In an unexpected twist of events, Greece has skyrocketed to become the premier destination for Golden Visa aspirants this year. As the calendar flipped to the end of November, Greek officials were swamped with an astonishing 7,752 applications for the nation’s Golden Visa program. This number isn’t just big—it’s colossal, marking a whopping 78% surge from last year’s figures. Investment Migration Insider, the brains behind this revelation, tells us Greece is now the bell of the ball on the global stage for this program.
What’s even more intriguing is that out of the avalanche of applications received till now, Greek authorities have given the green light to about 20% of them. Only a handful, precisely 14, got the thumbs down. On a side note, there’s a bit of a breather for the Greek administration as the pile of pending applications dipped slightly from 27,512 to 27,045 in November. It’s the first time this number’s gone south since last August.
The report throws a spotlight on China, pinning it as the top contributor to the Golden Visa scheme, followed by Turkey, Lebanon, Iran, the US, and Egypt. Peeking into the data vaults of Greece’s Ministry of Migration and Foreign Affairs, we see that in 2021, Chinese and Turkish nationals were leading the charge. A massive 6,405 folks from China and 618 from Turkey snagged residency in Greece through this scheme.
The Golden Visa, for the uninitiated, is a golden ticket for international folks to plant roots in Greece, provided they invest in the country and tick all the right boxes. But here’s the rub: this program, while a magnet for foreigners, is stirring the pot in the Greek housing market.
Catching wind of this, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis stepped in with some tweaks. The standout move? Jacking up the minimum investment from foreigners from €250,000 to a hefty €500,000 in certain hotspots, starting this August.
But not everyone’s cheering. Nikos Androulakis, the head honcho of the Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK), is sounding the alarm bells. He’s got a bee in his bonnet about how this program’s eating into the local apartment availability. And he’s not just grumbling—he’s rolling up his sleeves to start a campaign to nix the program for good. Stay tuned, as this Greek drama is far from over.