Chinese, Turkish Nationals Lead Greece Golden Visa

In the pursuit of residency and investment opportunities, Chinese and Turkish nationals have emerged as the primary beneficiaries of Greece's coveted Golden Visa Program. 

Turkish Nationals

The Ministry of Migration and Foreign Affairs of Greece reported a substantial uptake in residency permits in 2021, with 6,405 individuals from China and 618 from Turkey successfully obtaining these permits through the program.

Top Five Nationalities in Greece's Golden Visa

The Ministry's statistics underscore the dominance of certain nationalities within Greece’s Golden Visa landscape:

  • China - 6,405
  • Turkey - 618
  • Russia - 596
  • Lebanon - 250

Residency Permit Issuance and Family Benefits

The momentum continued into February 2023, with an impressive surge in residency permits. A staggering total of 10,105 residence permits were granted to investors, complemented by an additional 18,154 permits issued for their accompanying family members.

Evolution of Investment Requirements

Greece's Golden Visa Scheme underwent substantial alterations in August, notably raising the minimum investment threshold from €250,000 to €500,000 in designated regions. Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis spearheaded this change, emphasizing the imperative to augment real estate accessibility for Greek citizens across specific areas.

The revised investment criteria now encompass strategic zones including the Northern part of Greece, central and southern sectors of Athens in the Attica Region, and prestigious islands such as Mykonos, Santorini, and the Municipality of Thessaloniki.

Economic Stimulus and Program Popularity

Greece's Golden Visa Program stands as a pinnacle among Europe's most coveted investment initiatives. A testament to its economic prowess, the program injected a formidable €1 billion into the country's economy within the first five months of the year.

Surge in Real Estate Transactions

The Ministry's data reveals a pronounced upsurge in real estate transactions, with an impressive 3,900 requests received from January to May. 

This stands in stark contrast to the 1,444 requests registered during the corresponding period the previous year. Moreover, from May last year to May 2023, the country received a notable 8,351 investor visa applications, with a commendable 35% approval rate.

Controversy Surrounding Golden Visa Programs

Despite their contribution to economic growth and attracting international investors, Golden Visa Programs across European countries face criticism for alleged involvement in irregular affairs.

Greece's Golden Visa Program, despite its popularity and economic contributions, hasn't been immune to these criticisms. The program continues to draw scrutiny for potential irregularities associated with such investment schemes.


  1. Who are the top nationalities benefiting from Greece’s Golden Visa Program?

Chinese nationals top the list with 6,405 residency permits granted in 2021, followed by Turkish nationals with 618 permits. Other notable nationalities include Russians (596) and Lebanese (250) participants.

  1. How many residence permits were issued to investors and their families in February 2023?

In February 2023, a significant uptick was observed with 10,105 residence permits issued to investors and an additional 18,154 permits granted to their accompanying family members.

  1. What changes were made to the investment requirements for Greece's Golden Visa Program?

In August, the minimum investment threshold was increased from €250,000 to €500,000. This adjustment affected specific regions such as the Northern part of Greece, central and southern sectors of Athens in the Attica Region, as well as renowned islands like Mykonos, Santorini, and the Municipality of Thessaloniki.

  1. How much economic impact did Greece's Golden Visa Program have in recent times?

The program contributed significantly to Greece's economy, injecting a substantial €1 billion within the first five months of this year alone.

  1. What is the scrutiny surrounding Golden Visa Programs, including Greece's?

Despite their economic contributions, Golden Visa Programs across Europe face criticism for potential irregularities and transparency issues. Greece's program, in particular, has faced ongoing scrutiny, prompting discussions about its efficacy and transparency in operation.


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