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Greece Paves Way for New ‘Business Visas’

The Hellenic Parliament. Photo Source: @PressParliament / © Aliki Eleftheriou

Greece is exploring the possibility of offering third country nationals wishing to visit in order to participate in conferences, exhibitions, meetings, or business events, a special business visa, the foreign ministry said.

Alternate Foreign Minister Miltiadis Varvitsiotis announced the so-called “business visa” this month which is aimed at facilitating admission into the country by third country nationals attending events, doing away with tedious red tape required for the standard visa.

In this direction, the ministry tabled in parliament this week an amendment to a bill covering Brexit issues which aims among others to support entrepreneurship as well as foster a friendlier investor environment.

Once approved, the law will require Greek event organizers to submit to consular authorities a standard invitation form, assuming at the same time the responsibility to host the visa applicants.

With the implementation of the business visa, the foreign ministry hopes to simplify procedures for visiting business and academic travelers and speed up the visa procedure – a long-standing request by the country’s business chambers. Applications will be examined within 15 days.

According to media reports, the bill foresees penalties and fines in cases of visa invitations for purposes that are not business-related, including businesses losing their right to submit new business visa applications.

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