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Visa issuance procedure

Nationals of European Union Member States and Schengen Area Member States

Greece is an EU Member State and ratified the Schengen Agreement in 1997. Nationals of EU Member States and Schengen Area Member States are entitled to travel freely to Greece and other Schengen Area States by just producing their police ID card or passport.

Third-Country Nationals

The entry and stay of third-country nationals to Greece, given certain considerations relating to migration, is subject to Law 3386/2005 on the entry, stay and social inclusion of third-country nationals to Greece (Government Gazette, Series I, No 212/23.08.2005, p. 3329), as amended by 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.

All third-country nationals entering Greece must have a passport or other travel document recognized under international conventions. A visa must be affixed on these documents where this is required under the international conventions in force, Community law and national legislation. Visas are granted by the consular authority with jurisdiction over the third-country national’s place of residence, after taking into account certain considerations relating to public order, security and public health in Greece. There are short-stay visas and long-stay visas.

Third-country nationals who are not required to obtain a visa can enter and stay in Greece for three months, either totally or partially, within six months of their date of first entry.

New Visa information system (VIS)

A new Schengen visa information system (VIS) was launched on 11 October 2011. The VIS allows Schengen Area Member States to share data on the ratification of travel documents and is used to connect consulates in EU Member States with all border control stations in Schengen Area Member States.

The VIS aims primarily to simplify and strengthen the security of visa issuance procedures and to facilitate controls at Schengen Area external borders. Being a Schengen Area tool, the VIS is applied in all Schengen Area Member States. It will take time, however, until all consulates and authorized departments in the Member States connect to the system.

The VIS was launched first in North Africa and will be extended gradually to the Middle East, (Israel, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria), the Gulf countries (Afghanistan, Bahrain, Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Yemen). All consulates in the Schengen Area Member States will have connected within two years. LIST OF SCHENGEN AREA MEMBER STATES: Austria, Belgium, Chez Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden

LIST OF EU MEMBER STATES THAT ARE NOT SCHENGEN AREA MEMBER STATES: Bulgaria, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, UK LIST OF EU-ASSOCIATED STATES THAT ARE SCHENGEN AREA MEMBER STATES: Iceland, Lichtenstein (it has not applied the Schengen acquis yet), Norway, Switzerland

LIST OF THIRD COUNTRIES WHOSE NATIONAL DO NOT NEED A VISA TO ENTER GREECE AND THE SCHENGEN AREA:Greece and the other Schengen Area Member States that have fully applied the Schengen Agreement and the relevant Community acquis with regard to short-stay visas (for a stay of up to 90 days every six months (180 days) in the Schengen Area) do not require a visa for holders of ordinary passports from the following countries:

Andorra, Antigua & Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Holy See (Vatican), Honduras, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, San Marino, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Uruguay, Venezuela, USA.

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