Despite the minimum investment threshold for the Golden Visa Program in certain regions of the nation being raised from €250,000 to €500,000, Greece is observing a considerable influx of applications from affluent foreigners. As per data released by the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum, there has been a striking 252 percent surge in requests for the Golden Visa Program in the initial two months of this year, amounting to 1,446 applications compared to 411 applications during the corresponding period last year, as reported by SchengenVisaInfo.com.
During January and February of this year, a total of 574 golden visas were granted, signifying a 101 percent rise compared to the same period last year when 286 visa applications were approved. According to a report from Mono News, investors have submitted a cumulative total of 17,916 requests for residence permits. Among them, 69 percent have availed themselves of Greece’s Golden Visa Program, while 30 percent are still awaiting a decision, and one percent of all applications have been rejected.
Furthermore, Chinese citizens accounted for 32 percent of real estate purchasers who renewed their residence permits, with Russians and Turks following at 10 percent. Concurrently, Chinese citizens also accounted for the highest number of pending requests, trailed by Turks (6.2 percent) and Lebanese citizens (3.8 percent).
Earlier, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis confirmed the intention to raise the minimum investment threshold for the Golden Visa Program in specific areas, including Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini. While this decision may have caused some foreign investors to reconsider their plans to invest through the Residency by Investment scheme, others are rushing to take advantage of the current investment price.
Contrary to the actions of Portugal and Ireland, which terminated their Residency by Investment Schemes due to reports of illegal activities, the Hellenic Republic’s Golden Visa Scheme continues to play a significant role in the economic sector. Additionally, European Union authorities have persistently urged all EU countries offering Golden Visa Programs to swiftly terminate them. Nevertheless, Greece has chosen not to follow these recommendations. Moreover, it was recently disclosed that the program experienced a record-breaking surge in interest during the last quarter of 2022, with a total of 2,432 Golden Visa requests submitted.