Overseas property

Greece visitor visa (invitation visa): how to get in 2023

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If you have friends or relatives living in Greece who have a Greek residence permit or citizenship, you may be able to obtain a Greece visitor visa (or invitation visa) in a simplified manner. To do this, the receiving party in Greece must issue an official invitation and confirm the existence of family or friendly ties between you. In this case, you are not required to confirm the purpose of your trip (e.g. booking a tour with a travel agent, paying for accommodation or booking tickets). In addition, your visa approval time will be reduced, as visas by invitation are given priority processing at the consulate.

Another way to obtain a visitor visa is to through an invitation from a legal entity. This option is suitable for invitations to conferences, business meetings, and exhibitions (as a participant). Such invitations contain all the information about the host organisation and the planned event.

A visa by invitation is essentially a standard short-term type C visa, allowing either a single entry or multiple entries with a total stay in the EU of up to 90 days in any six-month period.

How to obtain a visitor visa for Greece

The process of obtaining a visa by invitation in Greece is not much different from obtaining a regular tourist visa by appointment at a visa centre, except that additional documentation is required to prove personal or family ties to Greece.

Invitation letter for visa in Greece

The main document that allows you to apply for this type of visa is an official letter of invitation from the host party in Greece. This is a special form that must be obtained from the Greek police department. The letter of invitation must contain the following information:

  • Full names of the inviting and the invited persons;
  • Passport details of the Greek and invited persons;
  • Purpose of the visit: visiting a relative or friend;
  • Duration of stay in Greece;
  • Ties between two parties (kinship/friendship);
  • Registration address of a Greek citizen;
  • Residence address of the foreign guest;
  • Source of funding for the trip (host or guest).

It is advisable to indicate the length of stay in Greece with a large margin, as the consulate may revise it to reduce the number of days.

In addition to the letter of invitation, the receiving party must also submit a copy of their passport or residence permit, a lease or a property contract, proof of income and a bank statement showing available savings. Additionally, you can provide a first-person letter describing the purpose of your relative’s or friend’s visit.

The Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum usually takes 1–2 weeks to process visa applications that include an invitation, and then issues an official invitation to the applicant in Greece. The original invitation must then be sent to the applicant’s country of residence for presentation to the consulate.

Requirements for an invitee

The invited person must confirm the existence of a valid relationship with the Greek party. This can be a certificate of relationship, documents from a general educational institution or photographs taken together.

The invited person does not have the right to work or do business in Greece during the period of stay on a visitor visa.

Greece visitor visa obtaining procedure

The whole process of issuing a visa by invitation can be divided into several stages:

  1. Collection of documents by the Greek party. A relative or friend living in Greece obtains the invitation form from the police station of their municipality, completes it and submits it, together with other documents and identification, to the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum. If the decision is positive, an official invitation is issued and the original and copies of other documents must be sent by international mail to the country of residence of the invited person.
  2. Collection of documents by the invited party. At this stage, the applicant collects all the documents, obtains an apostille and any necessary translations. Registration takes place on the visa centre’s website, and the application form is then completed. A fee must be paid.
  3. Submitting documents. In some cases, the applicant may need to either book a suitable date and time for submitting documents via the visa centre’s website, or seek the help of agents to secure a slot for them. On the appointed day, the applicant arrives at the visa centre with the necessary documents and submits them for review. The biometric data for the Schengen visa will also be taken at this time. Documents may also be submitted by a third party, in which case a power of attorney must be issued.
  4. Waiting for the consulate to reply. The processing time for a visa by invitation is 48 hours from the date of submission, but if the consulate is busy this can increase to 5 days. During this time, the consulate may contact the applicant to clarify information. The status of the application can be monitored via the visa centre’s website, using the details provided on the day of submission.
  5. Obtaining a visa. The applicant can choose to collect the documents in person or have them delivered by courier.

Thus, obtaining a visa by invitation may take less time than a regular tourist visa, but the time required to prepare and send the invitation from Greece to the invitee’s home country must also be taken into account.

Documents required for a visitor visa in Greece

In order to obtain a visa by invitation in Greece, you must provide the following documents to the visa centre:

  • International passport. Must be valid for at least 3 months from the end of your trip. You will also need at least 2 blank pages in your passport for visas and stamps.
  • Photocopies of all pages of your national passport.
  • Completed visa application form and consent to the processing of your personal data. This form needs to be completed in English using block letters and signed with the applicant’s personal signature.
  • Official invitation from the Greek side. An original of the completed standard invitation form, certified by the Greek Ministry of Migration and Asylum.
  • Copy of the host’s ID.
  • Host’s lease agreement for property in Greece.
  • Host’s income certificate and tax return.
  • Invitation letter.
  • Photographs. It is necessary to provide two identical colour photographs with the following specifications: 3.5×4.5 cm (similar to those for a Schengen visa), with the face occupying at least 70% of the frame.
  • Receipts for payment of consular and visa fees.
  • Health insurance policy. The policy must cover the entire duration of the trip and be for more than 30,000 euros in the EU and the Schengen area.
  • Financial guarantees. In this case, the applicant can choose which documents to provide. It can be either a confirmation of employment (letter from the employer stating the salary and vacation days), documents detailing the applicant’s own business or a letter from a sponsor.
  • Bank statement. The amount in the account must be sufficient for the trip (minimum 720 euros). The statement must also show the movement of funds for the last 3 months.

The consulate has the right to request additional documents if the information provided is insufficient or unclear.

Greece visitor visa cost

The consular fee for obtaining a visa by invitation in Greece for adults in 2023 is 80 euros. Children under the age of 12, as well as spouses, parents and children of Greek citizens are exempt from this fee. You may have to pay for the services of your visa centre.

Tranio’s visa experts will carefully assess your particular case and guide you in choosing the most appropriate solution for obtaining a visitor visa in Greece.

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