American citizens are increasingly turning to Greece to secure a Golden Visa, thereby turning this country into the third most popular in terms of applications for residence permits by US property investors, according to research by Astons.
The British investment immigration and relocation provider showed in a survey this week that there has been a major shift in interest toward the Greek program for the provision of a five-year residence permit through the purchase of property, and that is not only thanks to the upcoming increase of the investment threshold from 250,000 to 500,000 euros as of August 1 – it is also related to developments in other Southern European countries.
Astons showed in its research that during March 2023 overall searches for the Greek Golden Visa program soared 75.2%, just as Portugal’s program was abolished. While Spain also showed an increase – that was second to Greece’s – the Spanish program is also about to come to an end, while interest in Malta’s program showed a 59.2% decline in interest and Cyprus has also stopped its own.
Notably, another analysis by Astons showed that the end of the Portuguese realty investment-for-visa program will turn even more Americans toward the Greek property market; in the past US investors would primarily opt for Portugal in order to secure a European Union residence permit.
The Astons analysis revealed that after the outbreak of the pandemic the number of US citizens wishing to relocate to Europe has soared: Their number reached 6,705 in 2020, up 224% from 2019, while last year there was a fresh 18% increase.
In that context Greece and its property market are expected to constitute a significant destination for US investors, having become the third most popular option for them in 2021: The 42 applications for residence permits in 2021 constitute a 740% jump compared to only five applications filed in 2020.
Since the start of the Golden Visa program in Greece the Chinese have remained the main driving force as they account for five out of every eight (62.5%) residence permits issued. Chinese nationals have already received 6,314 permits, followed by Turks, Lebanese and Russians.