Wealthy foreign nationals are now subject to an increased amount required for investment when planning to acquire residency in several parts of Greece through the Golden Visa Program.
The new changes mean that from the beginning of this month, foreign investors are required to invest a total of €500,000 instead of €250,000, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The decision to apply such changes was announced earlier this year by the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, while he emphasised that it would become effective from May 1. However, the decision was then postponed for three months, until August 1.
“In order to increase the affordability of real estate for Greeks, we are now increasing the minimum amount of investment required for the issuance of a golden visa from €250,000 to €500,000 (£434,000, $500,000),” Greece’s PM pointed out in this regard, based on International Adviser report.
Local media reports stressed that new amendments would be applied to the North part of the Hellenic Republic, the Central and South Sector of Athens in the Attica Region, and the islands of Mykonos, Santorini and the Municipality of Thessaloniki.
Authorities in the Hellenic Republic experienced a surge in the number of applications for the Golden Visa scheme this year following the announcement of the country’s authorities to increase the minimum amount of investment required for this program and Portugal’s decision to terminate this scheme.
Internationals can acquire residency in Greece through the Residency by Investment Program, provided they financially contribute to this country and meet specific conditions.
According to the figures provided by Greece’s Ministry of Migration and Asylum, the program boosted the country’s economy by nearly €1 billion in the first five months of this year.
The figures from the same Ministry revealed that a total of 3,900 requests for the purchase of a real estate for residence were submitted from January until May this year, compared to a total of 1,444 registered during the same period last year.
The increase in demand for the Golden Visa scheme caused pressure on the country’s authorities, with more than 5,444 investor visa requests awaiting approval. Besides, from May last year until May this year, a total of 8,351 investor visa requests were submitted to authorities in Greece, of which 35 per cent were approved.
Besides, the same source revealed that in the first months of this year, 1,938 requests were approved, compared to 777 registered in the same period last year, or up by 149 per cent. In addition, 412 permits were issued in May this year, more than 220 last year.