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Greece’s Golden Visa Continues to Attract Internationals Even Amid COVID-19, Mainly From China & Russia

Greece’s Citizenship by Investment program continues to make a significant contribution to the country’s economy, even amid the ongoing pandemic situation.

Based on the recent data provided by the Migration Policy Ministry, a total of 193 requests have been registered in October, while during the first nine months of this year, there were only 544 applications, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

The same source shows that last year, Greece issued 938 residence permits through the Golden Visa Program, according to the daily financial newspaper Kathimerini.

The same source shows that the most significant number of permits have been granted to Chinese and Russian nationals as well as other internationals with no connection to Greece, as the EU authorities have unfolded their plans to add a tax on Golden Visas and stressed some programs are open to activity and money laundering.

In addition, authorities in Greece expect that figures will continue to mark an increase until the end of this year.

Last year, permits marked a 73.4 per cent decline compared to pre-pandemic figures, as in 2019, the golden visa program marked a record with a total of 3,535 permits granted.

Such figures correspond to the increase of nearly €1 billion to Greece to purchase real estate.

Based on the same source, since the Hellenic Republic started to run such a scheme, it has conceded a total of 9,322 residence permits to investors and a total of 27,944 permits when their family members are included too.

In October last year, authorities in Greece announced that they issued only 368 Golden Visas for internationals since the start of the year. Such a decrease in the number of Golden visas was mainly provoked by the Coronavirus situation. In addition, authorities in Greece also announced that due to the COVID-19 situation, the Citizenship by Investment Program in the Hellenic Republic risked shutting down.

However, earlier this year, the immigration firm Astons ranked Greece as the favourite destination for internationals to invest in.

Through Greece’s golden visa, internationals must make an investment of at least €252,328 in the Hellenic Republic in order to hold such a document.

This is one among many other reasons why the international experts on real estate, immigration firm Astons, have ranked Greece as the most favourable location for international investors in its recent survey.

Even though it is very popular in other countries, European Union authorities have often criticised the Golden Visa program for being involved in illicit affairs such as money laundering and corruption.

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