Greece’s Golden Visa Program is one of Europe’s most popular foreign investor schemes. By the end of 2019 — just six years since the launch of the program back in 2013 — a whopping 6,304 applicants and 12,312 eligible family members have been granted Greek resident permits. 2019, in particular, was a record-breaking year: a total of 2,412 investors and 5,580 family members had their applications approved.
However, all that changed in 2020. The COVID-19 pandemic severely restricted the ability of interested investors to travel to Greece and complete the application process. It’s no wonder, then, that last year saw an unprecedented slump in the number of Golden Visa applications. Only 403 residence permits were issued in 2020.
The Road Ahead
Now that vaccination efforts are well underway in most of the world, Greece is looking forward to a brighter future. The country plans to re-enter the race for attracting foreign investors and revitalize its Golden Visa Program.
That shouldn’t be too difficult, as long as the pandemic is brought under control. Greece has two powerful weapons in its arsenal.
On the one hand, Greek passports rank eighth in the world in 2021 with 184 visa-free destinations. To obtain a Greek passport, residence permit holders need to reside in the country for seven consecutive years for a minimum of six months in any given year.
On the other hand, Greece boasts one of the best education systems in Europe and in the world. Not only that, but Greece outperforms virtually all rival southern European destinations, including Cyprus, Italy, Malta, Portugal, Spain, and Turkey. That is a major selling point for third-country nationals with underage children or family members who are yet to complete their education.
The Bottom Line
Together, the high global ranking of Greek passports, the country’s excellent quality of education, and the low minimum investment threshold of just €250,000 make for one of Europe’s most attractive residency-be-investment packages.
With the coronavirus pandemic slowly releasing its grip on the world, Greece’s Golden Visa Program is in for a real boost. At Savva & Associates, we expect things to pick up as early as the second half of 2021.
If you would like to explore your immigration options in Greece, get in touch with our team. We will get your application ready just in time for the end of the pandemic.