The magnet of the Golden Visa

The backlog of residence applications by third-country large real estate buyers is growing

The magnet of the Golden Visa

The first five months of 2023 saw real estate purchases with a total value of 975 million euros coming from investors from third countries interested in obtaining a residence permit through the Golden Visa program.

This is almost three times the amount recorded in the same period last year, when €361 million was invested. This 170% increase is based on requests submitted to the Migration Ministry for the granting of initial permanent investor permits. The total number of applications amounts to 3,900, compared to 1,444 during last year’s first five months.

Meanwhile, the peak of the investment flow to the local market has started to cause delays in approvals by the competent agencies. Today pending Golden Visas amount to 5,444. If the relatives of the investors are added, as well as the renewals of previous permits, the total number of pending permits amounts to 17,742.

In the last 12 months alone (June 2022 – May 2023) 8,351 requests for initial licenses and renewals were submitted, of which only 35% have been issued. 

Market professionals also confirm this fact. Alexandros Risvas, head of the Risvas & Associates law firm, which specializes in the field of investment immigration, notes to Kathimerini that “delays have indeed increased. Until recently approvals were granted in up to two months. Now at least three months is required, which is due to the more than tripling of the volume of applications.”

The rate of approvals has actually increased, as in January-May permits issued to new investors amounted to 1,938, from 777 in the same period last year – an increase of 149%. In May alone, a total of 412 licenses were granted, up from 220 last year. Of these, 317 concerned new investors, compared to 169 permits that had been approved in the corresponding month of 2022. 

However, data show the rate of new applications is such that the agencies are unable to respond, while besides new investors, the renewals of the “first-generation” investors, whose five-year licenses are expiring, are also added.

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