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Greece considering immigrant reform to woo investors

2015-July-8       Source: ecns.cn

Greece is considering immigration reform that could allow non-European foreign investors to bring their families to Greece, Beijing Times reported.

[Photo / Internet]

Greece is considering immigration reform that could allow non-European foreign investors to bring their families to Greece, Beijing Times reported.

Greece could revise its 250,000-Euro immigration program amid the mounting debt crisis. If the newer version takes effect, immigrant investors could bring their spouse, children and parents, instead of just themselves, to Greece, according to Emmanuel Stantzos, the Greece counsel of economics and business in China.

The existing program grants an investor a five-year permit to stay in Greece as long as they invest at least 250,000 Euros in one or more real estate property in the country. The permit could be extended if the investor maintains ownership of the house after five years.

It remains to be seen whether these changes will actually happen since Greece's government has not released any relevant official statements, according to Stantzos. Moreover, unlike green cards, stay permits do not grant investors the right to employment in Greece.

In terms of the real estate market and immigration, supply has exceeded demand since the outbreak of the Greek debt crisis, says Yu Jianfei, an immigration agent. "We could sell 30 to 40 houses per year three or four years ago. Now it's only about a dozen." Greece's immigration offer is one of the cheapest in Europe, according to Yu. Investors should consider a country's credibility before giving away their money.

Since its release in 2013, Greece's immigration program has attracted more than 1400 applications, of which 460 were Chinese. However, only 110 of these successfully completed procedures due to paperwork complications and money transaction limits.

Editor: Will

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