EU residency investment

The Golden Visa Program



ad property launder (2)
deal embassy parliament
post (3) sweet (2) in particular
outflow passport enterprise
push block (4) corruption
invest sound (2) investigate
asset check (2) thoroughly
CV applicant exclusive (2)
illegal issue (2) uncover (2)
visa (2) boom (2) demand (2)
income capital (2) restriction
agent scout (2) rise/rose/risen
barrier head (2) pay/paid/paid
habitat bring in roughly (2)
willing pretty (2) responsible
district behavior choose/chose/chosen
regulate consulate hand out (2)
source character capital flight
accuse real estate buy/bought/bought
evasion treasury accompany (2)
insist consider


Video: Investment Visa



“Buy some property, and we’ll give you a passport.”

These ads are posted right outside the Greek parliament in Athens.

And for many investors from China, Russia and Turkey in particular, they offer a pretty sweet deal.

Invest two-hundred-and-fifty thousand euros (€250) in Greek real estate and the entire EU will be open to you. That makes Greece the cheapest country in which to buy an EU passport.

The head of Enterprise Greece which is pushing the program insists it’s not as simple as it sounds.

Grigorios Sterigioulis, Enterprise Greece President: “The embassies and banks investigate the applicant thoroughly. They check their CVs and assets. Some of the checks can take two years.

I’d be surprised if there were a single case in which illegal behavior was uncovered, but the Golden Visa was issued, nonetheless.”

The Golden Visa business is already booming. And demand only seems to be rising.

Nikos Sepenzis is a real estate agent. Today he is out scouting with his Chinese business partner.

He doesn’t consider Chinese restrictions on capital outflow a barrier to buying property in Greece.

Nikos Sepenzis, City Habitat: “We don’t have these restrictions now in Greece. That is why it is easy for someone to come to Greece to find a good agent, either in China or Greece.”

Neither the Chinese consulate nor the Greek financial regulator responsible for investigating money laundering were willing to answer our questions.

Many Chinese investors choose to buy property here in Kolanaki, an exclusive district in the capital, Athens.

Their apartments are often left empty.

Greece has handed out almost ten-thousand (10,000) passports to foreigner investors over the last five years. Those purchases have brought in roughly a billion euros into the treasury.

Jens Bastian, Economist: “Yes, Greece is once again bringing in investment, including from Russians, Chinese and Turks as part of the Golden Visa program.

But the source of all this money and the character of those who are buying into real estate here from places like China need to be checked out.

They haven’t been asking enough questions.”

In the past, accusations of corruption, money laundering and capital flight and tax evasion have accompanied the sale of EU passports. But the business continues to be a source of income for many countries in the block.


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1. What is the basic offer or deal in this report?

2. Is this program known only through networking and word-of-mouth?

3. The prices are the same throughout the European Union. True or false?

4. The process is very straightforward: pay cash and receive your passport (residency). Is this right or wrong?

5. Is this program very popular? Is its popularity increasing, decreasing or remaining the same? Who are the biggest clients?

6. “Neither the Chinese consulate nor the Greek financial regulator responsible for investigating money laundering were willing to answer our questions.” What might this imply?

7. This is a “win-win” situation for all parties involved. Is this correct or incorrect?


A. Many foreigners come and buy property in my city or country. Yes or no? If yes, who are they? Where do they come from?

B. Do people in your country buy property or live abroad?

C. Is this a win-win situation for everyone, or is it a zero-sums game? Does everyone agree with Golden Visa programs?

D. There is a lot of controversy, arguments and protests regarding this scheme. Yes or no?

E. What might happen in the future?

F. What should people and governments do?

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