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ETIAS for Greece versus A Schengen Visa

The European Union has taken some steps to educate citizens of the countries who will require an ETIAS towards the end of the year for Greece and other ETIAS-eligible nations.

The EU has provided information regarding the ETIAS system, application requirements, fees, and other issues. However, travelers are still unclear about how ETIAS will affect them and what it is intended to accomplish. 

Admittedly, the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS), which is scheduled to be implemented in November 2023, continues to be a source of confusion for many travelers.

The question of whether travelers will need a Greek ETIAS or the Schengen Visa for Greece to travel to this nation and throughout the larger European continent is a topic of debate.

A broader understanding regarding this is travelers who are now able to enter Greece as well as Europe without a visa will do so with the help of the new electronic travel authorization called ETIAS. 

Mostly, visitors belonging to countries that are visa-exempt to enter Greece as well as Europe will now require an ETIAS towards the end of 2023.

On the other hand, travelers who cannot enter the Hellenic Republic (the official name for Greece) or the European Union nations without a visa for short stays or vacation purposes, will need to obtain a Schengen Visa. Such travelers belong to the group of visa-required countries.

A short-stay Schengen visa is issued to those travelers in possession of a passport from a nation that does not have a visa-free agreement in place with Greece or other Schengen nations. 

With all the false information circulated online, this article clarifies by outlining the difference between a Schengen visa and an ETIAS. Those planning a vacation to the Hellenic Republic should find the below-mentioned information below useful.

ETIAS Implementation

The European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) is a system for approving travel to the Schengen area and the member nations of the European Union. It is supposed to come into effect in November 2023.

When implemented, the EU Member State of the first destination namely Greece will have the final say when it comes to crossing the external border. ETIAS will conduct a pre-travel screening of visitors coming to the country.

These travelers will usually be those who enjoy visa-free entry to the Schengen Area.

This visa waiver system will allow member states such as Greece to withhold authorization from those who are deemed to constitute a security danger, a risk for irregular migration, or a risk to the public's health. Currently, citizens of about sixty nations worldwide can enter the EU without a visa.

The number of people seeking ETIAS for Greece could be impacted by discussions over the status of nations that are now negotiating visa liberalization with the EU.

Once implemented, visa-free travelers will need to have both a legitimate travel document (passport) and an ETIAS for Greece to pass via an external Schengen border.

When ETIAS will be implemented in 2023, residents of the sixty nations that do not currently need a visa of any kind to visit Greece and the rest of Europe will need permission to do so. Either a Greek ETIAS or a Schengen visa will serve as that authorization. 

Remember, either an ETIAS or a Schengen visa to visit Greece must be chosen, not both. This means that travelers to the Hellenic Republic with ETIAS will not require a Schengen Visa.

On the other hand, those who do not have a Greek ETIAS or are not eligible for it must possess a Schengen Visa to visit the nation. 

Visitors should note that ETIAS is a travel authorization and not a visa. 

Only visa-exempt travelers intending to go on a tour of Greece or a business trip for a short duration (ninety days within one hundred and eighty days) will need to apply for ETIAS. It is best to contact the Greek embassy to know which type of visa they will need to apply for if they wish to go on longer stays.

Schengen Visa for Greece

Greece is a member state of the European Union as well as a Schengen area member.

The European Union has a uniform visa policy for traveling in the territory of a Schengen State such as Greece (for no longer than ninety days in any one-hundred-and-eighty-day period), as well as for travel through international transit zones of Schengen States' airports.

Without a uniform visa policy that enables the entry of legitimate tourists into the Hellenic Republic and the EU, the borderless Schengen Area cannot operate effectively. 

A uniform Schengen visa allows the holder a stay of up to ninety days within any one-hundred-and-eighty-day period. It is valid within the territory of the following countries:

  • Belgium
  • Austria
  • France
  • Germany
  • Poland
  • Estonia
  • Switzerland
  • Hungary
  • Lithuania
  • Slovenia
  • Greece
  • Czech Republic
  • Italy
  • Denmark
  • Slovakia
  • Malta
  • Finland
  • Iceland
  • Latvia
  • Spain
  • Lichtenstein
  • Sweden
  • Luxembourg
  • the Netherland
  • Portugal
  • Norway

If the passport holder (visa-exempt national) is not an EU citizen and wishes to visit the Hellenic Republic, ETIAS for Greece an electronic system linked to the traveler's passport will enable them to enter and travel to the country.

Will Visitors Need an ETIAS or a Schengen Visa to Enter Greece?

The nationality of the visitor will decide whether a traveler will require a Schengen Visa for Greece or a Greek ETIAS. 

Travelers belonging to visa-exempt nations will likely apply for ETIAS whereas visitors from visa-required countries will apply for a short-stay Schengen visa for tourism purposes.

It is advised to contact the consulate or embassy of Greece to enquire about what kind of authorization individuals will need if they wish to remain longer than a one-hundred-and-eighty-day period.

ETIAS and Schengen visas for Greece: Key Differences

The differences between Greek ETIAS and Schengen visa process for the nation is mentioned below:


ETIAS is an electronic system that will be connected to the traveler's passport. It will enable them to enter and travel inside Greece, only if they are nationals of a country that enjoys visa-free entry to the European Union.

A Greek ETIAS will be a multiple-entry travel authorization that will enable multiple stays of ninety days within six months (one hundred and eighty days).

Travelers won't need to apply for an ETIAS before each trip they take to the Hellenic Republic or the Schengen Area while it's in effect. 

Additionally, to obtain ETIAS for Greece, travelers under the age of eighteen and those above the age of seventy will not be required to pay the one-time fee of seven euros (7.49 USD).

Schengen Visa for the Hellenic Republic

In the case of Schengen visas, Greece may issue Schengen visas to any individual belonging to a state that doesn't have a visa-free agreement in place with the Schengen nations. 

Visitors will need to submit an application to the Greek embassy or consulate if they wish to visit the nation. Travelers who intend to visit more Schengen nations will need to submit an application to the embassy or consulate of their primary destination.

Remember, the traveler should submit a visa application at the embassy of the Schengen member state of the first entry if the primary destination cannot be identified.

No more than six months before the intended date of arrival into the Hellenic Republic, applicants for Schengen visas will be allowed to submit their applications.

To store the applicants' biometric data on the Visa Information System, the Embassy of Greece may request that applicants submit ten fingerprints as a biometric identification and a digital photo. Children under the age of twelve are not subject to the collection of biometric identifiers. 

First-time Schengen visa applicants must submit their application in person and will be interviewed by Greek consular officials. The applicant might not give biometric identifiers once they have already done so during the previous fifty-nine months. 

A decision must be rendered within fifteen calendar days of the application date, provided that the Schengen visa application for Greece is valid and there are no problems with it.

A visitor who intends to go to two or more Schengen nations must apply for a visa at the embassy of the nation where they will be spending the majority of their time. For instance, those planning to visit Greece first must apply for a Schengen visa at the embassy of Greece.

A maximum stay of ninety days is permitted with the Schengen visa within one hundred and eighty days of the initial day of admission in Greece.

An application for a Schengen visa typically costs eighty Euros (85.64 USD). Children between the ages of six and twelve can apply for a reduced cost of forty Euros (42.83 USD). 

Why is There More Confusion Now?

The Schengen Visa comes in various forms with various criteria and limits, unlike ETIAS, which will only exist in one electronic format. The exception is "ETIAS with limited validity" which will be issued only in emergencies and on humanitarian grounds.

In the case of ETIAS for Greece, the final say will always rest with the border guards at the border crossing point. They may deny entry to travelers based on Greek national laws or security concerns.

Even though a valid Greek ETIAS travel authorization allows travelers to board the flight, bus, or ferry but the border guard will always have the final say.

Keep in mind, the ETIAS travel authorization can also be subject to revocation or annulment by the Greek authorities. The following will be grounds for revocation or annulment:

  1. If the authorities find proof that the traveler no longer meets the requirements for its issuance, they may withdraw the travel authorization.
  2. If there is proof that travelers intending to visit Greece did not meet the requirements when they applied for the ETIAS, the authorities may cancel the travel authorization.
  3. Travelers can obtain a ruling in this situation that will outline the reasons for the revocation or annulment. Additionally, it will detail the steps individuals must take if they wish to appeal.

Before traveling, visitors will always need to check the status of their ETIAS travel authorization for Greece and other ETIAS-eligible nations.

The ETIAS will come into effect towards the end of 2023, and currently, it is subjected to a lot of speculation. As of now, the EU will allow third parties to apply for the ETIAS on behalf of others but acknowledges that this arrangement is vulnerable to exploitation.

Additional Information on Schengen Visas

Individuals planning to visit Greece must go through the various types of Schengen visas that are offered and decide which applies to their situation:

  • Type A (Airport Transit Visa)
  • Type B (Airport Transit Visa, valid for five days)
  • Type C (single entry, double entry, and multiple entry visa)
  • Business Schengen Visa
  • Student Schengen Visa
  • Working Schengen Visa
  • Limited Territorial Validity Visa

For instance, the holder of Schengen Visa Type A will permit a traveler to pass through an airport in Greece or any other Schengen nation, but not to remain there or even exit the airport.

Type B Schengen visa is also a transit visa, and it is valid for only five days.

Additionally, Type C is a short-term visa for residing in Greece or any other Schengen member nation. It includes:

  1. A single-entry visa is valid for only one visit within a certain time, and it expires when the holder departs.
  2. The Schengen nation namely Greece can be entered and exited twice with a double entry visa, which expires at the second exit.
  3. Multiple entry visa permits numerous entries and departures from the Schengen region for a total of ninety days out of one hundred and eighty days.

To avoid confusion, it is best to contact the consulate or embassy of Greece to gain more information regarding the visa policy of Greece.

Can Travelers Apply for A Schengen Visa if They are Denied ETIAS for Greece?  

Although some third-party websites claim travelers going to Greece can apply for a Schengen visa if they are denied ETIAS, there is no official word on the matter yet. However, the visitors can file for an appeal or may apply for an ETIAS with limited validity if their initial ETIAS application for Greece gets rejected.

At the same time, ETIAS with limited validity can only be issued in certain emergencies.

As a thumb rule, a Schengen visa for the Hellenic Republic is issued to those belonging to visa-required countries and Greek ETIAS to the nationals of visa-exempt countries. 

Therefore, it is best to reach out to the embassy of Greece or the consular office to know if a traveler can apply for a Schengen Visa if they are denied entry to the nation. The embassy officials can also guide individuals where exceptions may apply.

Conclusion: ETIAS Hacks and Cracks

It should come as no surprise that scammers have created websites for both ETIAS and for the issuance of Schengen visas to Greece and other Schengen nations. 

Such platforms may appear official and professional to trick unwary tourists into disclosing their personal information. There hasn't been much done to draw attention to this issue or stop the offenders. 

The European Union points out that the "Europa.eu" domain is always used to register its official websites. Other dangerously misleading websites display URLs ending in dot com or dot org to entice unaware travelers to apply for ETIAS approval for Greece or any other ETIAS-eligible nation.

Remember, ETIAS is yet to come into effect.

As November 2023 approaches, visitors should be cautious of any announcement as ETIAS is not yet operational.

Those belonging to visa-exempt nations can easily visit Greece with a valid passport till it gets launched. Alternatively, visitors who need visas to visit Greece for a short stay can apply for a Schengen visa.

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