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Greek beach during golden hour before the sunset.

Despite these changes, Golden Visa programs continue to thrive. Citizenship-oriented initiatives still prove fundamental to Caribbean and the South Pacific islands economies. In Europe, Residency by Investment programs dominate, and Greece is the number one example, outpacing by far countries such as Spain, Türkiye, and Malta. Even though 2023 witnessed the increase of the minimum threshold of €250,000 to €500,000 in certain hotspot areas of the country, Greece led the world in investment immigration programs with its Golden Visa.

Greece Golden Visa 2023: A Retrospective on the Past Year

When the government announced the minimum amount required to invest in the Greece Golden Visa would increase in key areas of Athens, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini, many assumed there would be a significant downfall in interest after the price increased from the appealing €250,000 to the astounding €500,000.

Reality had another take on the situation. Between January and July 2023, the Greece Golden Visa had a total of 4886 applications, meaning an average of almost 700 monthly applications. Even after the price hike in the summer, it showed no signs of slowing down. Between August and November 2023, the Greece Golden Visa registered 2866 applications. Greece actually witnessed an increase, from 698 to 717, in the average of applications per month.

 


Between January and November 2023, Greece recorded around 7752 applications for its Golden Visa.
As of the writing of this article, full numbers for December 2023 have not yet been disclosed. If the trend is any indication, these numbers are only expected to grow.

For the same time period of January to November 2022, the 2023 Greece Golden Visa numbers highlight an increase of more than 150% in applications. Even accounting for December 2022, the difference continues to be striking, at nearly 80%. It is noteworthy to mention that 2022 had previously been the most successful year for the Greece Golden Visa. Every month of 2023, except November (though not by much) and December (as it remains unaccounted) registered massive increases in applications in comparison to its 2022 counterpart.

 

The Greek Ministry of Migration has also revealed the crushing majority of applications originate from countries such as China and Türkiye, a trend registered as far back as 2021 and one that is increasing year-on-year. Chinese nationals roughly account for 25% of the total number of applications for 2023. Israeli investors also play a significant role, especially in the region of Thessaloniki. Though exact figures remain currently unknown, the Greece Golden Visa has been estimated to bring between €1,5 to €2 billion to the country in 2023 alone. This staggering capital injection has proven a boon to the Greek economy, which grows every year. If the 2023 information is anything to go by, the demand for the Greece Golden Visa in 2024 and the coming years is not stopping anytime soon.

This unparalleled amount of growth is astounding and unique to witness, but deeming the Greece Golden Visa as the best and the leading Residency by Investment program begs the question: how does it compare with other Golden Visa programs?

Greece Golden Visa 2023 vs Portugal Golden Visa 2023

Portugal and Greece are often considered Golden Visa rivals, as both countries inevitably come in countless comparisons across many levels in online data and media. The influence of the Mediterranean Sea is also undeniable. Greece and Portugal are sun-soaked Southern European countries with a strong family-oriented culture, history dating back centuries, and world-renowned cuisines with olive oil at their center.

It comes as no surprise to find the same rivalry applies to the Golden Visa landscape. Portugal had once boasted the best and most attractive Residency by Investment programs in Europe. When it was created in 2012, it had a similar set of conditions found in the current Greece Golden Visa, including the purchase of Real Estate at €250,000 as an eligible option.

As the years advanced, the program became more popular, and the conditions tightened. Between price increases from €250,000 to €280,000 in January 2022 in low-density areas or even €500,000 in high-density areas, the Portugal Golden Visa declined steadily. It did not help that, in 2023, Portugal plunged into political turmoil and a worsened housing crisis. As investors realized this, they withdrew from the country and turned their sights to the southeast of Europe: Greece.

Full figures have not yet been revealed for the entirety of 2023 in Portugal though SEF (Control of Borders and Foreigners agency) revealed that from January to September 2023, Portugal received a total of 1183 applications. In the same timeframe, Greece registered a total of 6220.

 

This all culminated when Portugal discontinued the option to purchase Real Estate as an eligible option for its Golden Visa. Property investments have always been the Portugal Golden Visa’s primary source of income, having contributed more than 6 billion EURO to the Portuguese economy between 2012 and 2022.

With Real Estate no longer qualifying, the Portugal Golden Visa still exists, though it barely holds any value as the remaining options do not offer a return on the investment. In essence, 2023 witnessed the “practical” end of the Portugal Golden Visa. Though it is impossible to predict, it is not out of the realm of possibility that the Greece Golden Visa might follow the same pattern. In a similar vein as Portugal, Greece, in 2023, did increase its threshold from €250,000 to €500,000, even if only in some key areas.

Greece Golden Visa 2024: The Journey Toward the Future

Despite revealing record-breaking numbers for the Greek economy, the Greece Golden Visa is already facing opposition. Nikos Androulakis, leader of PASOK (Panhellenic Socialist Movement), has already pledged to fight Greece’s Residency by Investment program, advising the Prime-Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, “not to operate his office as a Real Estate agency” and to “abolish the golden visa yesterday.” 

Right now, Greece undoubtedly has the best investment immigration in Europe with its Golden Visa program. Besides the affordable cost of entry, moving to Greece and acquiring Residency status enables visa-free travel to the European Union’s Schengen Zone, family reunification, and the opportunity to establish a safe haven in a politically stable and economically secure country.  

With how uncertain the future might be, the time to act is now. Starting a new journey might be a difficult step to take but partnering with Investment Visa is not. A Golden Visa dedicated company, Investment Visa commits to providing tailor-made second Residency and Citizenship solutions to investors worldwide.  

Boasting a wide array of properties eligible for the Greece Golden Visa, Investment Visa counts on more than 25 years of experience and on a team that is fully driven to ensure your journey ends brightly with financial success. Contact Investment Visa today and make Greece your new home in 2024 with the Golden Visa program.

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