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Greece mulls its golden visa program overhaul

EU Golden Visas | EU Real Estate | European Real Estate Investment | Greece PR | Greece Program | Greece Residency by Investment | Greek Golden Visa | Visa-Free Travel |

 QICMS

Published   02:15 PM 18 April 2021
Updated    02:19 PM 18 April 2021

Greece's Golden Visa program was until recently considered among the most successful of its type in Europe. Open to non-EU nationals, those that invest EUR 250,000 or more in Greek property are granted a renewable five-year residence permit, which in turn gives them the privilege of being able to travel freely throughout the 27-member European Union.

Interest in Greece's golden visa has not waned even during the pandemic since Greek residency allows investors to enter Europe even when borders are closed.




Incentives
 

Changes to Greece Golden Visa include setting limits to property values and introducing incentives for property purchases outside Attica, aimed at reviving the real estate market nationwide, local media outlet GTP reported.

Subsequently, there will be an effort to promote commercial and touristic well-being of other Greek regions which admittedly have not displayed enough development in terms of financial stability compared to Athens and Thessaloniki.

The predicted focus will be casted upon the regions of Western and Northern Greece. To ensure the productive application of this plan, the price of Greece Golden Visa in these areas will be set at lower prices. The government seeks to attract potential investors and persuade them give a chance to these underrated destinations in the country.

Under the new requirements being examined by the Greek Development and Investments Ministry, in addition to the investment sum, buyers will also have to provide a certificate of value for the property they plan to purchase.

Greek property sector experts anticipate a jump in demand from investors from Britain over the next few months. This is thanks to people interested in obtaining a Greek residence permit or even a Greek passport, so that they can move freely between the UK and the European Union after the completion of Brexit.

Increase
 

Although the pandemic and lack of tourists have put the brakes on Greece's skyrocketing property prices, cheap mortgages, financial support from the EU and the return of tourists will lead to a rapid increase in prices over the next two years.

In this context, there has been a surge in interest in Greece and Cyprus in the last few weeks, estimated at 30% for the former and 50% for the latter.

The Greek Golden Visa program may have a lower threshold, at EUR 250,000 of property investment, against EUR 300,000 for the Cypriot program, but the Greek citizenship requirements include that the investor has lived in Greece for at least seven years.


Updates on permanent residence permit for investors in real estate 2021
 

1- It is now possible to apply for the Golden Visa without entering Greece, through a Power of Attorney.

2- The payment of the price of the property may be affected also by the spouse and/ or relatives up to the second degree of the purchaser (e.g., the parents may pay the purchase price for the property). The payment may also be effected by using a credit or debit card.

3- Additional authorities have been appointed for the filing of the application for residence permit for investors in real estate, in order to ensure a speedy process.

Procedure

Step 1

Issuance of Power of Attorney by the applicant, before the Greek Consular Authorities at his/ her place of residence.

Step 2

Purchase of the property or entry into lease/ timeshare agreement and collection of the required supporting documentation. This may be effected by the attorney, i.e. it is not required that the applicant travels to Greece.

Step 3

Submission by the attorney of the documents to the relevant authority and payment of the application fee amounting to EUR 2016. For family members above 18 years old the fee is EUR 166.

It is worth noting that the applicant is not required to submit the documents in person or to travel to Greece.

Step 4

Receipt of a document confirming submission of the application. The said document is valid for one year. The applicant may use it as temporary permit until the issuance of the final permit. This document will allow the applicant to travel freely to and from Greece. However it does not provide the applicant the right to travel to any other country within the Schengen area.

Step 5

Within 12 months of receipt of the confirmation, the applicant must travel to Greece in order to provide his/ her biometric data (fingerprints).

Step 6

The competent migration authorities examine the documents and issue the relevant residence permit.

Provided that all documents and biometric data are submitted, the examination by the authority is very swift (usually 1-2 months).


Benefits provided by the Greek Golden visa program:
 

√ Greek residence permit valid for 5 years, renewable.

√ Residence permit for family members, including children up to 21 years old and parents of the applicant and his/ her spouse.

√ No residency requirements, i.e. the applicant and family members are not required to stay in Greece for any minimum amount of time.

√ Visa- free travel to all Schengen member states, for durations up to 90 days per 6-month periods.

√ Fast track procedure for obtaining the residence permit.

√ Investment in real estate in Greece, which may be leased and provide rental income or in summer residence or tourist facility.

√ The minimum investment in real estate is only EUR 250,000, one of the lowest in Europe.

√ Possibility to reside in Greece permanently for the duration of the residence permit, which may be renewed for as long as the criteria are fulfilled, and to have access to public health and education, in the same terms and conditions as Greek citizens.


Final Thoughts
 

Today, foreign nationals from all over the world are showing an increased interest in obtaining Greek residency through real estate investment opportunities. From large offshore corporations investing hundreds of millions in the Greek economy to affluent global citizens purchasing personal residences, the historic southeastern Mediterranean country will continue to see a rise in economic gain.

For more information about Greece’s Golden Visa Program, please click here.

To view our European Golden Visa Program comparison table, please click here.

If you would like to see our Residency and Citizenship Programs through Real Estate Investment comparison table, please click here.

Fill out our Free Assessment to see if you qualify for any of the immigration programs offered.



Source: International investment
 

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