Greece Considers Changes in Its Golden Visa Program

Updated: November 30, 2020

The Greek government plans to make changes in the country’s Golden Visa scheme. The update aims to protect the real estate market. It is also set to prevent any illegal activity that might escape the due diligence process.

The Greece Golden Visa Program was launched in July 2013. Since then, the scheme has contributed greatly to the country’s economy. After the global financial crisis of 2008, Greece got hit hard. To bounce back, the Mediterranean country took solid measures. The Greece Golden Visa Program, one of the measures, rapidly became an important source of income. 

The current form of the program exchanges residency for a minimum of €250,000 of investment. Since its inception, more than 10,000 people obtained residence permits. Through the program, investors brought more than €2.5 billion into the country’s economy.

Now to protect the program and its stance, Greece considers updating its residence by investment scheme.

The Changes Aim to Protect the Real Estate Market of Greece

The scheduled changes will reportedly take place after Covid-19 loses its fervor. After the threat diminishes, Greece plans to introduce limits to the property values included in the program. Also, the Greek government aims to distribute income to the entire nation. Thus, Greece ponders implementing incentives for investors who channel their investments to the real estate outside the Attica region.

The European Commission Investigates Golden Visa Programs

The latest meetings of the European Commission involved discussions about Golden Visa programs. The main argument in the discussions was about the EU citizenship status of Golden Visa owners. The Commission stated that some Golden Visa programs granted this status without investors demonstrating “a genuine link with the country.”

The commission also included that, “EU citizenship cannot be traded as a commodity, according to a majority of speakers, who want to end the ‘golden passports’ schemes currently in place in some member states.”

The changes regarding these statements mean that the program is set to power up its due diligence process. The new form of the Greece Golden Visa Program will likely require more solid forms of relations between the country and investors.

Other Changes in Requirements

There are a few more changes to come to the Greece Golden Visa Program. These changes also concern the real estate section of the program. In accordance with the reports of the Greek Development and Investments Ministry, the program’s minimum investment requirement will change to a fluctuating amount depending on the area of investment. The minimum investment requirement of the program is currently €250,000 regardless of the investment region.

Also, the new format of the program will require a certificate of value from the investors. This certificate will include information about the property involved in the transaction.

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