Introduced in 2013, Greece’s Golden Visa scheme is one of the most successful of its kind in Europe. That's not surprising. By purchasing local real estate for as little as €250,000, third-country nationals can obtain a five-year residence permit that can be renewed at the end of that period. On top of that, they obtain the right to travel freely throughout the European Union and Schengen area.
As of September 2020, the national immigration authorities had approved 23,618 applications of investors and their eligible family members. However, the COVID-19 pandemic took its toll, causing new applications to come to a near halt.
In an effort to breathe new life into the scheme and create more incentives for foreign investors, the Greek Ministry of Development and Investments is currently considering several amendments to the Golden Visa programme.
One of the proposed changes is to set limits to property values and encourage interest in real estate outside Attica. This region, as well as the cities of Athens and Thessaloniki, have been traditionally more popular with investors.
Now, the government will be looking to promote somewhat less trendy areas such as Northern and Western Greece by setting lower prices for Golden Visas for investors who buy properties there. The hope is that the lower financial threshold will revitalize the real estate market in these underrated destinations.
In addition, the government is considering introducing a new requirement for all Golden Visa investors who will now have to provide a certificate of value for the real estate they plan to purchase.
What Does the Future Hold for the Golden Visa Programme?
COVID-19 notwithstanding, Greek real estate market analysts expect a rise in the demand for Golden Visas from British investors over the next few months — and possibly years. Post-Brexit, British nationals will be looking for arrangements that allow them to travel freely between the UK and the EU. What better way than a Greek residence permit — or even a Greek passport — paired with a lovely property in the country?
For further information on Greece’s Golden Visa Residency Program, please contact us at email@example.com