Many visitors to Greece will not need to obtain a visa for visits to Greece for up to 90 days. This includes citizens of all other European Union countries, Canada, Australia, Japan, and the United States. U.S. citizens may enter Greece without a visa for stays of up to 90 days for tourism or business purposes.
The Schengen Agreement
Greece is a party to the Schengen Agreement. The Schengen Agreement covers 26 European countries, where internal border checks have, for the most part, been abolished for short-term tourism, a business trip, or transit to a non-Schengen destination. Nationals of any world country, when in the Schengen Area, can cross the internal borders of the Schengen countries, without a passport check. However, you must have a passport that is valid for six months from the date of entry and carry it with you.
Individual countries may implement border restrictions without notice due to security issues.
The European countries that are not part of the Schengen zone are:
- Bosnia & Herzegovina
- San Marino
- The United Kingdom
- Vatican City
These countries will have individual visa requirements.
This current chart of visa requirements from the Greece Ministry of Foreign Affairs lists whether a visa is needed and, if so, what additional requirements have been imposed.
Security arrangements change rapidly, and so visa requirements can also change. Verify your needs directly with the local Greek consular office in your nation of origin. Greece maintains 83 embassies as well as 178 consulates and six other representative offices. If you're flying directly to Greece, your airline may also be able to tell you if a visa is required but the local embassy will have the most authority. The Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs provides additional guidance on visas and restrictions for entering the country including for Greek citizens traveling abroad.
The 90-day limit applies to both tourism and business travelers. However, if you travel on an official or diplomatic U.S. passport, you will need a visa issued by the U.S. State Department. Similar restrictions exist for other official and diplomatic passport holders from other nations.
More importantly, your U.S. or Canadian passport must be valid for a minimum of three months beyond the end of your projected stay. This is true for many countries, not just Greece, and it is a good idea to never travel on a passport with less than six months time left on it.
Technically, Greek officials may ask to see travel tickets for your return home or for additional destinations beyond Greece. In practice, this rarely occurs and usually will only be asked for if there is a suspicion that the visitor intends to attempt to work in Greece illegally. It is more likely to occur prior to a one-way flight or other transportation into Greece rather than once you've arrived on Greek soil.
For Greeks Traveling to the United States
Eligible international travelers who wish to travel to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program must apply for authorization. Greek citizens may apply via the Electronic System for Travel Authorization.