People are taking advantage of the benefits of the newly introduced investor visa
When Greece introduced a new type of investor visa in 2013, which grants residency status to non-EU investors, even the most optimistic within the then government would have anticipated the programme’s success.
Designed to attract investors who would be willing to buy property worth more than €250,000, the programme has generated an income estimated to be over €1.1 billion, significantly altering the real estate market in Greece.
Daily newspaper Kathimerini reports that 2,014 residence permits have been granted to investors since 2013 – of which 464 were issued within the last 12 months. A further 2,948 residence permits have been granted to their family members. According to Enterprise Greece, the majority of these permits i.e. 850 were issued to investors from China, with Russian and Turkish investors following with 388 and 161 residence permits respectively. The top 10 is completed with Egypt (98 permits), Lebanon (85 permits), Ukraine (73 permits), Iraq (62 permits), Syria (48 permits), Jordan (46 permits) and Saudi Arabia (18 permits).
According to Kathimerini, the average cost per investor is around €550,000 to €600,000, which means that investors are mostly acquiring large properties and luxury holiday houses.