Greece: How Do Recent Legal Changes Affect the Golden Visa?

The Greece residence by investment program is one of the most popular in Europe and has remained among the top preferences for the last 4 years. Why?

One of the reasons for its past popularity has been that the required investment in real estate was relatively low compared to other countries: €250,000.

During 2023, an increase in this amount was decreed for some locations: on islands like Santorini and Mykonos, or the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area (the second most populous city in Greece), the investment started at €500,000.

Once this stage was resolved, the interested party could apply for permanent residence in 1 to 2 months. However, turning residency into citizenship is a lengthy process of 7 years. This program is considered more attractive for investors interested in European residency rather than citizenship. Consequently, over 7,000 Golden Visa applications were submitted for Greece during 2023.

But this will undoubtedly be affected due to a series of recent legal changes in the Hellenic country.

In February, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated before Parliament that an increase in the minimum investment amount was being considered in some islands and urban areas of the country.

“What we are discussing with the Finance Minister, and I think we will be able to announce something very soon, is a significant new increase in the threshold for Golden Visa investments,” Mitsotakis said in statements quoted by Reuters.

Although he did not disclose the areas, it was mentioned that the new minimum would be €800,000.

So far, no definitive date has been given for when this increase would take effect or where it would apply.

However, the local media Kathimerini indicates that the Government’s proposal seems to aim at establishing three different “investment thresholds,” based on the popularity of certain areas among foreign investors.

According to this, in the central, northern, and southern sectors of Attica—the administrative region that includes, among others, the metropolitan area of Athens—where the minimum investment threshold is €500,000, another increase to €800,000 is likely. The same would happen in Santorini, Mykonos, and Thessaloniki.

According to the same source, while certain sectors where the limit is €250,000 would remain unchanged, in others where there is greater demand from foreign investors, the minimum threshold could rise to €400,000 or even €500,000.

Authorities are expected to grant a few months to definitively implement the changes.

If you are interested in investing in Greece but are unsure of the path to take, at AIM Global, we have a team of experts ready to provide you with the best advice for your plans.

We want to make your international mobility projects a reality; we take care of the legal details. Schedule a meeting now!

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