Applying for A Greek National Visa

September 9, 2021
Applying a Greek National Visa

Since my first trip to Greece, I dreamed of moving there. But like in many European countries, it is hard for a person from the United States to move to Greece. At the time, I was still working in Qatar and had no idea how I could move to Greece without a job or speaking Greek. I started to do research and realized that Greece has a National Visa. This is informally known as a long-stay visa in Greece and many other European countries.

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Each country has rules about issuing a long-stay or national visa. It was unclear on the Greece website what the requirements were, and I couldn’t find any articles about it. The rules changed even after I inquired the first time, so I hope this article will help someone else with the Greece National Visa process. Please keep in mind that I am from the US, and the rules might be different in another country.

The Process

For the Greece National Visa, you must apply in your home country before you enter Greece. You must apply for the visa in the United States at your designated consulate or embassy location; click here for the list. Once you find your consulate, call them to ask what the required documents are. The list on the website is not current at the time of writing this post. Next, begin to gather all the documents you need. Only once you are confident you have all the documents you need, call back to the consulate to make the appointment.

Keep in mind that many of the consulates are small, and the visa department may only be one person, as is the case in the Houston consulate. When I called at the end of May, I could only get an appointment at the end of July! During this call, I was told I needed one more document.

You will present all your documents at the appointment and will most likely have a short interview. At the Houston consulate, I was emailed when my visa was approved. If you live close by, you may be able to pick up your passport from the consulate with the visa. Otherwise, you will need to provide a pre-paid envelope to the consulate. I recommend getting one with insurance in case your passport is lost, and you will need to replace it. It will also provide tracking.

The Documents

This is the list of documents I was told I needed. Keep in mind that this list can change and may differ for each consulate.

  • Passport with at least six months of validity past the end date of your visa
  • Birth certificate – official copy from the past six months
  • Apostille of the birth certificate – this needs to be done in the state the birth certificate was issued
  • Proof of income of at least €2000 a month or equivalent in your currency
  • Health insurance valid in Greece
  • FBI Background check or your country’s equivalent
  • Health certificate from your doctor – have it printed on letterhead if they don’t have a stamp
  • Visa Application with a passport photo
  • Visa fee, which was about $200

Other Things to Know

Please note that this is not necessarily a valid option for digital nomads or people looking for a job in Greece. I applied as a financially independent person as you cannot be working in Greece. I have plenty of savings to cover the required income for the visa.

Once you are in Greece, you must apply for a residence permit with its own requirements. Please read my whole blog post on the Greece Resident Permit application process.

Please let me know what questions you have about applying for a Greece National Visa, and I will try to help.

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Apply for a Greek National Visa - photo of Santorini

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  • Reply vinneve September 24, 2019 at 5:22 am

    Good to know! I haven’t been to Greece but some of my friends have, so I hope me too someday!

    • Reply Tiffany September 24, 2019 at 5:25 am

      You should definitely visit! It is great!!

  • Reply Rudraksh Group July 8, 2020 at 1:50 am

    It is great blog post about visa. I like it. Thanks for sharing these information with us.

  • Reply Boss Consultants July 8, 2020 at 4:09 am

    It is great blog post about Greek Visa. I like it. Thanks for sharing

  • Reply Getting a Greece Resident Permit | A Girl and Her Passport December 13, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    […] you enter Greece, you should apply for a visa in your home country. Read my blog post about that if you haven’t done that […]

  • Reply Haley July 1, 2021 at 12:44 pm

    Thank you for writing this! For the proof of income, do we need to show $2,000 every month for a yar or only one bank statement from one month showing I made $2,000 that month?

  • Reply Marina Emmons March 25, 2022 at 9:34 am

    How do you apostle a Birth Certificate? What exactly does this mean? I’m from UK but now live in California. Husband was born in Massachusetts. So he would have to go back East and I back to UK to get this done?

    • Reply Tiffany March 25, 2022 at 9:55 am

      Not sure how it is done in the UK but in the US, you have to go to your home state to do it. They can probably do it by mail but it can take some time to get it back.

  • Reply Brady Porter October 7, 2023 at 12:25 am

    I have had a financially independent resident permit for Greece since 2017. I love living on Crete. The lifestyle is about live and let live. The people and culture are amazing. I have a 180 degree view of the ocean and cannot imaging living anywhere else. It you are coming here as an American and not using Greece as a tax base or as an employee, getting a Golden Visa is a way to avoid issues. The requirements have been getting stricter since 2021. Now, in 2023, one must be here three months but no more than six. The ten year permit has been dropped for financially independent permits. I was really looking forward to not having to go through the every changing process every two years. As a military retiree I have medical coverage but it is not accepted for the permit. The coverage must state the exact minimum coverage required. The military coverage far surpasses the requirements and therefore is not accepted. Even if it did they said I would need a translation of all bylaws and subtitles covering the Tricare coverage. That would literally be thousands of pages. The government is cracking down on people living here and working under the table and or renting out property without without paying income tax or claiming Greece as a tax base. The government was considering raising the Golden Visa level to 400,000 on Crete but decide to leave it at 250k for now. In the Athens region, and others, it has already gone to 400k-500. In my case I purchased a house for 197,000 Euro. Had I of known the pitfalls coming down the road I would have purchased a house for 250,000 giving me a Golden Visa. The government has the right to ask for water and electric bills from the past four years. They have done done that with me but it is hanging over my head now that I cannot be here more than six months. It means they could either bar me from the EU for breaking the laws governing my permit or view my high electric and waters as proof I was indeed renting out my property without paying taxes. In that case I would be charged the tax rate for the average rental value based on location and size and then hit with extreme penalties and interest. Because of the changes in the the rules I am selling my house and will either purchase another home giving me a Golden Visa or move to another country.

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