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Greece's Golden Visa Program: A Global Magnet Amidst Soaring Applications and Local Concerns

Greece's Golden Visa program has achieved global prominence, recording a remarkable 7,752 applications by the close of November this year, making it the most sought-after program worldwide, as reported by Investment Migration Insider. This figure represents a substantial 78% increase compared to the total applications received in the entirety of 2022. Noteworthy is the fact that Greek authorities have given the green light to approximately one in every five applications, rejecting a mere 14.

Greece's Golden Visa Program: A Global Magnet Amidst Soaring Applications and Local Concerns

The program, designed to grant residency to international investors, has experienced heightened interest from a diverse array of countries. The primary beneficiaries, as highlighted in the report, are nationals from China, Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, the United States, and Egypt, underscoring the program's global appeal.

Intriguingly, the Ministry of Migration and Foreign Affairs of Greece released statistics indicating that Chinese and Turkish nationals have been particularly active in the program. In 2021 alone, 6,405 Chinese nationals and 618 Turkish nationals secured residency through Greece's Residency by Investment scheme.


However, the success and popularity of the Golden Visa program have not been without challenges, notably impacting the Greek housing market. Concerns about the affordability of real estate for local residents prompted Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis to implement measures aimed at addressing this issue. Specifically, the minimum investment required from foreign participants was raised from €250,000 to €500,000 in certain regions, a policy change that came into effect in August of the current year.

Despite the program's economic benefits, critics, including Nikos Androulakis, the leader of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), have raised alarms about its potential negative consequences. Androulakis contends that the Golden Visa Program has led to a shortage of apartments for Greek residents. He advocates for the abolition of the program and urges the government to undertake a comprehensive review to ensure that its impact on the housing market aligns with sustainable and equitable outcomes. The concerns voiced by Androulakis highlight the delicate balance that countries must strike when implementing investor visa programs to attract foreign investment while safeguarding the interests of their local populations.



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