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.
According to a recent Ministerial Decision, authorized attorneys can now submit the applications of Golden Visa investors centrally, to the offices of the Immigration Policy Directorate of the Ministry of Immigration and Asylum in Athens (instead of the local Immigration Offices), for a more streamlined process. Moreover, the Greek Government has ensured that applications can be submitted remotely, i.e. without the physical presence of investors, which allows investors to apply despite the current travel restrictions. This measure applies to investors that they have already concluded the investment by entering at least one time in Greece, but we expect to cover new investors as well in the future.
As applications can currently be submitted; the Greek Government has also ensured that the rest of the Golden Visa process could be handled accordingly. Namely, according to the above Ministerial Decision also grants the possibility for the biometric data of the Golden Visa applicants to be given at a later stage, when it will be more convenient for the investor and their family to travel to Greece, and after flight restrictions have been lifted.
Following our firm's official proposal on the 16th of April 2020, the Greek Golden Visa Law does not require from the Golden Visa investors to provide the original passports, to collect their Residence Permits, but only a certified copy of their passports.
Due to COVID-19 protective measures, which have impacted all government agencies, many Golden Visa Residence Permits have already been issued, but it has not possible to collect them, as Immigration Offices remain closed to the public. The Greek Government has, once again, taken additional favourable measures, exclusive to Golden Visa applications. More specifically, according to another Ministerial Decision, a Golden Visa-specific exception has been made, and it is now possible for already issued Golden Visas to be sent via courier to the appointed attorneys of the investors, without an in-person visit. The same process can be used, again exclusively for Golden Visa applications, in order for attorneys to submit any additional supporting documentation via courier, for pending Golden Visa applications.