Greece, the cradle of democracy and Western civilization, today known as the Hellenic Republic, is one of the sunniest countries in the world. With more than 2000 islands, a lot of beaches, rich varieties of wildlife, rich ancient and modern architecture, and delicious cuisine, this is one must-visit-country in the life of every person.
And this is exactly the reason why Greece is the European destination which has seen the biggest increase in the number of visitors within the last decade. It is estimated that from around 15 million tourists that visited Greece in 2010, the numbers in 2018 are even higher than 32 million tourists.
As a member state of the Schengen Zone common travel area, Greece permits foreigners to enter its territory for tourism and business purposes with a Greek Schengen Visa since 2000 when as a Member of the European Union, it also joined the Schengen Area.
Greece Entry Requirements
If you are an EU national, you will be permitted to enter Greece carrying only an identification document or your passport.
On the other hand, if you are a national of a third-world country wishing to visit Greece, you will need to present the following documents to the Greek border police:
- A valid passport or travel document. Valid for at least three more months beyond your planned date of exit from Schengen and issued within the last 10 years.
- A visa – if you are subject to a Greek visa regime.
Moreover, the Greek border officer may ask you some questions related to your trip to Greece, i.e.:
- What is your purpose for visiting Greece?
- How long do you intend to stay in Greece?
- Where are you going to stay in Greece? Etc.
He/she may also ask you to provide additional supporting documents such as an invitation letter by a Greek host, proof of financial means, proof of lodging or a round-trip ticket, etc. For more information in this regard, contact the local consular services of Greece in your home country.
Please note that the final decision whether you shall be permitted to enter Greece or not, belongs to the Greek border officer. If you are permitted to enter, please make sure that the Greek border officer stamps your passport when you enter Greece. Without a stamp, you could be fined or detained in Greece.
Who Needs a Schengen Visa to Enter Greece?
You will need a short-stay visa to enter Greece and any other member country of the Schengen zone if you belong to one of the following categories:
- You are a citizen of a developing nation with which the Schengen member states have not yet concluded a visa liberalization agreement.
- You are the national of a third-world country that has signed a visa liberalization agreement with the Schengen states, but you were previously rejected from entering Greece or any other Schengen country.
What Documents Are Required for a Greece Schengen Visa Application?
According to Greece visa requirements, you will need to submit some statutory documents as part of your short-term Greek Visa application at the Greek embassy/consulate. These documents are as listed an explained below:
- Greek visa application form. Complete the visa application form with all required information, print it and then sign it at then end. Here you can learn more How to Fill-in the Schengen Visa Application Form without any mistakes.
- Two passport photos. The photos should be identical according to the photograph requirements for the Greek Schengen visa application as set by the Schengen visa regulation.
- Your valid passport. Before applying for a short-stay visa to Greece, make sure your passport complies with the passport criteria set by the Schengen states. Your passport should have at least two blank pages, three more months of validity beyond your planned stay in the Schengen, and must be issued within the last 10 years.
- Copies of your previous visas (if applicable).
- Schengen Travel Health Insurance. Purchase health insurance valid for Greece and the whole territory of the Schengen Area, with a minimum coverage of €30,000 for medical emergencies. Learn how to buy travel insurance that corresponds with Greek visa requirements.
- Round-trip Flight Itinerary. A document that shows you have a booked flight to enter and leave Greece. This document should specify flight numbers, dates, and your name and surname.
- Proof of accommodation. I.e. a hotel reservation in Greece. Find and Book Hotels in Greece!
- Proof of sufficient financial means for the period of stay in Greece. Travelers to Greece are obliged to attest possessing an amount of 50€ per each day they plan on spending in Greece. A reduction to 50% of the regular amount applies to minors.
- A cover letter. A personal letter in which you explain why you are applying to visit Greece, how long you plan to stay, when will you leave and other details.
- Proof of civil status. This could be a marriage certificate, birth certificate of children, death certificate of spouse, etc.
Greek Visa Requirements Based on Your Employment Status
In addition, you will need to provide the embassy/consulate with documents that prove you meet Belgium visa requirements based on your employment status:
- Employment contract.
- Current bank statement of the latest 6 months.
- Leave permission from the employer.
- Income Tax Return (ITR) form.
- A copy of your business license.
- Company bank statement of the latest 6 months.
- Income Tax Return (ITR).
If a student:
- Proof of enrollment.
- No objection certificate from school or university.
- Pension statement of the latest 6 months.
- Proof of regular income generated by property for the last 6 months.
Greek Visa Requirements for Minors
Minors applying to get a short-stay visa to Greece, or parents applying for their minor child to get a visa, will need to complete the following additional Greek Visa Requirements in their application file:
- Birth certificate of the minor traveling to Greece.
- Greece application form signed by both parents.
- Family court order. In cases where only one parent has full custody over the child.
- Certified copies of ID / passport of both parents
- If the minor will be travelling alone with another person:
- An original and copy of the accompanying person’s passport page containing the holder’s data, and expiry date, a recent photograph and valid visa copy.
- A notarized parental authorization to travel to Greece, signed by both parents / guardians
*Note: When applying at the Greek embassy/consulate in home country, the guardian or parent should accompany their under-age children.
Additional Requirements Based on the Purpose of Entry to Greece
According to Greece visa requirements, the following documents are required to be submitted to the Greek embassy/consulate alongside with the standard documents listed above, when applying for any short-term Greek visa:
Greece Airport Transit Visa Requirements
If you need to land on one of the Greek airports, in order to take another flight to reach your non-Schengen destination country, you may have to apply for a Greece Airport Transit Visa.
Please note that the list of countries that need an airport transit visa to pass through the Greek airports is narrower than the list of those who need other Schengen visa types. Check the list of the nationals that need a Greece Airport Transit Visa, to find out if you need to apply for one.
What Documents Are Required for a Greece Airport Transit Schengen Visa?
When applying to obtain a Greece Airport Transit visa, you must provide the following additional documents:
- A valid visa (if needed) for the final country you are travelling to.
- The flight ticket for the final country you are travelling to.
Greece Transit Visa Requirements
Seafarers who need to disembark at one of the Greek harbors in the Greek mainland or any of its islands in order to take another vessel to their non-Schengen destination country, may have to apply for a Greece Transit Visa.
What Documents Are Required for a Greece Transit Schengen Visa?
When applying to obtain a Greece Transit visa, you must provide the following additional documents:
- A valid visa (if required) for the final country you are travelling to.
- The ticket for the final country you are travelling to.
- Medical fitness certificate. Certifying that you are free of any disease capable of putting public health at risk, according to the international situation and the World Health Organization.
- Valid Seaman’s Book
- Letter from the inviting Shipping Company. Issued by the inviting Shipping Company in the Schengen country in which the seafarer will disembark
- Application by the shipping company. A document which indicates the seafarer’s full details including name, surname, date of birth passport number, rank/grade.
- Employment contract. Contract with the navigation company / ship in order to board the ship.
Greece Business Visa Requirements
If you need to visit Greece in order to become part of an activity related to business, i.e. business meeting, contract signing, the inauguration of a business, a business ceremony, etc., you will have to apply for a Greece Business Visa.
What Documents Are Required for a Business Schengen Visa to Greece?
The required documents to apply for a Greece Business Visa, for stays up to 90 days within 6-month periods are as following:
- Invitation letter from the Greek company inviting you to attend a meeting, conference or event in Greece and their detailed address accompanied with the dates of your visit.
- A letter from your employer. In this letter should be stated why you will be traveling to Greece.
- Proof of trip financing. Regarding the applicant’s expenses during their stay in Greece, either the employer or the partner company must state coverage of expenses on the letter or invitation.
Greece Study Visa Requirements
You will need to apply for a Greece Study visa if you wish to attend a study course, an internship or a training that is supposed to last 90 days or less, within a period of six months.
What Documents Are Required for a Schengen Visa to Study in Greece?
When applying to get a Greek Student visa, you must provide the following additional documents:
- No objection letter from the educational institution where you are currently enrolled (if applicable).
- Certificate of admission or registration at an educational institution in Greece for the purpose of attending academic or vocational courses.
- Internship agreement. Signed between the company in Greece, the establishment of origin and the trainee.
Greece Medical Visa Requirements
If you are planning to travel to Greece to receive health treatment, as medical therapies, to undergo an operation, etc., then you will have to apply for a Greece Medical visa prior to your trip.
What Documents Are Required for a Medical Schengen Visa to Greece?
You need to prove to the Greek embassy / consulate in your country of residence that you meet the Greece Medical Visa requirements by submitting the following documents:
- A local medical report. Issued by a doctor / clinic / hospital in your home country, confirming that you need to receive medical treatment in Greece.
- A medical attestation from the hospital or doctor in Greece, confirming the date of your appointment as well as your medical situation. It should also confirm that the hospital can perform the specific medical treatment and that you will be accepted accordingly.
- Proof of financial arrangement made. Prepayment or other proof of sufficient financial means or arrangement made to cover the medical treatment and related expenses, such as insurance coverage.
- Correspondence between the sending medical doctor and the receiving medical institution, if available.
Greece Cultural/Sports/Religious Events Visa Requirements
If you plan on traveling to Greece under the sole purpose of attending an event related to culture, sports or religion or as a part of a film crew, then you will need to apply for a Greece Cultural/Sports/Religious Events Visa
What Documents Are Required for a Cultural/Sports/Religious Events Schengen Visa to Greece?
When applying to get a Greek Cultural / Sports / Religious Event in Greece, you must provide the following additional documents:
- Invitation letter from the organizer of the event. If applicable, with entry tickets, enrollment, program, and accommodation details.
- Proof of previous performances. Participation in previous festivals and ceremonies (cultural, religious), sports competitions, winners certificates, proof of world/international ranking (sports).
- For film crew members:
- Letter of the film company specifying name, synopsis of the film and shooting locations.
- Complete list of names of travelling crew members along with their designations.
- Letter from the agency in Greece confirming arrangements for film permits.
- Certificate of registration with the Local Pictures Producers Association/Film Chamber of Commerce
Required Documents for a Greek Schengen Visa for the Wife/Husband of a Greek Citizen
If you are the spouse (husband/wife) of a Greek national wishing to visit Greece for the short-term, then you will have to apply for a Schengen Visa for the Wife/Husband of a Greek Citizen.
What Documents Are Required for a Schengen Visa to Greece for the Wife/Husband of a Greek Citizen?
When applying to get a Greek visa as the spouse of a Greek national/citizen, you must prove you meet the requirements by submitting the following additional documents:
- Proof of Greek citizenship (ID card or consular card or certification of Greek nationality or naturalization order).
- Greek marriage certificate.
- Greek family record book.
Greek Schengen Visa for Members of Official Delegations
If you are planning to travel to Greece as part of an official delegation representing the government of your country, an organization or another institution, you will need to apply for a Greek Schengen Visa for Members of Official Delegations.
What Documents Are Required for a Schengen Visa to Greece for Members of Official Delegations?
When applying to get a Greek visa as a member of an official delegation, you must provide the following additional documents:
- The official invitation copy.
- Evidence about the purpose of journey (negotiations, meetings, event by intergovernmental organizations, consultations).
- Verbal note issued by the authority concerned, confirming your identity, the purpose of your journey, as well as period and place of stay.
How to Apply for a Greek Short-Stay Visa?
The application process to obtain a short-stay visa to Greece goes as follows:
- Figure out which Greek visa type corresponds to your purpose of entry.
- Find out where you need to file your application.
- Complete the application form for a Greek short-stay visa.
- Collect the mandatory Greece visa requirements.
- Schedule a visa interview.
- Attend the interview at the right Greek Embassy/Consulate/VAC.
Where to Apply for a Greek Short-Stay Visa?
Before you start the procedures to obtain a Schengen visa to Greece, you should figure out where you need to lodge your application file. Depending on how Greece has regulated visa submission in your country of residence, you will have to apply at one of the following:
- The Greek Embassy
- A Greek consulate
- A Visa Application Center to which Greece has outsourced visa submission
- The Embassy / Consulate of another Schengen country to which Greece has outsourced visa submission
Who Can Apply for a Schengen Visa at the Greek Embassy / Consulate / VAC?
Please remember that only because Greece is in the Schengen Area, that does not mean you can file your Schengen visa at the Greek Embassy / Consulate / VAC no matter which countries you plan to visit.
The Schengen member states have very strict rules when it comes to the visa process, and the authorities that should admit and process the applications.
Submit your Schengen visa application at the Greek Embassy / Consulate / VAC in your country of residence, only in case one of the following corresponds to your situation.
- Aside of Greece, you will not visit any other Schengen country.
- You will visit more Schengen states, but Greece is your main destination, which means:
- You will be spending more days in Greece, than in the other countries.
- You will be spending an equal amount of days in each country, but you will enter the Schengen Zone through Greece.
Before submitting your application, note that you cannot apply for a short-stay Greek visa from a country in which you are currently on a visa.
You will be permitted to file a Greece short-stay visa application at a Greek Embassy / Consulate / VAC only if you are a:
- A citizen of the country from where you are applying.
- A foreign citizen on a permanent / temporary residence permit in the country from where you are applying.
How Long Does It Take to Get a Greek Visa?
The processing time for a Greece short-stay visa may take up to 15 days. Depending on your specific situation this period may be extended up to 30 days. Exceptional cases may take up to 60 days, especially in cases when the Greek embassies may have to consult with other Schengen embassies / consulates on your case.
Delays in Greece’s short-stay visa processing may also occur when another country is responsible for the processing of visas to Greece on behalf of the Hellenic Republic.
To make sure you will get your Greek short-stay visa on time, you should lodge your application as soon as possible, though not earlier than three months before you travel to Greece.
How Much Does It Cost to Apply for a Greek Visa?
The costs for Greek Schengen Visa are as follows:
- Greek visas for adult travellers – €80
- Greek visas for children (6 – 12 years) – €40
- Greek visas for children (under 6 years) – Free of Charge
In addition, according to the applicant’s nationality, the purpose of visit to Greece and some other factors, there are some categories of applicants exempt from paying the Greek Visa fee, and others that need to pay a lower amount as well.
Check the list of the Greek Schengen Visa fees to see if you belong to any of these categories!
How Long Can We Stay in Greece Without a Visa?
If you are the national of a visa-exempt country, you can enter and remain in Greece for up to 90 days in six months. If you wish to stay longer than 90 days, again depending on your nationality you will need to take the following actions:
- EU/EEA national – register at the relevant Greek authorities within 3 months of arrival.
- Australia, Israel, Japan, Canada, New Zealand, Republic of South Korea, the United States of America national – apply or a residence permit within three months of arrival.
- A national of any of the rest of the visa-exempt countries – apply for a long-stay visa from your country of residence.
If you are the national of a country that has not signed a visa-free agreement with Greece and the other Schengen members, you must obtain a visa before heading to Greece, or any other Schengen member country, even for short-term visits.
ATTENTION: Ensure you are familiar with the 90/180 Schengen Visa Rule. Do not break this rule, not even for a day, or you might pay a price. The consequences of overstaying on your Schengen visa are listed in this article.
Can I Extend My Schengen Visa in Greece?
Yes, you can extend your Greek Schengen visa, but only in exceptional cases where new facts and special reasons arise after entry in Greece, i.e. humanitarian reasons or force majeure. There are eight immigration offices in major cities where you can submit your application for an extension
- Athens APD
- Piraeus APD
- North-Eastern Attica APD
- South-Eastern Attica APD
- Western Attica APD
- Lavrion APD
- Eastern Thessaloniki APD
- Western Thessaloniki APD
Please read How to Extend a Schengen Visa in Greece to understand under what circumstances and under what conditions you can extend your Greek Schengen Visa.
Can My Greek Schengen Visa Be Revoked?
Yes, your Greece visa can be revoked, in case the competent Greek authorities conclude that the conditions for issuing the visa are no longer met.
Please note that failure of the visa holder to provide the border officer, with the entry requirements, may also lead to a decision to annul or revoke the visa, though not automatically.
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