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Major Changes to Greece’s ‘Golden Visa’ Program Set to Start on March 31: What Investors Should Know


New Requirements for ‘Golden Visa’ Program to Kick in on March 31

In an effort to address the soaring real estate prices and the housing affordability crisis faced by many Greek citizens, particularly young couples, the Greek government has introduced a series of adjustments to its ‘Golden Visa’ program. These new requirements, aimed at investors, are set to take effect on March 31, with significant changes based on geographical areas and the type of properties involved.

The program, known for attracting investors to several popular areas in Greece and consequently causing a spike in real estate prices, will now feature a three-tier approach towards investment requirements. This approach is specifically designed to vary depending on the location of the investment and the intention to invest in historically registered buildings.

National Economy & Finance Minister, Kostis Hatzidakis, has outlined the upcoming changes, emphasizing the government’s commitment to making housing more accessible for Greek citizens. Below are the key details of the revised ‘Golden Visa’ program:

  • In sought-after locations such as the regions of Attica and Thessaloniki, as well as Myconos, Santorini, and islands with more than 3,100 residents, the minimum investment for acquiring a five-year residence permit is set at 800,000 euros for a single property. For the remainder of Greece, the threshold is lowered to 400,000 euros. The investment must be in a single property with a minimum size of 120 square meters. Joint ownership is also permissible under these new rules.
  • For investors aiming to convert a building into residential use, the minimum required investment is now 250,000 euros. This is also the case for those interested in purchasing a historically registered building, encouraging investment in a sector in dire need of restoration. The conversion or restoration must be completed before the application for the Golden Visa is submitted.
  • The renewal of Golden Visas will be allowed for an additional five years, provided the investor retains ownership of the property. In the case of historically registered buildings, restoration must be finalized before the renewal application.
  • While investors are permitted to rent out their properties, short-term leasing is explicitly forbidden. Similarly, using renovated residences as business offices is prohibited. Violations will result in a fine of 50,000 euros, and the revocation of the residence permit.
  • Non-EU investors can also achieve residence through a long-term contract related to tourist residences or timesharing agreements, with the cost varying by location.

The Golden Visa program in Greece has seen unparalleled popularity in 2023, as reported by real estate officials, with Migration Ministry data highlighting a record level of demand. Throughout 2023, the program attracted 10,214 applications for either initial acquisitions linked to the visa or renewals. A noteworthy total of 5,701 permits were granted from January to December of the same year (4,231 to first-time investors and 1,470 for renewals), based on applications dating from 2018 to December 2023. These investments are estimated to have injected at least 1 billion euros into the Greek economy, reflecting the program’s significant impact. Presently, 8,800 applications are pending, awaiting review.

In conclusion, these modifications to Greece’s Golden Visa program represent a significant shift towards balancing the influx of foreign investment with the pressing housing needs of the local population. By introducing these new requirements, the Greek government aims to ensure that while the country remains an attractive destination for investors, its citizens also find relief in the ongoing housing crisis.

Alexandra Bennett
Alexandra Bennett
Alexandra Bennett is a seasoned business journalist with over a decade of experience covering the global economy, finance, and corporate strategies. With a Bachelor's degree in Economics and a Master's in Business Journalism from Columbia University, Alexandra has built a reputation for her insightful analysis and ability to break down complex economic trends into understandable narratives. Prior to joining our team, she worked for major financial publications in New York and London. Alexandra specializes in mergers and acquisitions, market trends, and economic

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