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March 22, 2024

Greek Government Announces Overhaul of Golden Visa Program: What Investors Need to Know

Greek Government Announces Overhaul of Golden Visa Program: What Investors Need to Know

By: Rothopi Livaditis

            The Greece Golden Visa program, a coveted avenue for non-EU nationals to gain residency through real estate investment, is undergoing significant revisions, impacting prospective investors eyeing the Mediterranean nation for their next venture. Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, recently unveiled updates to the program, slated to take effect no later than May 2024, introducing revised investment thresholds and zoning classifications that could reshape the landscape of investment immigration in Greece.

            Since its inception in 2013, the Golden Visa program in Greece has been a beacon for investors, initially requiring a minimum real estate investment of EUR 250,000. However, in January 2023, the Greek Government doubled the minimum investment amount to EUR 500,000. Now, the program is poised for another transformation, with the latest changes delineating investment requirements based on geographic zones.

            Under the new rules, Greece will be divided into three distinct zones, each with its own investment thresholds. In Zone A, encompassing prime locations such as Athens, parts of Attica, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini, the minimum investment for residency climbs to EUR 800,000, reflecting the premium real estate values in these sought-after areas. Zone B offers a more balanced opportunity, with investment requirements ranging from EUR 400,000 to EUR 500,000, covering desirable regions with slightly lower real estate values. Zone C, comprising the majority of municipalities in Greece, maintains the previous minimum investment of EUR 250,000, offering accessible options for investors seeking affordable real estate while enjoying the benefits of Greece's investment immigration. [1]

            However, the new regulations also introduce exceptions to the investment thresholds. Investors may qualify for the EUR 250,000 minimum investment if they acquire commercial properties and convert them to residential units or invest in restoring listed buildings of historical or cultural significance, regardless of the location and size of the property.

            Moreover, the Greek Golden Visa program continues to offer a myriad of benefits beyond residency. Investors gain visa-free travel within the Schengen Zone, access to Greece's high standard of education and healthcare, tax advantages, and the potential to apply for citizenship after seven years, subject to meeting residency and language requirements. Additionally, the program extends residency benefits to three generations of dependents, including spouses, children under 21, and parents of the investor. Processing times remain swift, typically within 6-9 months, further enhancing the appeal of the program.

            Despite these changes, the demand for the Greek Golden Visa remains robust, evidenced by a backlog of nearly 30,000 unprocessed applications. With the impending alterations, investors and developers are expected to pivot towards the exceptions, leveraging opportunities presented by property conversion and restoration to meet the new investment thresholds. [2]

            While the Greek Golden Visa program undergoes a paradigm shift, the allure of investing in Greece for residency endures, offering a gateway to Europe's vibrant lifestyle, picturesque landscapes, and rich cultural heritage. As the revised program takes shape, investors must stay abreast of the latest developments to navigate the evolving landscape of investment immigration in Greece.

Key Updates to the Greece Golden Visa Program

Under the newly announced rules, the program introduces three distinct area zones in Greece, each with its own investment thresholds:

  • Exclusive Residency in Prime Zones (Zone A): This zone encompasses coveted locations such as Athens, parts of Attica, Thessaloniki, and popular islands like Mykonos and Santorini. The minimum investment for residency in these prime areas has been set at EUR 800,000, reflecting the premium real estate values.
  • Balanced Opportunities in Zone B: Zone B offers a more moderate investment requirement ranging from EUR 400,000 to EUR 500,000. This zone includes desirable regions with lower real estate values compared to Zone A, providing a balanced opportunity for investors.
  • Accessible Residency in Zone C: With a minimum investment threshold remaining at EUR 250,000, Zone C covers the majority of municipalities in Greece, offering investors access to more affordable real estate options while still enjoying the benefits of Greece investment immigration. [3]

Lastly, for individuals who have already submitted an application for the Greece Golden Visa, their cases are under review and will not be impacted by the new changes to the program. Additionally, the program adjustments will not have retroactive effects, ensuring that investments made under the previous regulations will proceed as planned.

            Therefore, the efforts and financial commitments of previous applicants are secure, as they have already embarked on the Greek Golden Visa process. As Greece continues to refine its residency by investment scheme, both existing and prospective investors can navigate the evolving landscape with confidence, knowing that their endeavors remain steadfast amidst regulatory updates.


[1]Get Golden Visa: Greece’s 2024 Golden Visa Program Latest Changes
https://getgoldenvisa.com/greece-golden-visa-program-latest-changes

[2]IMI Daily: Greek Govt. Announces New Golden Visa Rules: 4 Price Tiers From €250,000 to 800,000
https://www.imidaily.com/europe/greek-govt-announces-new-golden-visa-rules-4-price-tiers-from-e250000-to-800000/

[3]ETIAS.COM: Greece's Golden Visa Program Faces Uncertainty Amid Proposed Investment Threshold Changes
https://etias.com/articles/greece-golden-visa-threshold-changes

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