The Greek Migration Service has published the statistics of the Greece Golden Visa Programme for 2021. For the first six months, Greece has been approving about 60 residence permit applications each month. By the end of the year, the speed of processing of applications had doubled. In December, 137 investors received a residence permit.
Annual statistics are subject to change: investors who bought real estate under the program in 2021, but have not yet received a residence permit card, will also be added to the reports. The reason for the delay is that the Greek Cadastral Office is taking longer to process documents for real estate transactions.
The residence permit by investment program has been operating in Greece since 2014. During this time, 28,767 people became residents of the country. Of these, 9,610 are the main applicants — investors.
Chinese citizens received the most golden visas: Greece issued 6,405 residence permit cards to Chinese investors. Turkish citizens take the second place: 605 investors became Greek residents. The third place belongs to the Russians. They received 576 residence permits by investment.
Top 5 countries whose investors received Greek residence permits from 2014 to 2021
|Investor’s citizenship||Number of issued residence permit cards|
What do participants of the Greek residence permit program invest in?
To obtain a Greek residence permit, investors choose one of the six investment options:
- purchase if residential or commercial property;
- renting a hotel or tourist residence for 10 years;
- purchase of land for construction or agriculture;
- concluding a contract (timeshare) for 10 years, which gives the right to temporary use of real estate;
- receiving real estate by inheritance or gift agreement;
- purchase of securities or opening a deposit in a bank in the amount of €400,000.
The purchase of residential property for €250,000 or more is the most popular option of the residence permit program in Greece. The cost of apartments in Greece has been growing steadily over the past four years, according to the country's National Bank. According to the results of the third quarter of 2021, housing prices increased by about 10% compared to 2019.
Greek property prices will start to grow even faster when the economy is fully restored. The Greek economy shows the largest annual GDP growth compared to 2020 among countries with investment programs.
Examples of investment property in Greece
Benefits of the Greek residence permit for investors
Residence permits for the whole family. Greece issues a residence permit for five years. This distinguishes the Greece Golden Visa Programme from other European countries that issue a residence permit by investment only for a year or two.
A Greek resident can stay in any city in the country for an unlimited amount of time a year to live, work, study, use medical care and services of European banks.
The prospect of citizenship of an EU country. The investor has the right to apply for Greek citizenship after 7 years, and his family members can apply after 12 years. To qualify for citizenship, the applicant must have constantly lived in the country.
Tax incentives. Wealthy foreigners who have obtained a residence permit in Greece are entitled to pay tax on global income under a simplified procedure in the form of a one-time fixed payment of €100,000 per year.
The fixed payment does not depend on the total amount of income. Such a system is more beneficial for people with high income than paying taxes at an interest rate.
Visa-free travel within the Schengen area. The investor, together with his family, has the right to freely travel around the Schengen countries and stay in any of them for up to 90 days in half a year.
Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent that helps to obtain a residence permit in Greece. If you want to become a Greek resident and travel around the Schengen area without visas, please contact investment program experts for advice.