Ready to Go to Greece Visa Information
In order to study in Greece for the semester or year, all students will be required to obtain a visa. These instructions are for semester and full-year students only. Please read this entire page very carefully.
What is a Schengen Visa?
Agreed upon in 1985, the Schengen Agreement created a zone of free travel throughout Western Europe, which today has expanded to include 26 European countries. The Schengen Visa Process requires students to apply for a visa from their primary country of residence. In some cases, the visa that you apply for may be referred to as a National Visa.
Please read this entire page very carefully. While Arcadia University is prepared to assist you with the visa application process, you are responsible for staying informed about the specific requirements of your study visa and lodging the appropriate application materials with the Greek Consulate. Please refer to the instructions listed and example materials in this section when completing the study visa application.
Most consulates will not allow you to apply more than 90 days in advance of your departure. We highly recommend that you start to work on your materials as soon as you receive your acceptance so that you are ready to submit your application at the soonest date.
Two of the most time-consuming parts of the student visa process are applying and obtaining a US passport (www.travel.state.gov/passport) and an FBI background check (http://www.fbi.gov/about-us/cjis/background-checks/background_checks). Begin these two tasks immediately!
The visa process for Greece is administered in the U.S. by a Greek Consulate offices located throughout the country. You must apply for your student visa at the Consulate office in the area of your permanent residence, not where your homeschool is located. See The Embassy of Greece, Washington DC for a list of Greek Consulates in the U.S. Each consulate office administers student visas in a slightly different way. Therefore, it is important that you review the specific requirements at your Consulate carefully. Most consulates require that you appear in person to submit your application. However, there are some exceptions. Be prepared for the fact that some students must travel a great distance to apply. Please refer to the instructions listed on the consulate webpage to determine whether you must submit your application in person.
|View a video presentation detailing requirements for your Greece visa.
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Some content in this video refers to insurance coverage applicable only to students currently abroad. For those students attending programs from summer 2009 and thereafter, health and accident insurance information is available here.
Step by Step Greek Visa Process in Detail
Phase I – Initial Process (responsibility of the student)
Apply for/Obtain an FBI Identification Record. For information on how to do this, see this page.
Passport: Be sure you have a valid passport that will be good for at least six months following the completion of the program. Make sure that your passport is signed.
Passport Copy: Submit a photocopy of the photo page of your passport to Arcadia University – The College of Global Studies. This can be scanned and emailed, faxed, or sent by regular mail.
Doctor's Letter: You must obtain a letter (on doctor's letterhead) from a medical doctor indicating that you are in good health. The letter must state that you are "free of yellow fever, cholera, the plague, drug addiction and mental illness and not suffering from any transferable or contagious diseases."
Greek Consulate of Jurisdiction: Based on your permanent place of residence, determine which Greek Consulate you must apply to for your visa. Example, if you go to school in Chicago, IL, but your home address is in suburban Philadelphia, you should use the New York Consulate and not the Chicago Consulate.
Please refer to "Consular Affairs" on the Greek Embassy website to locate your appropriate consulate.
Be certain to contact your Greek Consulate and double check with them about the visa application process. This is necessary because each Consulate follows slightly different rules. These rules may change without notice and it is your responsibility to know exactly what is expected of you at your particular Consulate.
Phase II – Obtain Documentation from Greek Authorities (responsibility of Arcadia)
The Arcadia Center in Athens will apply for the necessary visa documentation from the immigration authorities in Athens. Arcadia MUST have a copy of your passport in order to request the appropriate documentation.
Once the immigration documents have been received by the Arcadia Center in Athen, The College of Global Studies will send you the following documents:
- Your Nomarchia document (provided by the authorities in Athens)
- Certification letter from the Arcadia Center in Athens
- Certification Letter from Arcadia University in Pennsylvania
- HTH Worldwide insurance verification letter
*These above items will be sent to you via UPS
Phase III – Applying for Greek Visa (responsibility of the student)
Contact your Greek Consulate Office to double check the visa application process. Do you need an appointment? Is the visa department open on the day you plan to visit (Greek Consulates observe Greek national holidays)? What are the hours of the visa section? How much is the visa, since the price can fluctuate? Does the Consulate require payment? If so by money order or cash?
Application Documentation: Collect or acquire all the documents in the link below. Submit them to your Greek Consulate. For a list of the items you need to submit to the Greek Consulate along with your visa application, see this page.
Do not visit the Consulate without this application and the other requirements (above) as the Consulate will not accept your application and you will have to make a new appointment and try again. This will delay the process.
Complete the "Application for a Schengen Visa" form using the directions provided. For directions on how to do this, see this page.
Passports must be left at the Consulate for processing. This processing time varies depending on the Consulate, but please allow a minimum of 30 days for processing. Please confirm with your Consulate how they will return your passport and visa to you. Many times you must provide a business-sized, self-addressed and stamped US Postal Service Express envelope with appropriate postage and completed air bill for your passport to be returned to you. Some Consulates, however, requires visas to be picked up in person.
Other important notes:
- If you are traveling to other countries before your stay in Greece, please alert Arcadia. You should inquire about the entry requirements permitted with this visa. Please make sure that you keep some verification of your arrival in Greece - your boarding pass or a copy of your e-ticket - and please contact the Regional Director of Mediterranean Programs, Jan Sanders (email@example.com), with any additional questions.
- Please take into account any holidays (including Greek holidays) that may occur around the time you hope to submit your visa for processing.
- Please retain at least one photocopy of all the documents presented to the Consulate.
- Please note that the visa is simply a sticky label that is affixed to the inside of your passport.
Phase IV – Visa Requirements After Arrival (responsibility of the student)
- Submit €150 (local visa registration fee) to the Arcadia Center staff for submission to the immigration authorities in Athens.
- Visit local health center for a chest x-ray, accompanied by an Arcadia Center staff member. A chest x-ray will cost you approximately €7 to €10.
- Submit your residence permit application at the appropriate office, accompanied by an Arcadia Center staff member. For a list of the items you need in order to apply for a residence permit, see this page.
Phase V - Visa Requirements After Arrival (responsibility of Arcadia)
- Accompanying students to the hospital for their x-rays and to the government office for submission of the residence permit applications.
Once all of the above steps are complete, you will receive a Greek document stating that you have followed all regulations correctly and can now legally stay in Greece. This document must be photocopied by the Arcadia Center and then kept in the your passport. When you depart Greece for the U.S. at the end of the program, you will show this document at passport control.