Greece set to double its Golden Visa investment amount

Article By Uglobal Staff

By Anayat Durrani

Greece has announced that it is doubling the minimum investment amount for the property investment option of its Golden Visa. The cost is set to double from 250,000 euros to 500,000 euros in order to increase the affordability of real estate for Greek nationals.

Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis announced the change to the country’s Golden Visa scheme on Sept. 10, 2022. While no set date has been announced, experts expect it will likely take effect in early 2023.

“It will be particularly critical how this change will be implemented in the program, given that there are many “open” sales during this time, which are delayed due to bureaucracy,” said Mary Tsiganou of Synergia S.A. Investment Consulting in Greece. “We are unofficially informed that, the Ministry of Development is already studying the individual scenarios for the implementation of the new limit, in order not to disrupt the operation of the program and at same time to ensure a smooth transition for the investors to the new status.”

She added that since Greek law respects foreign investors, the implementation of the new framework will not have a retroactive effect.

“Under this light we feel confident that a transition period of 3 months minimum will be granted therefore that means all residence permit applications submitted until the new framework comes into effect will be approved with the official up to now limit of €250,000,” Tsiganou said.

As a result of this change, Penny Ap. Konitsioti Rizou, Attorney at Law at Penny Konitsioti Legal Services Boutique in Athens, said investors who have already, based on data, started to "turn their backs" on the Golden Visa program, will be even further constrained by the higher amount requirement. She says real estate market players are now focusing their sights on expensive markets, such as the south suburbs, mainly on the Athenian Riviera, but also in select locations in the northern suburbs.

“The ups and downs in the real estate market are estimated to be brought about by the changes to the Golden Visa where investments of €500,000 will now be required and not €250,000 as was the case until now,” Konitsioti said.

The requirements of the Greek Golden Visa

The Golden Visa program was launched in July 2013. Applicants receive a five-year residency visa for investing in real estate. No minimum stay is required and an applicant’s children up to age 21 are included. The visa is for five years and can be renewed after five years with a maintained property investment. Visa holders do not need to reside in Greece. Citizenship is granted after seven years of residency.

Konitsioti says in the first half of 2022, there was a decrease of more than 5% in the granting of 5-year permits to investors who own real estate over €250,000, per data from the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum - General Secretariat of Immigration Policy.

“That is, from the total of 9,614 licenses that were granted from the start of the program until December 31, 2021 and were active, six months later, the total number of active licenses has decreased by 539, now numbering 9,074,” says Konitsioti.

She says in many cases foreigners using the Golden Visa program “bought properties in areas that until a few years ago had affordable housing, such as Pagrati and Kypseli, renovated them and put them on the market at double the prices.”

However, she says going forward, those who would like to take advantage of the program will have to choose from newly constructed and more expensive areas such as the south and north suburbs—Pal. Faliro, N. Smyrni, Alimos, Glyfada, Kifissia, Papagou—where prices for new apartments range from €400,000 and above, and larger, more luxurious homes in Voula-Vouliagmeni start from €500,000.

Who are the applicants to Greece’s Golden Visa?

Greece’s Golden Visa has been popular among other European countries mainly due to Greece’s low selling prices in the real estate market, she says.

“For that reason recently the barrier of 9,000 main investors was surpassed by the Golden Visa program with the number of total granting of residence permits in our country through the purchase of real estate, worth more than 250,000 euros, amounting to 28,767,” says Konitsioti.

She says the figures by the General Secretariat of Immigration Policy are revealing, which show a total of 9,610 citizens of third countries invested capital in real estate in Greece by obtaining a residence permit. Topping the list: Chinese-6,405, Turks-618, followed by Russians-596.

Permits for Lebanese nationals numbered 304, Egyptians-250, Iranians-194, Iraqis-135, Ukrainians-112, Americans-103 and Jordanians-86. An additional 807 Golden Visas were granted to nationals of other countries, she says.

“Important, according to experts, is the contribution of the investors and their families through spending on the consumption of products and services during their stay in our country, if their economic background and lifestyle are taken into account, but also the benefit arising from management and maintenance services of their properties,” says Konitsioti.

Therefore, she says, including the members of the investors' families, a total of 28,767 people have been granted a residence permit through the Golden Visa program. Of those, 19,412 are Chinese, 1,861 are Turkish, 1,693 are Russians, 1,042 are Lebanese, 640 are Iranians, 636 are Egyptians and 537 are Iraqis.

She says an additional 341 residence permits have been granted to U.S. citizens, 270 Syrians and 283 Ukrainians and a total of 1,625 residence permits have been granted to nationals of other countries.

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Uglobal Staff
Uglobal Staff, along with its peer-reviewed magazines and conferences series, focuses on the global investment immigration market, offering the latest trends and analyses. is a media platform built to provide professionals involved with global programs with the most comprehensive and credible sources of information in digital, print and seminar mediums. The platform was created out of the need for marketplace transparency and to more efficiently connect individuals interested in learning about the global programs - either as a potential capital source or as a solution for their immigration needs. The Uglobal publication collaborates with a network of leading experts and an authoritative board of advisors to uphold a high standard in all content delivered and events hosted by the organization.

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