document (varies)
Tax FeeAbout 3% for real estate (varies)About 10% for real estate (varies)
Other Administrative CostsAround €1,000 for real estate (varies)Around €2,000 for real estate (varies)

Spain Golden Visa vs Greece Validity Period

Validity TimeGreeceSpain
Initial visaOne yearOne year
First renewalTwo yearsTwo years
Second renewalTwo yearsFive years
Long-term residenceAfter five yearsAfter five years
CitizenshipNot availableAfter ten years


Golden Visa Programs, like Spain and Greece, offer investors many benefits alongside the possibility of residency and citizenship. As there are many criteria, you and your family may consider your needs and accordingly plan your investment.

We hope you found helpful information in this article and had a chance to clearly compare Spain vs Greece Golden Visa Programs.

If you wonder, you may also discover the comparison of Spain vs Portugal Golden Visa Programs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the investment options to obtain a golden visa in Spain, Portugal, and Greece?

The investment options for obtaining a golden visa in Spain, Portugal, and Greece depend on the country. Generally, real estate, capital transfer, business development, fund subscription, and donation are among the options.

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

The type of investment, the completeness of the application, and the workload of the authorities are some of the factors. The average time in Spain is around 10 working days. You may need to wait between 3 and 5 months for Greece.

Which EU country gives the fastest visa?

The fastest European Union country that grants a visa through investment is Malta. Also, the country offers citizenship by investment within a year. However, Malta’s program is also the most expensive one. As an investor, you need to invest a minimum of €1.15 million.

Which golden visa programs offer the possibility of citizenship?

The golden visa programs of Portugal, Spain and Malta offer possibilities of citizenship. When it comes to Portugal and Spain, there is a requirement of a minimum of five and ten years of residence, respectively, before applying for citizenship. Malta grants citizenship within a year of investment without any residence requirement.

What rights does Spanish citizenship provide?

When you obtain Spanish citizenship, you can access various rights, such as the right to live, work, and study in Spain and any EU country, the right to vote and participate in national and EU elections, the right to access public healthcare and education, the right to travel visa-free to over 180 countries, and the right to enjoy the Spanish culture and heritage.

What is the difference between the Portuguese Golden Visa and the Spain & Greece Golden Visa?

One of the main differences between the Portugal Golden Visa Program and the Spain Golden Visa & Greece Golden Visa is the investment threshold and the residence requirement.

Does Spain and Greece offer tax residents a special regime?

Spain and Greece offer tax residents a special regime, reducing their tax liability on their foreign income. Spain has the Beckham Law.  It allows foreign residents to pay a flat tax rate of 24% on their worldwide income for the first six years of residence. Greece has the non-dom program and it sets a flat tax of €100,000 for 15 years for foreign residents, regardless of their income source or amount.

How long does it take to get a residence card in Spain and Greece?

In Spain, the residence card is issued within 20 days of approval of the visa application. In Greece, you may need to wait for your residence card for about two months after submitting the biometric data.

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