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Greece – Visas

Visa Regulations for Entering Greece

Greece is a popular destination for tourists and expats alike, offering a rich culture, history, and natural beauty. However, before traveling to Greece, it is important to understand the visa regulations and requirements for entry. In this article, we will explore the types of visas available for entering Greece, any exemptions that may apply, and the relationship between visas and residency.

Types of Visas for Entering Greece

There are several types of visas available for individuals who wish to enter Greece, including short-term visas and long-term visas. The type of visa required will depend on the individual’s reason for entering Greece, the length of their stay, and their nationality.

Short-Term Visas

Short-term visas are available for individuals who wish to stay in Greece for up to 90 days. These visas are generally issued for the purpose of tourism, business, or family visits. Short-term visas can be further categorized into the following types:


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  • Schengen visa: This visa allows the holder to travel freely within the Schengen area, which includes most of Europe. This visa is required for citizens of countries that are not part of the European Union or the European Economic Area. Citizens of some countries are exempt from the Schengen visa requirement, such as citizens of the United States, Canada, and Australia.

  • National visa: This visa allows the holder to stay in Greece for up to 90 days for a specific purpose, such as work, study, or family reunion. This visa is required for citizens of non-EU or non-EEA countries who wish to enter Greece for a specific purpose.

Long-Term Visas

Long-term visas are available for individuals who wish to stay in Greece for more than 90 days. These visas are generally issued for the purpose of work, study, or family reunification. Long-term visas can be further categorized into the following types:

  • Type D visa: This visa allows the holder to stay in Greece for up to 365 days for a specific purpose, such as work, study, or family reunion. This visa is required for citizens of non-EU or non-EEA countries who wish to enter Greece for a specific purpose.

  • Residence permit: A residence permit allows the holder to reside in Greece for an extended period of time, typically for a period of one year. This permit is required for individuals who wish to live and work in Greece for an extended period of time.

Visa Exemptions

Citizens of some countries are exempt from the visa requirement when traveling to Greece. These countries include members of the European Union and the European Economic Area, as well as citizens of some other countries, such as the United States, Canada, and Australia. However, even if a visa is not required, individuals may still need to meet certain requirements, such as having a valid passport and proof of sufficient funds.

Relationship Between Visas and Residency

It is important to note that a visa is not the same as a residency permit. While a visa allows an individual to enter Greece for a specific period of time, a residency permit allows an individual to reside in Greece for an extended period of time. In order to obtain a residency permit, individuals must meet certain requirements, such as having a job offer or proof of financial means to support themselves.

Reliable Information on Visas for Entry into Greece

Individuals who are planning to travel to Greece can find reliable information on visa requirements and regulations from the following sources:

How and when should you apply for a visa?
Visitors to Greece are required to have a valid visa, unless they are citizens of the European Union (EU), European Economic Area (EEA), or Switzerland. If you are not a citizen of the EU, EEA, or Switzerland, you should apply for a visa in advance of your trip.

The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides detailed information on the visa requirements for different countries and the application process: https://www.mfa.gr/en/visas/

Where to Apply for a Visa

Visitors to Greece can apply for a visa at a Greek consulate or embassy in their home country

For US expats, the nearest consulate is the Embassy of Greece in Washington, D.C., which is responsible for processing visa applications for Greece: https://www.mfa.gr/en/missionsabroad/washington/

For UK expats, the nearest consulate is the Embassy of Greece in London, which is responsible for processing visa applications for Greece: https://www.mfa.gr/en/missionsabroad/london/

Application Documents

The required documents for a visa application vary depending on the purpose and duration of your stay. Common documents include:

-A completed and signed visa application form, which can be found on the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: https://www.mfa.gr/en/visas/
-A valid passport
-Two recent passport-sized photos
-Proof of financial means, such as bank statements or a letter from an employer
-Proof of travel medical insurance
-Documentation supporting the purpose of your stay, such as a letter of invitation or a letter of admission from a university

The Greek consulate or embassy processing your application can provide a full list of required documents and information on accepted forms of translation.

Application Processing Time

The processing time for a visa application varies depending on the time of year and the complexity of the application. The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs states that processing times can range from a few days to several weeks. It is recommended to apply well in advance of your planned trip to allow sufficient time for processing.

How much does it cost to apply?
The cost of a visa application varies depending on the type of visa and the applicant’s age. Information on fees can be found on the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: https://www.mfa.gr/en/visas/

In addition to the visa fee, there may be additional costs, such as the cost of travel medical insurance. The Greek consulate or embassy processing your application can provide a full list of associated costs.


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