Depending on the duration and purpose of your journey to Greece, you may apply for a short-term “Schengen visa” or a long-term “national visa” for a stay of longer than 90 days.
Visa applicants must make an appointment and come in person to lodge their visa application to the Greek Consulate General in Los Angeles:
Consulate General of Greece
12424 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 1170
In order to make an appointment please contact the Consulate General of Greece by e-mail: ##0 or, alternatively, by phone to the number: (310)826.5555 ext. 102 (visa department) or ext. 100 (secretariat). The hours of the R/V are from 09.30 to 13.30 every weekday (except holidays). The areas of jurisdiction of our Consulate are: Arizona, California (zip codes: 90001-92999), Colorado, Hawaii, New Mexico and South Nevada.
Visa is an authorization issued by one of the member states of the Schengen area with a view to transit through or an intended stay in the territory of the member states for a duration of up to 90 days in any 180-day period.
A uniform Schengen visa allows the holder a stay of up to 90 days within any 180-day period, and it is valid within the territory of the following countries: Greece, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Lichtenstein, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland (Schengen Area).
To calculate the length of your stay in the Schengen Area, click here.
Who needs a Schengen visa?
Whether you need a Schengen visa depends on your nationality. See the list of countries the nationals of which need or do not require a Schengen visa for a stay of up to 90-days in the Schengen area.
Airport Transit Visa (ATV)
The nationals of certain third countries may also need an airport transit visa (ATV) when they are to change planes at an airport of a Schengen member state. See the common list and the national list of countries whose nationals require an ATV. See also the exemptions from the ATV requirement.
A Schengen member state may require the central authorities of other member states to consult its central authorities during the examination of applications lodged by nationals of specific third countries. This consultation process can take up to seven days. Thus, visa applicants must bear this in mind when they lodge their visa applications. See the list of countries for which consultation is required.
Family members of EU/EEA & Swiss citizens
If you are a family member of a citizen of a member state of the EU, the EEA or Switzerland, you may be eligible • for priority service when you lodge a visa application, • to apply directly at the Consulate, • to submit fewer documents and • for waiving of the visa fee, provided you can respond in the affirmative to all the following questions: A) Is there a citizen of the EU who exercises the right of free movement and from whom the visa applicant derives any rights? B) Does the visa applicant come under the definition of family member? C) Is the visa applicant accompanying or going to meet the EU citizen?
Rights deriving from the issued visa
Mere possession of an entry visa does not automatically confer the holder the right to enter the Schengen area. The border control authorities or other competent authorities can check the purpose of the journey and whether entry conditions are met. During their entry into Greece, citizens of third countries must be able to show that they have the necessary financial resources for their stay. For information, click here. These checks may result in the visa holder not being allowed to enter the country.
Refusal of visa application
If the visa application is refused, the consular authority will notify you in writing of the reasons for refusal. The refusal of a visa application is an individual administrative act that you can appeal. The form notifying you of the refusal of your application contains the necessary information on how you can appeal the decision.
The visa application shall, as a rule, be lodged to the consular authority at least 15 days before the intended visit and no earlier than three months before the start of the intended visit.
The appointment must be made, preferably, 30 to 45 days prior to the intended trip by e-mail or by phone.
The decision on the visa application is made, as a rule, within 15 calendar days of the date of the lodging the application which is admissible by the consular authority. This period may be extended to up to 30 days or, in exceptional, specific cases to 60 calendar days. The consular authority will inform you of the decision date when it receives the application.
General rules for lodging a visa application
To apply for a visa you shall submit:
1. Visa application form in english completed and signed.
2. Passport, with at least two blank pages. The passport shall have been issued within the previous ten years. The passport shall be valid for at least three months after the intended date of your departure from the Schengen area or, in the case of multiple trips, until the date on which you plan to depart after your final stay.
4. Fingerprints. The applicant’s fingerprints shall be collected if they have not been registered in the VIS within the previous 59 months, during a previous lodging of a Schengen visa application. Certain categories of applicants are exempt from this obligation.
6. A valid Alien Resident Card or a visa to the U.S. (except for B1/B2).
7. Bank and credit card statements for the last 3 months.
8. W-2 forms for the last 2 years.
9. a) For employees: Reference letter from the employer stating position and monthly or annual salary
b) For self-employed persons: A letter from the bank that you do
business with, stating that the company is in good standing. c) For foreign students on F1 visas: -valid I-20
-reference letter from educational institution
(school/college/university) stating that you are in good standing,
your major and the expected date of graduation.
10. Hotel reservations or proof of participation in group travel.
-If you are invited by a friend or family member: A
letter of invitation (affidavit) signed by the inviting person and duly notarized in Greece. -If you are travelling for business and your accommodation costs are covered by an inviting company in Greece: A letter from the inviting company
Travel Medical Insurance
Applicants shall have travel medical insurance that covers emergency medical care, hospitalization and repatriation (in case of death included). The minimum coverage should be for €30.000. This insurance shall be valid for the entire Schengen area, in the case of a uniform visa, or for the territory of member state(s) concerned in case of a visa of limited territorial validity, and throughout the duration of the stay.
Please note that, during the processing time, the consulate may, in individual cases, ask you to submit additional information or documents, or, if deemed necessary, call the applicant for an interview.
Attention! When your passport is returned to you, we ask that you check the affixed visa for any errors. If you find any errors, notify the consular authority immediately. If you do not do so, the consular authority bears no responsibility for any problems you may have carrying out your trip.
See useful information here on the visa you have been issued and on your trip to Greece and the Schengen area.
A long - term visa1 (National visa - D Type Visa) is an authorization issued by the competent Greek authorities for the entry and stay of third - country nationals in Greek territory for a period exceeding 90 and up to 365 days, according to the respective national legislation or European Union law on the residence status of third - country nationals.
Competent authority for issuing a national visa is the Greek diplomatic mission or consular post in whose jurisdiction the applicant is legally located.
According to Article 5, paragraph 7 of Act 4251/2014, national visas are issued based on the respective residence permit regulations and their duration is related, as the case may be, to that of intended stay. Additionally, Foreign Affairs Minister Decree F3497.3/AP24245/2014 (Government Gazette No. 1820, issue B’) determines the general supporting documents and the issuing procedure for national long - term entry visas2. Finally, Joint Ministerial Decree No. 30825/14 (Government Gazette No. 1528, issue B’,) specifies the documents required for issuing national entry visas and the issuing and renewing of residence permits pursuant to Act 4251/20143 .
National entry visas are issued regardless of whether or not the applicant, third - country national, is subject to an entry visa obligation, pursuant to Regulation (EC) No. 539/2001 of the European Union Council of March 15, 2001, as amended and in force, and does not grant its holder an irrevocable right of entry.
Meeting the requirements of the Joint Ministerial Decree provided by paragraph 1, Article 136 of Act 4245/2014 does not prejudge the issuance of a national long - term visa, which falls under the exclusive competence of the diplomatic mission or consular post.
National visas are issued based on the respective residence permit regulations and their duration is related, as the case may be, to that of the intended stay. National visas are not extended. (Article 5, paragraph 7 of Act 4251/2014).
In addition, national visas issued to third - country nationals are generally valid for one year (365 days), with the exception of persons provided by Article 18 of Act 4251/2014, who enter the country for a specific purpose and for a specific stay period, not exceeding one year, and the period of stay is related to achieving the purpose. In these cases, the competent consular post issues, without prejudice to the general and specific provisions on visas, national entry visas for periods not exceeding 365 days, without requiring the issuance of a residence permit by the jointly competent authorities. These categories are: B1. Seasonal employees (up to 6 months). B2. Fishworkers (up to 11 months). B3. Members of artistic groups (up to 1 year). B4. Employees legally employed by an undertaking established in a Member State of the European Union, who travel to provide a specific service under a contractual obligation (up to 1 year). B5. Qualified technical staff employed by an undertaking established in a third country, under a procurement contract, to provide specific services (up to 6 months). B5. Leaders of organized tourist groups (up to 8 months). B6. Sportspersons, coaches and other specialized personnel for training purposes (up to 6 months). B7. Students participating in a traineeship program (up to 6 months).
When issuing national entry visas, consular posts must inform the applicants that the possession of an entry visa does not exempt them from the obligation to file, immediately upon arrival in Greece, an application and the required supporting documents to the competent Aliens and Immigration Department of the Decentralized Administration of their place of residence or stay, to be provided with the corresponding residence permits (Article 7, paragraph 1 of Act 4251/2014).
An entry visa does not automatically confer further rights (e.g. possibility to work), but should be accompanied by a relevant certificate proving the lodging of an application to issue a residence permit. A residence permit is the legal document providing the necessary certification from the competent Greek authorities, based on which the third - country national is allowed to legally stay in Greek territory and have all rights provided for in the national immigration legislation4.
Since April 5, 2010, when the Visa Code and Regulation 265/2010 entered into force5, the principle of equivalence has been introduced between residence permits and long - term visas, as regards the free movement of their holders in the single Schengen area and, therefore, any third - country national holding a long - term visa issued by a Member State and having a period of validity of up to one year, may travel to other Member States for 90 days, within any period of 180 days, under the same terms applying to holders of residence permits, provided that he/she meets the requirements of Article 5, paragraph 1, points a), c), d) and e) of Regulation (EC) 562/20066 (Schengen Borders Code).
Third - country nationals wishing to receive a national long - term entry visa must present themselves in person before the Greek diplomatic mission or consular post in the jurisdiction of which they legally reside and regardless of the national visa category to be issued, in order to:
be interviewed, to establish the purpose of their entry and stay in Greece,
file the general supporting documents provided by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Decree F3497.3/AP24245/2014 (Government Gazette No. 1820, issue B’) and the specific supporting documents (see. Chapters A - H, as appropriate) provided by the Joint Ministerial Decree No. 30825/2014 (Government Gazette No. 1528, issue B’,). Note: The Greek diplomatic mission or consular posts who have signed a contract of cooperation with an external service provider, pursuant to Article 43 and Annex X to the Visa Code (Regulation 810/2009/EU), may delegate to it the performance of one or more duties set out in paragraph 6, Article 43 of Regulation 810/2009/EU, for selected, at their discretion, types of national entry visas.
pay the required fees, as specified in the applicable national legislation.
The long - term visa (national visa - D Type Visa) may be issued under the following general conditions and as long as the applicant, third - country national, produces to the competent diplomatic mission or consular post:
a fully completed and signed application form for a long - term national visa, accompanied by a recent colour photograph of the applicant, which must meet the relevant standards provided by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO). The application form stands for the statutory declaration, provided by paragraph 6, Article 22 of Act 1599/1986, that the data reported are true and the supporting documents are not forged or falsified.
a passport or any other travel document recognized by the competent Greek authorities meeting the following criteria: a) its validity exceeds by at least three months the intended date of departure from the territory of the Enhanced Schengen Cooperation Member - States or, in case of more than one visits, after the last intended date of departure from the territory of the Member - States; however, under reasoned urgent circumstances, this obligation may be lifted; b) it has at least two blank pages; c) it has been issued within the previous decade7.
criminal record certificate issued by the foreign authorities, certifying the criminal status of the applicant in the country of his/her residence. In cases where the applicant demonstrably lives in a country different from that of his/her origin, for more than a year before lodging the entry visa application, the consular post may, additionally, request the presentation of a criminal record certificate issued by the country of nationality of the third - country national, as long as the country of his/her residence does not require a criminal record certificate issued by the country of nationality, to issue a residence permit. In cases where there is a final court judgment, irrespective of the sentence, and in order to prove the relevance of the offence with reasons that may constitute a danger to public order and security, specific reasons are sought and individual parameters are weighed, such as the severity of the offence, recidivism and, in general, the unlawful conduct of the third - country national.
medical certificate issued by a recognized state or private institution, showing that the person concerned does not suffer from a disease which may constitute a risk to public health, according to the international data of the World Health Organization (WHO) and the European Union acquis, as well as other infectious, contagious or parasitic diseases, imposing the taking of measures to protect public health;
the person concerned is not considered a threat to public order, internal security, public health or international relations and is not registered as undesirable in national databases,
has travel insurance, with a duration equal to, at minimum, that of the visa issued, covering the costs which may arise in case of repatriation for medical reasons, for urgent medical care and/or for emergency hospital care.
In order to establish that there are no grounds for refusing entry under paragraph 2, Article 4 of Act 4251/2014, the competent diplomatic mission and consular post may require that additional supporting documents are filed.
1. Point (ie), Article 1 of Act 4251/2014 (Government Gazette no. 80, issue A’, 1/4/2014).
2. Enabling provision of Article 136, paragraph 16 of Act 4251/2014 (Government Gazette no. 80, issue A’, 1.4.2014).
3. Enabling provision of Article 136, paragraph 16 of Act 4251/2014 (Government Gazette no. 80, issue A’, 1.4.2014).
4. Point q), Article 1 of Act 4251/2014 (Government Gazette No. 80, issue A’, 1/4/2014).
5. Official Journal Official Journal of the European Union No. L 85, March 31, 2010, p. 1.
6. Official Journal Official Journal of the European Union No. L 105 of 13 April 2006, p. 1.
7. In case of non - recognition of the travel document by Greece, the competent diplomatic mission or consular post may issue to the third - country national a long - term entry visa in uniform format, as defined by Regulation (EC) No. 333/2002 of the Council of February 18, 2002, for the introduction of the uniform form, on which the visa issued by Member States to persons holding travel documents not recognized by the Member State issuing the form is affixed [Article 2, point 8 of Regulation (EC) 810/2009 [Visa Code/Official Journal of the European Union No. L 53, 23.2.2002].