Greece Visas, Permits and Immigration

by Jose Marc Castro on August 11, 2009

VISAgreece200Greek citizens need a passport to travel outside the boundaries of Greece. Greek citizens can also use their identity card or ID whenever they are traveling within the Schengen Area. Since 26 August 2006, a type of passport called “biometric passport” has been available. A type of microchip is embedded on the passport. This microchip contains the necessary personal information of the passport holder.

Greek Passport

This passport is valid for 5 years. It costs a non-refundable $4.65. Prices depend on the age of the passport holder.

Greek Visa

Foreign nationals with the right to study and stay in Greece for a duration of not more than 90 days without holding a visa are citizens of:

•    Australia;
•    European Union member states;
•    Israel;
•    Canada;
•    New Zealand;
•    Japan;
•    Norway;
•    United States of America;
•    Iceland; and
•    Switzerland.

All citizens of countries excluded from the list above need to obtain a visa for tourism, business, or migration purposes in Greece.

Greece has long been a member of the Schengen Region Agreement. Children and Spouses of European Union nationals will get their visas free whenever the original copy of the marriage certificate and the spouse’s passport are submitted. Covered by this policy are some citizens of other countries.

Greek Visa Costs

The prices of visa processing fees vary with purpose. Tourist, Business, Student and Transit visas cost 60 Euros while others cost 37.50 Euros.

Visa Validity

The validity of a Greek visa depends on its type. There are visas that last for 3 months or 90 days within a 6-month period. There are also visas that can be extended for up to 3 years, while some are only valid for weeks.

Useful Information

a.    If you consider the option of working in Greece, you may want to apply for a new visa since the Greek government obliges applicant’s to obtain a separate working visa.

b.    Tourists visiting a country in the Schengen Area must file an application at the Embassy or Consulate of the Schengen country. Tourists must state that they have chosen this particular Schengen country as their main destination or the first country they will enter if they don’t have a main destination.

c.       Foreign nationals arriving and departing from Greece on chartered flights are in great risk of getting the return part of their tickets cancelled by Greek authorities once they stay longer or in another state.

Greek Immigration Policy

Schengen Agreement

This agreement consists of two 1985 agreements between European states. It also deals with the elimination of a systematic border control among the involved countries. The Treaty of Amsterdam ratified the 2 agreements and made it into the so-called “Law of the European Union”.

Greek authorities issued a policy concerning illegal immigrants entering Greece. The commitments and obligations of this policy are to promote the economic and social solution of immigrants. Like other European Union members, Greek authorities have tried twice to legalize this immigration policy in 1997 and 2001. The legalization of this policy provides benefits to both Greeks and immigrants.

The myth about Schengen visas was discussed in a post at the Greece Expat Forum last August 13, 2009:

First of all, there is no such thing as a “long-stay Schengen” visa. A Schengen visa is the three month tourist visa, or in your case the rough equivalent to the US VWP (visa waiver program) scheme where you are allowed 3 months in the Schengen area without having to apply for a visa.

Your research is correct. Don’t listen to your fiancé’s assurances. (Not to “diss” him, but you’ll find most people know little or nothing about the immigration laws of their own country and just assume they can get a friend or spouse in with no difficulty. Been there, done that – have the scars…)

What you should do is to contact the consulate of Greece in the US and find out what sort of “fiancé” visa they have and how to apply for it. The other option is to apply for a long-stay visa for Greece (which allows you to visit other countries in the Schengen area while you’re resident in Greece) – but very often, they will require that you have a job lined up with an employer to sponsor your application.

Ultimately you’re probably going to have to do the FBI check – and at least if you do it while in the US, you can probably get the local police department to do the fingerprints for you, maybe even for free. If you have to get the fingerprints done at the US Embassy in Greece, it’ll cost you (was 35€ at the Paris consulate a few years ago).

I’ve been in the situation of being illegal in a European country – after marrying one of the locals! It’s not fun, though it’s not that difficult to get away with. I had the advantage that I was following bad advice from the consulate, and had no intention of breaking the law. If you just go to Greece and overstay your visa, you won’t have that advantage.

Greek Immigration Laws

The legislative agenda regulating specific characteristics of Greek immigration legislations was adjusted in January 2007. The Greek general confederation of labor considers the legislations despite the broader criteria in granting residence permits under the new legislation.

In January 2007, an adjustment to the immigration law #3386-2005 provided social and residence inclusion of 3rd country nationals in Greek territory. The new legislative intervention by the Public Administration and the Ministry of the Interior and Decentralization attempts to enhance and correct the shortcomings and omissions noted throughout the first 16 months that Law #3386-2005 was in effect. The inter-ministerial committee of Greece monitors the new policy.

This is also the first time that the Greek government established an international committee for social insertion of immigrants. Members of the committee include representatives of parliamentary parties, local government, academic community, and social partners. It creates an idea of an expansion with the inter-ministerial committee monitoring immigration policies while taking care of refugees. These issues were based on a multi-disciplinary perspective. The measures must be taken into account for the sake of issues related to immigration. The Greek Immigration Office has done continuous efforts to make this country a free place for immigrants.

Main Amendments

For immigrant workers originating from non European Union member states, the Greek government amended certain significant changes regarding the renewal of residence permits. For those working as private nurses, domestic employees, and construction workers, the obligation to supply an employment contract when renewing a residence permit has been abolished because of the new laws.

All immigrants working as paid employees officially have the right to buy insurance stamps to make up the required amount for renewing various residence permits. There is a limit with the amount of insurance stamps for workers. The worker’s allowable limit is set at 20% of the total number needed annually.

At present, immigrants can also take up a political position in the region other than where the original residence permit was issued. This can be done a year after the original residence permit has been granted.

Hundreds of migrants were not able to get residence permits under the original provision of law #3386-2005. Discussions about this particular issue were done to verify entry eligibility in Greece. This verification process was extended before the end of December in 2004.

A provision under non-European immigrants allows entry into Greece apart from stamped passports and visas. It now includes public documents before immigrants can obtain new residence permits.

Greek Immigration Restrictions

Henley and Partners Greek Immigration Study

According to the Henley and Partners study, Greece has an Index of One Hundred-Twenty Henley Visa Restrictions. This means Greek nationals will enjoy a 120-country and territory access without a required visa. This can only be used for short-term tourist visits. Greece is the 9th country in terms of international travel liberty.

{ 63 comments… read them below or add one }

palwinder singh December 21, 2009 at 3:30 am

hi..this is palwinder ..i want to apply the visit visa for greace. what i hav to do..get the visa of grease


amandeep kaur December 28, 2009 at 2:40 pm

I want to know about permanent immigration visa in greece and i want to do job there because my qualification is – PGDCA from kumaun university nainital and doing MCA from sikkim manipal university(passout three semister)


ramanjitsingh April 13, 2011 at 11:36 am

amandeep ji u have to go to greek embassy and u have to learn greek too thn u can take easily visa i am here frm 10 years thaty i knw abt visas
have a great life


sundas May 4, 2011 at 2:16 pm

hi .hope u r fine…. if u dont mind vl u please tell me about the rules in greece for study visa my family is there and i wanna go there……
waiting for ur reply……..


Angel July 21, 2011 at 9:23 am

Hi there, I have a friend coming from India and he wants to know how he can stay here in Greece. What sort of visa should he be asking for and how long can he stay? Does he have to have a job to come to or wait till he gets here? I am so confused as everyone is telling me different things. Can you please help me to help him? Thank you


wajahat ali January 3, 2010 at 6:15 pm

dear sir,madam,

hope every body is fine dear,s i am looking vist visa for greace because i have girlfriend from greace but we met in cyprus and now am in pakistan so i want to meet my girlfriend and she is affraid to come pakistan so that why i like to go there but i have no way to go there so please kindly if any body can help me so please contacet me on my e-mail or if you know about any company who can send me invetation latter so please kindly tell me


gogobroun October 28, 2011 at 11:47 am

if you can work in arab contractor then send ur information, for they have a contract asigned to them by greece government
u can send ur cv via this Emial for proceesing and assesing .


FAHEEM AHMED February 10, 2010 at 3:49 pm

Respected Sir,

i am interested job for greece pls any information for greece,


muhanad February 24, 2010 at 6:30 pm

IWant to immigrate out of sudan


GRACE March 18, 2010 at 4:25 am

Dear Sir :

It's my great desire to work in Greece . I am a nurse from Phillippines . May I ask your favor to give an information what are the steps in immigration to apply as a working visa.

Your response is highly appreciated.




amit July 25, 2010 at 10:16 pm

hi dnt abut greece my 4 other no work here.80% people is without job


olugbenga onayinka April 2, 2010 at 4:55 am

i will love to have my masters degree/doctorate in a greece university, how do i go about this?


Jhonalyn Mendoza April 20, 2010 at 9:56 pm

Im a non EU citizen,i have permit to stay here in greece, that will expired on June 11, 2010.i have legal documents to renew my permit since its my 3rd time to renew. I want to travel in France this summer, can i travel with bibaiosi only?or bibaiosi is valid only in home country?


honey November 3, 2010 at 11:00 am

no u cant travel to france on your is valid only to travel to ur home country but only when government opens entry for the holders of the bebaiosi to travel to their countries.


tedina allen April 25, 2010 at 6:12 am

I am very interested in finding out how to become a greek citizen. I am working on getting my degree in environmental conservation and would love to become a citizen in about three years. Any guidance into these processes would be appreciated. Thank you


uvy May 14, 2010 at 1:47 pm

hello my friend has a friend who entered greece with a tourist visa and until now still in greece. she's working as a domestic helper or nanny. Shes from the philippines. if she will caught what would be her punishment?


Eloir Linares May 22, 2010 at 2:30 pm

My girlfriend is studying in cyprus, so I need to know if she can travel to greece, the semester finish in 1 week, so she need to know if is necessary some document to travel to greece, because she think that the 90 days has finished in UE, she arrives in january 18 2010, and the semester finish in may 26, I need your help please…


Brenda caraan June 15, 2010 at 7:21 am

Good day..i just want to ask if i have still a chance that i can get a working permit here in greece considering that my previous permit is student visa which is good for two years. But right now im working already as house helper and i have my part time bibiose as a parttimer but its already expires last year.My employer are paying my ika since last year.Do i have still a chance to get a working permit here what will i do.thank you


ashwani kumar June 18, 2010 at 6:57 am

i ashwani kumar i 7 year in greece i 7 yeaer not a opan emmi gration i illigal not a paper please help me


ali June 27, 2010 at 10:58 am

i am living in greece 5 years ,not open immegration ,why ? you know i pay goverment 150euro in 2007 for ducoment to athens demo,for good hope to call back .but no body call me …………………….? what i have to do ? goverment make good laws for immegration even get every person ligaly after 5 years much time .you don't know these peoples live bagger lifes .please help us ……………………………..our rights ' no orgnisation who faight our rights .if we legal then pay tex to goverment .if goverment donot intrusted our issue then kill us ………………… right to alive ……….! how much time we wait for immegration ……………..? but i think its our hopes who dead every day .beacuse we are not same like you as ligal persons .so we are another world humans not treated us this world laws .[ i am mad because here no body help me no orgnaisation no helper ……………………… i am helpless ……………..! ]


ali June 27, 2010 at 12:45 pm

i have no comments to address you any how GREECE is a good countery but have no good laws of immegration .i not vary that ……its my persnal views .


Imran Ahmed July 12, 2011 at 7:03 am

Hey Ali,….im Imran from Bangladesh. Im interested to settle in Greece. currently im in a Real estate company in Accounts section for 1.5 years. So i wished to come greece by immigration, so in this situation could u kindly tell me about the processing. Thankyou.


cindy June 30, 2010 at 12:12 pm

If my father was born in greece yet then become an south africa citizen what would I need as a south african to get an greece passport? and how would we go about? we live in south africa and would like a passport it immigrate to greece? should we try the embassy? and how do you get a birth certificate of a parent that has passed away?


Petro December 14, 2010 at 2:11 pm


The Greek Consul will be able to assist you. Cal on them. It is extremely easy to get your late father's birth certificate. The Greek Church in Woodstock will also assist you by contacting the village where your father was born. However, be prepared to wait for the paper trail to take its course. I am not sure if one is permited to provide you with a telephone number, but if you need more info call some Greek restaurants and ask for the owners who will gladly help you as well. There are only 3 or 4 in Cape Town. Good luck. Petro


sara July 5, 2010 at 6:27 am

i was born in greece, but i live already in the philippines for about 10years. i want to go back in greece and visit my family and be back in the philippines after 3 u thnk i'll be having a hard time applying for visa?


sajid August 15, 2010 at 12:23 pm

i want to know that is there any law for the birth nationality there in greece or not? if some one born in greece, can he apply for the nationality for the greece? i m looking forward for you reply


jagdip July 28, 2010 at 7:21 am

respected sir
now m in australia and i just finish my study in aus and now i want apply for greece permanent residency if have any chance than please tell me on my email


jasbir October 7, 2010 at 4:30 pm

if dear ur in aus and completed ur study then try to find out some solutions ther for getting PR. becos greece is the worst country of world for foreingers. people here in greece waiting from very long time for some new regulations regarding immigration but…greece is sleeping still. this coutry by mistake opens immig in 1997 and 2001 ,,,,,but now as far as i think,,,,,,no way…..from last ten yrs no rules….no immigration ur in heaven …..try to settle their…..dont try visa or PR for hell.greeks are also beggers not donors. forget greece PR and try some other good nation like german ,switzerland, newzealand……hav a good luck


Shovon August 24, 2010 at 2:38 pm

Dear sir,
i am a student from Bangladesh. I want to come in Greece. I want to work there.because my love is living there.i with to live with her. what can i do to get a migration to Greece . I humbly Requesting to you


honey November 3, 2010 at 10:38 am

its not that easy to migrate to greece.but u can get a tourist or student visa to reach there.


mohibullah September 2, 2010 at 11:41 am

i am mohib in greece i wanant job in greece i english speeking & i am unemplaye . thanks full to you


aqil hameed September 2, 2010 at 11:49 am

i am aqil i live in greece at athens for 3 years . iam unemplayment but i learn greece language.


zakyluky September 6, 2010 at 6:34 am

hi i am living in greece since july 2001 leagly with residence can i apply for pasport


honey November 3, 2010 at 10:35 am

no u cant because first u have to apply for the permanent sticker (adeia paramonis) which one can apply after 10 yrs living legally and paying tax in greece.when u get that then only u can apply for the greek passport but there are many formalities for that.


qutub September 11, 2010 at 4:50 pm

i would like to migrate to gree
i would like to have the details


nilo m. alcoreza September 28, 2010 at 5:18 pm

im from the philippines and i want to know about the requirements for greece visa since its the 1st country i will enter in my european trip next year,


honey November 3, 2010 at 10:31 am

go to the greece embassies website of ur country and have all the details


nasir mahmood September 28, 2010 at 7:37 pm

greece is really v nice place to live and for work too
i spent few years in greece i had work in the ship and in the city too
i love to stay and love to go for visit again and again
greece i lands are v nice placess i have been many i land


Jeffery November 4, 2010 at 7:09 am


My name is Jeffery fro India. I recently wanted to try my options to immigrate to Greece with my family. What are my chances in finding a suitable employment there?

About myself: I am SAP Consultant having working in India and USA for over 11 yrs.

Please reply with appropriate information.



arshad feroze December 2, 2010 at 8:00 pm

dear sir,madem iwant to come here only for visit because i want to see some historicle places reply me with the great thanks


Royal December 9, 2010 at 1:25 pm

I want to travel to Greece for football play and i will really appreciate if somebody will email me and let me know that Geographical and topography area. Please email me contact:[email protected]


naseer khalid December 16, 2010 at 12:07 pm

hi. i was born in greece .i have only birthday ceftifcate and aka book… i am living in pak before 10 years….i want to go back in greece can some on help me


Niel January 4, 2011 at 3:20 am

hey am Niel from India working in a s/w company here for 6 years, now am planning to migrate to Greece to do a job in software company. Can anybody shed some light on how the country is for the software guys? Is there any link ofr the list of software companyies in Greece. Any help please?


jay January 16, 2011 at 9:20 am

i have greek permanent residence can i trvel or stay long into other eu members


ANNAH MWAJUMA January 20, 2011 at 6:15 pm

Hi, am a kenyan and i live in mykonos greece i have been here for the past four and ahalf years, i would like to know when are they issueing the residence permits and because am a prisoner not in a bad way but i need to go and see my son, my mum and the pple i love back home also, it will be good for the goverment to give atleast people who have stayed for many years papers because we can help in building the country by paying IKA and other things, i believe its possible, please tell us its soon.


davinderjit mal February 10, 2011 at 2:17 am

i need greese visa diclaresahn plz help me


Meagan Nomicos August 8, 2011 at 9:47 am

The greek embassy in my country has said that i need to find out if i am registered in Greece under my father. Any idea how i would go about finding this info?


ajad September 4, 2011 at 1:25 pm

i am bangldeshi, now i am a refuzee in greece. i have come here 9 march of this year.
So , i want to know , how can i get PERMANENT RESIDENT in greece.
Or , how many issu have in greece to get PERMANENT RESIDENT , & what is that.


kashif muneer September 19, 2011 at 4:22 pm

hi madam,sir i,m living in greece since april 2007 ,i have work n also have red card but now i want to go pakistan to meet my family,if there there have any law for us plz tell us


olugbenro solomon September 26, 2011 at 4:56 pm

sir please i want you to tell me how i can get the visa to Greece with me and my wife from nigeria


Jaspreet October 23, 2011 at 9:23 am

I read an article when I went on the Athens News site (Oct. 22, 2011) about Greece wanting foreign workers, about 24 000, many for "dirty, dangerous, and difficult" jobs Greeks don't want to do. Considering they already have tons of foreigners who don't have any work and are even homeless, I don't know why you want to go there. Also, in May, Greek racists were attacking non-whites with things like knives for 3 days. If I were a non-white foreigner in Greece, my goal would be to get out of there before calamity strike when the country defaults or its socialist government topples (almost there I think). Greeks themselves are becoming increasingly homeless. Stay out of Greece if you can for immigrants often become scapegoats during bad economic times.


Sharmin December 1, 2011 at 11:21 am

Hi, I am from Bangladeshi newly married wife. My husband in Greece immigrant. How I can stay with him in Greece legally. I shall be highly grateful to you if you pay me a valued suggestion. Thanks. Sharmin


TRUE_STORIES December 21, 2011 at 11:30 pm

I would agree with Jaspreet. Greece has dangerous immigration rules- in practice it delays ALL immigration applications, systimatically attempting to marginalise foreigners. Read about Salaminias 2 in Athens, where immigrants were killed by police for queing up for asylum applications! I think this says it ALL. Lets all stay away from such DISGRACE


Lerna Delapena January 2, 2012 at 3:45 pm

hello everyone is there any chances for a Filipino like me who apply there as residence ?if yes how?what website should i read to learn about this?


ayoub January 5, 2012 at 2:45 pm

I live in saudi arab and i want to work in greec. but what should i do to shift in greec?


muhammad asad January 10, 2012 at 8:09 pm

HI SIR, my name is muhammad asad stay 5 year in Greece i have job in work permit.but i need immigration legally i go in pakistan plz help me…..


jejay January 12, 2012 at 11:16 am

I live in Greece but would like to leave as i cant seem to get a visa to stay permanetly. I have heard if i am caught trying to leave to another EU country i will get caught and detained. What do i do. I just want to leave. Can i get someone to say they will assume responsibilty for me???


abid ali khan February 26, 2012 at 5:55 pm

hellow sir i want to renew my resedent card but i have less tex please tell me what can i do


amerjit March 6, 2012 at 9:53 pm

i have permanet residence permit i want live and work in germany can i do it


pantelis April 6, 2012 at 5:09 am

i am greek with greek passport working in singapore and my passport urgent my passport expirying now within next thirty 30 days urgent please advise me how i can renew now my greek passport how ???


Mohammad Islam May 7, 2012 at 3:43 pm

Hi I am Mohammad Ajharul Islam from Bangladesh. I have 15 years experience industrial production sector. I want any work in Greece.
How can possible please advice me. Thanks


Asmath June 18, 2012 at 1:24 pm

I’m asmath fahim from srilanka.My brother’s in law hyder ali lives in greece athens for 20 years with his family..But still he is unable to obtain passport even he produce all necessary documents.Because of this he is not be able to find the job and his all family is suffering.he fall under refugee.Please let me know the steps to get it back his passport.


peter August 1, 2012 at 1:07 pm

Hello everyone an in Greece at the moment and an seeking for a visa to go back to my wife and kids
in Unted Kingdom, but right now i think am leaving in greece as an illegal Immigrate can anyone
give me the best step and method to follow to secure a visa and continue my journey? thanks


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