- Tourists can enter Greece with a Schengen visa
- The visa must be applied for at least 2-3 weeks before the intended date of travel
- Passport photographs that do not adhere to the rules are the most common reason for visa denial
Do you wonder what the Parthenon looks like? Or, what it would be like to see the famed Mount Olympus?
You’re not alone. Every year, thousands of people travel to Greece to explore her natural beauty and archeological ruins. Getting a tourist visa to Greece is quite easy. Read on to know more.
With its ancient ruins, endless coastlines and vibrant culture, a holiday in Greece is a thrill for the senses. From adventure activities to sightseeing, there’s plenty to do here. In 2018, Greece welcomed over 30 million tourists from across the world.
One of the many reasons why people choose to holiday in Greece is the relative ease with which one can get a tourist visa for Greece. Since the country is part f the Schengen area, Greece does not have a tourist visa policy of its own but allows foreigners to enter the country with a Schengen visa.
Best Time To Visit Greece
|Best Time To Visit||Athens Epidaurus Festival||Winter|
|May to September (Athens and the Islands)||June – August||November - February|
What Is The Schengen Visa?
The Schengen area came into being in 1985 when 5 countries; Germany, France, Belgium, Luxemburg, and the Netherlands signed the Schengen agreement. This agreement opened the borders of these countries to allow their citizens to move freely amongst them.
It also set into motion a visa policy by which a foreigner needs to apply for a single visa for all countries within the Schengen area. Greece signed the Schengen agreement in 1992. However, it was only in 2000 that it implemented the visa policy.
A Schengen visa can be used to travel to one or many of the Schengen countries. As of today, there are 26 countries that can be visited with this visa.
The visa can be obtained at the consulate of any of the Schengen countries but there are a few guidelines that must be followed when deciding which consulate to apply in.
The visa application must be submitted to either the consulate of the country where the maximum time will be spent or the consulate of the country that will be visited first (if you are traveling to more than one country during a single visit). If you are traveling only to Greece, you may apply for a Greece tourist visa or Schengen visa at the consulate of Greece.
Greece Tourist Visa Fees
A service charge and visa processing fee are payable at the time of submitting the application and the supporting documents. This is a non-refundable payment and may be made by cash or credit/debit card. The details of the payment are as follows:
- Visa fee for adults: EUR 60
- Visa fee for children between the ages of 6 to 12 years: EUR 35
- Visa fee for children below 6 years of age: NA
How To Apply For A Greece Tourist Visa?
Since it is part of the Schengen countries, a Greece tourist visa is fairly easy to get and simple to apply for. The applications usually take about 2 weeks to be processed and hence should be applied for 2-3 weeks before the intended date of travel.
The visa application form is available online and can be downloaded freely. The form can be filled in by hand or completed online and printed. A list of documents required along with the form is given below.
Once the application and the supporting documents have been collected, tourists will need to book an appointment at the consulate of Greece to submit the application. A visa processing fee will also need to be paid at this stage.
In some cases, the applicant may be interviewed by the visa processing officer. Once the visa is processed, it will be stamped onto the passport which may be collected from the consulate or delivered to the applicant’s address.
Documents Required For A Greece Tourist Visa
The documents required for a Schengen visa to Greece are:
This is a document that must mention why you are planning a trip to Greece, the places you intend to visit and proof of how your trip will be funded.
If any of the other documents required are not being submitted, an explanation for their omission must also be included. A cover letter is especially important if your visa application is being submitted by a third person.
There is a big difference between a flight itinerary and flight tickets. When applying for a Schengen visa, you do not need to have booked your tickets in advance but you should be able to show a reservation or blocked ticket.
For this, you will need to submit details of the flight number, dates of travel- arrival and departure, airport IATA code and the price of the ticket. A one-way ticket is not acceptable.
You will need documentation to prove that you have a place to stay throughout your stay in Greece. If you are staying with friends or family members, you may submit a letter of introduction from them. Else, you will need to show hotel booking receipts.
If you are not sure of your exact itinerary and do not want to make hotel bookings in advance, you may make a dummy booking by paying a nominal amount to certain hotels in Greece.
Proof Of Means Of Sustenance
You should also be able to prove that you have sufficient financial backing for your trip. This may take the form of bank statements or salary slips for the last three months, a copy of the last year’s income tax returns or proof of employment.
If the trip is being sponsored by someone else, a letter of guarantee from them and a letter explaining your relationship to the person and their reason for sponsoring your trip will also be needed.
Travel Health Insurance
Any person traveling to Greece must have a minimal insurance cover of EUR 30,000. You can get this insurance from an insurance agent.
A valid passport is a must when applying for a Schengen visa. this passport must be valid for at least 3 months after the person returns from his/her intended visit to Greece. It should also have at least 2 empty pages.
2 passport sized photographs of the applicant must be submitted with the application form. These photographs must be recently taken and should adhere to the following specifications:
- It must be 35mm wide x 45mm tall
- The photograph must be taken against a white background
- It must be printed on high-quality glossy paper
- The photograph must not be folded or marked
- The applicant must look straight into the camera with a neutral expression
- The applicant’s face must take up 70-80% of the frame
- Both eyes must be open and uncovered by any reflective glasses, hair or glares
- The forehead and chin must be clearly visible
- Headwear may only be permitted if it is worn for religious purposes. In such cases, the headwear must not cover any part of the face