Major Shake-Up to Greece’s Golden Visa Program

Prime Minister Mitsotakis announces changes to the country’s “Golden Visa” program, doubling the minimum amount required for non-EU investors seeking residency.

Greece’s Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has announced a major shake-up of the country’s “Golden Visa” program, which offers a five-year residency permit to non-EU investors who buy a property worth at least 250,000 euros.

Under the new framework, the minimum required amount of investment for the purchase of a property in Greece will be doubled to 500,000 euros. Another parameter will prohibit the acquisition of two or more properties, namely, the 500,000-euro investment can only be for one property.


While the announcement, made at the Thessaloniki International Fair last week, prompted concern among officials in the investment immigration sector, it is hoped the new changes will increase the availability of real estate for purchase by interested Greeks instead of wealthy foreigners.

Greece’s Gold Visa scheme has become the most successful residency-for-investment programs in Europe and seen as a major contributing factor in the recovery of country’s property market. Since the introduction of the program, over 70% of the visas have been issued to Chinese nationals, followed, at distance, by Turkish and Russian citizens.

The announcement of this latest shake-up was met with surprise by some officials, fearing that Greece, which currently offers the most affordable program, will now lose its competitive edge as an investment destination over its Mediterranean rivals.

“Countries such as Spain and Portugal also have an investment limit of 500,000 euros, but the latter offers the option of obtaining citizenship as soon as the investor has completed 5 years of permanent residency,” notes Alexandros Risvas, director of the Risvas & Associates law firm specializing in investment immigration programs. According to him, how these changes are implemented will be crucial, given that there many “open” sales at this current time, delayed by bureaucracy.

In view of the new investment limit, the Ministry of Development is already studying individual scenarios on a case-by-case basis, so as not to disrupt the program. Ministry officials emphasize that the new framework will not work retroactively, and, until it comes into effect, residency permit applications will be made with the former limit of 250,000 euros. As such, it is anticipated that there will be a proliferation of applications, as prospective investors take advantage of the “window” to purchase cheaper property.

With information from

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