Greece Looks to Expand ‘Golden Visa’ Scheme for Investors

More so-called ‘golden visas‘ for major non-EU investors in Greece could be on the way.

An amendment in parliament submitted by Greece’s Migration Policy Ministry would broaden the definition of people entitled to a Greek residence permit in return for major contributions to the country’s economy.

Investors with over €400,000 ($464,000) in a Greek bank could be eligible for the residence document which would allow them along with their spouse and family, to stay for five years in the EU, .

The €400,000 threshold would also apply to real estate investments, holdings in a company for shares, or investments in firms headquartered in Greece.

If an investor inputs at least €800,000 into state bonds, shares or corporate bonds in regulated markets, they can also apply for the special visa.

Final decisions on applications will be made by Greece’s Migration Policy Department.

Elias Athanasiou, CEO in Enterprise Greece, told the Athens-Macedonian News Agency (AMNA) that during the first years of operation, demand for visas has grown from 400 annually to 50 daily, with proceeds exceeding €1.5 billion.

He added that mostly Asian citizens (particularly Chinese), Arabs and Russians, are taking advantage of the ‘golden visa’ programme, adding that 5,000 visas have been approved since 2012, when the programme began.