Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano announced
the designation of Greece as a member of the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) - strengthening
passenger information sharing and ensuring strict security standards while
streamlining travel for Greek citizens visiting the United States.
“Our efforts to guard against terrorism while enhancing legal travel
and trade depend upon close collaboration with our international partners,” said
Secretary Napolitano. “I commend our partners in Greece for committing
to strong screening and security standards and enhanced information sharing
for travel by Greek citizens to the United States as we work together to protect
our citizens and strengthen our economies.”
Greece’s Visa Waiver Program (VWP) designation represents a major step
forward in the continued and long-standing economic and security partnership
between the United States and Greece - reflecting more than two years of coordination
between the two countries on Greece’s entry into Visa Waiver Program
In accordance with the VWP designation process, DHS determined that Greece
complies with key security and information-sharing requirements—such
as enhanced law enforcement and security-related data sharing with the United
States; timely reporting of lost and stolen passports; and the maintenance
of high counterterrorism, law enforcement, border control, aviation and document security standards. In turn, Greek citizens will be permitted to travel to the United States for up to 90 days without obtaining a visa.
With this announcement, Greece joins the 35 nations already participating in Visa Waiver Program (VWP) - established as a pilot program in 1986 to help
eliminate unnecessary barriers to travel and made permanent on October 30,
2000. Like VWP travelers from other countries, Greek citizens will be required to apply for an Electronic System Travel Authorization (ESTA) through the Web-based system. Greek citizens will be able to visit the United States without visas in approximately 30 days.