Greece Golden Visa Changes March 2024: New Rules & Investment Amounts


Greek Golden Visa

March 2024 Greece Golden Visa Program Revisions

 

March 31st, 2024, marks a significant turning point for the Greece Golden Visa program, a gateway to investment and residency in this enchanting Mediterranean haven. With a focus on sustainable development and economic alignment, the upcoming changes introduce a refined investment structure and rigorous eligibility criteria, reshaping the real estate sector’s future.

New Investment Tiers: Detailed Insights

Tiered Investment System: A Closer Look

Greece introduces a tiered investment system for the Golden Visa program, addressing market dynamics and enhancing economic harmony. Here’s what prospective investors need to know:

-Tier 1: (€800,000 Minimum) High-Demand Areas (Attica, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Santorini, islands with 3,100+ population) – Minimum investment of €800,000.

Targets regions like Attica, the regional units of Thessaloniki, and the islands of Mykonos and Santorini, catering to high-demand zones. For these areas, as well as for islands with a population of over 3,100 inhabitants, the value of the real estate property required for eligibility increases to €800,000.

-Tier 2: (€400,000 Minimum) Broader Greece: The rest of Greece is included in this tier, offering more accessible investment opportunities.

Expands opportunities across Greece, making investment more accessible outside the prime areas. In other areas of the country, the property value is set at €400,000.

-Tier 3: (€250,000 Minimum) Special Category :

  1. Conversion of Use: If you invest in a building that is currently of different use and is being converted into a residence, the minimum investment amount is set at €250,000. However, it’s important to note that the change of use must be completed before applying for the residency permit.
  2. Heritage Buildings: If you invest in a heritage building that needs restoration, the investment limit is also set at €250,000. This lower investment threshold for heritage properties is designed to encourage foreign investors to invest in this category, which requires capital for development.

 

These two categories provide an opportunity for investors to acquire a Greek Golden Visa at a lower investment cost compared to the standard €400,000 or €800,000 tiers. However, it’s crucial to carefully consider the specific requirements and conditions associated with these investment options, such as the completion of the change of use or the restoration of the heritage building, to ensure compliance with the program’s rules and to successfully obtain and maintain the residency permit.

Residency Requirements and Compliance

Residency Permit: Holders of the Greece Golden Visa can enjoy the benefits of their residency permit for a renewable five-year term, provided the property investment remains intact. This stability is a key advantage for those investing in the Greek real estate sector.

Short-Term Rental Prohibition: A significant new rule is that all properties acquired under the Golden Visa program cannot be rented out on a short-term basis in the sharing economy, such as Airbnb. Therefore, real estate properties secured under the Greece Golden Visa program are eligible for generating income through long-term leases, although they are restricted from short-term rental arrangements, ensuring a steady investment return.

Commercial Use Prohibition: Real Estate Properties acquired through the Golden Visa program cannot be used for commercial or corporate purposes. Specifically, they cannot serve as the registered office of a company.

Penalties: It’s crucial for participants to adhere to the Greece Golden Visa program’s regulations, as non-compliance could lead to severe consequences, including residency permit revocation and a substantial €50,000 fine.

Transitional Period

Investors interested in the Greece Golden Visa program are presented with a critical window of opportunity. By placing a 10% deposit on a real estate investment before September 30, 2024, they can still qualify under the existing €250,000 minimum investment threshold. This initial step must be completed by the specified date, with the full investment finalized by December 31, 2024. This transitional provision offers investors a unique chance to take advantage of the current investment criteria, thereby unlocking the valuable benefits of the Golden Visa program.

Non-Real Estate Investment Changes

The program also includes revised thresholds for non-real estate investments, which will take effect on March 31st:

  • Capital contributions to Greek companies, REICs, and investment funds have increased to €500,000.
  • The purchase of Greek government bonds and fixed-term deposits with Greek credit institutions now require a €500,000 investment.
  • Investments in mutual funds and AIFs have been adjusted to €350,000

Impact and Intent of the Changes

The revised regulations of the Greek Golden Visa program are a testament to the government’s strategic approach in harmonizing foreign investment with the welfare of the housing market and local communities. These adjustments come as a direct response to the challenges posed by housing shortages and the escalating rental prices in high-demand regions.

While the program has effectively drawn substantial investments into Greece, amounting to over €9 billion by the end of 2021, there is a conscious effort by the authorities to mitigate the pressure on local resources. This includes implementing measures to manage the issuance of visas, ensuring sustainable growth and community well-being.

The Greece Golden Visa: Continued Global Appeal

The Greece Golden Visa program stands as a premier choice for global investors, having garnered unparalleled attention in the international arena. Market leaders affirm that in the previous year, it was the world’s most sought-after visa program. The demand in 2023 reached a peak not seen in five years, with the program receiving 10,214 applications, encompassing both new admissions and renewals. This surge translated into an estimated investment of at least €1 billion over the year, underscoring the program’s profound influence on both the real estate sector and the Greek economy.

Conclusion

The modifications to the Greek Golden Visa program represent a calculated effort to stabilize the real estate market, alleviate housing shortages, and sustain the influx of foreign investment. Although the updated regulations might introduce hurdles for certain investors, Greece continues to be a desirable location, celebrated for its economic resilience and high standard of living.

Prospective applicants of the Greek Golden Visa should diligently acquaint themselves with these imminent adjustments and strategize to align with the revised criteria.

For those navigating these changes, our legal team at Palaiologos & Associates Law Office is ready to assist prospective buyers and investors with expert guidance and support, ensuring a smooth transition to meet the new requirements.

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    Key Contacts

    Property Law
    Michael Palaiologos
    Attorney at Law LL.M

    Supreme Court of Greece

    Golden Visas
    john voutsinas
    John Voutsinas
    Attorney at Law LL.M

    Supreme Court of Greece

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