Ratification of a revised investor visa scheme in Greece – to have been completed on July 1 – has now been pushed back to later this year due to snap elections in the country scheduled for July 7.
Earlier this year, Greek authorities said they were considering expanding the current program to include investments in shares and bonds.
Currently, Greece’s investor visa program grants five-year residency rights for third country nationals who purchase, individually or through a legal entity, property in Greece valued at a minimum of 250,000 euros, or who have taken out a minimum 10-year lease in hotel, accommodation, or tourism facilities.
The visa also provides instant access to the Schengen Area.
Once the revised legal framework covering the visa program is passed, investors will be able to gain residency rights with investments in shares and bonds as well.
The program so far has been warmly welcomed by buyers seeking to purchase properties – mostly for holiday homes or for use as short-term rentals. Topping the list of golden visa applicants are the Chinese, who were issued 645 new visas in the first five months of the year, 383 of which were granted in April and May.
Since the launch of the Greek golden visa scheme in 2013, a total of 4,537 residence permits have been granted through to June 4, 2019 – almost 61 percent of these, or 2,757, have gone to Chinese nationals, followed by buyers from Russia and Turkey.
Overall, according to the migration policy ministry, in 2018, a total of 1,399 golden visas were granted compared to 961 in 2017.
According to the same data, of the properties purchased under the Greek golden visa scheme, 80 percent were in the Attica Region.