Will the Greek Golden Visa Program Witness Changes?
Greece’s Migration Policy Ministry has declared its intention to expand the golden visa program following a trend similar to that of many countries looking to attract foreign investment. Since its inception in 2013, the golden visa program has raised more than 1.5 billion Euros in foreign investment leading to the issuance of 5,000 visas to foreign investors. This new source of investment has been a vital help in reviving the real estate market after the recession. The Greek golden visa program has now bloomed to such an extent that it is now receiving an average of 50 applications per day. The proposed expansion, if approved, would expand the pool of investors in the country.
Under the current program, foreign investors must invest a minimum of 250,000 Euros in real estate in exchange for a 5-year residency permit in Greece or any EU country. Investors who retain their property investment may renew their residency permit every five years and apply for citizenship after 7 years of residency.
Under the amendment introduced by the Migration Policy Ministry last week, applicants may choose from a wide range of alternatives and are not limited to real estate alone. The approval of the amendment would allow investors to acquire a 5-year residency permit (and renew after 5 years) by investing at least 400,000 Euros in one of the following options:
- A company based or headquartered in Greece;
- A real estate investment company aimed at investing exclusively in Greece.
- A holding company which owns shares exclusively in companies based or headquartered in Greece;
- Greek government bonds from a local credit institution;
- Time deposit at a Greek credit institution for at least 12 months with a fixed order for renewal; or
• Shares in an alternative investments corporation set up in Greece or in another EU country aimed at investing exclusively in real estate in Greece under certain conditions.
The Parliament is expected to cast its vote in a few months. CitizenMatch will keep you informed about the status of this and any other amendments contemplated by the Greek Parliament. Stay up to day – sign up for updates.