The Greek government is trying to deal with the huge backlog of applications for residence permits for non-European Union citizens eligible for these after investing in at least 250,000 euros in Greek properties.

Law firms and estate agents have been delayed due to the application overload by the Decentralised Authorities – regional state agencies above Regional Authorities.

“A few weeks ago we had to travel with the buyer of a Vouliagmeni property to Patra [more than 200 km away], where we finally managed to submit the documents and receive the residence permit,” Alexandros Risvas, head of the Risvas & Associates law firm which specializes in residence permits, told Kathimerini Greek daily newspaper.

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The three central authorities in Attica (Athens, Piraeus and Pallini) have experienced an influx over the 18 months that they cannot deal with. One non-EU investor was told that he had to wait for the next available appointment for a Golden Visa in 2021.

The Migration Police Ministry has stepped in by issuing a decision that allows for applications to be tabled with any Decentralised Authority in Greece and not just where the property is located.

“The recent ministerial decision has indeed offered us some breathing space, as some investors had already started turning to other EU countries to invest their funds and obtain a residence permit. However, even that solution can only be temporary, as it is obvious that this system will also be overloaded soon,” Risvas says.

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