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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 in the face of the ongoing pandemic situation.

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

The same source shows that last year Greece issued 938 residence permits through the golden visa program, according to the financial daily Kathimerini.

The same source shows that the largest number of permits have been granted to Chinese and Russian citizens as well as other foreigners who have no connection with Greece, as the EU authorities revealed their plans to add a tax on golden visas and stressed that some programs are open to activity and money laundering.

In addition, the authorities in Greece expect the numbers to continue to register an increase until the end of this year.

Last year, permits registered a 73.4 percent decrease compared to pre-pandemic figures, as in 2019, the golden visa program set a record with a total of 3,535 permits.

These figures correspond to an increase of nearly one billion euros for the purchase of real estate for Greece.

Based on the same source, since the Greek Republic began operating such a scheme, it has ceded a total of 9,322 residence permits to investors and a total of 27,944 permits when their family members are also included.

In October last year, the authorities in Greece announced that they had issued only 368 golden visas to foreigners since the beginning of the year. This drop in the number of golden visas was mainly caused by the coronavirus situation. In addition, the authorities in Greece also announced that due to the COVID-19 situation, the citizenship by investment program in the Greek Republic risked closure.

However, earlier this year, immigration firm Astons ranked Greece as a preferred destination for foreigners to invest in.

With a Greece golden visa, foreigners must invest at least 252,328 euros in the Republic of Greece in order to hold such a document.

This is one among many other reasons why international real estate experts, immigration firm Astons, ranked Greece as the most suitable place for international investors in its latest survey.

Although it is very popular in other countries, the European Union authorities have often criticized the Golden Visa program for its involvement in illegal matters such as money laundering and corruption.

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