How Greece Plans to Relaunch its Golden Visa Program – Citizenship By Investment Programs.
Greece plans to Restart its much-criticized Golden Visa Program, becoming one of the first European countries to reopen its immigration process, after being among the first European countries to close it due to the situation created by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The Greek government is looking for the best way to relaunch the Golden Visa program, with changes that were made before the Coronavirus pandemic.
Greece has been one of the few European countries that have been able to manage the COVID-19 pandemic and kept the numbers down. The country has been timely and successfully managed the pandemic situation.
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Greece Plans to Relaunch Its Golden Visa Program
In mid-April, the deputy Finance Minister of Greece, Theodoros Skylakakis stated that the country is interested in jump-starting the real estate market and would be “immediately relaunching the golden visa program.” He also indicated that the country’s economy would begin a gradual reopening at the beginning of May.
He also emphasised that measures relating to the improvement of the golden visa program would be made to stimulate investment and facilitate investor interest.
To accelerate the course of growth in the coming months, we will seek to lift the bureaucratic obstacles that currently exist in the property market Theodoros Skylakakis
Although Greek Immigration Offices remain closed due to COVID-19 developments, Greece authorities have taken further steps to facilitate Golden Visa Applications.
Some of the changes that have been made to the the Golden Visa Program include: Remote applications for Golden Visa investors directly to the Ministry of Migration via authorised lawyers Submission of biometric data at later stages in the process Collections using a certified copy of passport Submission of additional documents and collection of issued Golden Visas being able to be made by courier.
Golden Visas offered have come under fire by the EU Commission for being a “doorway” for corruption and money laundering.
In March last year, a recommendation adopted by the European Parliament members urged the European Union countries running golden visas and passport schemes to put them to an end.
The European countries that currently offer golden visas and/or citizenship by investment are:
– United Kingdom
A 2018 report found that in the last ten years, the EU has welcomed more than 6,000 new citizens and close to 100,000 new residents through golden visas schemes.
Spain, Hungary, Latvia, Portugal and the United Kingdom (UK) have granted the highest numbers of golden visas – above 10,000 each – to investors and their families.
Next in line are Greece, Cyprus and Malta.
None of the countries, with the exception of Austria and Malta, publish lists of new citizens or residents.
EU golden visa schemes require varying amounts of investment.
Residency can cost €250,000 in Greece and
Latvia, while a Cypriot passport can cost €2 million.
It can even reach €10 million in the Austrian case, though
the law does not officially tag the Austrian passport with a price.
The golden visa schemes of EU Member States have attracted around €25 billion in foreign direct investment into the EU over the past decade.
Spain, Cyprus, Portugal and the UK appear to be the top earners, each receiving annually, on average, €976 million, €914 million, €670 million and €498 million, respectively.
In relative terms, the figures for small economies like Cyprus and Malta are especially impressive.
Through the sale of citizenship, Cyprus has raised €4.8 billion since 2013, while Malta has reaped about €718 million in foreign direct investment since 2014.
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