Greece Golden Visa Program is launched in 2013 by Enterprise Greece. The program grants five-year residence permit in exchange for a real estate investment. A family application includes children up to age 21 and requires no residence in the country. The permit is granted for five years and may be renewed every five years if the property investment is retained.
Greek residence permit is issued by the Greek authorities and it gives its holder the right to reside legally in Greece. It can be achieved by completing a real estate investment the value of which is more than €250.000. Different categories of residence permits exist, as well as different types of permit within each category. Employment rights depend on the type of permit issued.
Yet, the process of obtaining the Greece Golden Visa takes too long, and Greece looks for solutions. The current waitlist of the program has reached to 2 years.
Two-Year Waitlist and the Reasons for It
Greek Golden Visa has been relatively popular since its inception. However, with the Chinese investors’ inclusion into the applicant population, administrative defects of the program have been surfaced. The program’s infrastructure could not handle the massive interest from the far-east market and it resulted in a long waitlist. By the end of 2017, the number of golden visa approvals had outpaced that of the preceding year by 64%; by the close of 2018, issuances had increased by a further 46%.
Greece’s regional authorities who were not exactly used to this kind of interest found themselves buried under a huge load of applications. The authorities of Athens, Piraeus, and Pallini on the Attican peninsula which constitute the Greater Athens metropolitan area had more than 80 per cent of the 4,537 properties acquired under the golden visa’s auspices since 2013. Unable to cope with the deluge of cases, some municipal authorities informed investors that no appointments would be available until 2021.
Effective Solution Offered by the Ministry of Migration Policy
A simple solution the problem of overload has been offered by Greece’s Ministry of Migration Policy in April. The solution which aims to ease the strain on the bureaucracy of the region was very simple yet effective. The policy change offered by the Ministry of Migration Policy allowed investors to submit applications in any municipality, irrespective of where in the country they had made the corresponding investment. The change had the instant effect of channelling excess caseload toward Corinth, the nearest alternative to Attica, and soon to Patra, Hania, Lamia, Larissa, and even Thessaloniki, nearly 500km to the North.