Greece golden visa under European Commission scanner for lack in due diligence

Greece’s golden visa programme is well known across the globe, but recently it has been witnessing a backlash because of weak and nearly no due-diligence process carried out by the Greece administration on investors. It is world known that the due-diligence procedure is important and holds a significant place in economic citizenship or golden visa programmes.

As per internal sources associated with European Commission have highlighted that the Commission has been monitoring the golden visa programme of Greece with more focused manner, and there is a high chance that the programme might face actions from the EC due to its inefficient due-diligence process.

Earlier, the European Union removed Vanuatu for its infirm due-diligence procedure, and now people having Vanuatu passport are restricted to entre Schengen area without a prior visa. As per the European Commission recommendation notice, a weak and fragile due-diligence process might cause danger for the European region. It is noteworthy that during February 2022, Britain had also closed its tier 1 investor visa citing security concerns due to lack of due diligence.

The golden visa for Greece was launched in 2013. The visa is a residence-by-investment given to non-EU nationals who significantly boost the Greek economy. There are several ways to invest, but the most popular way is to buy real estate worth at least a quarter of a million Euros. Golden visas issued by EU Member States like Greece are much sought after they could ultimately result in citizenship and grant admission to the Schengen region.

The Greece golden visa grants the investor and their immediate family members five-year residency and unrestricted travel inside the Schengen Area.

There are different ways to get a Golden visa of Greece:

· Buy a real estate property which is worth at least €500,000.

· Make a capital investment of around €400,000 in a firm which is registered in Greece.

· Make an investment of €400,000 in bonds or even shares of real estate investment enterprises.

· Sign a lease agreement with a hotel/resort or tourist location for at least ten years.

· Make a €400,000 investment in the country’s government bonds.

· Make a minimum investment of €800,000 in corporate or government bonds.

· Make a €400,000 deposit in the country’s bank.

Despite being among the most well-known and the affordable programme, it is still a chaotic process as the golden visa for Greece is issued for five years initially and needs to be renewed indefinitely as long as the investor maintains the investment. Not only this, if an investor wants to apply for the alternative citizenship of Greece he/she has to reside in the nation for at least seven years.

For becoming a part of this European country, an investor has to follow some steps, which are as follows:

Steps to apply for Greek citizenship:

· Apply for a national visa of Greece at an Embassy/Consulate.

· Enter Greece and complete your investment. It is your preference whether you choose to hire professional legal help via this step.

· Collect the necessary documents which are required for the Greek Golden Visa.

· Submit the needed documents to the local Alien and Immigration Department.

· The investor has to wait for the visa to be processed. You will usually hear back about a decision within three months of applying.

· If the decision is favourable, the investor will travel back to Greece and submit the biometric information.

· You will get a Golden Visa residence permit with a validity of five years.
(There is no due diligence procedures carried out on investors)

Following getting the golden visa from Greece, the investor can move to the country for just five years. After five years, they extend the residence permit card or acquire permanent residence in Greece. Permanent residency is given to those investors who have not spent over ten months outside Greece during the last five years. After another two years, the investor needs to apply for a Greek passport.

The application fee for the same is €700. The investor then needs to pass a Greek language proficiency test and a history exam to get Greece citizenship. They also need to take an oath of allegiance and ensure that they do not threaten Greek citizens’ life or health, have a stable income, and will not apply for unemployment benefits.

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