The first tourist visa to Greece will be issued on Thursday, with Greece issuing travel documents to all foreign nationals from the three countries, including tourists from Iran, Pakistan and the United Arab Emirates.
“This is a very significant step for the Greek economy.
We have a lot of tourists coming here, and we have the best tourists from the Middle East and Asia,” said Nikos Tzortzinis, president of the Greek Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
The new visa-only visa will cover all visitors from Iran and Pakistan who are travelling on a tourist visa or a visitor visa to stay for up to 90 days, with the exception of those travelling for medical reasons.
This will help Greece meet its international obligations, such as visa-on-arrival requirements, and ease visa restrictions in the country.
The first 100 visitors from the five countries will be permitted to travel on a single visa for up a year, with up to four additional visas for each additional visit.
They will also be able to apply for a visa to visit a Greek island, and a visa for any other country.
The move is in line with a long-standing policy of the country to allow visa-holders from these countries to visit its territory without having to apply to the Greek government.
The country has previously been open to visa-exempt travellers from Iran.
However, since the lifting of visa restrictions, the country has been restricting all visitors with visas.
Tzortis said the new visa will be a boost for the economy.
Greece will be able use the visa to reach almost 200 million visitors a year from around the world.
Iran, which has a population of about 8 million, is Greece’s second biggest economy.
Iran and Pakistan, both of which have large Muslim populations, are two of the five Muslim-majority countries on the list of visa-expansion countries.
Tzorzakis said that the new agreement will benefit the Iranian tourism industry as well.
“Iran has the largest tourism industry in the world, and this will create a lot more jobs,” he said.
In addition to easing visa restrictions for Iranians, the new plan also aims to help the Iranian government in curbing terrorism and smuggling, he added.
After the lifting last month of visa limits on Iranians, Greece has been allowed to increase the number of visa applications for Iranians from a maximum of 200 a day to 400 a day.