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Golden visa: The top 5 countries that invest in Greece

Featured Golden visa: The top 5 countries that invest in Greece

There has been an investment "boom" in recent years in Greece as it is by far the first preferred destination for purchasing property through the "golden visa" scheme.

The increased buying and selling of real estate brings hot money to the state coffers, while there is also intense movement in the country's notary offices.

Non-EU third country investors have until the end of July to make deals to acquire properties at the reduced price of €250,000, thereby securing the coveted residence permit and the property of their choice in terms of location, before the minimum cost increased to 500,000 euros.

The change to the "golden visa"

From August 1 onwards, and as long as no further extension is granted, those who wish to obtain a residence permit and at the same time want to acquire a property in the center, in the southern and northern suburbs, in Thessaloniki, Mykonos and Santorini will have to invest at least 500,000 euros. Those who have signed pre-agreements by July 31 will have until the end of 2023 to proceed with the signing of the final purchase and sale contracts and to apply for the issuance of the residence permit for themselves and their family members.

According to the data from the Ministry of Migration Policy, in January-April 2023, Chinese, Turkish, Lebanese, Israeli and British nationals rushed to secure a "golden visa" in view of the doubling of the minimum investment required to obtain it. In the same period of time, Chinese, Turkish, Iranian, Russian and Iraqi citizens renewed their "golden visa".

The Chinese dominate the sspecific scheme

Since the entry into force of the "golden visa" program and until today, the Chinese constitute the most numerous category of buyers.

Based on the relevant data in the 4th month of January – April 2023, the requests for license issuance are as follows: Chinese 1,744 licenses, Turks 154, Lebanese 116, Iranian 109, Egyptians 65 while other nationalities 430.

In total, the requests for issuance are 2,618 residence permits and for renewal 446 permits.

Investors from China were granted 57 permits, from Turkey 12, from Lebanon 10, from Iran 5, from Egypt 4 and from other nationalities 39 a total of 127 in the first quarter of this year.

A "frenzy" of buying and selling prevails in the market, shortly after the reference by the Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis to last year's TIF for doubling the investment limit for granting a residence permit.

Market executives estimate that investment interest through the "golden visa" program after the changes from August will shift to other regions, where the €250,000 limit will continue to apply.

One reason Greece is now a key destination for foreign investors interested in obtaining a residence permit is the discontinuation of other popular programs.

About two months ago, two countries Ireland and Portugal will no longer allow φορειγν νατιοναλσ to invest in their countries in exchange for visas.

Spain, following similar moves by other European countries, is considering stricter conditions for granting golden visas to foreign investors.

It is worth noting that golden visas became "fashionable" after the financial crisis of 2008, with countries such as Portugal, Ireland, Greece and Spain offering them as a way to attract investment. Since then, they have brought in billions as millionaires sought easier travel and comfortable retirements – sometimes even citizenship.