Greece and Cyprus Revise Golden Visa Programs: What Investors Need to Know

Cyprus, Greece
#permanentresidence #investmentvisa

Greece and Cyprus have recently modified their Golden Visa programmes to attract more investors while tackling housing shortages. These changes are critical for investors looking for residency through investing opportunities in Europe.

Greece's Golden Visa Program Changes

Effective March 31, 2024, Greece's Golden Visa programme will raise the minimum investment level from €250,000 to €800,000 in selected areas such as Attica, Thessaloniki, Mykonos, and Santorini. This tiered system balances investment appeal and housing market demand depending on location.

The new guidelines also offer a transition period in which applicants can lock in the current investment criteria by placing a 10% deposit by September 30 and completing their investment by December 31, 2024. These modifications reflect Greece's efforts to maintain the integrity of residence pathways while encouraging investment in critical regions. 

Cyprus's Permanent Residence Program Updates

Cyprus's Golden Visa programme, which offers Permanent Residence and can lead to citizenship, now demands a €300,000 investment plus 5% VAT. With greater scrutiny, this programme has established more robust controls and new criteria to improve openness and compliance.

One major change is the requirement that beneficiaries provide annual statistics and have a clean criminal record from their place of origin every three years. These steps address abuse concerns while maintaining the program's integrity.

Implications for Investors and Third-Country Nationals

The latest changes to Greece and Cyprus' Golden Visa programmes substantially impact investors and third-country nationals.

These changes include navigating new investment levels and timelines for investors. In Greece, the minimum investment has been raised to €800,000 in some areas, necessitating a greater financial commitment. The transitional phase enables investors to lock in current thresholds, giving them a brief window to profit from lower investment requirements.

The program's stricter rules and criteria in Cyprus necessitate more due diligence and compliance. Investors must now submit annual statistics and have a clean criminal background, which adds levels of scrutiny to the application process.

The ramifications for third-country nationals are twofold. Rising income limits for permanent residence eligibility in Cyprus may impact affordability and accessibility. In Greece, prospective modifications in minimum investment criteria may influence the program's appeal to particular investors.

These revisions emphasise the changing nature of residency-by-investment programmes, emphasising transparency, compliance, and the necessity for investors and third-country nationals to be educated and flexible in their plans.


Are there any incentives to invest in Zone C (€250,000) under Greece's amended programme?

While Zone C has a lower investment requirement, it comprises areas with lesser foreign real estate demand, which could provide chances for strategic investment and reduced competition.

What modifications have been made to Cyprus's programme for dependant eligibility?

Cyprus has amended its dependents criterion, barring parents, parents-in-law, and adult children from being linked to the principal applicant's application. This may impact family applications.

How do the modifications in Greece and Cyprus compare to the other European Golden Visa programmes?

The modifications in Greece and Cyprus, such as higher investment criteria and more robust controls, are consistent with a more significant trend observed in several European Golden Visa programmes. Similar to those implemented in other EU countries, these changes aim to improve transparency, compliance, and the balance between luring investment and fulfilling national priorities.


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