Immigrating to Greece

This document is designed to provide a basic overview of applying for the VISA and work Permit applications in Greece. Because changes to the relevant law and procedure may occur, this report is an overview and is not legal advice. For current and detailed information regarding the applicable legislation/procedures and a tailor-made solution to the specific case, don’t hesitate to contact the legal professional with whom you work.

The issue of entry and stay on Greek territory for reasons including the notion of immigrating to Greece is determined by Law 4251/2014 “Code of Immigration and Social Integration” (Government Gazette 80/ issue A of 01/04/2014) as amended, supplemented, and in effect today. The question of entering and staying on Greek territory for reasons that include the concept of immigration has been stipulated by law 4251/2014, “Code of Immigration and Social Integration” (Government Gazette 80Issue A, 01/04/2014) which was amended, supplemented, and in effect as of today.

Visas for immigrating to Greece

Greece is a part of the Schengen Agreement that permits the crossing of borders for tourists and business travelers without undergoing a formal inspection after the initial entry has been completed. Visitors to the Schengen countries that are not disqualified from getting a visa must be granted the Schengen visa for travel or business purposes.

A temporary residence permit, resident card, or retired residence permit is required for non-EU nationals who desire to remain in Greece for longer than three months. Therefore, anyone visiting Greece with a plan to stay for more than 90 days and who wants to work or study there must have a long-term visa or entry permission issued by the Greek government.

Schengen short-stay visas

Uniform visas are the authorization or decision given by a label that the Schengen Contracting Party attaches to a passport or travel document or any other document that permits the holder to travel across the border. It allows foreigners, subject to the requirement for visas and a visa requirement, to appear at the border with an external country that is part of that Contracting Party that issued the visa or one issued by another Contracting Party and request, following what type of visa they require they require, for entry or residence, as long as that all other conditions for entry or transit are met. 

The mere possession of a visa does not automatically grant entry right (Regulation (EU) 2019/1155, of the European Parliament and of the Council of 20 June 2019 that amends Regulation (EC) #810/2009, which establishes the Community Code on Visas (Visa Code).

Types of short-stay visas

Airport Transit Visa (Type A):

This visa allows aliens required to have an entry visa to go across the transit zone of airports without being able to enter the territory of the nation concerned in the course of a stopover and transfer from two parts of an international plane. The requirement for such a visa provides an alternative to the right to travel without a visa within the above-mentioned international transit zone.

Transit Visa (Type B):

This visa allows aliens traveling from a third-party state to another to traverse the territory that belongs to the Contracting Parties.
This visa permits its holder to travel through the country at least twice or many times provided no travel time exceeds five days.

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Travel or short-term visas (Type C):

This visa permits aliens seeking to travel into the territory of Contracting Parties for any reason not related to immigration to conduct an ongoing visit or a series of visits that do not exceed three months within any half-year starting from the date of the first entry. As a rule, it is possible to be issued for just one or more visits.

In the case of certain foreigners who are regularly required to go to one or more Schengen States, for example, on business trips, short-stay visas are granted for multiple visits if the total duration of the visit does not exceed three months within any half-year. This visa for multiple entries can be valid for one year, or in some instances, for longer than a year for certain types of people.

Group Visa

This group visa is a transit visa or visa with a limit of thirty days. It can be attached to a passport for a group, except when national legislation states other provisions. This group has to be formed institutionally or socially before deciding to travel. This is subject to the condition that the group members are admitted to the territory, remain there, and depart the territory in a group. Group visas can be granted to groups comprising five to 50 persons. The person responsible for the group must have an individual passport and the individual’s visa when necessary.

Visas that have limited validity (LTV):

This visa is attached in particular circumstances to the passport, travel document, or another document that allows holders to cross the border if the traveler is permitted only within the area of one or more Contracting Parties if the entry and exit points are on the territory of either the Contracting Parties.

Long-stay visas

The cases of entry aimed at lengthy stays, based on reasons that involve the concept of immigration, are only governed by the laws of the member state, as per Article 18 in the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement that was modified through Council Regulation (EC) 1091/2001 of 28 May 2001, on freedom of movement when accompanied by an extended-stay Visa. In these instances, visas issued by members (for durations of more than three months) will be the national ones (valid in principle only for the nation that issued them).

They will be issued following the requirements stated in the national immigration policy following the terms and conditions and upon the basis of specific supporting documents outlined in these interpretative regulations. In seven of the law mentioned above, the national visas are issued based on the applicable legislative provisions on residence permits. Their duration depends on the duration of stay, based on the particular circumstance.

Interesting facts about Living in Greece

  • Greece is the birthplace of democracy and is considered one of Western civilization’s cradles.
  • Greece is known for its rich history, archaeology, and mythology, including famous figures such as Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
  • The country is home to many famous tourist destinations, including the Acropolis in Athens, the ancient city of Delphi, and the famous islands of Santorini and Mykonos.
  • Greek cuisine is renowned for using fresh ingredients, including olive oil, feta cheese, herbs, and spices.
  • Greece is a popular destination for outdoor activities, such as hiking, swimming, and boating.
  • The country is famous for its warm and sunny climate, with over 300 days of sunshine yearly.
  • Greek music and dance are an important part of the country’s culture, with traditional music and dance styles like bouzouki, rembetika, and sirtaki.
  • Greece is the home of the Olympic Games, which originated in Olympia in ancient times and are now held every four years in different cities worldwide.
  • Greek Orthodox Christianity is the dominant religion in Greece and is an integral part of the country’s culture and heritage.
  • The Greek flag features a white cross on a blue background, with nine stripes representing the nine syllables of the Greek word for freedom.

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