Validity of US Travel Documents for Greeks Extended to Two Years

Greece’s Citizen Protection Minister Olga Gerovassili (L) and US Ambassador to Greece Geoffrey Pyatt (R) speak in Athens on Thursday morning. Photo by AMNA

The validity of travel documents issued to Greek citizens through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) will be extended to the standard two years, US Ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt said on Thursday during a meeting at the Greek Citizen Protection Ministry.

The ambassador announced the change during the signing of a memorandum of cooperation between the Greek police and the US Customs and Border Protection Service on the implementation of Greece’s Passenger Name Record (PNR) law.

Greece is on the visa waiver program but Greek travelers still must apply through the ESTA before traveling to the US.

A statement by the US embassy in Athens on Thursday noted that “previously, the United States issued ESTAs with a one-year validity to Greek citizens traveling under the Visa Waiver Program.

“In response to Greece’s cooperation and progress on implementing its PNR law, the Department of Homeland Security is extending the validity of ESTAs issued to Greek citizens to the standard two years. This change will take place within 48 hours,” according to the embassy officials.

Regarding the PNR law which was signed, the statement said that “the use of PNR in traveler screening is an important part of Greece’s efforts to prevent terrorists and serious criminals from traveling, in line with international and European Union obligations.”

Greece’s Citizen Protection Minister Olga Gerovassili thanked Ambassador Pyatt, noting that this new development proves that Greece is a safe country.

Source: A.M.N.A.