Is Greece Part of Schengen? Essential Travel & Visa Info

If you are thinking about traveling to Greece, looking for business and investment opportunities, or even moving there permanently, you might be curious whether Greece is part of the Schengen area. This is important because people in Schengen countries can travel or move between them without needing a visa.

Also, if you are planning to live in Greece, you might want to know if having a residence permit lets you visit other European countries nearby. To find out if this is possible in Greece, you need to look into the rules of the Schengen agreement.

In this article, you will discover whether Greece is part of Schengen, which states are in this region, and what ties this collection of countries together.

What Are the Schengen States?

These are 27 countries that signed the Schengen Convention and implemented its provisions. This legal document's name comes from Luxembourg, where specific European countries created it. The Convention builds on the 1985 Schengen Agreement, which Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands signed.

The Agreement advocates for the gradual dissolution of border controls. Meanwhile, the 1990 convention allows the member states to remove border controls between each other and institute a common visa.

Since the first Agreement, 22 countries have integrated the Schengen area. Each of them had their borders and governmental agencies investigated to ensure they were capable of holding the standard of other Schengen nations.

Additionally, many members and applicants have access to the Schengen Information system. This is a database of the movement of peoThe Advantages of Greece Being a Schengen State?ple and goods through the borders that this region's countries share.

Is Greece a Schengen Country?

In 1992, Greece signed the convention and became a member state. However, at the time, the Schengen regulations weren't enforced across all the territories yet. This collection of countries took 3 more years to implement this new system.

In 1995, the country removed its border controls between it and Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, Portugal, Spain, and the Netherlands. Then, these 8 countries created an entry check regulation which they all used.

The Advantages of Greece Being a Schengen State?

Since Greece has signed the Convention, you will be able to take the following advantages:

1. Economic Opportunities

According to reports, Greece had a GDP of $217.58 billion in 2022 which will rise in 2024. Of particular note, there are many business and investment opportunities. Whether it's traditional villas, old apartments, or new buildings, you're sure to create a good portfolio of investments in this country – especially in Athens.

2. Yachting and Private Aviation

The Minister of Tourism said coastal and maritime tourism had not only significant potential but also offered the chance for improvement. Moreover, the airlines have received major investments. For instance, Aegean Airlines invested $5 billion or €4 billion in its aircraft.

3. Visa-Free Travel

With this short-stay visa, you can travel through Europe for 90 days across a 180 period. Alternatively, you could apply for the residence or citizenship. Once you have either of these legal documents, you'll automatically have access to the rest of the Schengen region.

4. Tax Incentives

This country has instituted new tax laws that make businesses more profitable with the lump-sum Tax. This new law allows you to pay €100,000 or $107,322 per year regardless of your income for 15 years. Plus, you can add your spouse and children to this tax scheme by paying €20,000 per person.

5. Unique Heritage and Lifestyle

With access to Schengen states, you can visit this country's world-famous sites like the Temple of Apollo and Daphne's Monasteries. Once you're there, you'll experience their rich culture from the succulent baklava to stroll through winding stone streets to large cultural celebrations.

Which Countries Are in Schengen States?

If you're thinking of touring Europe, a Schengen visa might appeal to you. After all, it gives access to travel through air, sea, and land to these 27 countries:

  • Austria 
  • Belgium 
  • the Czech Republic
  • Croatia
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Lithuania
  • Liechtenstein
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Norway
  • The Netherlands
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

Moreover, you can also gain access to micro-states: Andorra, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City. Though they're not technically Schengen countries, they have agreements with other such states that make traveling between them with this visa easy.

However, it is important to note that not every country in Europe is part of the Schengen Convention. Three European Union members are not in the Schengen area: Bulgaria, Ireland, and Cyprus. Although Bulgaria and Romania have adopted some parts of the Convention, they are not fully included in the Schengen zone.

Additionally, the territories of the Schengen countries are not automatically accessible through this Convention. Many of these territories have their border check systems. Moreover, though Ireland can opt into Schengen regulations, it is still not a part of it.

Which Countries Are Expected to Join the Schengen Area in 2024?

Bulgaria and Romania will enter the Convention in March of 2024. This comes after working with European Union officials to ensure their borders and related agencies conform to the standards of the convention.

However, this agreement has some exceptions. While these countries and the rest of the region will abolish their border controls with each other, it's only for air and sea paths. Though the land border checks will remain as they currently are, the two countries will eventually fully integrate the Convention.

Bulgaria and Romania have to enter the Schengen region due to their European Union Treaties of Accession. And by that same logic, Cyprus will also join the region in due time. This happened because the European Union integrated the Schengen Convention within its system.

Additionally, other states have expressed interest in formally joining the convention. In particular, there's the micro-state Vatican City. However, there's no clear timeline for that integration.

Greece flag


Now that you know Greece is a part of the Schengen area, you can travel easily to and from Greece without needing a special visa for short trips. This is good for business and for tourists who want to see Greece's beautiful places. Since Greece joined the Schengen area in 1995, it has made traveling and doing business with other European countries simpler. This arrangement also benefits Greek citizens and those holding a Greek residence permit, allowing them similar freedom of movement. So, get yourself a Schengen visa and open yourself to the opportunities this country has to offer.

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