New requirements for 'Golden Visa' program to kick in on March 31

Greece
Tue, 26 Mar 2024 8:03 GMT
The new terms for a five-year residence permit for foreign investors in Greece (known as Golden Visa) will kick in on March 31, raising the required investment total to 250,000-800,000 euros, depending on the area and property characteristics.
New requirements for 'Golden Visa' program to kick in on March 31

The new terms for a five-year residence permit for foreign investors in Greece (known as Golden Visa) will kick in on March 31, raising the required investment total to 250,000-800,000 euros, depending on the area and property characteristics.

The program has attracted investors in several popular Greek areas, where it has contributed to raided real estate prices. The requirements for new investors are part of measures the government has initiated to alleviate the difficulties of Greeks, especially younger couples, in finding affordable housing.

New measures include a three-tier approach on investment reqauirements, based on the geographic location and on those who wish to invest on historically registered buildings.

As National Economy & Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis has announced previously, the following will go into effect as of March 31:

  • In the regions of Attica and Thessaloniki, on Myconos, Santorini and islands with over 3,100 residents, a buyer interested in acquiring a five-year residence permit must invest 800,000 euros for a single property at a minimum. In the rest of Greece, the minimum will be set at 400,000 euros. In all cases, the total should involve a single property of at least 120 square meters in surface area. Joint ownership of a single property is also possible.
  • For buyers wishing to change use of a building into residences, the minimum investment will be set at 250,000 euros.

The change into residences must have been completed before the application for the Golden Visa. In addition, the same minimum is set for buying a historically registered building, to encourage investment in a sector where several current owners cannot finance restoration, leading to the building's gradual demise.

- Golden Visas may be renewed for another 5 years as long as the buyers retain ownership and, in the case of registered buildings, have completed the restoration before renewal. The residence permit of someone who sells the property is revoked and the new buyer becomes eligible for one.

- Investors may rent out the properties, but short-term leasing is forbidden. If a building is turned into residences, using the renovated residences as business offices is also forbidden. Violation of any of these terms incurs a fine of 50,000 euros and the residence permit is revoked.

- Non-EU buyers may also acquire a residence permit through a long-term contract related to a tourist residence or timesharing agreement, with pricing related to the location (e.g. 800,000 euros in Attica Region, 400,000 euros elsewhere, etc.)

Greece's Golden Visa program was the most popular globally in 2023, according to real estate officials. Migration Ministry data also shows record demand in 2023 (10,214 applications for initial visa-related acquisitions or renewals). 

A total of 5,701 permits for Golden Visa were granted Jan.-Dec. 2023 (4,231 were first-time investors and 1,470 were renewals), based on applications made from 2018 to December 2023. Assessments showed that investments reached at least 1 billion euros in the year, with 4,231 being issued for a minimum purchase of 250,000 euros. Currently, 8,800 applications are pending.

AMNA

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