The Greek government has tabled an amendment to the rules about golden visas, which is passing through Parliament these days.

New Rules? No Surprise

The Prime Minister had previously announced his intentions to raise the financial amount required to obtain a golden visa, particularly in Greece’s biggest cities and prime tourist destinations.

The amendments have been fueled by complaints that there is a shortage of affordable housing in big cities and also of foreign investors exploiting the golden visa opportunity for financial gain. One example of the latter has been the practice of third country nationals purchasing properties to obtain golden visas and then offering the asset up as an Airbnb.

Economy and Finance Minister Kostis Hatzidakis had also previously detailed to MEGA TV that the new threshold for properties purchased under the Golden Visa scheme would be set at 800,000 euros for certain “saturated” tourist areas and 400,000 euros elsewhere.

However, prices for heritage buildings and residences will remain low as an incentive to investors or owners to restore these.

Hatzidakis admitted that the previous minimum investor visa threshold, which was 250,000 euros, was low and as a result sent prices of more affordable housing in major cities upward.

The Proposal

According to reports today at AMNA, the provisions for the granting of a 5-year residence permit to third country nationals are as follows:

  • Real estate purchases in Attica, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, Santorini and islands with populations over 3,1000 must be over 800,000 euros
  • The value for the rest of Greece is 400,000 euros
  • Purchases must be made on one property of at last 120 square meters, and not split between several properties
  • Buildings with a different use must convert into residential use before the transaction and the minimum investment amount must be 250,000 euros
  • Residence permits may be renewed, pending the investor retains ownership of the property
  • Investors can rent out the properties they own, but not through short-term leases, nor can they use the property as company headquarters
  • Violators will pay a fine of 50,000 euros and lose their visa