How to Get a Tourist Visa From the Greece Embassy

By Mallory Ferland
Greece, a breathtaking travel destination, Americans, a travel visa
greek columns image by Andrew Howard from Fotolia.com

Americans are not required to obtain a tourist visa to Greece for stays of up to 90 days. Greece is part of the Schengen Agreement, an international travel agreement that requires a Schengen visa of tourist visitors rather than a Greek visa. A Schengen visa allows entry into all European Schengen member states. Citizens of many countries, however, are exempt from needing a Schengen visa to enter, the United States being one of them. If you are a U.S. foreign national who does not hold citizenship with a Schengen-exempt nation, you need to apply for a Schengen visa through the Greek embassy in the United States.

Verify that you need a visa. If you are an American citizen or are a foreign national living in the United States from any of the following countries, you are not required to obtain a Schengen visa; Andorra, El Salvador, Nicaragua, Argentina, Guatemala, Panama, Australia, Paraguay, Brazil, Honduras, Romania, Brunei, Israel, San Marino, Bulgaria, Japan, Singapore, Canada, Malaysia, South Korea, Chile, Mexico, Costa Rica, Monaco, Uruguay, Croatia, New Zealand, Venezuela and any European Union member nation. All that is required to enter Greece is a valid passport with at least three months remaining validity. If you are a citizen of a nation not listed above, you need to apply for a visa.

Locate the Consulate General of Greece that has jurisdiction over your region of residence in the United States. There are seven Greek consulates in the United States; San Fransisco, California; Tampa, Florida; New York; Boston, Massachusetts; Washington, D.C.; and Los Angeles, California. Each consulate holds jurisdiction over a particular region, and you must apply through the appropriate consulate. To learn which consulate you fall under, visit the website of any of the seven consulates to view state listings (see Resources for a link). Note that in California, jurisdiction is based on area code.

Download and complete the Schengen visa application. You can download the application from any Greek consular website. Sign the application upon completion.

Gather all necessary documents. Along with the form, you will need a passport valid for at least three months, a green card or permanent visa plus a copy, bank statements from the previous three months, W-2 forms from the previous two years, airline or travel itinerary, proof of health insurance while abroad of a value no less than 30,000 euros (€30,000), a reference letter from your employer stating your salary and position within the company, copy of hotel reservations or a letter of invitation and one color passport-size photograph glued onto the visa application form.

Apply for the visa in person at the appropriate consulate general. At the time of application, pay the application fee of 60 euros (€60) as of 2010. The fee is charged in U.S. dollars at the exchange rate of the day of application. The fee must be paid in either cash or money order. Personal checks are not accepted.

Receive your visa and passport in the mail. The consulate will return all visas and passports via the postal system provided you supply them with a prepaid envelope. Self pick-up is also an option.