Golden Visa change surprises
Officials in the investment immigration sector are expressing their concern and surprise at the sudden, as it turns out, announcement by Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis from the Thessaloniki International Fair regarding the change to the Golden Visa program.
In particular, the increase of the minimum required amount of investment for the purchase of a property will be instituted from the current 250,000 to 500,000 euros. In this way, an attempt will be made to increase the available stock of real estate for purchase by interested Greeks.
However, there is an uproar in the market, as it is estimated that the competitiveness of Greece as an investment destination will be affected, as it currently offers the most affordable program.
“Countries such as Spain and Portugal also have an investment limit of €500,000, but especially the latter offers the option of obtaining citizenship, as soon as the investor completes five years from securing the residence permit,” notes Alexandros Risvas, head of the Risvas & Associates law firm specializing in investment immigration programs. According to him, it will be particularly critical how this change will be implemented in the program, given that there are many “open” sales during this time, which are delayed due to bureaucracy.
However, the Ministry of Development is already studying the individual scenarios for the implementation of the new limit, in order not to disrupt the operation of the program. In this context, the intention of the ministry is that there should be no surprise and that the new framework will not work retroactively.
That means all residence permit applications submitted until the new framework comes into effect will be made with the former limit of €250,000. In fact, it is possible this differentiation will lead to a proliferation of applications, as the number of interested investors who will want to take advantage of this “window” and acquire a cheaper property will increase dramatically.
Another important parameter concerns the possibility of prohibiting the acquisition of two or more properties. In short, the €500,000 should concern only one property. Otherwise, those interested could acquire five apartments of €100,000 each.