Investors from states with domestic economic, political problems look to residence scheme
Investor interest in property acquisition in Greece through the “Golden Visa” program has increased considerably in the last 12 months, originating from Turks, Lebanese, Indians, Iranians and Russians. These are people hailing from countries suffering from economic and political instability, and seeking an investment refuge and a way into the European Union through investment migration.
In this context Greece constitutes one of the top options of those investors, both thanks to its geographical proximity and to the attractiveness of its Golden Visa program, which allows for the issue of a five-year residence permit by spending a minimum of 250,000 euros on acquiring real estate in Greece.
Migration Ministry data to date show that within 2021 478 such permits were issued to Chinese nationals – i.e. an increase of just 8% compared to the meager performance of the program in the pandemic’s first year. In contrast, Russian recipients of Golden Visas soared by 79% from 2020 to reach 576 since the beginning of the program seven years earlier.
A remarkable 71% increase in permits issued to Lebanese nationals took the sum of their Golden Visas from 178 at end-2020 to 304 last month, while permits issued to Turkish investors rose within a year from 524 to 605 – 15.5% growth.
Risvas & Associates law firm head Achilles Risvas explains to Kathimerini that “since last June, investor interest from countries such as Turkey, Lebanon, Russia, India and Iran has taken off.
We observe that nations which have seen a significant depreciation of their currency, like Turkey, Lebanon and Iran, are also showing a considerable rise in investor interest in acquiring property in Greece.”
Meanwhile many Indians have expressed their interest in Greek realty, as after Brexit they are seeking countries to facilitate their access to Schengen member-states.
All this means the program’s losses from the pandemic are gradually being recovered, despite the continued absence of the main driver of the scheme, the Chinese.