All Types of Visas in Greece
Types of Visa in Greece - Requirements, Process and Application
Table of Contents
Greece offers a wide range of visas to cater to various entry purposes into the country. In this article, we will outline the requirements and application procedures for the most commonly issued visa types. Additionally, we will address frequently asked questions from potential applicants seeking Greek visas.
Visa Requirements by Nationality
Before applying for a Greek visa, it important to determine whether you actually require one. You have a few options to explore this. Seek guidance from your travel agent or reach out to the nearest Greek Consulate for assistance. Alternatively, you can refer to the relevant Wikipedia page for this matter.
To navigate the page, simply scroll through the countries listed in alphabetical order and select the one that corresponds to the passport you plan to use for your trip to Greece. Once you have accessed your country’s page, locate Greece in the provided list of countries.
Next to it, you will find:
- Information on whether a visa is required and the associated terms, if applicable
- Duration of stay permitted for your passport
- Additional comments related to visa regulations
The number next to the Visa Requirement will direct you to the reference source, typically a public document on the official webpage of the country’s Department of Immigration or a similarly authoritative source.
For this purpose, the Wikipedia page provided is highly useful, offering frequently updated information. However, it is important to note that the page should not be considered the ultimate authority or a substitute for an official response from the Consulate.
General Requirements for a Greek Schengen Visa
If you require a visa, there are various options available depending on your purpose of travel to Greece. However, certain general rules apply in any case. To apply for a Schengen visa, including the Greek visa, you must submit the following documents with your application:
- A valid passport with at least two blank pages. It should have been issued at least three months prior to your arrival date and be valid for a minimum of three months beyond your intended departure date from the country.
- Copies of your round-trip air tickets and hotel reservations or proof of alternative accommodation arrangements. These should be prepaid for the entire duration of your stay in Greece.
- Medical insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 euros, valid across the entire Schengen area.
- Proof of sufficient financial means to support yourself during your stay, as indicated in your application form.
- Bank statements for the past six months.
- Two recent passport-size color photographs (35 x 45 mm), taken within six months prior to the application date.
All documents, if necessary, must be translated into English or Greek and certified by a notary.
Please note that these requirements aim to enhance the quality and clarity of the writing while preserving the original meaning.
Invitation Letter from Greece
Additionally, for certain passport holders, it is necessary to provide an invitation letter issued by a Greek resident, whether an individual or a company, addressed to either the applicant or directly to the respective Consulate. In this letter, the host confirms their consent to assume all legal responsibilities and, if needed, provide accommodation for the entire duration of the applicant’s stay in the country.
The invitation letter should include the following information about the host:
- Name, contact details, date of birth, and occupation
- Residential address and type of accommodation
- Legal status in the country
Furthermore, the letter must contain the applicant’s name, address, contact details, and relationship with the host. It should also state the purpose of the visit and include the flight itinerary.
Specific Requirements for the US Travellers
- Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your intended departure date.
- You must have a return or onward ticket.
- You should be able to demonstrate sufficient financial resources to cover your expenses during your visit. This can include cash or any other form of financial means. It is recommended to have at least 50 euros per day and a minimum of 300 euros in total.
Types of Tourist Visas
For most tourist visa applications, the general requirements mentioned in the preceding sections are usually sufficient. However, if you have specific purposes in mind, please refer to the corresponding sections below. Greek tourist visas can be categorized as single-entry, double-entry, or multi-entry, and they remain valid for a duration of three months.
If you have visited the country three times within two consecutive years on a tourist visa, you become eligible to apply for a one-year visa. Moreover, by fulfilling certain specified conditions, the validity of this visa can be extended to three or even five years for future applications. It is important to note that all tourist visas exceeding three months automatically grant multiple entries.
Should you wish to extend your stay beyond three months, there are two additional requirements to fulfill. Firstly, you are not permitted to remain in the country for more than 90 out of every 180 days. Additionally, regardless of whether you require a visa or not, it is mandatory to obtain local registration starting from the 91st day of residence in Greece.
This registration process is generally straightforward. Importantly, your registration has no expiry date and remains valid even after re-entering the country.
If you plan to enter the country for educational purposes, you will need to apply for a student visa, which will be valid for three months. However, if your studies are expected to exceed this duration, such as in the case of colleges and universities, you will require a long-term study visa. In addition to the standard documentation requirements, you will also need to submit the following:
- A confirmation of your accommodation arrangements in Greece. This can be in the form of a contract with your landlord or a student hostel. If you opt for a private rental agreement, your landlord must provide an invitation letter certified by a notary.
- An invitation letter from the educational institution confirming your acceptance and providing essential details about your study program, including the department, degree, and duration of studies.
If you plan on working in Greece, your application for a work visa should include the following documents:
- Your employment contract
- An invitation letter from your employer
- All the necessary diplomas and certificates to verify your eligibility for the specified occupation in the Schengen area. Ensure that all documentation is translated and notarized.
Once you are in the country, it is necessary to apply for a work permit, which must be obtained before you begin working. Additionally, you will need to open a bank account in a Greek bank (refer to the next section for details on the required documents) and apply for a Greek Tax Number.
The taxation system in Greece can be quite intricate and may initially appear perplexing. Depending on your income level, you can expect to pay the following taxes.
Salary (in euros per month)
€12,000 or less
€100,000 and above
Visa by Investment
Officially known as the Golden Visa, it is essentially a residence permit granted to those who invest in the Greek real estate sector. This visa offers a convenient pathway to relocate to Greece, and the government actively works to streamline the application process to attract foreign direct investments in the private property market.
To obtain a Golden visa, all you need to do is purchase private property in Greece with a minimum value of 250,000 euros. The restrictions on property selection are minimal, mainly focusing on avoiding purchases near national borders or significant military sites.
The acquired residence permit needs to be renewed every five years. However, the Golden visa grants indefinite residency, effectively serving as a permanent residence permit. The only requirement for renewal is the continuous ownership of the property. The application process typically takes around three months to complete.
Moreover, residing in Greece for seven consecutive years enables you to apply for Greek citizenship. To qualify, you must spend at least 183 days per year in Greece during this period. These terms also apply to your immediate family.
When applying for a Golden visa, you will need to submit a letter explaining your motives for relocating to Greece. Additionally, you must include the following documents:
- Passport or ID
- Proof of employment or income source, whether foreign or Greek
- Marriage and birth certificates for immediate family members, if applicable
- Evidence of a Greek telephone number and a Greek bank account
- Medical insurance
- Greek tax number
- Police clearance
- Copy of the purchase contract for the Greek property
All documents must be translated into Greek, as the application process primarily takes place in government offices within the country.
This option, also known as a digital nomad visa, grants legal residence in Greece to individuals who can demonstrate a sufficient and stable income as remote employees, self-employed individuals, or freelancers, as long as the income is not derived from within the country.
Moreover, the self-employment visa allows immediate family members to accompany the visa holder for the entire duration of their stay in Greece, even during temporary absences from the country.
Currently, the required amount for this visa is 3.5K euros per month after taxes. Additionally, there should be 700 euros per month for the spouse and 525 euros per month for each child. The self-employment visa is valid for one year, after which the visa holder and their family members are eligible to apply for a 24-month temporary residence permit.
Furthermore, upon arrival in Greece, it is necessary to open a bank account and deposit a specified amount of money, as is the case with all residence permits in Greece. The following documents are required for this purpose:
- Passport or ID
- Proof of local residential address (any utility bill will suffice)
- Greek telephone number registration
- Greek tax number
- Confirmation of foreign income
By fulfilling these requirements, individuals can enjoy legal residence in Greece while pursuing self-employment opportunities and maintaining a stable income.
Visa for the Financially Independent
Referred to as a retirement visa, this opportunity allows you to reside in Greece on the condition that you can demonstrate your financial self-sufficiency. Notably, the financial independence visa differs in that it does not necessitate any employment validation whatsoever.
Any source of income from abroad will suffice, including pension funds and any lucrative investments you may possess. The key requirement is to prove your financial independence from the Greek national budget and affirm that you have no intention of seeking employment within the country. Currently, the stipulated amount for this visa type in Greece is 2,000 euros per month, exclusive of medical insurance and accommodation expenses.
Similar to the digital nomad visa, your family can accompany you and explore the Schengen area, provided all immigration criteria are met. Furthermore, all members will have access to local schools and medical services, and you will have the option to apply for Greek citizenship after a specified period of residency.
Additionally, you can legally own a business in Greece, with the sole condition being that your company cannot officially employ you. Moreover, if you invest a specific amount in the Greek economy or real estate, you are free to spend an unlimited number of days outside the country at your convenience.
Determining the most suitable visa type can be the most perplexing aspect of the process. You have options: research online, seek guidance from the Consulate, or delegate the task to your travel agent.
The subsequent phase is equally arduous. It involves gathering all the required documentation, ensuring translation if necessary, and obtaining apostilles or notarial certification.
Once you have meticulously organized all the necessary papers, proceed to submit your visa application. Depending on your circumstances, this can be done either online or at the nearest Greek Consulate. Be sure to complete this step at least three weeks prior to your planned travel to Greece, but no more than three months in advance.
Upon acceptance of your application, an invitation for an interview at the Consulate will be extended to you. During this interview, you will be asked to present your case and justify the purpose of your visit. The most effective approach is to be transparent and straightforward.
If all goes well, the final steps involve paying the requisite fees and awaiting their approval. In most instances, a successful interview result signifies that you will likely obtain your visa in due course.
Final Thoughts Greece Visa Types
Navigating the complexities of visa selection and document collection can often feel overwhelming. However, rest assured that you can rely on the expertise of your travel agent to guide you through the process seamlessly.
Additionally, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment at the nearest Greek Consulate and seek the necessary information. The Consular officer will gladly address your inquiries and provide tailored guidance to ensure an optimal procedure that aligns with your specific needs.
FAQs: Types of Visas in Greece
How long may I stay in Greece without a visa?
The visa requirements and duration of stay in Greece without one depend on your nationality. The specific terms vary for different passport holders. Generally, if you are not required to obtain a visa, you are allowed to stay in the country for up to 90 days.How can I apply for a Greek visa online?
For more detailed information, you can visit the nearest Greek Consulate or refer to the official webpage of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
How can I apply for a Greek visa online?
There are numerous online travel agencies and visa application centres available where you can conveniently fill out and submit your application form. Alternatively, you can directly visit the online application page of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
However, it is important to note that you must personally visit the designated Greek Consular section on the assigned date mentioned in their confirmation letter. This is necessary to fulfill all the application requirements and submit the required fees. It is crucial not to miss this appointment, as rescheduling might pose difficulties.
Rest assured, these steps will ensure a smooth and efficient application process.
How can I get a Greek visa for a school excursion?
There is no specific visa category for this purpose. Instead, you will need to apply for a general tourist visa. Please refer to the corresponding section in the article for detailed information on the requirements and application procedures related to your case.
Please note that applications will only be accepted if the full payment for the excursion package has been made. Additionally, there are specific conditions to consider for underage applicants.
Children under the age of 12 can apply for visas free of charge. For applicants older than 12, the fee is 35 euros per person, or 70 euros for an express application. The application process for underage applicants is the same as for adults.
Moreover, all applicants aged 12 and older must submit their biometric data at the visa application center or the Greek Consulate.
Furthermore, you will likely need formal permission from the child’s parents or guardians, stating that they are aware of the dates and itinerary and have no objections to allowing the child to go on the excursion under your supervision. The letter of permission must be translated into Greek and certified by a notary.
Can I visit Greece with my British visa?
The United Kingdom has never been a part of the Schengen area, even prior to its withdrawal from the European Union on 31 January 2020. Therefore, if you plan to include the United Kingdom in your itinerary, you will need to apply for a visa from one of the member states of the Schengen Agreement. It is highly likely that you will need to complete this application in your home country.
Which visa do I need if I want to move to Greece?
If you plan to live in the country, whether it’s for a temporary stay or a permanent move, you’ll need to apply for a residence permit instead of a visa. Fortunately, there are various options available to meet this requirement. For more detailed information, please refer to the sections on golden and retirement visas mentioned above.
What does the National Identity Number refer to in the application form for a Greek visa?
Certain countries, including Greece, employ ID numbers to uniquely identify their citizens. If you come from a nation that utilizes an internal passport system, kindly provide your passport number instead. Should the application form have a designated field for the passport number, please write “not applicable” alongside the Identity Number.
However, it is important to note that Greece employs a multifaceted system of ID numbers. The National Identity Number may also pertain to either the Tax Identity Number or the Social Security Number. Both of these numbers are necessary if you plan to pursue employment or establish permanent residency within the country. It is advisable to consult with the Consulate staff or your travel agent to ensure accurate completion of your application form.
By paying attention to these details, you can ensure the proper completion of your application form.
How long will it take for a Greek Consulate to process my visa application?
Processing times for visa applications can vary greatly between countries and Consulates, depending on their specific procedures and application volume. If luck is on your side, it could be as swift as three days, but during peak times, it may extend to up to ten workdays. To err on the side of caution, it is advisable to allow approximately two weeks for the process.