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Golden Visa Programs: Greece Ranks Second Globally, Amidst Housing Crisis Concerns

Greece has secured a prominent position in the global rankings for its Golden Visa program, coming in second worldwide alongside Austria and Switzerland, as reported by Bloomberg. Despite this achievement, Portugal maintains its lead, offering what is deemed the best golden visa program globally.


Golden Visa Programs: Greece Ranks Second Globally, Amidst Housing Crisis Concerns

The appeal of Greece's program lies in its provision of an affordable yet high quality of life, coupled with easy access to other European countries and a straightforward path to EU citizenship. These findings stem from an index crafted by consulting firm Henley & Partners, which evaluated various factors such as the duration to citizenship, tax implications, and associated costs.


Despite ongoing debates surrounding the validity of residency-by-investment programs, often referred to as golden visas, these initiatives have persevered. Many European nations rank highly on Henley & Partners' index due to their facilitation of citizenship pathways, visa-free travel across the EU, and opportunities for business ventures or residency at relatively low expenses.


Rank

Country

Score

1

Portugal

75

2

Austria

73

2

Greece

73

3

Switzerland

73

4

Italy

72

4

UK

71

5

Canada

69

5

Spain

69

6

Luxembourg

66

6

UAE

66

7

Singapore

65

8

Australia

64

Table 1: The index examines best residence-by-investment programs based on 10 different factors including quality of life, processing time, time to citizenship and total costs according to Henley & Partners. (Score 0 to 100)


However, criticism has been leveled at golden visas, particularly regarding their alleged contribution to soaring property prices in cities like Lisbon and Athens. In response, Portugal and Greece have implemented measures to restrict the availability of these visas, with Portugal also curtailing tax benefits for expatriates. Nevertheless, global wealth advisors note sustained interest from foreign investors in Portugal.


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As the housing crisis persists, Greece plans to revise its golden visa program by raising the minimum investment threshold in areas experiencing rent hikes. Notably, popular destinations like Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini now require a minimum investment of 500,000 euros, double the previous amount. In regions with acute housing market pressures, this threshold could soar to 800,000 euros.


Since its inception in 2013, Greece's golden visa program has attracted over 25,100 applications, approving 17,184 of them. Chinese investors constitute nearly 60% of approved visas, with Turks making up 7% of the total. This data underscores the program's global reach and its significance in attracting foreign investment to Greece.

By fLEXI tEAM

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