Lesvos to Introduce Fast-Track Visas for Turkish Citizens Starting From April 1

  • Starting from April 1 of this year, Lesvos will launch fast-track visas for citizens of Türkiye.
  • Recently, Greece has announced its plans to grant Turkish citizens easy visas to visit ten of its Aegean islands.
  • In 2022, Turkish nationals filed 164,829 Schengen visa applications at the Greek consulates in Türkiye.

Lesvos will introduce fast-track visas for Turkish nationals starting from April 1, as announced by the mayor of Mytilini, Panagiotis Taktikos, on Thursday.

The decision follows an agreement between Athens and Ankara to bring back the special Schengen Express Visa program for Turkish citizens who want to visit certain eastern Aegean islands, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

This agreement was announced last December after a meeting between the Prime Minister of the Hellenic Republic, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, and the President of the Republic of Türkiye, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

The Greek PM Mitsotakis stated back then that his government had previously received the approval of the EU Commission to introduce such a program.

Greece requested and secured EU approval to activate the possibility for Turks and their families to visit all year round ten of our islands that either have refugee structures or have a ferry connection with

Türkiye.Kyriakos Mitsotakis, Prime Minister of Greece

He further expressed his support for Türkiye’s request to enter the Schengen Area visa-free.

Turkish Citizens to Be Granted Visas on Arrival to These 10 Greek Islands

Due to this agreement, Greece will issue visas on arrival for stays up to seven days to Turkish nationals. Ten Greek Islands included in this program, are as follows:

Lemnos, Lesvos, Chios, Samos, Leros, Kalymnos, Kos, Rhodes, Symi, and Kastelorizo

Last week, a conference was held by Greek authorities in Mytilini to discuss the anticipated inflow of Turkish tourists, as reported by Ekathimerini. The meeting was attended, among others, by the police chief of the North Aegean Region, the Mytilini Coast Guard,and the island’s customs officials.

As further reported, some renovations are being done in the port, in order to facilitate the arrival of tourists and vehicles.

Turkish Nationals Can Travel Visa-Free To 77 Countries Worldwide

As of March 2024, the Turkish passport ranks 93rd in the world, according to the VisaGuide Passport Index. This implies that Turkish citizens can travel without a visa in 77 countries around the world.

On the other hand, Turkish passport holders are required to obtain a traditional visa to enter 93 other countries worldwide, including Greece.

In 2022, Turkish nationals submitted the highest number of Schengen visa applications at the Schengen consulates in Türkiye, reaching a total of 778,409, according to the Schengen Visa Statistics.

Of those, 164,829 applications were submitted at the Greek consulate in Türkiye, making Greece the second-highest country after Germany (223,699) regarding applications received by Turkish nationals in the same year.

Source: schengenvisainfo

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