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Greece's demand for Golden Visas is skyrocketing

Greece's Golden Visa scheme is the most popular in Europe, with wealthy non-EU citizens lined up to obtain one for a minimum investment of €250,000 ($244,300) that will be matched.

Tranio Greece tops the international demand for European Golden Visa Programs for the third quarter of this year, according to a recent poll conducted by property brokers.

Following the increase in the minimum investment requirement from €250,000 to €500,000, the demand for the Golden Visa programme in Greece grew by a total of 290%, according to a survey.

Portugal, Latvia, Spain, and Montenegro are the next countries in line for the Golden Visa.

Greece to raise investment threshold for Golden Visa programme

The Golden Visa programme, also known as the Residency by Investment Program, enables foreign nationals to obtain residency in European nations that offer such programmes, providing they invest in these countries and satisfy certain requirements.

The scheme provides investors and their families with a five-year residency and a European Union passport, despite the fact that the minimum investment requirement in Greece is increasing to 500,000 euros ($488,750).

Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stated that this was being done because investors were purchasing Greek properties, notably in Athens, displacing Greeks from their own districts and increasing rents.

Despite the fact that the new modifications were introduced in September, no exact date has been confirmed for their implementation; nonetheless, it has been stated that the new laws could go into force as early as next year.

Increasing demand for real estate in Greece

According to figures from the Bank of Greece, capital inflows from outside for the acquisition of real estate in Greece amounted to 414.4 million euros during the second quarter of the year, a 67% increase compared to the same period last year.

Foreign investors like apartments in the heart of Athens, luxury developments on the Athens Riviera, and opulent country homes in prominent tourist destinations.

Greece's foreign capital inflows increased by 61% to 788 million euros during the first half of 2022, compared to 488 million euros during the same time the previous year.

Analysts predict that 2022 will establish a new record for real estate investment activity based on the current rate and the fact that the second half of each year has historically been the busiest.

The greatest amount that has entered the country in a single calendar year to far was 1.45 billion euros in 2019. This year, it is expected to reach between 1,6 and 1,7 billion euros.

After scandal, Cyprus suspended the Golden Visa programme

However, the scheme has its detractors, including the European Union, which has stated that it can be used for money laundering and as a tool for criminals to conceal their income and be rewarded with passports.

Cyprus abruptly ceased issuing Golden Visas in 2020 when corruption was discovered in the process.

Since then, the government has revoked the citizenship of hundreds of foreigners after an impartial committee determined "criminal and political" responsibility.

Former supreme court judge Myron Nikolatos stated at the time, "It is evident that the Cyprus Investment Programme operated between 2007 and 2020 with gaps and flaws, an inadequate legal foundation, and almost no regulatory structure."

More than half of the 6,779 passports awarded by the programme were issued unlawfully, according to the damning assessment.



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