Greek Prime Minister Mr. Kyriakos Mitsotakis recently declared the Government’s intention to double the real estate minimum investment threshold under the Golden Visa program.
The comments from the Prime Minister came during a Q&A at the Thessaloniki International Fair, in which he said: “To increase the affordability of real estate for Greeks, we are now increasing the minimum amount of investment required for the issuance of a Golden Visa from €250,000 to €500,000.“
However, the Prime Minister failed to give more detailed information on when the new regulation will come into effect. While Mitsotakis was abundantly clear about the Government’s serious intention to raise the minimum qualifying price, he did not give relevant information about any potential grace period or any other possible changes.
Sources close to the Government of Greece have shared with the media that it is the Hellenic Government’s intention to apply the change on the first day of 2023, leaving just over a month for prospective investors to get their applications in order.
However, some other professionals assume that the new laws and regulations may be implemented in March, as the Government must go through a certain process to make the changes official, but it is important to note that the process can be expedited.
In both cases, time is of the essence, as any investor who makes a deposit for their real estate investment under the golden visa before the changes take effect will be processed under the current regulations.
Some legal experts in Greece argue that the Greek Government may apply the changes to certain areas of Greece, in a similar way to how Portugal restricted certain real estate options to the interior of the country. These experts claim that the changes may only affect the Greater Attica Area and Thessaloniki, the two biggest investment hubs in the nation, which have attracted over 82% of all Greek golden visa investments. Though this issue remains speculation until the Government issues a more detailed statement.
The Bigger Picture
Between 2013 and 2021, the Greek Government approved a staggering 9,610 golden visa applications, making it one of the most active golden visa programs in the world.
How these changes may affect application volumes is yet to be seen, but the new price point of €500,000 will put the Greek golden visa on par with its Spanish counterpart, while it will be higher than the Portuguese option for the first time since they both launched.
While the Portuguese golden visa faces issues of its own, as the Portuguese Prime Minister recently stated that the Government is considering reviewing the golden visa and may even end up suspending the program, both the Greek and Portuguese options remain open for investors under the current regulations until their respective Governments say otherwise.
This opens a limited window of opportunity for investors looking to obtain a residency in an EU country without the need to physically reside in it to maintain their status.
Timeliness is key, as no one can accurately predict when these changes may come into effect, and swift action is vital for investors looking to book their place before the regulations are updated.
To know more about the Greek golden visa and how you can apply before the price increase, contact us today to book a comprehensive consultation with one of our experts.
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