Citizens from these countries need a visa for Greece
Albania — Non-biometric passport holders***
Bosnia — Non-biometric passport holders***
Central African Republic
Democratic Republic of Congo
Northern Marianas (islands)
Papua New Guinea
Sao Tome and Principe
St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Trinidad and Tobago
Turkey (all citizens except green passport holders from July 28, 2010)**
United Arab Emirates
(1) Visa requirement for Bolivian nationals imposed from April 1, 2007
*As of December 19, 2009, the European Union — of which Greece is a part — will not require visas from citizens from Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro and Serbia.
**As of July 28, 2010, Turkish citizens with green passports are permitted to visit Greece without a visa thanks to a bilateral Turkish-Greek agreement signed on May 10, 2010. Visa-free travel from Turkey to a few Greek islands ended September 8, 2012; and an understanding was signed to accelerate the liberalization of requirements in March 2013 but nothing more.
***Albanian and Bosnian citizens may travel visa-free to Greece, only if they have biometric passports.
****Russia and Greece signed a protocol for a future visa-free regime in December 2012, but it is not yet in effect. — RIA Novosti
Article last updated March 5, 2013
Taiwan — Only Taiwanese with passports containing an ID number may travel visa-free to Greece and Schengen for 90 days in any 180-day period as of January 11, 2011. Everyone else needs a visa.
Those not recognized as British citizens
• British Overseas Territories Citizens Who Do Not Have The Right Of Abode In The United Kingdom
• British Overseas Citizens
• British Subjects Who Do Not Have The Right Of Abode In The United Kingdom
• British Protected Persons
Questions and Answers
Do I need a visa for Greece?
If you (the visa applicant) are a citizen of one of the countries and entities listed above, you generally need a visa to enter/exit Greece for any reason (tourist, work, business).
How and where do I get a visa for Greece?
If your country is listed, the visa applicant needs to apply for a visa in person at the Greek consulate or Greek embassy nearest his/her residence. They will assess your status, tell you what papers are needed, and issue you the appropriate visa necessary for your trip or stay in Greece. It is not advisable to take the advice of articles written by lawyers, a forum, friend or relative because requirements vary by country and individual.
Click “Greek Consulates/Embassies Worldwide” to find out when they are open and follow their application process. You cannot apply online or by post/mail, and the hiring of a lawyer or third party service is unnecessary.
How much does a Greek visa cost?
Depends on where you are and what visa you get. Contact the Greek consulate/embassy.
By law and in theory, non-EU/EEA spouses and family members of EU/EEA/Greek citizens are exempt from paying fees. However, the law may not be applied due to issues of transparency, variable knowledge and flexible implementation by Greece and its authorities.
How long does it take to get a visa for Greece?
Depends. On what?
1) You — Whether your background is clean, if you meet eligibility, which visa you’re applying for, how well you follow instructions, how thoroughly you provide documentation requested;
2) Them — Whether it’s high season (May-September), number of visa applications being processed, number of staff on hand, working hours, how fast they work. Issuance can take from two to 15 days.
The EU says that Schengen member states should deliver a visa within 15 days, except in rare cases. Non-EU/EEA family members of EU/EEA citizens should be given faster processing.
Can I get a visa to stay longer than 90 days?
No, not for travel purposes. There are no Schengen visas with validity past 90 days because of the 90-day maximum stay in any 180-day period. At the 90-day mark, the law also considers someone to be ‘staying’ in Greece and not ‘visiting’ Greece. In order to stay in Greece, non-EU citizens need a residence permit. See “How Americans and other non-EU citizens can get a permit to stay in Greece.”
Yes, for purposes of study or staying in Greece without working for up to a year. Most often, these are national visas that allow the holder to only travel to/from Greece and no other country.
Why do they refuse visas?
Unfortunately, Greek consulates and embassies are not required to disclose why you are refused a visa. They are only obligated to give a reason if you are Greek origin. The most you can do is apply again in the future and hope for a different answer.
Ukrainians report that it remains difficult for them to secure visas to EU countries. A retired schoolteacher alleges the Greek consul made faces at her and punched the air in “Ukrainians face hurdles going abroad.”
I have a sponsor in Greece, does that help?
No. Greece does not grant visas or permits based solely on sponsors. You must meet other requirements.
Disclosing that you have a Greek boyfriend/girlfriend or the support of his/her family member in Greece may actually work against you because authorities fear you’ll overstay your visa or potentially immigrate. That creates suspicion.
I had a visa for Greece, and now I want another. Can I get one?
What does it depend on?
a) Type of visa you were issued previously
b) Length or duration of the visa you were issued
c) How long you stayed in Greece and/or the entire Schengen zone
d) Time that has passed since you were last in Greece or Schengen
e) Reason you were issued the previous visa and also why you need another
f) Your current eligibility.
I advise consulting with the Greek embassy or consulate. Click “Greek Consulates/Embassies Worldwide” to find the one nearest you.
What if my country is not on the list?
If your country is on the visa-free travel list and you plan on being here temporarily as only a tourist for up to 90 days in any 180-day period, you do not need a visa. Americans, Canadians, Australians and many others are included on the visa-free travel list. See, “Countries that enjoy visa-free travel to Greece.”
However, if you are a non-EU citizen with plans to study, work in Greece or permanently live in Greece, you may need a special entry, type ‘D’ visa that denotes intention to immigrate or stay an extended period past 90 days. Check with the Greek embassy/consulate nearest you. I also recommend reading, “How American/non-EU citizens can live and work in Greece.” It contains information not available anywhere else.
If you are an EU citizen, you do not need a visa for any reason and are free to move, live and work in Greece and any of the other 26 EU member states. Restrictions for Romanian and Bulgarian citizens have been removed by Greece.
What if I’m married to an EU/EEA or Greek citizen?
Visas (visiting as a tourist, businessman or student and staying temporarily) are determined by the visa applicant’s citizenship status; it does not matter if the visa applicant is married to an EU/EEA citizen or has relatives (sister, brother, father, cousin, etc.) living in Greece. There is an EU directive that grants special privileges to non-EU/EEA spouses and minor children of EU/EEA citizens and says that passage without a visa should be allowed, but Greece does not always follow this directive.
A spouse’s citizenship is primarily relevant if you are applying for a visa or permit to stay, live and work permanently in Greece. In this case, you would need to enter with the visa, then apply for a residence/work permit within 30 days of arrival. However, be aware that many immigrants still come here on a tourist (Schengen/national visa), then apply for the residence permit before the visa expires.
Can I get a residence visa for Greece?
No, because there is no such thing as a residence visa. There are only national and Schengen visas.
Are there Greek marriage or fiancee visas?
No. Greece does not have a fiancé(e) or spouse visa program; an engagement is treated the same as being single. There are only two types of visas for Greece: Schengen and national. The Greek consulate/embassy nearest you handles applications and determines your eligibility and need for visas and permits.
If you do not know the difference between a visa and a permit, see “What is the difference between a visa and a permit?”
What if I have a residence permit?
If you have plans to travel, visit and stay temporarily in Greece, a valid, unexpired residence/work permit/card or permission to stay issued by an EU/EEA or Schengen member state allows you to stay without a visa for up to 90 days in any 180-day period. However, you are encouraged to contact the governmental or ministerial arm that issued the permit — usually the interior ministry, border agency or immigration center — about what this residency/work permit entitles you to do; and/or the Greek embassy/consulate of your current country of residence to confirm if you need a visa to visit Greece. Why confirm? Because people in online forums make mistakes, the EU/EEA is not one country, and it is impossible to know the different and ever-changing laws governing hundreds of visas and permits issued in 27 separate countries and what rights are granted to those who hold them.
If you have plans to move and live permanently in Greece, or stay past 90 days in any 180-day period, it is possible you need both a visa and new residency permit because Greek laws are different from your current country of residence. Check with the Greek consulate/embassy for your specific case. The only time this does not apply is if you have the special long-term EU-wide permit granted to unmarried non-EU citizens who have been living and working in the EU for more than five (5) years, and have free movement privileges. A description is available at, “Long-term EU-wide residence/work permit for Greece.”
EU Europa Portal
“Countries requiring or not a visa” — Ministry of Foreign Affairs
“EU abolishes entry visas for Macedonia (FYROM), Montenegro and Serbia” – Deutsche Welle
“Documents you need to travel” — EU
“Schengen visas an obstacle for tourists to Greece” — MINA
“Travel visa for Turks considered by European Court of Justice” — Der Spiegel