Protecting the health of the applicants and our employees during these testing times of the pandemic is of utmost importance. We are following the recommendations of the Health and Governmental authorities and have put in place best practices to minimize the possible exposure of applicants and employees to the coronavirus. Applicants, if they wish, can avoid a return to the VAC in London and have their passports returned via the optional courier service at an additional cost that will be kept to the minimum.
After having tracked online whether your passport is ready for collection, you can collect your passport in person at the end of the visa application process.
When the visa application has been processed on the submission day, applicant’s receipt is stapled to the extra photocopy of the passport bio data page, which applicants need to bring when collecting their passport.
Passport Collection time in London: 16:00 - 17:00 from Monday until Friday.
There is only Passport Collection facility in London and not in the satellite centres in Manchester and Edinburgh, where passports will be returned via Courier Delivery DX (www.dxdelivery.com) at an additional fee per passport.
When applicants are unable to collect in person themselves, they may authorise another person to collect the passport on their behalf. The authorised person will need to bring an authorisation letter (see example here) signed by the applicant, the applicant’s passport photocopy with the stapled receipt and some proof of Identity (with photograph).
In case of minors, the authorised person will need to bring an authorization letter signed by the mother and the father of the minor, the minor’s passport photocopy with the stapled receipt and some proof of Identity (with photograph).
When the passport is collected, the passport photocopy with the receipt will be stamped for collection and the authorisation letter, if any, will remain with GVCW.
Upon collection of passports, applicants are advised to immediately check it the visa granted meets their intended travel schedule.
INFORMATION SHEET TO VISA HOLDERS
You have been issued a visa for the territories of the Schengen States.
As soon as you receive your short-stay visa, make sure that all the information it contains is correct.
Check the following:
- Your passport has a passport number. This number is also indicated on the visa sticker. Make sure that these numbers are the same.
- You applied for your visa for a specific period or periods. Check that your air ticket corresponds with the entry and exit dates indicated on the visa sticker.
- Check that the number of entries you applied for (one, two, or multiple) corresponds with the number of entries indicated on your visa sticker.
- Check that your name is spelled correctly.
- Do this yourself in order to avoid any problems or extra costs arising when using your visa. If you think that the information on the visa is incorrect, tell the Consular Authority immediately, so that any errors can be corrected.
How to read the visa sticker:
DURATION OF STAY.........DAYS indicates the number of days, you may stay in the Schengen area. The days should be counted from the date you enter the Schengen area (the entry stamp) to the date you exit the Schengen area (the exit stamp), i.e. both days included.
The period of time between “FROM ...UNTIL” is usually longer than the number of days printed in the “DURATION OF STAY” field. The difference in period is meant to give you flexibility to plan your entry into and exit from the Schengen area, but your stay in the Schengen area must never exceed the exact number of days in the “DURATION OF STAY ...DAYS” field. No matter how many days you have stayed in the Schengen area, you must leave no later than the date printed in the “UNTIL” field."
Controls at the border
Your short-stay visa allows you to travel to Greece and usually to other Schengen States. But it does not automatically entitle you to enter the Schengen area. So you may have to provide certain information at border or other controls. You may, for instance, have to provide information on your means of support, how long you intend to stay in Greece and in the Schengen area, and why you are visiting. In some cases, such checks may result in a refusal for the visa holder to enter Greece or the Schengen area.
It is therefore recommended that you carry with you copies of the documents which you presented when you applied for the visa (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations, other documents stating the purpose of your stay). This will help to make the border control procedure easier and avoid delays at the border.
You must keep to the period of stay allowed by your visa. Misuse and overstay may result in you being expelled and banned from obtaining a new visa for a certain period of time.