EU/Schengen passport control – enet.gr
All citizens from EU and Schengen countries enjoy travel to Greece without a visa, plus certain non-EU citizens from countries with which Greece has signed an agreement.
Visas are determined by your passport and your citizenship only. Marriage to an EU/Greek citizen and/or the passport of your spouse does not matter; blood relationships also do not matter.
Travelers should have a passport or other travel document valid for at least three (3) months past the intended departure date.
All citizens from these countries do not need a visa to visit or travel to Greece.
*Article last updated April 17, 2013. However, answers in Comments reflect a person’s specific case and whatever laws were in effect at the time.
Schengen member states as of 2013
Citizens of 26 Schengen member states do not need a visa.
France and Monaco
Citizens from these EU countries that are not part of Schengen may also visit Greece without a visa.
Citizens of the following non-EU countries can travel to Greece without first getting a Schengen or national visa from the Greek consulate/embassy and can stay a maximum of 90 days within any 180-day period as a tourist. During this time, (s)he is not permitted to work in Greece or any EU/Schengen country without first securing a work permit; and (s)he is not permitted to stay longer than 90 days in any 180-day period without first applying for a residence permit.
If you are not a citizen from one of these countries with the proper passport, and you do not have a residence permit from the EU or Schengen countries listed in previous sections, stop now. You need a visa.
Albania (biometric passport holders, as of December 15, 2010) *There are reports of discrimination at the border.
Antigua and Barbuda (added May 29, 2009)
Bahamas (added May 29, 2009)
Barbados (added May 29, 2009)
Bosnia (biometric passport holders, as of December 15, 2010)
Holy See (State of the Vatican)
Hong Kong (blue and red passports)
Macao (holders of Região Administrativa Especial de Macau)
Macedonia (FYROM) (starting December 19, 2009; reports of discrimination at land border)
Mauritius (added May 29, 2009)
Montenegro (biometric passport holders, as of December 19, 2009)
St. Kitts and Nevis (added May 29, 2009)
Serbia (biometric passport holders, as of December 19, 2009)
Seychelles (added May 29, 2009)
Taiwan (only holders of passports containing an ID number as of January 11, 2011)
Turkey (Green passports only, as of July 28, 2010; certain persons who are members of associations and sports clubs. Visa-free travel for Turkish citizens was discussed in March 2013, but nothing approved.)
Visitors of any nationality coming from Turkey could visit the Greek islands of Chios, Kos, Lesvos, Rhodes and Samos for 15 days without a visa in summer 2012, but this pilot program ended September 8, 2012. Many travelers said that the “visa-free” process was highly bureaucratic and the same as applying for a Schengen visa (Today’s Zaman).
There has been discussion of running the program again in summer 2013, adding Kastellorizo to the list and reducing the fee, but nothing has been approved. — Agelioforos
Future visa-waiver candidates
The European Union has proposed that the following nations enter visa-free status in the future:
China Saint Lucia
Dominica Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
Kiribati Solomon Islands
Marshall Islands Timor-Leste
Nauru Trinidad and Tobago
As of last update, citizens from these countries still need a visa and should apply at the relevant consulate/embassy.
Frequently asked questions
1. If you have a residence/work permit
In general, non-EU citizens of any nationality with a valid, unexpired residence/work permit/card or permission to stay in an EU or Schengen member state listed above can travel to Greece without a visa for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
You are encouraged to contact local authorities — usually the interior ministry, border agency or immigration center — about what your 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 is not one country, and it is impossible to know the different and ever-changing laws governing hundreds of permits and visas issued in 27 separate countries and what rights are granted to those who hold them.
2. If your country is not on the list
If your country is not on any of the lists above and you do not live in the EU with a residence/stay permit, you are required to go to the Greek consulate/embassy and apply for a non-immigrant Schengen or national visa that grants you entry, so a sticker or vignette may be placed in your passport. You must inquire directly with official staff regarding:
a) If you need an appointment,
b) opening hours,
c) documents you need to bring,
d) fees (if applicable); spouses and children of EU citizens should not be charged fees)
Click, “Greek Consulates/Embassies Worldwide” to find the one nearest you or call information or look in the phone directory.
3. If you are married or related to a Greek or EU citizen
The citizenship of your spouse, parent or child has no bearing on your travel visa status. It only matters what citizenship, passport and residency/stay permit you have and what they entitle you to do.
- If you are a non-EU citizen living in the EU, you should have a residence/stay permit. See the above section, “If you have a residence/work permit.”
- If you are a non-EU citizen living outside the EU and your country is not on the “Non-EU Countries” list, the citizenship of your spouse or blood relative does not grant special privileges or make you exempt from securing a visa for travel and temporary visits to the EU as a student, businessman or tourist. It only decreases the number of documents required and exempts you from paying a fee if you are the non-EU spouse or minor child of an EU citizen.
There is no such thing as a fiance(e) or spouse visa for Greece.
4. Staying longer than 90 days in Greece
EU citizens staying longer than 90 days in Greece are required to register at an alien’s bureau in cities or the local police department in rural areas to secure a permanent residence certificate.
Non-EU citizens with plans to immigrate permanently to Greece or work in Greece must consult with the Greek consulate/embassy in their current country of residence to understand if a special ‘D’ visa is needed — do not rely on a friend, relative or forum, or you may receive improper advice, enter an illegal status, be fined, jailed and/or forcibly deported to your homeland. Upon landing in Greece, you are required to apply for a work and/or residence permit within 30 days.
If you intend to work illegally in Greece or do not have an avenue to get a permit, which is explained in “How non-EU citizens can get a permit to move, live and work in Greece,” please see “Overstaying a 90-day visa in Greece” to understand possible penalties.
“Visa requirements for nationals of non-EU member countries” — EU portal
“EU abolishes entry visas for Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia” – Deutsche Welle
“Albanians, Bosnians celebrate visa-free travel to Greece and Schengen” — Reuters
“EU looks at lifting visa for Chinese, Russians” — AFP
“Visitors from Turkey may visit Greek islands visa-free under pilot program” — AMNA
“Turkish visitors can acquire visas at ports” — Greek News Agenda
“Visitors from Turkey can visit Greek islands” — Kyiv Post
“EC proposes visa-free travel for citizens of 16 island nations” — European Commission Press Release
“Russia, EU move toward visa-free travel” — Reuters
Photo from greekconsulate.org