If you are studying in Greece for less than 90 days, you will not need a visa. However, if you are studying in Greece for more than 90 days, you will need to apply for a Long Stay visa or a National visa. This may seem daunting but don’t worry – your program manager will walk you through every step, and send you a complete Visa Pack with full instructions and details of everything you will need. If you are traveling internationally in the months leading up to your program start date, please let your program manager know.
Two of the most time-consuming parts of the student visa process are applying and obtaining a U.S. passport and obtaining an FBI background check. Begin these two tasks immediately!
The visa process for Greece is administered in the U.S. by 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. The Embassy of Greece, Washington D.C. provides a list of Greek Consulates in the U.S. Each consulate office administers student visas in a slightly different way, so please pay special attention to the specific requirements at your Consulate. Most consulates require that you appear in person to submit your application. However, there are some exceptions. Be prepared for to 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.
The Consulate requires an FBI Certificate (full criminal background report); however, due to delays in regular FBI processing, it is highly recommended that you utilize an FBI-Approved Channeler, such as Fieldprint, Inc.
Passport: Be sure you have a valid, signed passport that will be good for at least six months following the completion of the program.
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 from a medical doctor (on doctor's letterhead) 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." You can also utilize the medical certificate visa form.
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.
Be certain to contact your Greek Consulate before going to understand their specific requirements for the visa application process as 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.
The Arcadia Athens Center in Greece 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 Athens Center, The College of Global Studies will send you, via UPS, the following documents:
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, what forms of payment do they accept? (Money order or cash?)
Application Documentation: Collect all the documents to be submitted with your application. See the Visa Requirements for Studies in Greece section.
Complete the "Application for a Long Stay Visa" form using the directions provided.
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 which will delay the process.
Your passports must be left at the Consulate for processing. 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 prior to visiting. Many times you must provide a business-sized, self-addressed 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.
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 Athens Center and kept with your passport. When you depart Greece for the U.S. at the end of the program, you will show this document at passport control.