Italy Visa Information:
|All foreigners intending to enter Italy must provide the documentation required to justify the reasons and duration of their stay as well as, in some prescribed cases, the availability of adequate economic means and lodging.
In some cases you need a visa, application for which can be made at the Italian Diplomatic and Consular Representations in your country of residence.
List of countries whose citizens are subject to the visa obligation
In view of the need to gradually harmonize the different national visa policies, the European authorities have adopted various measures including the Council Regulation 539 of 15.3.2001 containing the list of countries whose nationals are subject to the visa requirement.
Nationals bearing ordinary passports of the following countries/regional configurations are subject to visa obligations:
Afghanistan, Albania, Algeria, Angola, Antigua and Barbuda, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bahamas, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Barbados, Belorus, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Bolivia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central Africa, Chad, China, Colombia, Comoro Islands, Congo, Congo (Democratic Republic), Côte d’Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominica, Dominican (Republic), East Timor, Ecuador, Egypt, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Gabon, The Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Granada, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Jamaica, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kiribati, Kuwait, Laos, Lebanon, Lesotho, Liberia, Libya, Macedonia (the Former Yugoslav Republic of), Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Marshall Islands, Mauritania, Mauritius, Micronesia, Moldova, Mongolia, Morocco, Mozambique, Myanmar, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, North Korea, Northern Marianas, Oman, Pakistan, Palau, Palestinian National Authority, Papua-New Guinea, Peru, the Philippines, Qatar, Russia, Rwanda, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Solomon, Sao Tome and Principe, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Seychelles, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Syria, Tajikistan, Taiwan, (non-recognized territorial entity), Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, Vanuatu, Vietnam, Western Samoa, Yemen, Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (Serbia-Montenegro), Zambia, Zimbabwe.
Nationals of the following countries do not require a visa for visits up to a maximum of 90 days, for tourism, on missions, business, invitations ought to take part in sports events:
Andorra, Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Macao, Mexico, Monaco, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, South Korea, Singapore, United States, Uruguay, Venezuela.
Nationals of San Marino, the Holy See and Switzerland do not require a visas in any case.
The citizens of the following countries are required to obtain visas for transit through Italian airports:
Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Colombia**, Eritrea*, Ethiopia, Ghana, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Senegal**, Somalia and Sri Lanka.
(*) exempt from obligation if the passenger holds a valid visa or residence permit from one of the EU Member States or one of the Parties to the European Economic Area Agreement of 2 May 1992, from Canada, Switzerland or the United States.
(**) exempt from obligation if the passenger holds a valid visa or residence permit from one of the Member States of the European Economic Area, Canada, or the United States of America.
(***) all citizens of the countries listed except for COLOMBIA, ERITREA AND SENEGAL, are exempt from the obligation to obtain an Airport Transit Visa if in possession of a “resident permit” issued by one of the following countries: IRELAND, LIECHTENSTEIN, UNITED KINGDOM or of a “resident permit with unlimited right of return” issued by one of the following countries: ANDORRA, CANADA, JAPAN, PRINCIPATE OF MONACO, SAN MARINO, SWITZERLAND, UNITED STATES;
For long stays (above 90 days) for whatever purpose all aliens are required to hold a visa, even if they are nationals of countries which do not require transit or short-stay visas.
Visa types and validity
Visas may be individual – issued to an individual applicant and apposed to an individual passport – or group visas – issued to a group of aliens, all having the same nationality of the passport-issuing country, and provided that the document is expressly and formally recognized by Italy.
Group visas cannot exceed 30 days.
Visas are divided into three main categories:
1. Uniform Schengen Visas (USV): valid for all the Contracting Parties’ territories; they may be
- airport transit visas (type A),
- transit visas (type B),
- short-stay or travel visas (type C), valid for up to 90 days, for single or multiple entry.
Exceptionally, the Schengen regulation enables important or well-known persons who frequently require a visa and who can provide the necessary guarantees, to be issued with C-type visas which permit a visit of up to 90 days in any half-year and are valid for one (C1), two (C2), three (C3) or five years (C5).
2. 2. Limited Territorial Validity visas (LTV):
these are only valid for the Schengen State whose representative issued the visa (or in particular cases for other Schengen states where specifically named) without any possibility of access to or transit through the territory of any other Schengen States. They are issued solely for humanitarian reasons, or in the national interest, or under international obligations as an exception to the common USV system. An alien may not directly apply for these visas, which are issued in a few specific cases by the diplomatic or consular representative when it deems it appropriate to issue the visa for the reasons as stated even though not all the conditions are met for the issue of a Uniform Schengen Visa, or when the applicant does not hold a validly recognized travel document, in particular emergencies or in case of need.
3. Long stay or “national” (NV) to Visas:
which are only valid for visits that are longer than 90 days (type D), with one or more entries, in the territory of the Schengen State whose diplomatic representative issued the visa, and to transit through the territory of other Schengen States for a period of not more than five days.
4. Long stay or “national” visas which also have the value of short-term visas.
Visa applications must be in writing, giving all the details required on the special visa application form which must be signed by the applicant, and accompanied by one passport-size photograph. As a rule, aliens applying for visas must visit the diplomatic or consular offices in person to be interviewed on the reasons and circumstances of the visit. Applications must be accompanied by a valid travel document on which it is materially possible to appose the visa, together with any supporting documents that may be required. This documentation, depending on the type of visa requested or which the Mission deems it can issue, must necessarily state:
- the purpose of the visit
- means of transport and for the return journey
- means of support during the journey and stay
- accommodation arrangements.
Once the visa application is accepted on the basis of the documentation produced by the applicant and the results of the interview, which is normally conducted directly and personally, the Diplomatic Mission carries out the statutory preliminary security checks. This involves line accessing the SIS (Schengen Information System) through the “world visa network”, to consult the list of aliens to be refused admission into the Schengen area.
The deadlines for issuing an entry visa are set out in section 5 (8) of Presidential Decree 394 of 31.8.1999, as ammended by D.P.R. 334/2004, which states that the diplomatic/consular mission, “after ascertaining that the application can be entertained, and after conducting the necessary investigations in relation to the visa, including the preventive security checks, shall issue the visa within 90 days of the date of application” (30 days for paid employment, 120 days for self-employment).
Pursuant to article 6(2) and (3) of Ministerial Decree 171 of 3 March 1997, these deadlines may be exceeded whenever it is necessary to carry out investigations or acquire information, documents and opinions from foreign authorities.
Any cases of forged documents produced by foreign nationals for the purposes of obtaining an entry visa shall always been reported to the Italian judicial authorities by the diplomatic or consular mission (article 331 of the code of criminal procedure). This applies both to the forgery of Italian documents and documents of foreign origin that are in any way used in support of a visa application.
In the event that the diplomatic/consular authorities are acquainted with any fact, situation or condition that would have prevented the grant of an entry visa that has already in granted, they must issue a formal REVOCATION measure.
- When entering Italy, even if you have already obtained a visa, the border authorities are authorised to check the documentation required for obtaining the visa itself.
- In accordance with article 5 of T.U. no. 286/98, within 8 working days of arriving in Italy you must apply for a “Permesso di Soggiorno” (permission to stay) at the local “Questura” (Police Commissary).