At the onset of the global Covid-19 pandemic, Greece was amongst the first European countries to close its Golden Visa processing operations as part of an early response to contain the pandemic. The government's swift response has earned the country much praise and is credited for the fact that Greece is expected to emerge from the crisis relatively unscathed compared to its European counterparts.
Greece is ready to take advantage of its timely and successful management of the pandemic, seeing as foreign demand for local residential real estate is showing strong signs of growth compared to 2019.
The Greek government is now actively examining the best way to re-launch of its Golden Visa program, with changes that are aimed at being more robust and less bureaucratic than its pre COVID-19 days.
As a result of its early reaction, Greece is expected to be among the first to reopen its immigration processing. But Greece isn't merely bringing its golden visa program back to normal; the government states:
"We are very interested in jump-starting the real estate market and in this direction, we are immediately relaunching the golden visa program," said Deputy Finance Minister Theodoros Skylakakis in mid-April, and indicated the country's economy would begin a gradual reopening at the beginning of May. He also ensured measures relating to the improvement of the golden visa program would be made, with the objective of stimulating investment and facilitating investor interest.
"To accelerate the course of growth in the coming months, we will seek to lift the bureaucratic obstacles that currently exist in the property market," he said in April.
Despite the fact Immigration Offices remain closed due to the COVID-19 situation; the Greek Government has taken vital steps to facilitate Golden Visa Applications. More specifically:
- Remote applications for Golden Visa investors directly to the Ministry of Migration via authorized attorneys
- Submission of biometric data is permitted at a later stage
- Collection can be made by showing a certified copy of the passport
- Collection of already issued Golden Visas, and submission of additional documents can be done via courier
Results of the Greek Golden Visa so far have been nothing short of remarkable leading to the Greek Golden Visa becoming, by a huge margin, the world's most popular such program.
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