Demand for a Greek Citizenship has been on the rise in the past couple of years. Somewhat surprisingly, the country also saw a significant upsurge in citizenship applications as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The inadequate government response to the crisis in many parts of the world, and particularly in the United States, caused many members of the diaspora to apply for Greek citizenship. This resulted in a staggering backlog of some 30,000 pending citizenship applications, in a process that can now take up to a few years even with all your papers in good order.
As if that were not enough, Greece will now require citizenship applicants to also take a written exam on Greek language, geography, and history, and a series of interviews as per an Interior Ministry bill submitted for public consultation in September 2020.
The Way Around? Get Yourself A Golden Visa
If you can afford it, the so-called Golden Visa can offer a way around the arduous citizenship procedure. You also get to enjoy almost all the benefits of having a Greek passport.
A Golden Visa gives you Greek residency as well as the right to travel within the Schengen Zone. To become eligible, third-country nationals need to invest a minimum of €250,000 or around $290,000 in real estate, stocks, or bonds.
At €250,000, Greece’s minimum investment requirement is significantly lower than that of most other European residency programmes. In addition to this, real estate prices in most areas of Greece continue to be under-valued, meaning that there is ample opportunity for investors to make profitable investments with high ROIs. Seeing as that the country is only just recovering from its decade-long economic crisis, means that an investor’s 250,000 euros can go a long way. A new, 2-3 bedroom apartment in one of Athens’ best areas can be acquired with the minimum investment amount.
Another important reason why Greece’s programme is preferred by investors is the lack of residency requirements. Investors are required to visit Greece in order to choose their preferred property and provide biometric data for the application, and then have no obligation to visit or reside in Greece. With no residency requirements made, the investors and their families are able to enjoy the full benefits of the residency permit, including visa-free travel throughout the Schengen zone, with no necessity to ever visit or reside in Greece.
In addition to the above, Greece’s Golden Visa process is straightforward and quick. Within just 2-3 months, the investor and his/her family (spouse, minor unmarried children under the age of 21, and the parents of both spouses) will be in possession of the residency permit.
With all the above in mind, it’s no surprise that Greece’s residence by investment programme became Europe’s most subscribed-to.
Major global events such as COVID-19 and Brexit will always have an effect on international migration. It’s best to act quickly now and ahead of the next cataclysmic shift. Consider applying for a Greek Golden Visa to protect yourself, your family, and your assets.
If you want to learn more, contact Savva Cyprus today. We will book you in for a consultation with our immigration experts right away.