While virtually all residence and citizenship by investment programs are slated to hit the Coronavirus-wall in the first and second quarters of 2020, Q1 figures show Greece – where China has been the source of four-fifths of applicants over the last year – have been disproportionately slammed.
So far in 2020, only 227 main applicants received approvals, a number 62% below last year’s figures in annualized terms and a blow twice as crushing as the one the pandemic dealt Portugal in the month of March.
While, as public life in China has returned to something close to normalcy over the last few weeks, some had expected that Greek suffering might be alleviated in the second quarter, such hopes were dashed on March 11th as the country’s Immigration Bureau closed their offices to the public and have yet to determine when they might reopen.
The outright suspension of processing in Greece contrasts starkly with the measures taken in smaller RCBI-jurisdictions, notably in the Caribbean, where processing continues largely uninterrupted as the region’s citizenship by investment units move processing online.
Presuming investment amounts remained around the historical EUR 300,000 average, Greece will have raised some EUR 68 million through its program so far in 2020. In aggregate since 2014, the Greece has approved 7,414 main applicants and 14,689 dependents under the golden visa program.
While at least 80% of applicants in the last year have been Chinese, their cumulative share of applicants since the program’s beginning amount to 72%. That’s an order of magnitude more than the second biggest source-market, Turkey, which contributed 7% of applicants.
Should Greece leave its EUR 250,000 minimum investment requirement unchanged following the pandemic, however, chances are good they could get many more square meters of golden visa real estate than the same investment might have bought them in 2019. See Will The Covid/Economic Crisis Make RCBI Real Estate More Attractive? and How Many m2 of Property Do Residence by Investment Programs Buy You in Europe?
Want to know more about the Greek Golden Visa program? To see recent articles, statistics, official links, and more, please visit its Program Page. To see which firms can assist with applications, visit the Residence & Citizenship by Investment Company Directory.
Properties that can qualify the buyer for residence permits in Greece:
See more properties that come with residence/citizenship opportunities in IMI Real Estate.
Christian Henrik Nesheim is the founder and editor of Investment Migration Insider, the #1 magazine – online or offline – for residency and citizenship by investment. He is an internationally recognized expert, speaker, documentary producer, and writer on the subject of investment migration, whose work is cited in the Economist, Bloomberg, Fortune, Forbes, Newsweek, and Business Insider. Norwegian by birth, Christian has spent the last 14 years in the United States, China, and Spain.