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Athens – Embassy & Visa

Embassy of the United States of America
91 Vasilisis Sophias Avenue
10160 Athens, Greece

A United States citizen may enter and remain in Greece for up to three months without a visa. At the time of entry, a stamp is placed in his/her passport showing the date and point of entry. If the planned visit is to exceed the three months, he/she must request, like any other alien, a residence permit from the Aliens Police at least fifteen days prior to the expiration of the original three month period. A residence permit for an additional three months, a total of six months from date of entry, can be granted if the individual can prove to the satisfaction of the authorities that he/she is in possession of sufficient means of support to finance his/her stay. The purpose of the requested extension and possible intention for a prolonged stay in the country are seriously taken into consideration. It should be expected that residence permits for stays beyond the six months may not be easily granted and the Greek authorities will not give advance assurance that the individual will be permitted to prolong his/her say. All applications to the local aliens authorities will be forwarded to the Ministry of Public Order for consideration.

Aliens who wish to work in Greece must have valid work and residence permits. Approval from the Greek authorities must be obtained by the prospective employer prior to the alien’s arrival in Greece for the purpose of working.  Before such an approval is granted, the Greek authorities consider the possibility of filling the position with an unemployed person from other parts of the country. Preference is given to Greek citizens, citizens of the European Community countries, persons of Greek extraction and aliens who enjoy refugee status and reside legally in Greece.

An alien who comes to Greece for the purpose of working is obliged, upon entry, to present the documents showing that prior permission has been granted by the Greek Authorities. The alien must report, accompanied by the employer, within one month following his/her arrival to the appropriate police authority in the area of his/her residence to submit the required document for issuance of the residence and work permits. The work permit is issued for a specific period of time, employer, occupation and place of work. The work permit can be renewed if the conditions of the original approval are still applicable. The validity of the work permit can never exceed the date of expiration of the residence permit.

An alien who has entered Greece, pursuant to prior approval by the Greek authorities, to work, exercise a profession or for any other financial activity is granted a residence permit valid for one year. That residence permit can be annually renewed for up to five years provided no change in the original status of the alien has accrued. If the alien contemplates continuing his/her stay and employment in Greece beyond the five year period, he/she must submit a request with the appropriate police authority at least two months prior to completion of the fifth year. In such a case, a stay beyond the five years can be approved by the Minister of Public Order upon consent of the Minister of Labor.

Accompanying family members are granted a residence permit for the same duration as the principal applicant. Family members are defined as the applicant’s spouse, unmarried children under the age of 18 years and parents (provided they reside with and are supported by the applicant).

Spouses wishing to work in Greece must obtain their own work permit. Foreigners married to a Greek citizen may work in Greece with authorization renewed annually.