One cannot simply just travel to Greece, whether it is for tourism or settlement. In most cases, one will need a visa to be able to enter Greece.
A Greece visa is a permit that enables its holder to enter Greece and stay here for a specified period. The visa also defines the activities in which the foreigner can engage, and whether he can bring family members with them or not.
To get a Greek Visa you first need to apply for it. The application process includes several procedures, documents that need to be collected, and some certain fees to be paid. Following find everything you need to know about a Greek visa.
Greece Schengen Visa
A Greek Schengen Visa is a permit to enter Greece and stay here for a maximum of 90 days within six months. The most common Greece Schengen Visa types are as follows:
- Greece Tourist Visa, for visiting Greece for vacations, sightseeing and other tourism purposes.
- Greece Visitor Visa, for visiting friends or family members living in Greece.
- Greece Business Visa, for engagement in business-related activities.
- Greece Medical Visa, in order to be able to get medical treatment in Greece.
- Greece Short Term Study Visa, for engaging in courses that last up to three months in half-a-year periods.
- Greece Cultural Visa, to participate in cultural or sports events or film shooting in Greece.
Greece Visa Application
To apply for a Greece visa you should be well informed on several issues, as when and where to apply. Then you should follow a step-by-step process to complete all the procedures necessary for application.
Following, find these procedures simply and clearly explained in chronological order.
The application for a Greece Schengen Visa is identical to the procedure for a Schengen visa for every other member country. Before you start this process, find out the following:
- Find out whether you need to apply for a Greece Visa.
- Check when is the right time to apply.
- Find out where you need to lodge your application.
- Complete the application form for a Schengen Visa.
- Make a visa appointment.
- Collect the required documents. You can find a list of all these documents listed below in this article.
- Attend the visa interview.
- Give your biometrics.
- Pay the visa fee.
Check if you Need to Apply for a Visa to Enter Greece
Your nationality, the intended length of your stay and purpose of your trip are the three main factors that define whether you need a visa to Greece or not.
Based on that, you will need a Greece Transit Visa if you are a national of:
- One of the 14 countries under the Schengen Transit Visa regime
- Côte D’Ivoire
- Guinea Bissau
- Sierra Leone
On the other side, you will be able to travel to Greece visa-free for short-term stays, if you are a national of one of the 62 countries the nationals of which do not need a Schengen visa.
When to Apply for a Greece Visa?
The best time to apply for a Greece Visa is as soon as possible! Yet, the earliest you can apply is three months prior to your intended trip to Greece. Try applying at least five weeks before, in particular, if you are applying for a long-term visa.
Where to Apply for a Greece Visa?
You should lodge your completed application for a Greece visa at the representative mission of Greece in your country of residence. This could be any of the following.
- The Greek Embassy or Consulate.
- The Embassy or Consulate of another Schengen country, representing Greece.
- A third-party Visa Service Center, accepting applications on behalf of Greece.
Note that in absence of any of three in your country of residence, you may have to apply at one of the three located in a neighboring country. I.e. Kosovo citizens need to apply in neighboring Macedonia.
Complete the application form for a Schengen Visa
After making sure when you should apply and the whereabouts of the Greek mission where you should submit your application to, now you can begin the application process for a Greece visa. You need to fill the Greece Schengen visa application form. The form can be completed online at the website of the Greek government.
Make a visa appointment
You will be able to make this appointment online, at the same website where you complete the application form. Upon completion of the application, you will receive the date of your visa appointment.
Supporting Documents for a Greece Visa Application
The most important part of your application for a Greek Visa is the application file containing supporting documents for a Greece visa. You should collect each of the documents required according to the specified criteria.
Attend the Greece Visa Interview
Attend the visa interview on your appointment date. The interview is a meeting between you and the visa officer, during which you will be asked questions regarding your intended trip to Greece.Answer every question correctly and honesty.
On the interview day, you also need to submit the required documents to the visa consular, who may ask you additional questions related to them.
If you have not visited the Schengen Area in the last 5 years, you will need to give your biometrics at the consulate, on the day of your interview. This includes your fingerprints and facial image.
Pay the Greece Visa Fees
As a part of your application for a Greece visa, you will need to pay a certain fee. The fee is required to cover the expenditures of the processing of your application. Depending on the embassy, you may have to pay this fee online, at the bank, or in cash at the embassy.
The fees for a Greece visa depend on several factors as the purpose of traveling to Greece, your nationality, your age, the length of stay, etc. Click here to check our full list of Greece Visa fees!
Once you are done with all these steps, you need to wait for the processing of your visa application. AS soon as you are notified, you should go and collect your visa at the embassy.
Greece Schengen Visa Validity
The maximum validity of a Schengen visa is three months within a 6-month period. Yet, the embassy may grant you with shorter validity, i.e. three weeks, or even shorter – as four days.
All this information is in the visa sticker affixed on your passport. Pay attention to the following information on this sticker.
- Labels “FROM – UNTIL” mark the date you can first enter, and the date you can last leave the Schengen territory.
- Label DURATION OF STAY – stands for the number of days you can remain in the Schengen Zone within the given Schengen visa validity.
EXAMPLE: The “duration of stay” says 7 days, whereas the dates “from-to” mark 1 September to 30 September, then this means you can spend at most seven days in the Schengen Area within 1 to 30 September, i.e. from 20 to 27 September.
If you are still encountering difficulties to understand this, you can learn here how to read the Schengen Visa sticker!
Greece National Visas
A Greek National Visa is an authorization to travel to Greece with the intention of temporarily settling here, under the following purposes:
- Family Reunion
Quick facts about Greece
Greece, the cradle of western civilization, is located at the crossroads of Europe, Asia, and Africa. It is officially known as the Hellenic Republic and is one of the oldest democratic countries in the world.
It has a total area of 131,957 km2 and a population of about 11million, 98% of whom are ethnic Greeks. Eighty percent of the country is mountainous, while at the same time it has a coastline of 13,676 km long. It is also one of the sunniest countries in the world.
Greece is one of the most visited countries in Europe, with its blue beaches, historic sites, ancient cities and towns, and about 2000 fairytale-like islands. Actually, during the summer, the number of tourists in Greece is much higher than the number of Greek citizens.
Aside from tourists, a lot of people are recently looking forward to moving to Greece. Despite the economic crisis that hit the country a few years ago, now Greece is getting more stable. Yet, real estate properties are quite cheap, and so are the living costs.
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