In recent months, Greece has witnessed an extraordinary surge in applications for its Golden Visa program, despite the anticipated increase in the minimum investment requirement for real estate in select municipalities. Beyond Global Partners, a leading consultancy firm specializing in residency and citizenship by investment programs, delves into the factors fueling this unexpected spike and provides insights into the current state of the program.

Recap of 2023

Contrary to initial expectations that the spike in golden visa applications was solely driven by the impending price hike in real estate investments, recent data paints a more complex picture. While the price increase came into effect in July, application volumes have remained remarkably elevated, indicating that other factors are contributing to the sustained demand for the program.

As of November, Greece has received an unprecedented 7,752 applications in 2023 alone, marking a 78% increase compared to the entire previous year. This remarkable figure solidifies Greece’s Golden Visa program as the most sought-after globally in 2023.

Approval Rates and Backlog

Of the applications received this year, only one in five has been approved, with a negligible rejection rate of less than one percent. The processing backlog, concentrated primarily in the Attica region, saw a slight reduction in November, yet it remains substantial.

The backlog, if translated into average per-applicant investments of EUR 300,000, represents a staggering collective investment of over EUR 2.3 billion, underscoring the program’s economic impact on Greece.

Who Are the Main Investors?

In the ongoing year, the Chinese investor group has demonstrated remarkable growth, with an impressive influx of 2,001 participants in 2023. Following closely behind are Turkish investors at 457, Lebanese at 192, Iranians at 169, Americans at 92, and Egyptians at 73. Conversely, the number of active golden visas held by Russian nationals has experienced a decline of 44.

Examining the overall landscape of nearly 15,000 main applicant Greek golden visas currently in circulation, a notable pattern emerges. Chinese nationals claim the lion’s share, comprising 58%, while Turks follow at 7%. Russians and Lebanese hold 5%, and Iranians and Egyptians each secure 3%. This diverse distribution underscores the global appeal and widespread interest in Greece’s Golden Visa program.

Regional Dynamics and Future Outlook

The backlog’s concentration in the Attica region is expected to shift over the coming year as investors explore regions with lower minimum investment thresholds. However, Piraeus, a suburb of Athens, is likely to remain a magnet for investment, given its exemption from the higher minimum requirements.

Beyond Global Partners’ Perspective

Beyond Global Partners, a distinguished consultancy firm specializing in residency and citizenship by investment programs, acknowledges the complexity of the current landscape. The company emphasizes the transformative impact of the Golden Visa program on Greece’s economy, attracting nearly EUR 200 million in foreign direct investment each month in 2023.

In response to recent calls for the program’s end, Nikos Androulakis, leader of PASOK, raised concerns about rising property prices in Athens. However, Beyond Global Partners emphasizes the need for a comprehensive understanding of the program’s economic benefits and its role in Greece’s growth trajectory.

When Is the Right Time to Invest? Now!

Greece’s Golden Visa program continues to be a global frontrunner, defying expectations with its sustained popularity. As the dynamics of the program evolve, Beyond Global Partners remains committed to providing expert consultancy services for individuals seeking residency and citizenship through investment avenues. The company recognizes the program’s role in fostering economic growth and welcomes a nuanced discussion on its impact on Greece’s real estate market and overall economy.