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Greece blocks Russians from Golden Visa permit

Greece has stopped issuing and renewing residence permits to wealthy Russians

investing in the country via its Golden Visa program until further notice, according to the Migration Ministry.

The move is part of sanctions being imposed in Europe and globally against Russia for its invasion of Ukraine.

Demand from Russians has contributed significantly to the success of Greece’s residency-for-investment programs launched nearly ten years ago.

“New requests will not be accepted and no applications for the category ‘business executives’ for citizens of the Russian Federation will be considered,” the ministry said in a statement.

It did not clarify whether previously issued visas will be affected.

Under its “Golden Visa” scheme, Greece offers a renewable five-year resident’s permit in return for a 250,000 euro investment. Many investors chose to qualify for the permits by investing in Greek real estate assets. Apart from buying villas in popular islands, such as Mykonos and Crete, investors seeking the residency permit often prefer beachside homes in southern Athens, a stretch known as the Athens Riviera.

Migration Minister Notis Mitarakis said that nearly 2,500 residence permits have been issued to Russian citizens since the program was launched in 2013 and that Greece has attracted more than 3 billion euros in investment since then. The program has also drawn strong interest from wealthy Chinese and Turkish individuals.

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