Greece work visa: processing time & fees in 2023
Greece, a renowned tourist destination, offers a wide range of attractions for visitors seeking pristine beaches, historical heritage, the comfort and variety of resort properties and a rich cultural experience. More than one million people from the EU, USA and Russia visit Greece every year. Due to the booming tourism industry, many international professionals seek employment opportunities in Greece, both seasonal and long-term. However, in order to work in Greece, foreigners must obtain a work visa and a work permit.
Types of Greece work visas
Depending on the duration of the intended work and the terms of the contract with the employer, the document required to stay in Greece may vary. The two main types of work permit are:
- National type D visa;
- Work visa for one year with the requirement to obtain a residence permit on arrival.
For seasonal work, a national Greek type D visa is sufficient. If you are planning to stay in the country for more than a year, you will be issued with a work visa. Once in the country, you will need to obtain a residence permit.
Documents required for a work visa in Greece
The main document required to obtain a work visa for Greece is a work permit issued by the Greek Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs to the prospective employer. This permit is applied for by the employer, who declares his intention to offer a job to a foreign national. Along with the application, the employer must provide evidence that there are no qualified candidates in Greece or in the European Union for the vacant position.
Once the permit has been approved by the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, permission must be obtained from the local Hellenic Police Department. After this permission has been obtained, the employer must send the prospective employee a contract setting out the terms and conditions of employment and an invitation letter from the employer on the company’s letterhead.
List of required documents:
- International passport. Must be valid for a minimum of 18 months from the date of obtaining a permit. You will also need at least 2 blank pages in your passport for visas and stamps.
- Valid employment contract. The contract must specify all terms and conditions of employment, as well as salary and payment procedures. The document is drawn up, certified and sent by the employer.
- Invitation letter from the employer on the company’s letterhead.
- 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.
- 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.
- Health insurance policy. The policy must cover the entire period of the stay in the country and be for more than 30,000 euros in the EU and the Schengen area.
- Greece property rental contract.
- Certificate of good conduct.
- Receipts for payment of consular and visa fees.
- Medical certificate. It must state that you are free of any dangerous diseases.
- Financial guarantees. In this case, the applicant can choose which documents to provide. It can be either a confirmation of funds in a bank account, a credit card statement or a letter from a sponsor.
All foreign documents must be apostilled and translated by a certified Greek translator before being submitted to the relevant authorities. The consulate has the right to request additional documents if the information provided is insufficient or unclear.
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How to get a work visa in Greece
The process of obtaining a work visa starts with finding a potential employer. It is possible to submit a CV remotely from your current country of residence or to make a personal visit during a short trip to Greece. Once a preliminary agreement has been reached, the entire process consists of the following steps:
- Collection of documents by the employer. The employer notifies the Greek Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs of its intention to provide a job for a foreign employee and obtains the relevant permits from the authorities. The employer prepares an employment contract with the terms of cooperation and an official invitation letter with the details of both parties: the employer and the employee. The original documents are sent to the prospective employee.
- Collection of documents by the employee. 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 Greece tourist visa application form is then completed. A fee must be paid.
- 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.
- Waiting for the consulate to reply. The processing time for a work visa is 4–10 days from the date of submission; 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.
- Obtaining a visa. The applicant can choose to collect the documents in person or have them delivered by courier.
- Obtaining a residence permit. In the case of a long-term contract, the employee must apply for a residence permit after entering Greece.
An important condition for obtaining a work visa is the need to wait until the previous permit (visa) of a different category has expired. A work visa can only be obtained in the country of current permanent residence.
The extension of a work visa or residence permit is carried out on the territory of Greece itself, on the basis of documents from the employer confirming the extension of the work contract. In this case, it is not necessary to leave the country.
Cost of entry permit
The consular fee for obtaining a national long-stay visa in 2023 will cost 180 euros. You may have to pay for the services of your visa centre. The state fee for a Greek residence permit for one year will cost 150 euros.
Greece work visa refusal
You may be refused a work visa to Greece for a number of reasons. The most common are:
- Incorrectly completed documents;
- Providing false information, a fictitious invitation from the Greek side;
- Providing false information about the applicant;
- Lack of sufficient financial security for the duration of the stay in the country;
- Infringement of the rules on residence in the Schengen area;
- Lack of health insurance policy;
- Fines and conflicts with representatives of the Schengen countries;
- Passport stamps for visits to Northern Cyprus.
If the application is rejected, the applicant has the right to appeal against the decision. If there are errors in filling in the documents, you can resubmit them with the payment of fees and charges.
Illegal employment responsibility
Illegal employment is punishable by a fine of up to 1,200 euros per person or up to 18 months of imprisonment. Deportation with a subsequent ban on entering the Schengen area is also possible. In addition, an illegal worker is not protected by the law against violations by the employer: in case of non-payment of wages, there are no measures to compensate for the time and labour spent.
Employers who hire workers without special permission also risk heavy fines or imprisonment for up to 90 days.
At Tranio, we strongly advise you to follow all relevant guidelines and requirements when preparing and submitting documents for a Greece work visa. Our visa specialists are on hand to assist you throughout the application process and provide advice on complex cases.Leave a request