Greece is a beautiful Mediterranean paradise with gorgeous beaches and a wide coastline. It is a tourism hotspot for many. Now, it is planning on improving its tourism in tandem with its educational field. For this, the country is planning on welcoming more international students through its new student visas. With the growing number of diverse study programs in the country, there is a rising need to cater to various student needs. So keeping the needs of a short-term course or a summer school course in mind, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs has passed two student visas that will help foreign national students, as well as professionals, undergo their studies.
Why Did The Greek Government Bring Out These Two New Visas?
These student visas created with special legislation were introduced to pump competitiveness and bring an ailing economy out of depression. Greece will profit from the tuition fees and the entire activities that the professionals or students will engage in during their stay.
So international students are expected to add and engage with the local places and communities they will be residing in. It’s expected that these activities will be revitalizing the economy in multiple ways- both social and economic. Miltiadis Varvitsiotis, the Foreign Affairs Alternate Minister, said that they expect that with the summer courses, the country will go into the international market where significant human resource advantages can be gathered. They are planning on putting these comparative and competitive human advantages to great use, namely in culture and tourism.
He further said that; “the Universities of Athens or other historical cities of ancient Greece could further arrange summer philosophy programs oriented towards third countries, themselves cradles of ancient civilizations and thus attract targeted student audiences with similar interests.” Along with this, it’s expected that these new visas will improve Greece’s standing in the global visa market and allow Greek educational colleges and universities to compete in an international setting.
What Are These Two New Visas?
The new visas are different from each other since they cater to different classes of people. But the people who will gain the most benefits are non-EU citizens already studying in a foreign academic country and want to take part in the summer study course in Greece. These international students can study here for seven months. Thanks to this visa, international students can reach the country using fast-track means.
Other criteria of people who will benefit from this new legislation are the employees of foreign companies. These companies could be a non-EU nation, part of the EU, or a Single Economic Area. So if personnel from these businesses want to attend the courses at any of the colleges in Greece that offer the exclusive programs available for studying, then they can use these visas. However, this will be based on certification/validation and annual franchise agreements with foreign institutions.
So, it’s clear that these visas’ primary purpose is to help big companies teach their various executives in Greece. However, thanks to the legislation passed, the staffs will be able to bring their families here. They will be able to stay without problems for the entirety of the executive’s residence in Greece.
How Can Students Apply For The New Visa?
A non-EU student will be applying for their student visa under the type D visa criteria from their country’s Greek Embassy. Students need to apply around 3-4 months in advance with the application form. Recent passport-sized photos (color) and a criminal record current certificate. Note that the criminal certificate needs to be duly attested.
Along with this, applicants will need to show their travel medical papers/insurance, medical-fitness certificate that’s duly attested, as well as proof of adequate funds to cover the living and educational expenses. Students will need to show their fee payment and registration letter from the College and a certificate given by the education ministry confirming that the Mediterranean college has a validly issued license.
Note that visa holders will need to apply for a residence permit after arriving in Greece within 40 days. They need to produce medical insurance and medical certificates compulsorily from a Greek company providing medical insurance and a Greek hospital (public). Along with the passport photocopy as well as bank statement stating sufficient funds to cover expenses is required. Applicants must also show their receipt stating the permit fees for residence and the student registration letter.
Are People Supportive Of These New Visas?
President of the Association of Greek Colleges, Vassilis Daskalakis, has said that:
“The Association of Greek Colleges welcomes this very important amendment by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Alternate Minister of Foreign Affairs Mr. Miltiadis Varvitsiotis regarding the issuance of a training visa for Business Executives from Abroad.”
How Will These Visas Help The Foreign Nationals And Students?
The primary benefit of these two new visas is that the entire procedure has been simplified. So, the only thing that matters is a national verified visa given by the relevant and aligned Greek diplomat. Furthermore, there is no obligation for any student to get a residence permit as well. But students must pay off their whole tuition fees. Also, international students need to show resources for covering their entire living expenditure for the duration of their stay in Greece.
Miltiadis Varvitsiotis said that the second visa had targeted a different section of foreign nationals. But the ministry is hoping that there will be an equal effect on the country’s tourism, culture, and economy. They hope that the nation’s colleges will attract high-income people from multinational corporations to send their workers to Greece to attend postgraduate programs. So their extended stay in the country will, over time, allow for foreign exchange inflow.
Mr. Varvitsiotis said that this regulation would send the message that Greece isn’t an introverted nation. This will let the international community know that they have globalized and are welcoming the international community without any time-consuming obstacles or bureaucratic procedures.