Greece ETIAS - European visa exemption for Greece

The EU Travel Information Clearing System (ETIAS) will affect travel to Greece as Greece is part of the Schengen Group and is a member of the European Union. At present, many non-European citizens do not need a visa before arriving in Europe. They need a valid passport and sometimes have to prove they have sufficient funds or a return air ticket.

The maximum that visitors outside the EU can spend in Europe as a whole is 90 days without prior request for a special visa. Many EU countries think the system is too relaxed and wants to make it more restrictive. The ETIAS system, once operational (early 2020 according to the European Commission), will require those who do not require a visa so far to obtain permission before arrival. Once they get the authorization, or ETIAS, they can travel all over Europe for up to 90 days.

What is Schengen?

The difference between Schengen and the EU can be a bit confusing. In fact, the chances are that if you ask a European about Schengen, they do not really know each other! Schengen is a separate agreement between many European countries that standardizes entry and border regulations. While all citizens of Schengen have free movement between countries, a visitor must have a visa or stamp his passport when he arrives at the first Schengen border crossing. Almost all Schengen countries are members of the EU with one or two exceptions. Not all EU countries are in Schengen. As already mentioned, Greece is both in Schengen and in the EU

Why Greece is such a popular place to visit?

Greece is rightly a very popular place to visit. There is a combination of climate, beaches, islands, history, culture, food and music that is hard to beat. Millions of people travel to one or more of the Greek islands, most of which are in the idyllic Aegean Sea between mainland Greece and Turkey or the Ionian Sea. While some people seem to stick to one island, others jump from one island to another. It would take a long time to describe some of the best islands to visit.

The other main attractions focus on the ancient civilization of Greece and the ruins that have been preserved for everyone to see. Athens is rightly a very popular place to visit with the Parthenon probably the most visited place of the Greek capital.

Will I soon need a Greece ETIAS visa waiver?

May be! If you have been to Europe before you remember if you needed to obtain a visa in advance. Many citizens from non-EU countries have never needed a visa, but once ETIAS becomes mandatory, they will have to register online in advance. The ETIAS system will work like the US ESTA system. You provide information using an online form at least 72 hours before your arrival in Europe and pay a fee of € 5 and you are then "authorized" to travel. It's between a full visa and no restrictions. If you need an ETIAS and you arrive in Italy (for example), you will be allowed to go anywhere in the Schengen part of Europe for a total of 90 days. This will include Greece, so once you are in Europe, you will not need additional authorization before crossing a border, except to be ready to show your passport. The ETIAS authorization will last 5 years before you need to reapply, which makes it easy if you make multiple trips to Europe.