Earlier this year, Greece announced that it was increasing the minimum spend requirement in some areas in order to obtain a golden visa. However, that decision has now been postponed to July 31st. Moreover, most areas in Greece will not be impacted by this rule change at all.
What is a golden visa?
A golden visa enables you to obtain residency in Greece by making an investment in the country. The most popular choice has been to make an investment into property. Currently, the minimum spend requirement for a Greece golden visa is €250,000. It was said that this would increase to €500,000 in the following areas: Thessaloniki, Athens, Santorini and Mykonos. This change was supposed to happen on May 1st, but it now will not take place until July 31st. This gives international buyers more time to find and purchase a property at €250,000. So long as you have paid the 10% deposit for your property before July 31st, your golden visa application can go through. If July 31st is too soon for your property plans to be put into action, feel reassured that a large portion of the country will be unaffected by the rule change and the minimum spend requirement will stay at €250,000.
Surge in golden visa applications
According to SchengenVisaInfo.com, since it was announced that the minimum spend would change in some areas, applications have gone up considerably. Data provided by the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum shows that golden visa applications increased by 252%, reaching 1,446 applications in the first two months of 2023. Citizens of China, Turkey, Russia and Lebanon are the largest groups that are applying.
The reasoning behind changing the golden visa minimum spend was because international investment was thought to be driving up property prices and making it challenging for Greek citizens to purchase a home. Furthermore, while Greece has a high concentration of interest in certain areas, some attract less attention. So, it was hoped that this partial change to the rules would result in overseas buyers moving their interest from Mykonos to Corfu, for example.
This year, Portugal abolished their hugely popular golden visa scheme. Spain has a golden visa scheme with a minimum spend requirement of €500,000 that has shown no signs of changing this year.
What are the requirements Greece golden visa?
Once you have made your real estate purchase, you have residency in Greece for up to five years. Alternative investments to real estate include making a capital investment of at least €400,000 into a Greek company or making a deposit of the same amount into a Greek bank.
To apply for a golden visa, you must be over the age of eighteen, have no criminal record and have obtained health insurance in Greece.
Moreover, you will need to visit the Greek embassy or consulate to make your application.
The benefits include:
- You can travel freely in the Schengen Area. As it stands, non-EU citizens can only stay in the Schengen Area for 90 days out of every 180.
- The visa can be extended to include your spouse and children.
- You are not required to stay in Greece for any length of time.
- If you would like to rent out your property, you are free to do so.
- After seven years, you will be eligible for Greek citizenship.
- You can live in Greece and have access to the healthcare system.