EU citizens –citizens of countries applying the Schengen acquis
Greece is a Member State of the European Union and ratified the Schengen Treaty in 1997. Citizens of EU States and other countries that have ratified the Schengen Treaty have the right to travel freely in Greece and the rest of Schengen Area on presentation of their ID card or passport.
The entry and residence of foreigners in Greece for migration reasons are determined by Law 3386/2005 “on the entry, residence and social integration of third-country nationals in Greece” (GOVERNMENT GAZETTE OF THE HELLENIC REPUBLIC, ISSUE A/23.08.2005, pg. 3329), and the amendments determined by the following Laws: 3448/2006, 3536/2007, 3613/2007, 3731/2008, 3801/2009, 3838/2010, 3846/2010, 3807/2010, 3875/2010, 3879/2010, 3900/2010, 3907/2011 and 4018/2011.
Third-country citizens entering Greece are required to have a valid passport or other travel documents recognised by international treaties. In the event applicable international treaties, Community law, or national regulations require so, these documents must include a visa. The visa is granted by the Greek consular authority in the residence of the third-country citizen, after taking into consideration criteria such as public order, security and public health. Visas are categorised as Schengen short-stay visas and national long-stay visas.
Third-country citizens who are not required to have a visa are allowed to enter and stay in Greece for three months in total, or cumulatively within a six month period since the date of their first entry.
New Visa Information System (VIS)
Beginning October 11, 2011, the new Schengen Visa Information System (VIS) came into operation. The VIS allows States in the Schengen Area to exchange data on the issuance of travel documents, and connects the consulates of the countries outside the EU with all the border control posts of the Schengen Member States.
The main objective of VIS is the simplification and the strengthening of security regarding the issuance of visas, as well as the facilitation of control at external Schengen borders. As a Schengen instrument, VIS applies to all Member States of the Schengen Area. However, it will take time until all consulates and delegated authorities of the Member States log on to the system.
VIS began with the countries of North Africa and will gradually expand to the Middle East (Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria) as well as to Gulf countries (Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen). Within a period of two years the connection of all consulates of the Schengen countries with VIS will be established.
Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Denmark, Greece, Estonia, Spain, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Hungary, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, Czech Republic, Finland
Bulgaria, Ireland, United Kingdom, Cyprus, Romania
Iceland, Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein (does not yet apply the Schengen acquis)
Greece and the rest of the Schengen States that fully apply the provisions of the Schengen Treaty and the relevant Community acquis regarding short-term visas (residency up to 90 days per semester [180 days] in the Schengen area) do not require visas for the holders of ordinary passports of the following countries: Holy See (Vatican City), San Marino, Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Venezuela, Brazil, Guatemala, El Salvador, USA, Japan, Israel, Canada, Costa Rica, Croatia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Barbados , Bahamas, Brunei, New Zealand, Nicaragua, South Korea, Honduras, Uruguay, Panama, Paraguay, Seychelles, Singapore, Chile.
For more information please visit the following links of the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs: