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Update on Greece’s enhanced Golden visa program

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Greece broadens scope of Golden Visa program for property investments

Greece has unveiled significant enhancements to its golden visa programme, effective as of August 1st. The most notable change is the elevation of the minimum investment threshold to 500,000 euros, reflecting a doubling of the previous requirement of 250,000 euros. This adjustment is targeted at specific regions within the country and aims to attract foreign investors. Both individual and joint investment ventures are now encompassed by these revised criteria.

Increased investment threshold

Under the revamped regulations, the eligibility for a 5-year residency privilege necessitates the allocation of the entire 500,000 euros towards the purchase of a single property. This alteration applies to non-European Union nationals who are part of Greece’s investor visa scheme, providing them with a pathway to secure residency rights.

Delayed implementation

The implementation of this revision was initially slated for May 01, but due to a surge in demand for real estate acquisitions under the programme, it was deferred to August 1st. The scope of these new provisions extends to diverse regions, encompassing sought-after destinations like Mykonos, Santorini, Thessaloniki, as well as the central, northern, and southern sectors of Attica. A number of suburbs around the broader Athens area, including Nea Erythrea, Penteli, Kifissia Melissia, Nea Penteli and more, have seen a simultaneous increase in investor visas.

Expanded family eligibility

The programme also accommodates the families of the principal applicants, allowing their spouses and children under 21 to apply for visas. This is further enhanced by this inclusivity. The economic impact of these changes has been substantial. Data from the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum reveal a remarkable injection of nearly 1 billion euros into the Greek economy within the first five months of the current year. This surge in demand has led to a backlog of over 5,444 investor visa applications awaiting approval.

Surge in real estate investment

As a result, the cumulative value of real estate transactions has increased by threefold, to 975 million euros, up from 361 million euros last year. 3,900 property purchase applications were submitted during the January to May period, compared to 1,444 during the same period last year.

Impact on other programs

Portuguese authorities discontinued their investment-based residency scheme, and Greek authorities delayed the threshold adjustment in part because of the financial upturn. There were 8,351 investor visa applications received between May 2022 and May 2023, of which 35 percent were approved.