Are you intent on travelling to Greece in the foreseeable future? This world-famous destination boasts such treasures as the Acropolis and the Parthenon of Athens, the UNESCO-listed monastery complex of Meteora, plus beautiful islands including Santorini, Mykonos, Crete, Naxos and Paros. As increasing numbers of people are getting vaccinated against COVID-19, it’s a fab time to visit.
Up until now, the citizens of 60 countries worldwide have been visa-exempt for Greece, including passport holders from the USA, the UK, Australia, Canada, New Zealand and Japan. According to existing rules, you’re eligible to visit Greece multiple times for up to 90 days in a 180-day period, as well as any other nation in the 26-member Schengen Zone. You’re currently permitted to do this without applying for any sort of travel pass in advance.
EU to Introduce ETIAS for Visa-Exempt Travellers
Notably, though, as of 2022/23, the European Union (EU) will introduce what’s called its new ETIAS visa waiver for these nationalities, says visa website Byevisa.com’s page.
ETIAS stands for ‘European Travel Information and Authorisation System’, and this is a digital framework to track who’s coming and going through Europe’s borders. What this means for travellers to Greece and the Schengen Zone is that, once the ETIAS is introduced, you’ll have to apply for one before arriving here.
Fortunately, with the ETIAS, you’ll be able to visit Corfu, Thessaloniki, Delos and all of Greece’s other World Heritage sites for the same period of time as under the present rules. This is to say, you’ll be able to visit multiple times for up to 90 days in a 180-day period.
In addition, each ETIAS you obtain will be valid for three years from the date of issue. As such, if you’re coming year after year to explore more of Greece, you won’t have to apply for a visa waiver for each trip. The ETIAS will be valid for tourism, transit, medical treatment or business trips.
ETIAS Application Process to Be Online, Take Just Minutes
Obtaining the ETIAS looks set to be straightforward for international visitors. To start with, all you’ll need is a passport that’s valid for at least six months after your arrival date.
Then, you’ll enter your personal and passport details into a simple online form, answer the EU’s health and security questions, and pay the seven euro fee. All applicants must pay the fee, except for children (under 18) and seniors (over 70). Applying will take just 10 minutes or so and, in most cases, approval will be virtually instantaneous.
When your ETIAS application is approved, you’ll receive a notification in your email inbox. What’s more, there’s no need to print a copy of your travel document, unlike with a traditional visa, because the ETIAS is electronically linked to your passport.
As such, when you go to the airport to catch your flight to Greece, when the airline staff scan your passport ahead of boarding the plane, they’ll see that you’re authorised to visit. So this saves you from carrying any extra paperwork.
ETIAS to Be Renewable Up to 120 Days Before Expiring
Usefully, if your ETIAS is close to expiring and you’re already in Greece, you can renew your visa waiver while you’re in the country without first returning home. To do so, simply make another application online up to 120 days before your current ETIAS expires. You can then continue to enjoy Greece while your travel document remains valid or your passport expires, whichever comes first.
So it’s useful to be aware of the upcoming ETIAS visa waiver for your next trips here. Under this new system, you can continue to visit Navagio, Elafonisi, Pelion, and all the country’s other gorgeous attractions for the same period of time you can stay now. As such, while you’ll need to obtain this digital entry pass before your journey, you can continue to explore and enjoy this Mediterranean jewel to the full!
About the Author
Bill Townsend is a seasoned traveller who’s explored much of the Mediterranean and Greece, including Athens, Thessaloniki and Crete. Bill works as a travel writer and enjoys sharing his knowledge and experience with other globetrotters, so they can get inspired and excited for their upcoming trips.