Greece and the Visa Waiver Program
Effective today, April 1, new Electronic System for Travel Authorizations (ESTA) for Greek citizens will be valid for one year, instead of the standard two-year validity. The one-year validity period is for new and renewal ESTA applications. Existing ESTAs for Greek citizens will remain valid, unless revoked, for two years from the date of the authorization or until the traveler’s passport expires, whichever comes first.
Former Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano announced March 9, 2010 Greece’s designation as a member of the Visa Waiver Program. Greek citizens are able to visit the United States without visas since April 5, 2010.
Greek citizens with Greek passports that will expire in less than six months may travel on the VWP, as long as their planned stay in the U.S. has been concluded before the expiration date of their passport. Greek citizens are permitted to enter the U.S. with either a valid visa or an approved ESTA using a passport that is valid for less than six months.
Please note that the following applies to all VWP travelers:
- Approved ESTA applications are valid for
- a period of one year, or until the passport expires, whichever comes first, and
- multiple trips to the United States without the traveler having to re-apply for another ESTA.
The ESTA travel information may be updated before each trip to the U.S., but it is not required. When traveling to the U.S. with the approved ESTA, you may only stay for up to 90 days at a time - and there should be a reasonable amount of time between visits so that the CBP Officer does not think you are trying to live there. There is no set requirement for how long you must wait between visits.
- If your ESTA expires while in the U.S., it will not affect your departure.
Citizens and eligible nationals of current VWP member countries who would like information on the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) may visit http://www.cbp.gov/ and/or http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/without/without_1990.html#. Effective January 12, 2009, all individuals traveling to the United States under the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) will be required to obtain a travel authorization before initiating travel. ESTA is available with a small fee of $14 and can be completed in 16 languages at http://www.cbp.gov/esta.
VWP travelers should be aware that unauthorized third-parties have established web sites which charge visitors seeking to travel to the United States under the VWP, for information about ESTA, and for submitting ESTA applications to DHS on behalf of the traveler. These businesses and web sites are not endorsed or associated with the United States Government. The United States Government charges a flat fee of $14 for applying and obtaining a travel authorization through the ESTA web site without additional charges for obtaining information.