The Golden Visa Program is a “residence by investment” program, providing residence permits to non-EU investors who invest in real estate in Greece, in activities with a positive impact on national development and the economy, or in securities and bank deposits in Greece. In the case of investment in real estate, in particular, applicants can take advantage of the low cost of living in Greece, the opportunity to travel visa-free across the Schengen Area, access to a thriving real estate market and the various tax benefits aimed at specific types of individuals including retirees and digital nomads, making it the most successful part of the program. Although most applicants are Chinese investors, applications from high-net-worth U.S. citizens have also increased, positioning Greece as Americans’ third choice among similar programs. Moreover, since Portugal and Ireland have now canceled their residence-by-investment programs and China has lifted travel restrictions, it is expected that the Greek program will perform even better.
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Growth in the Greek real estate market has undoubtedly accelerated since the pandemic, with the market now seen as a primary attraction for foreign investors, especially due to the country’s Golden Visa Program. Market experts report that since the beginning of 2023 real estate purchases by investors wishing to obtain a residence permit through the Golden Visa Program have increased by approximately 170% to reach a total value of €975 million.