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Visa for Greece



Visa for Greece


Greek passport

A passport is necessary for entry into Greece or, for EU nationals, a national identity card. Some hotels will ask to see your passport or ID card when checking-in and some will even insist on keeping it during your stay although this is not required.

Ensure that your passport is valid for at least six months more than you plan on staying on your trip. Some countries require it, but even if they don't, it's a good rule to follow in case something unforeseen keeps you in Greece longer than expected.

Visa and red tape

UK and all other EU nationals plus those of Norway and Iceland, only need a valid passport for entry into Greece. They are no longer stamped in on arrival or out upon departure and in theory at least enjoy the same civil rights as Greek citizens have. US, Australian, New Zealand, Canadian and most non-EU Europeans receive mandatory entry and exit stamps in their passports and can stay, as tourists, for ninety days. Note that such nationals arriving by flight or boat from another EU country, may not always be stamped in at minor ports so it's best to make sure this is done in order to avoid unpleasantness on exit.

If you are planning to travel overland, you should check current visa requirements for Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria at their closest consulate. Transit visa for most of these territories are at present issued at the borders, though at a higher price than if obtained in advance at a local consulate. Top

Visa extension

If you wish to remain in Greece for longer than three months, as a non-EU/EFTA national, you should apply for an extension. This can be done in larger cities like Athens, Thessaloniki, Patra, Rhodes and Iraklion through the Ypiresia Allodhapon (aliens' bureau). Prepare yourself for strict bureaucracy. In other locations you visit the local police station where the staff are apt to be more co-operative.

Unless of Greek descent, visitors from non-EU countries are currently allowed only one six-month extension to a tourist visa for which a hefty fee is charged , up to 150 €. In theory, EU nationals are allowed to stay indefinitely but, to be sure of avoiding any problems, it's best to get a resident visa and, if appropriate, a work permit. In either case, the procedure should be set in motion at least four weeks before your time runs out. If you don't already have a work permit, you will be required to present pink, personalized bank exchange receipts totalling at least 1500 € for the preceding three months as proof that you are importing sufficient funds to support yourself without working. Possession of unexpired credit cards, a Greek savings account passbook or travellers cheques can, to some extent, substitute for the pink receipts. The pages of the passbook in particular should be photocopied and given to the police.

Passport controlCertain individuals get around the law by leaving Greece every three months and re-entering a few days later, ideally via a different frontier post, for a new ninety-day tourist stamp. However, with the recent flood of Albanian and eastern European refugees into the country, all looking for work, security and immigration personnel don't always look very kindly on this practice

If you overstay your time and then leave on your own power - ie are not deported - you'll be hit with a huge spot fine upon departure, effectively a double-priced retroactive visa extension. No excuses will be entertained except perhaps a doctor's certificate stating you were immobilized in hospital. It cannot be overemphasized just how exigent Greek immigration officials often are on this issue.

The Greek embassy or consulate in your country can provide you with additional information. Top

     Visa and red tape
     Visa extention

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