In popular regions, the entry threshold has been increased from €250,000 to €500,000

In popular regions, the entry threshold has been increased from €250,000 to €500,000.

What happened? As of the beginning of this month, foreign investors are now required to invest a minimum of €500,000 instead of the previous €250,000 to be eligible for obtaining Greek residency.

Background. Notably, earlier this year, the Prime Minister of Greece, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, announced the intention to implement these changes with the aim of enhancing their effectiveness, originally set to take effect on May 1. However, this decision was postponed for three months and only came into effect on August 1, 2023.

The statement by the Prime Minister of Greece expresses the following: "In order to make real estate more accessible for Greek citizens, we are currently increasing the minimum investment amount required for issuing a golden visa, from €250,000 to €500,000."

Details. These new regulations will apply to the northern part of the Hellenic Republic, as well as the central and southern areas of Athens in the Attica region, along with the islands of Mykonos and Santorini, and also the municipality of Thessaloniki.

Context. Greek authorities faced a sharp increase in the number of applications for the so-called "Golden Visa" this year following the announcement of an increase in the minimum investment amount required to participate in this program and after Portugal discontinued its similar scheme.

According to information provided by the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum, the program contributed to the country's economy by nearly €1 billion in the first five months of this year. Data from the same ministry shows that from January to May of this year, a total of 3,900 applications were submitted for property purchases with the purpose of residence, a significant increase compared to the 1,444 applications received during the same period last year.

The surge in demand for the "Golden Visa" program has put pressure on Greek authorities: more than 5,444 visa applications for investors are pending approval. Additionally, from May of the previous year to May of the current year, a total of 8,351 investor visa applications were submitted to Greek authorities, of which only 35% were approved.

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