Home Travel & Adventure Greek Islands Roll Out Special Visa Program Catering to Turkish Tourists

Greek Islands Roll Out Special Visa Program Catering to Turkish Tourists


On April 1, Greek authorities of Rhodes Island launched a new vacation visa terminal for Turkish tourists.

Under this scheme, Turkish citizens will be able to visit ten Greek islands for stays of up to seven days, without needing to apply for full access to the Schengen area, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

According to AP News, such a move was made as a part of a diplomatic effort to reduce ongoing tensions between the two countries.

Vassilis Vayiannakis, head of the Rhodes Port Fund, told the AP that the system is ready and that Turkish tourists had shown a significant interest.

The new system is ready and there is a lot of demand from Turkish visitors. But there were no boats scheduled to arrive today [April 1]. We will have arrivals later this week.

Vassilis Vayiannakis, head of the Rhodes Port Fund

This initiative followed an agreement signed between the Greek Prime Minister, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the President of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in December last year.

As reported back then, Greece received the green light of the EU Commission for launching such a program.

Visa on Arrival Will Cost 60€

In addition to Rhodes, other Greek islands that Turkish citizens can visit with a visa on arrival include  Lesvos, Limnos, Chios, Samos, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos, Symi and Kastellorizo.

These visas will be granted at the designated ports and will cost 60€, including a passport verification and fingerprinting.

Visas on arrival will be valid for stays up to seven days, one entry. Regarding this, Greek PM Mitsotakis explained last week that these visas will be granted all year round, not only during the summer season.

The express visa can be issued not only in summer, but all year round. The measure is designed to boost tourism in areas and at times of the year when there is not a lot of traffic, so it will help the local economies.

Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Greek PM

Single-Entry Visa Cannot Be Used to Enter Other Schengen Countries

In an earlier statement, the Greek officials explained that this is not “a free visa system”, highlighting that Greece will grant visas on arrival to Turkish citizens at the designated islands.

This implies that Turkish citizens with a single-entry visa are not permitted to travel to other countries within the Schengen Zone. In order to prevent any breaches, Greece warned of rigorous police inspections.

Among other things, Greek authorities anticipate such a program will boost tourism and revitalise the development of the islands.

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