1. WHEN SHOULD CITIZENS OF GREECE APPLY FOR AN ESTA, AND WHEN FOR A VISA?
As Greece is a member of the Visa Waiver Program, Greek citizens can travel to the USA on an ESTA instead of a visa for certain trips.
All citizens of Greece can apply for an ESTA for visits of 90 days or less, for purposes including business, tourism and transit.
Note: even if you will not stay in the USA and are just changing flights on U.S. territory (transit), you still need to obtain an ESTA as all people need approval from the U.S. before boarding a plane that will enter the country.
So, do you need a visa to travel from Greece to the USA for longer trips?
Yes. If your trip will be longer than 90 days or for reasons other than business, transit, or pleasure, then you will need to apply for a visa.
Other ESTA requirements for Greek citizens include:
- Not having been to Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria, Somalia, Yemen, North Korea or Libya since March 1, 2011.
- Not having dual citizenship – one from a VWP country and the other from Iran, Iraq, Sudan, Syria or North Korea.
- Not having a criminal record or communicable disease.
- Not having previously been deported or overstayed a US ESTA or visa.
If you don’t comply with these requirements then you will also need to apply for a visa.
Have a read of this article for more differences between an ESTA and a visa.
2. HOW LONG IS EACH ESTA VALID FOR?
Each ESTA is valid for two years or until the passport that you applied with expires, whichever comes first.
It’s good practice to make sure that your passport will be valid for at least 6 months beyond the planned end date of your trip, or in the case of an ESTA, for at least two years if you’d like to make the most of your ESTA approval.
3. WHAT ARE THE GREEK PASSPORT REQUIREMENTS FOR AN ESTA?
An ESTA can only be applied for with a valid e-passport. The system is all automated so requires the presence of the digital chip containing your personal information.
It also pays to make sure that your passport will be valid for at least two years after you apply for your ESTA as your ESTA will expire when your passport does. If you would like to make more than one visit to the U.S. on the same ESTA, the same passport needs to be valid for its two year duration.