Greece Golden Visa Programme Changes on the Horizon

Stay informed about the upcoming Greece Golden Visa Programme changes!

The Greek government has confirmed the Greece Golden Visa Programme changes for both real estate and non-real estate options. The aim is to alleviate the strain on the country’s real estate market and strengthen the Programme overall.

The Greece Golden Visa Programme is widely favoured among European Residency by Investment (RBI) Programmes, attracting investors looking for international mobility and overseas investment opportunities.

Following an announcement from the Ministry of Finance, the outlined changes that came into effect from 31 March 2024 with a transitional period lasting until 30 September 2024, can be summarised as follows.

Significant changes to the Real Estate Investment Option

The biggest change lies under the Real Estate Investment Option where the government is introducing two tiers, namely:

Tier 1

Covers the Administrative Region of Attica, the Regional Units of Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini, as well as islands with a population of over 3,100 inhabitants.

Minimum threshold amount: €800,000.

 Tier 2

Covers all other regions of Greece.

Minimum threshold amount: €400,000.

Investors will be restricted to acquiring a single property with a minimum area of 120 square meters (1291.7 square feet), which cannot be utilized for short-term rental purposes.

Restrictions on Property Use

  • Properties are prohibited from listing on the short-term rental market (i.e. Airbnb).
  • Properties qualifying through the conversion of commercial real estate to residential are prohibited from being registered as a company headquarters.
  • Non-compliance will result in
  1. a) revocation of their residence permit and
  2. b) a fine of EUR 50,000

The updated investment criteria, scheduled to take effect from March 31, are designed to enhance the availability of long-term rental accommodations and alleviate the influence of the Golden Visa Programme on housing expenses, in accordance with the Ministry’s statement.

Exceptions under the Real Estate Investment Option

The minimum investment threshold is €250,000 for:

(a) Properties converted from commercial to residential: Investors that acquire a commercial property for EUR 250,000 and convert it to residential can apply for a Golden Visa only upon completion.
(b) The restoration of listed buildings: Acquiring and fully restoring or reconstructing properties in listed buildings. The restoration must be completed by the fifth year of residency if the investor seeks to renew their Golden Visa.

The minimum investment threshold applies to both options regardless of the property size and location.

Transitional Real Estate Investment Option Period

Existing or pending applicants for the Greece Golden Visa Programme will not be affected by the new changes, as their cases are under review and the adjustments will not have retroactive implications.

The revised rules, implemented from 31 March 2024, aim to address the demand for the Programme and adapt to the evolving Greek real estate market landscape.

The transitional period for the real-estate investment options is as follows:

  1. The deadline to apply for the EUR 250,000 minimum threshold is 30 September 2024, and requires a 10 per cent deposit payment.
  2. The final payment for the investment will need to be paid by 31 December 2024.
  3. Failure to complete by the December deadline, an investor has until 30 April 2025, to invest in another property.

Proposed changes to non-real estate investment options

This is what the non-real estate investment option will look like after the proposed changes come into effect:

Capital Contribution to a Company

Minimum contribution: €500,000 for a company that has its registered office or establishment in Greece.

Capital Contribution to a Public Limited Real Estate Investment Company (REIC)

Minimum contribution: €500,000 to a REIC in Greece for the acquisition of shares for the increase of its share capital.

Capital Contribution to a Closed-end Investment Company Option

Minimum contribution: €500,000 for a company that has its registered office or establishment in Greece.

Purchase of Government Bonds Option

Minimum investment amount: €500,000 for a single applicant purchasing Greek government bonds purchased through a credit institution established in Greece.

 Fixed Term Deposit with a Greek Credit Institution Option

Minimum investment amount: €350,000 for a single applicant applying through the purchase of shares in a mutual fund that is either established in Greece or another country and intends to invest and trade in Greek based financial instruments.

Purchase of Shares or Stocks in an Alternative Investment Fund (AIF)

Minimum investment amount: €350,000 for a single applicant applying through the purchase of shares or stocks in an AIF that is either established in Greece or another EU Member State and intends to invest exclusively in Greece.

Get in touch if you need tailored guidance and support regarding the Greece Golden Visa Programme so that we can provide valuable insights and assistance in navigating the Programme’s requirements before the official changes take effect.