The Greek government has announced a big change in the Greek golden visa scheme. The Greek prime minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis noted that the Greek residency by investment scheme would be revamped in the coming months, starting from the minimum investment amount, which will be doubled to $500,000 for the property investment option. Currently, the Greece golden visa minimum investment amount stands at $250,000 for property purchases.
What do we know about the Greece golden visa changes?
Apart from the announced raise of the property investment threshold to $500,000, Greek authorities have not revealed any additional info on the reform of the Greece golden visa scheme. It is also unclear if any geographical restrictions on property purchases will be added to the Greek golden visa program rules such as the ones in the new Portuguese residency by investment programme.
There has been no update regarding when changes are expected to be implemented. However, some media sources in Greece suggest that changes will come into effect at the beginning of 2023.
Why is Greece changing its golden visa program options?
The elevated local property market prices are the answer to the question. The rise of real estate prices is a common phenomenon across Europe. However, the average Greek family income is among the lowest in the European Union. As a result, Greeks find it increasingly difficult to access the local property market whilst banks are reluctant to give loans, especially after the financial crisis that put a strain on the country’s economic growth for many years.
As Greece heads for parliamentary elections in 2023, some analysts suggest that the current Greek government’s decision could help control the property price growth whilst property developers tend to disagree.
Greek golden visa statistics in 2022
According to data published by the Greek Ministry of Immigration & Asylum, there were 9,075 golden visa holders at the end of June 2022, 544 less compared to the 9,619 at the end of January 2022.
The recorded decline is the first since the Greek golden visa scheme started in 2014. In 2021, the Ministry of Immigration & Asylum issued 1,035 golden visas. The number was 10.3% higher than the number of golden visas issued in 2020.
Data from the Ministry showed that some investors, mainly Chinese, Russian and Turkish, decided not to renew their golden visas after the end of the initial 5-year period. Residency experts suggest that this group of investors sold their properties in Greece, taking advantage of the spike in property prices and enjoying large profits.
The number of Brits applying for a golden visa has increased after Brexit. More than 110 golden visas have been issued in 2022, with residency experts expecting the number to rise as Greece offers attractive investment options and a simple path to Greek citizenship.
The Bank of Greece has reported that since the beginning of 2018 and until March 2022, property prices in Athens and the broader area of Attica have increased by 40%. Stats show that the centre of Athens and the southern suburbs are the most expensive areas as foreign investors who take advantage of the golden visa programme prefer to invest there.
In 2021, 25% of the foreign investments in Greek property came from the Greece golden visa programme investors.
If you want a cheap Greek golden visa, now is the time!
Although the Greek prime minister announced that investors who would like to apply for a Greece golden visa using the property investment option would have to pay at least $500,000 in the future, it is still unclear when the change will be implemented.
This means that individuals who would like to benefit from one of the cheapest residency by investment programmes available in the European Union, such as the Greece golden visa, should hurry up and apply sooner rather than later! The property investment option starting from $250,000 is now a limited-time offer. Greek property market statistics show that prices are on the rise, making property investments in the country an attractive option.
Greek golden visa investment options
Property investment is not your only way to get a golden visa in Greece. The programme includes options such as investing in Greek government bonds and corporate bonds as well as capital transfers to local bank accounts. You can see the various golden visa investment options in our infographic below:
How Holborn can help you get a Greek golden visa
The Greek golden visa allows you to travel visa-free travel to all 26 countries in the Schengen zone. Becoming a Greek golden visa holder means that you can apply for Greek citizenship after seven years of residency. The Greek passport ranks in 7th place according to the Guide Passport Ranking Index, thus making it an attractive option for non-EU/EEA citizens who want to improve their quality of life.
Owning a European passport comes with numerous benefits that can’t be ignored. The Greek golden visa programme can lead to European citizenship combined with great investment opportunities.
Applying for a golden visa in Greece is not an easy task. Holborn has a team of experienced and fully qualified residency advisers ready to help you every step of the way. Holborn’s experts will share with you details regarding the application process and connect you with the right professionals saving you time and money. Get in touch with us and apply for your Greek golden visa while it is still cheap!