Greece Approved Nearly Twice as Many Golden Visas as Portugal in November
Another 151 main applicants received approvals for their Greek Golden Visa applications in November, figures released this week show. Total main applicant approvals so far in 2021 now stand at 898, just 40 approvals shy of last year’s total. The relatively similar 2021 and 2020 totals, however, mask a trend of acceleration that has taken hold in the Greek program in the last quarter of 2021: Nearly 40% of all approvals this year stem from October and November alone.
For 2021 year-to-date in aggregate, the Greek program has a slim lead over Portugal's Golden Visa in terms of the average weekly approval volume; an average of 18.7 approvals a week in 2021 compared to Portugal's 16.3. Considering November 2021 in isolation, the contrast between the two programs grows starker still: The Greek per-week approval rate hit 38 last month versus Portugal's 21. November's per-week approval rate was also double that seen on average for the Greek program in both 2020 as a whole and 2021 YTD.
With one month left in the year, Portugal has approved a total of 781 main applicants compared to Greece's 898. The Greek lead in approval volume appears likely to grow in 2022. Measured in revenue, however, the Greek Golden Visa still takes a backseat to that of Portugal, even before the latter's 2022 hikes in minimum investment requirements have set in.
Assuming average investment amounts of EUR 300,000 for the Greek program (we have precise figures for Portugal), it will have raised some EUR 270 million so far in 2021, considerably behind Portugal's EUR 419 million in 2021 YTD.
Greece continues to inch ever-closer to its 10,000th golden visa investor, a milestone Portugal recently passed. To date, a grand total of 9,473 investors - as well as 18,938 of their family members, have qualified for Greek Golden Visas.
The absolute preponderance of investors have been Chinese nationals, who now represent 67% of Greece's main applicants and 69% of dependents to date. At about 6% of the total each, Turkish and Russian investors are the second and third-largest applicant groups.
Variance in average family size per application remains significant; while Egyptian investors append a mere 1.6 dependents to their applications on average, Iraqis bring twice as many family members.
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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 16 years in the United States, China, Spain, and Portugal.