Greece is one of the most popular travel destinations in Europe and one of the top countries in the Schengen zone to receive an application for a Schengen visa. This is a document that is suitable for short-term stays and that is not required for all foreign nationals. Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for a Schengen visa for Greece before you arrive in the country. An advantage of doing this is that, once the visa for Greece is obtained, it will also allow you to travel within the other countries in the zone.
Depending on your nationality, you may need to apply for a Schengen visa for Greece before you arrive in the country. An advantage of doing this is that, once the visa for Greece is obtained, it will also allow you to travel within the other countries in the zone.
This type of visa is only suitable for short-term stays, such as touristic ones. For in-depth information about moving to Greece and the main steps to obtain a work or residence permit please explore our other articles and feel free to reach out to our specialists for more information.
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Main requirements for obtaining a Schengen visa for Greece
The Schengen zone does not impose the same visa requirements to all foreign nationals. Understandably, nationals of other member states of the zone and of the EU are not required to apply for the Schengen visa for Greece. In essence, only nationals of third world countries that do not have a visa liberalization agreement with the European Union will need this visa.
Examples of countries that are subject to the Schengen visa for Greece requirements are Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Belize, Bolivia, Cambodia, Cameroon, China, Egypt, North Korea, India, Indonesia, Iraq, Morocco, Nepal, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Qatar, Russia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Tunisia, Vietnam, and others. Our immigration lawyer in Greece can provide the complete list of countries for which this visa is required.
Obtaining a Schengen visa can be one way to enter the country, including for those who are interested in moving to Greece. For long-term stays, it is advisable to discuss your options with one of our immigration experts. We can advise you on the needed steps even before you move, so that the relocation process can be as streamlined as possible for you and your family (if applicable).
The Schengen visa application form
The Schengen visa for Greece can be applied for with the Greek Embassy or Consulate in one’s country of origin. The application form requires the following information:
- Personal details: the surname, former family name and name at birth as well as the date and place of birth;
- Nationality: the current nationality and the one attributed at birth as well as any other nationalities, if applicable;
- Civil status: the applicant’s civil status at the date of the application as well as the gender;
- Others: supporting documents such as the travel itinerary, the invitation, proof of financial means and others.
It is important to note the general conditions for applying for the Schengen visa for Greece and to provide the supporting documents that are relevant for the purpose of your short-term stay in the country. Below, our immigration lawyer in Greece describes these documents in more detail:
- Travel insurance: you must show that you have valid travel insurance for the Schengen zone and a minimum coverage amount may apply to this;
- Travel itinerary: proof of your itinerary can include the plane tickets and all other documents that will state your plan to visit Greece and other Schengen countries;
- Proof of accommodation: booking evidence or proof of short-term rental in Greece or an invitation from a family member or friend in Greece with additional information about this individual;
- Proof of financial means: it is important to show that you will be able to support yourself financially during the entire stay in Greece; a bank account statement may be used.
Please keep in mind that other documents, such as those from your treating physician (for medical travel purposes) may be required. If you wish to obtain a Schengen visa, our immigration lawyer in Greece can provide more details based on your nationality and the purpose of the stay.
The documents need to be presented in original form and with photocopies for some of them. Moreover, relevant ones should not be older than a certain prescribed time (one month in some cases). The list presented above states the ones that are generally required for obtaining a Schengen visa for Greece.
If you are interested in Greece immigration, the Schengen visa will not serve this purpose. Understanding the requirements for obtaining a work permit or a residence permit based on the long-term stay purpose is relevant in this case. We can also help those interested in a different type of permit, the one for investment purposes, as well as the option available to some foreign nationals for Greece citizenship by investment.
Additional information about Schengen visas for Greece
Greece is one of the Schengen zone countries with a relatively low rejection rate for these types of visas. According to information from the Schengen Visa Info center, the following country-specific statistics presented by our team of Greece immigration agents apply in 2019:
- there were 366,037 Schengen visa applications from the Russian Federation (at the Moscow consulate);
- 85,927 applications for a Schengen visa were received at the Istanbul consulate for Turkish citizens;
- 45,182 applications for a Schengen visa were received at the Shanghai Consulate in China.
Please keep in mind that the numbers presented above are for the total number of visa applications, not for the issued visas.
Please contact our immigration lawyer in Greece for more detailed information about visa requirements, and the conditions for long-term stay in the country.
Apart from assistance with short-term visa applications, we also provide guidance to foreign nationals looking to retire to Greece. While there is no specific retirement residence permit, foreigners can choose to remain in the country for medium to long-term purposes based on other residence permits. Moreover, those who derive pension income are also subject to certain tax advantages.