Greece Tourist Visas
Greece Tourist Visas - Application and Requirements
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Greece Tourist Visas: Planning a trip to Greece?
If you are a foreign national, you might be curious about the visa requirements for visiting Greece as a tourist. In this post, we will provide detailed answers to all your questions regarding tourist visas for Greece, including who is required to obtain one, the process of obtaining it, and the permissible duration of stay in the country.
What is a tourist visa
A travel visa is the most common type of diplomatic document that allows individuals of all ages and backgrounds to visit their desired country. If you’re planning a trip to Greece, you might be wondering if you need a visa. In this article, we will provide you with information about the requirements for Greek tourist visas.
As a member of the EU, Greece has specific requirements for entry that vary depending on the visitor’s country of origin. Currently, Greece operates a visa-free regime for 90 countries.
Eligibility for a travel visa for Greece
Before delving into the specifics of who can visit Greece and the requirements for obtaining a Greek visa, let’s consider the types of travelers generally allowed to enter the country.
For prospective tourists, a few key factors come into play:
- They should have a genuine intention to travel.
- They must be financially capable of bearing all necessary and unforeseen expenses.
- Providing reasons for returning to their home country is required.
- Demonstrating good character, such as a clear criminal record, is essential.
- Being in good health is a prerequisite.
- Having a genuine purpose for the visit and providing supporting evidence, such as an itinerary, is crucial.
If you satisfy these criteria and can prove it during a visit to a Greek consulate, continue reading to learn more about the visa requirements for this captivating country.
Who needs a tourist visa
Currently, Greece allows citizens from over 90 states to travel without a visa, while nationals from 150 other countries must obtain a Schengen visa prior to their visit.
This means that citizens from some visa-exempt countries will need to complete a special online application before visiting Greece. Upon successful approval of the ETIAS application, eligible travelers will have an electronic travel authorization linked to their passport, granting them access to Greece and the Schengen zone. This authorization is valid for 3 years and allow stays of up to 90 days. The program also extends to travelers with dual citizenship.
For nationals who are not eligible for ETIAS but currently travel to Greece visa-free, a Schengen visa will be required. However, this visa will only permit visits to Greece and not other EU/EEA states.
Additionally, specific requirements apply depending on the country of origin. Most individuals, especially citizens from African and Asian countries, Russia, and CIS countries, will need to apply for a Schengen visa to be able to travel to Greece. Nonetheless, there are certain countries that enjoy visa-free entry.
EU/EEA countries and Switzerland
At present, tourists from these regions are not required to obtain a visa for visiting Greece. Additionally, if any of these countries are part of the Schengen Zone, their citizens are exempt from applying for visas to travel, study, or work in Greece. They are granted the freedom to move within EU states, as long as they possess a valid identification document.
The Schengen Zone
The visa requirements are waived for citizens of these countries, granting them unrestricted entry into Greece.
US citizens have the privilege of visa-free travel to any Schengen member state, including Greece, for a duration of up to 90 days. However, it’s important to note that while a visa may not be required, certain travel documents are still necessary to ensure a smooth journey.
Where and when to apply
You easily check online if your country falls under the visa-free zone. Now, let’s explore where you should go to submit your Greek visa application and how long it might take to receive your visa on time.
In general, there are three options available to you:
- Travel agent: Simply provide the required documents and let the professionals handle the process for you.
- Local Greek consulate or embassy: This is the traditional route to obtain any type of visa. However, it often lacks clear and comprehensive information about the requirements, resulting in potential denials or delays. If you choose this option, make sure to clarify any uncertainties before submitting your application.
- Visa application centre: Surprisingly, some embassies outsource their visa services to these centres. Keep in mind, though, that depending on your travel timeline, these centres may be crowded and overwhelmed with applicants, leading to possible delays or errors.
By considering these options, you can make an informed decision and streamline your visa application process.
Fees and extra expenses
When for a visa, there are certain fees that need to pay upon submission of their application. Please note that these fees are non-refundable and can be paid by card or in cash. Here is an overview of the service charges:
- Adults: €60
- Children aged 6 to 12 years: €35
- Children under 6 years of age: free
The Schengen visa fee varies depending on the traveler’s country of origin. For instance, a traveler from South Africa may have a different fee compared to a traveler from Russia. To determine the specific visa fee, it is best to contact your local Greek embassy or consulate. On average, the fees are as follows:
- Adults: €80
- Children aged 6 to 12 years: €40
- Children under 6 years of age: free
Please keep in mind that the service charge and visa fee do not guarantee permission to enter and cannot be refunded in case the application is unsuccessful.
Tourist Visa Requirements
In this section, we will discuss the document pack required for travelers who are exempt from obtaining a Schengen visa. While they may not need a visa, they must still provide certain documents to gain entry into the country.
A valid passport
To be considered valid, an identification card must meet the following criteria:
- It should remain valid for at least 3 months after your intended return to your home country.
- The card should be in good condition, without any tears or other forms of damage.
- It should not be expired, typically within a 10-year timeframe.
Proof of accommodation
No country’s officials want their tourists to spend the night in the subway. Naturally, they want to know exactly where you will be staying during your visit. The following are acceptable proofs of accommodation:
- A hotel reservation
- A printout from a room booking website (such as Airbnb)
- A rental agreement
- An invitation from a friend or family member with whom you plan to stay during your visit.
Proof of financial independence
In order to ensure a smooth stay and travel experience in the country, it is important to consider both anticipated and unforeseen expenses. Authorities may inquire about your financial preparedness, making it advisable to inquire about living costs and calculate your travel budget. The following documents can serve as evidence of your financial stability: recent bank or credit card statements and payslips from work.
Itinerary and Return Tickets
Travellers are strongly recommended to possess the following two documents as proof:
- Confirmation that their sole or primary purpose is indeed travel.
- A clear indication of their intention to return without any doubt.
We will discuss insurance requirements at a later time. However, it is important to note that valid medical insurance is mandatory for traveling in the EU. The insurance will need to cover the entire duration of your stay in the country.
Lastly, please keep in mind that document requirements and fees may vary depending on the timing of your trip. It is advisable to contact your nearest visa center or consulate for the latest updates.
Documents for non-exempt countries
Typically, the aforementioned documents are also necessary for citizens of non-visa-free countries who need to apply for a Schengen visa. However, specific modifications and special requirements may apply.
A valid passport
In addition to these requirements, on this specific case a passport must have at least two blank pages for your visa stamp or sticker.
Greece Schengen application form
Regardless of your level of travel experience, it is crucial to pay attention to the following guidelines:
Ensure that you fill out the visa form thoroughly, accurately, and correctly.
Here’s a helpful tip: jot down all the information you provide on each form to ensure consistency across all documents.
A Schengen cover letter
When applying for a tourist visa, it is crucial to provide a comprehensive letter that explains your purpose of visiting the Schengen zone, details the specific places you intend to explore, and includes information about your accommodation arrangements.
Additionally, please ensure to include your travel dates, as they are essential for processing your visa application.
Two passport-size photos
Please ensure that the documents provided are no more than 3 months old. For more information, refer to the details below.
Previous Visas Copies
This is a prerequisite for travelers who have previously acquired Schengen visas.
The medical or travel insurance must provide coverage for the entire duration of the stay. Please refer to the information below for additional conditions.
Proof of financial independence
Similarly, anticipate heightened scrutiny as you are regarded as an entirely “foreign” visitor. Prepare accordingly for the extra attention and scrutiny that may come your
Proof of accommodation
The conditions remain the same for those entering without a visa.
If your travel plans are limited to Greece, it is necessary to provide a detailed itinerary of your activities during your stay. However, if you are considering visiting another Schengen country for which you already have a visa, you will also need to indicate the other destinations you intend to visit and the purpose of your visit there.
A return ticket
This will serve as evidence that you intend to return to your home country rather than seeking asylum or becoming an undocumented immigrant.
A clean criminal record
This official document, provided by the authorities of your country, serves as evidence of your non-threatening nature towards the country and its residents. Additional documentation may be necessary to verify your status, so please consult the embassy or consulate for any updates.
For employed applicants, the following documents are required:
- A valid employment contract
- Written permission from the employer for leave of absence
- Bank statements for the past 6 months
- Income Tax Return form
- Recent payslips to demonstrate both sufficient funds and employment.
For self-employed applicants, the following documents are necessary:
- Copy of a business license
- Income Tax Return
- Bank statements for the past 6 months
- Letter confirming self-employed status from a solicitor, accountant, or other authorized entity.
Students must provide the following documents:
- Proof of student status (e.g., letter from educational institution for current students, or proof of enrollment for prospective students)
- Proof of that you have sufficient funds, like a bank statements or work contract for working students, or a sponsorship letter.
Important Note: that if a student is sponsored, relevant documents demonstrating the parents’ ability to support them must be provided. Additionally, if you intend to study at a Greek university oreducational institution, you must apply for a student visa.
Retired travelers should submit the following:
- Documents proving retired status
- Pension statements for the last 6 months.
We kindly ask you to ensure the accuracy and completeness of all documentation.
Tourist Visa Insurance
When traveling to a foreign country, unforeseen circumstances may arise. In many Schengen countries, public healthcare is available. Therefore, visitors to Greece are required to obtain travel insurance prior to their trip. This measure helps alleviate the burden on the health system in case of unexpected issues.
To meet the requirements, travel insurance should:
- Provide coverage of at least €30,000.
- Be valid in all 26 Schengen countries.
- Cover most emergency expenses, including medical repatriation, urgent treatments, or death.
- If you plan to obtain an extended Schengen visa, ensure that your travel insurance lasts for 12 months.
Visa Photo Requirements
When submitting photographs as part of an application, it is important to adhere to strict requirements, particularly for visa applications. Failure to meet these requirements may result in your application being rejected. The following specifications must be followed:
- Photos must be no more than 3 months old.
- They should be taken against a white background.
- The size should be 35mm wide x 45mm tall.
- Ensure there are no creases or marks on the photos.
- Maintain a neutral facial expression.
- Print the photos on quality glossy paper, avoiding matte paper.
- The forehead and chin should be clearly visible.
- The applicant in the photos should look directly into the camera.
- The face should take up to 80% of the frame.
- Both eyes must be open and not covered by reflective glasses, hair, or glares.
- Headwear is only permitted for religious purposes and should not cover any part of the face.
Underage Visa Requirements
This section is intended for families traveling to Greece with small children. Please note that each child must have their own application, which should be completed and signed by both parents. In addition to the standard documentation, the following is also required:
- An application with the signatures of both parents.
- A copy of the child’s birth certificate.
- If a child is traveling with only one parent, a notarized permission letter from the other parent.
- If a child is eligible to travel alone, you will need a notarized parental authorization signed by both parents or guardians.
- If the other parent is absent (due to divorce, death, illness, etc.), relevant official documentation should be provided as proof.
- Copies of the IDs of both parents.
Please note that children older than 5 years are subject to adult photo requirements. For younger children, a neutral facial expression and direct eye contact with the camera are not mandatory, and they do not need to be in the center of the photograph. Babies who are 1 year old or younger than that may have their eyes closed in the photo that is submitted.
Visa Processing Time
Once you have submitted your application, paid the necessary fees, and attended the interview with the immigration officer, it typically takes approximately 15 calendar days to process your documents.
However, please note that there are certain factors that may cause delays in the issuance of your visa. These include peak seasons when the demand for tourist visas to Greece is high, political events or epidemics, as well as new travel laws and regulations.
To ensure a smooth travel experience, it is important to gather all the required documents, meticulously complete your application, and submit it well in advance of your planned journey. By doing so, you can minimize the chances of encountering any delays or complications.
Green Card Holder Requirements
Green Card holders in the United States do not yet possess US citizenship, which means they are not eligible for any visa exemption when visiting Greece. The specific visa requirements vary depending on your country of origin. For the purpose of this article, we assume that the Green Card holder is not a citizen of a European country.
However, the good news is that if a visa is indeed required, the holder can conveniently apply for it at the nearest Greek embassy or consulate in the USA. There is no need to travel back to their home country to obtain the visa.
On the other hand, if someone is visiting the United States as a tourist on either a B1/B2 visa and wants to travel to Greece, they must return to their home country and submit a visa application. In this case, the conditions that apply to Green Card holders are not applicable.
- To visit Greece for tourism, you will need a Greece tourist visa, specifically a Greek Schengen visa. You can apply for this visa at the nearest Greek embassy or consulate in your region or country. The application process typically involves submitting the necessary documents including a completed visa application form, the travel documents, and the travel medical insurance with a minimum coverage of 30,000 Euros Additionally, visa fees or service fees must be paid upon submission of the application.
- It’s important to note that Greece visa requirements may vary depending on factors such as nationality, intended visit, financial means, employment status, and travel dates. The application process can take up to 15 calendar days and may require attending a visa interview or providing biometric data such as fingerprints and facial image.
- If your Greece Schengen visa application is accepted, a sticker will be affixed to your travel document indicating the maximum duration and validity of your visa. With a Greece Schengen visa, you are allowed to stay in Greece or any other Schengen member countries for up to 90 days within any 180-day period. If you plan to stay longer than the 90-days, you will need to apply for a long-stay visa or apply for a residence permit from the competent Greek authorities.
- When applying for a Greece Schengen visa, it is important to accurately complete the Greece visa application form and provide all necessary information and documents. The documents required for a Greece tourist visa are a valid travel document, travel medical insurance, proof of sufficient financial means, and a confirmed travel itinerary or reservation. Additional supporting documents such as employment contracts, pension statements, bank statements, marriage certificates, birth certificates, reference letters, or covering letters may also be requested.
- During the visa interview, the Greece embassy or consulate may ask questions related to the intend of your visit, employment, financial situation, travel history, or other requirements. It is advisable to prepare for the visa appointment by familiarizing yourself with the Greece visa application process, understanding the visa requirements, and providing complete and honest answers to the visa officer’s questions.
- Additionally, it is advisable to check the processing time for your visa application and schedule your appointment and travel accordingly. Confirm the visa fees, service charges, and any other associated costs or paperwork.
- It is important to familiarize yourself with the public health regulations and COVID-19 risks in Greece and other European Union countries. You may be required to provide proof of vaccination, recovery, or negative test results.
- To ensure eligibility and compliance with the rules and restrictions, refer to the Greece visa guidelines, regulations, and the Schengen visa code.
- Verify the validity of your visa, departure and return dates, and promptly notify the Greece embassy or consulate of any changes.
- UK citizens planning to stay in one of the Schengen area states for more than 90 days in a 180-day period may need to apply for a Greece Schengen visa. Transit through Greece or other Schengen countries may also require a visa.
- If you are traveling with any family members or minors, you might need to provide notarized parental authorization or other necessary documents. Familiarize yourself with the visa requirements for each individual separately.
- If you have previously held visas or stayed in other Schengen countries, provide evidence of your travel history and ensure compliance with visa regulations.
- For medical reasons or emergency hospital treatment during your stay in Greece, ensure that your travel medical insurance covers such expenses and guarantees access to suitable medical facilities.
- Business travelers might need to provide additional documents, like a business license or employment contract. You need to check the visa requirements for business visas or official delegations.
- Airport transit through a Schengen country or entry into Greece specifically for airport transit may require an airport transit visa or short-stay visa, depending on the duration and purpose of your transit.
- Confirm the visa requirements for any other countries you plan to visit during your trip and travel to Greece, including Vatican City, San Marino, or other destinations of Western civilization.
- To apply for a Greece Schengen visa, you have the option to submit your application online or in person. Global visa centers or courier services can assist in collecting and delivering your application file.
- Ensure that your passport has two blank visa pages and that your photos adheres to the visa photo specifications regarding size, background, and facial expression.
- Include a cover letter detailing the itinerary and purpose of your trip to Greece and the Schengen area. Confirm your financial means and support.
- Verify that your travel medical insurance is accepted by Greek and Schengen authorities and provides coverage for emergency medical treatment, hospitalization, repatriation, and in the event of death.
- Confirm that you have sufficient financial funds to support yourself during your full stay in Greece and the Schengen area. Provide a bank statement or any other financial documents as proof.
- For additional information or advice regarding your Greece visa application process or travel to Greece, consult the Greek authorities or your nearest Greek embassy or consulate.
Important Note: This list is not exhaustive, and Greece’s visa requirements and regulations may change or vary depending on your individual circumstances. It is advisable to always consult official sources and competent authorities for the most accurate and updated information.
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FAQ: Greece Tourist Visas
Do I need a visa to go to Athens, Mykonos or Santorini?
Regardless of the destination you choose in Greece, the visa requirements remain consistent. If you are a foreign national from a country that necessitates a visa for entry into Greece, obtaining one is mandatory, regardless of your chosen destination.
Who needs a tourist visa to visit and travel to Greece?
Tourists from countries outside the European Union (EU) and the Schengen area, including India, Nigeria, Pakistan, South Africa, Philippines, and others, generally need a visa to visit Greece. However, citizens of certain countries, such as the United States, Australia, Canada, and the United Kingdom, are exempt from this requirement. They can enter Greece for tourism purposes and stay for up to 90 days within a 180-day period without a visa.
What is the best time to visit Greece?
The ideal time to visit and explore Greece is during the shoulder seasons of spring (April – June) and fall (September – November). During these periods, the weather is delightful, and the crowds are less overwhelming compared to the peak summer season. However, if your plan includes a visit to the Greek islands, it is advisable to go during the summer season (June – August) when the weather is warm and sunny, and the sea and beaches are truly inviting.
How long can you stay in Greece if you don’t have a visa?
Citizens of the United States, Canada, Australia, or the United Kingdom can enjoy a visa-free stay in Greece for up to 90 days within a period of 180 days. If you are a foreign national from a country that is outside the EU and the Schengen area, you need to apply for a tourist visa before your trip begins. The duration of your stay in Greecewill depend on the type of visa and the duration granted by the Greek authorities.
How can you obtain a tourist visa to Greece?
To obtain a tourist visa for Greece, you need to reach out to the Greek embassy or consulate in your home country. Another option is to apply through a visa application center like VFS Global, Teleperformance, or AVS. Ensure that you have a valid passport, a completed application form, passport size photos, and all the necessary supporting documents like flight tickets, travel itinerary, proof of accommodation, and evidence of sufficient funds that can cover your stay in Greece.
How much does the tourist visa to Greece cost?
The cost of your tourist visa to Greece varies based on factors such as your nationality, the type of visa, and the duration of your stay. Presently, for nationals of countries requiring a visa like India, Pakistan, Nigeria, and South Africa, the visa fee for the single-entry tourist visa is 60 euros. However, citizens of the United States, Canada, and Australia are currently exempt from paying the visa fee.
What are the visa requirements for the Canadian citizens that want to travel to Greece?
Canadian citizens are permitted to visit Greece for tourism or business purposes without a visa for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day timeframe. However, it is important for them to possess a valid passport that remains valid for at least three months beyond their departure date from Greece.
Do Australians need a visa to visit Greece?
Australian citizens have the privilege to travel to Greece for a maximum duration of 90 days within a 180-day timeframe without the need for a visa. All they require is a valid passport, that remains valid for at least three months beyond their intended departure date from Greece.
What are the visa requirements for individuals with dual citizenship?
If you possess dual nationality, with one being Greek, you can freely enter Greece using your Greek passport, no visa required. However, if you hold dual nationality without Greek citizenship, obtaining a tourist visa is necessary for entry into Greece.
Now, let’s discuss the visa requirements for permanent residents. If you are a permanent resident of any country that mandates a visa for entering Greece, irrespective of your nationality, you must obtain a tourist visa prior to your journey. However, if you are a permanent resident of the European Union or the Schengen area, you can enter Greece using your residence permit.
Can Indians travel to Greece without a visa?
To visit Greece, Indian citizens are required to obtain a Schengen visa. This visa can be applied for either at the Greek embassy or consulate in India or go through the VFS Global visa application center.
How long can visitors stay in Greece without a visa?
Visitors from the EU, US, Australia, Canada, and other countries can enjoy a visa-free stay in Greece for up to a 90-days within a 180-day period.
As for the currency used in Greece, it is the Euro
Do US citizens need a visa to tracel to Greece?
No! US citizens can enjoy visa-free travel to Greece for a maximum of 90 days within a 180-day timeframe. However, it is important to note that they must possess a valid passport, which should remain valid for at least three months beyond their planned departure date from Greece.
What are some of the top tourist destinations in Greece?
Greece boasts several captivating tourist destinations, including Athens, Santorini, Crete, Mykonos, and Corfu. These enchanting locations beckon travelers with their irresistible charm and allure.
Is it safe to travel to Greece?
Greece is widely regarded as a secure destination for tourists. Nonetheless, it is advisable for visitors to exercise due caution and remain vigilant of their surroundings, particularly in bustling tourist hotspots.
Are there any current COVID-19 restrictions for traveling to Greece?
Travel restrictions and guidelines for visiting Greece during the COVID-19 pandemic differ based on the traveler’s vaccination status and country of origin. Before embarking on your journey, it is advisable to consult the official website of the Greek government or reach out to the embassy in your home country for the most up-to-date information. Ensuring you have the latest updates will help you plan your trip accordingly and stay informed.
Are there any requirements for green card holders and permanent residents traveling to Greece?
Travelers to Greece who hold permanent residency or a green card are subject to the visa requirements of their country of origin, just like citizens. Additionally, depending on their citizenship, they may need to apply for a Schengen visa.