Greece has doubled its minimum investment to obtain a Golden Visa

Whether it’s a temporary stay in a remote cabin or a permanent change to live on a farm in Portugal, workers are taking advantage of their newfound ability to stay away from the office.

As always, the extra-rich go one step further. They are increasingly turning to Golden Visa programs through which a real estate investment or purchase can give individuals residency and a pathway to citizenship.

Some people aren’t so excited about the herd of digital nomads or wealthy people who choose to live part-time or full-time in another country: the residents of those countries. In early September, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis doubled the price of minimum investments in order to obtain a Golden Visa in the country, raising the price from €250,000 to €500,000, according to the international adviser.

Many seek to obtain a Golden Visa due to the inflated cost of living expenses and housing in the United States; the firm Get Golden Visa found in its survey of 320 applicants that 29% were motivated by the rising cost of living. But there is a ripple effect, and this new influx of wealthy people looking for cheaper real estate is likely pushing Greek citizens out of their own housing market.

“In order to increase the affordability of real estate for Greeks, we are now increasing the minimum amount of investment required for the issuance of a golden visa from €250,000 to €500,000 (£434,000, $500,000 ),” Mitsotakis reportedly said in early September. , according to the international adviser.

Mitsotakis is not alone.

Europe is cracking down

In June, Turkey’s minimum investment for its citizenship-by-investment program increased from $250,000 to $400,000. And in March, the European Commission pushed EU governments to end their citizenship through investment schemes, specifically pointing out that wealthy Russians who support or are involved in the invasion of Ukraine could benefit from these programs.

At the end of September, the EC continued its efforts, announcing that it was taking Malta to court because the scheme broke the rules by not requiring investors to live in the country.

Portugal’s current visa system or program has also been heavily contested. The Left Bloc in Portugal and the Portuguese Communist Party’s plan to overthrow the local Golden Visa was rejected in May.

The Left Bloc commented on Twitter, “Golden visas only serve oligarchs who want to launder their wealth. They do not serve the people in any part of the country, they only harm them. The Portuguese Communist Party added that these new residents did not contribute to boosting the local economy, arguing that “there was almost no productive investment or job creation”, just a “clear contribution to the ‘real estate’ that is disrupting the affordable housing market, Portugal.com reported.

Part of the price increase in Greece comes from a projection of increased interest in applicants for a Golden Visa. “We expect a strong resurgence of interest from abroad in buying and renting real estate in Greece, especially with regard to luxury holiday homes in popular tourist destinations and on the islands of the Cyclades, Crete and Corfu,” Kyriakos Xydis, Managing Partner, Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Athens Properties, said per SchegenVisa.

Raising the price from €250,000 is not shocking, as Spain, another hot ticket for Golden Visas, already had its minimum investment at the price. But Greece’s choice to monitor rather than simply monetize this increased interest in residency through investment stands in contrast to Portugal’s recent visa policies. At the beginning of October, Portugal announced in Free time that it unveils a digital nomad program for workers who wish to reside in the country for up to a year. Portugal is not alone: ​​countries like Thailand and Bali have implemented visas for remote workers.

Although this policy does not require investment, it is a sign that some countries are looking to take advantage of travel-hungry teleworkers at all costs, while others are seeking to curb the new trend.

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