Greece has thousands of years of history; tourists come from all over the world to tour the Parthenon and other ancient wonders in Athens (its capital), Crete, and other exotic locations. The country is equally famed for its numerous islands (Santorini, Mykonos, etc.) which offer some of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe.
You may need a visa to travel to Greece, depending on where you are from (nationality), the length of your trip (duration of stay), and your reason for travel (type of visa needed). There are numerous types of visas for Greece, which are valid for travel for specific purposes and times. Different Greek visas have different Greece visa requirements and validity periods.
In general, Greek visas can be divided into two main categories: short stay visas and long stay visas (a long stay visa for Greece is required for those looking to spend more than 90 days in the country).
Another main distinction relates to allowed entries: a single entry will allow you just one entry into the country; a multiple entry visa for Greece will let you enter and exit as many times as needed.
A long stay visa to Greece will allow applicants to remain in the country for up to one year, and is available for the following purposes:
The following documents are typically required for all visas to Greece.
Official, government-issued document, not older than 10 years, with the correct validity length (a minimum three months past the intended day of exit from Greece)
Your Greece visa fee will depend on the type of visa you are applying for, and possibly other factors, such as your age. Fees are generally non-refundable, even in the case of a denied visa.
Two recently taken photos of the applicant. Photos should be passport style (and have passport dimensions).
You will almost certainly have to submit additional documents on your Greek visa application. Requested documents are typically those which help visa authorities confirm your identity, determine the truthfulness of your stated purpose of travel, and assess your financial state. The type of Greek visa you apply for will determine your supplemental documents, which may include the following:
Identity documents, such as your birth certificate
Documents showing your finances, such as your bank balance
Information about where you will stay in Greece
Proof of university education, etc.
Please note that all documents you submit will likely need to be written in either Greek or English (or accompanied by official translations into either).
Applicants for Greek visas should follow these general steps, which may vary slightly depending on numerous factors, including visa type and application destination.
Choose your visa duration
Determine how long you intend to be in Greece i.e. what type of Greece visa you need: long, short, or airport. This will determine how you proceed with the subsequent application steps.
Select your visa purpose
Choose your reason for travel (working, study, etc.)
Select your entry category
Your selection of the single-entry visa for Greece or the multiple entry visa for Greece will determine whether or not you may travel in and out of the country/Schengen area throughout your visa period. Consider that holders of the single-entry visa for Greece cannot return to the country after exiting.
Determine where to apply (application destination)
Find the physical destination for your application (the Greek Embassy/ Consulate or associated visa-application center where you live). See: “where to apply” for more info.
Access your main application form
There is no online Greek visa application system. Long term visa applicants can download the application form here. Schengen visa seekers should print out the universal Schengen visa form.
Gather the rest of your documents
Gather your required documents as well as the supplemental ones required for your specific Greek visa type.
Almost all Greek visa applicants must attend a visa appointment at their application destination (local Greek embassy/consulate/visa application center). Scheduling a Greek visa interview can take days, weeks, or even months. Contact the embassy/consulate/visa application center directly (via email/phone) to make an appointment.
This is where you will submit your biometric information, be interviewed, pay your Greek visa fees, and meet other requirements pertaining to your visa type. This is typically the final stage of the Greece visa application process; you will either be granted a visa upon the conclusion of your appointment, receive a rejection, or leave to await a decision.
Please note that certain visas may require subsequent steps (for example, if you are applying for a long term Greece Business visa or Greece Working visa you may need to apply for a Greece Work Permit—other long term visas may require you to apply for a residence permit for Greece. For more information about whether your visa application will subsequently require you to seek a Greece Work Permit or a residence permit for Greece, make sure to research the specific visa requirements for your specific visa type.
Greece visa application processing occurs at Greek embassies, consulates (and their associated visa application centers) around the world. Identify your local Greek Embassy in order to fulfill the in-person Greece visa requirements. If you are outside of Greece and are applying for a Greece visa, you will apply through the Greek embassy/consulate or visa application center where you live. If there is no Greek mission in your country, you will likely apply for your Greek visa through the embassy/consulate of another country, which is representing Greece’s interests abroad.
Applicants for short-stay visas to Greece are advised to submit their application a minimum of fourteen days before their intended trip. And while applying well in advance is recommended, applying too early (i.e. over six months before departure) is discouraged.
The Greece visa application processing time varies. Factors which determine how long it will take to get your visa include the following:
Depending on all of these factors, you could expect to receive a visa in days, weeks, or even months after you apply.
Depending on where you are from, you may need a visa to enter the country, regardless of how long you intend to stay. Some nationalities do not need a visa to travel to Greece. Regardless of your nationality, however, you will need a visa if you intend to stay in the country longer than 90 days and you are not an EU/EEA/Swiss citizen.
Get a travel document for Greece (visa) by submitting an application to your local Greek embassy/consulate/visa application center, meeting the visa requirements, and paying your visa fee.
The amount of money you need depends on the Schengen country you are visiting. You will likely need to show several months proof of salary/bank statements in order to meet the Schengen proof of funds requirement.
Choose from among the various types of Greece visa you need to apply for by considering your reason for travel and how long you want to stay in the country. These factors will determine the type of visa you need. In addition to visa type, you should also determine how many entries you need—i.e. whether you need a multiple entry visa for Greece or a single entry visa for Greece.
Rejected Schengen visa applicants can appeal the decision, reapply, or apply for another travel document for Greece (different Greek visa, such as a Greece Business visa).