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Non-immigrant Visa Delays

August 1, 2014

The U.S. Department of State is currently experiencing technical problems with its visa system, which are affecting global operations. This issue is worldwide and is not specific to any particular country or visa category. We recognize and deeply regret the inconvenience to travelers. We are doing everything possible to return passports with visas as soon as we are able to complete processing. We regret that we are currently unable to predict how long the delay will be.

Applicants who are concerned about the status of their passports should check with the call center that handles passport and visa pass-back via telephone at 211 198 3241 or via skype at usvisagreece, to see if the passport has already been received for delivery.

Applicants who interviewed with the U.S. Embassy after July 20 and who would like their passports returned to them without the U.S. visa may contact and provide their name, date of birth, and passport number.

We appreciate your patience as we work to resolve this matter and apologize for the inconvenience.


Who Needs a Visa?

Anyone who is not eligible to enter the United States visa free under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP).  Please note: Travelers born in the United States and those who hold dual citizenship with the United States must enter and depart the United States on U.S. passports. 

What types of Visas are Available?

The Athens Consular Section processes applications for both non-immigrant and immigrant visas to the United States
Immigrant visa: An immigrant visa is required by anyone seeking to take up indefinite or permanent residence in the United States.  Upon entry into the United States, an immigrant visa holder is processed for a Permanent Resident Card (PRC) commonly known as a green card. 

Non-immigrant visa: A Nonimmigrant visa is required by anyone seeking temporary admission into the United States who is not eligible to travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.  Nonimmigrant visas cover visits for tourism, business, work or study.    The type of visa required will depend on the purpose of your travel.

Visa Waiver Program: Greece recently entered the VWP, allowing some Greek travelers going to the U.S. for business or tourism to travel visa free.
On occasion, some travelers may experience delays at the port of entry due to the result of extended computer checks and/or secondary inspection by the Department of Homeland Security. The U.S. State Department does not have the authority to intervene with DHS on the behalf of individual travelers.
However, if you feel you have been subject, in error, to a delay at the port of entry, you may request an audit of your case by visiting the DHS redress website.

Notice to Holders of Greek Passports

According to the Hellenic Ministry of Public Order, all Greek passports issued by the local Greek Nomarchies prior to December 31, 2005 will be invalid for travel from January 1, 2007. To obtain a new passport, please inquire at your nearest police precinct or through the Greek Police/Passports (DIED) website.

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