Italy at a Glance
Visa Requirements for Italy
You must be sure to have all necessary visas available prior to moving to Italy. The requirements for these visas depend on your nationality.
Since Italy belongs to the European Union, all EU citizens may enter the country without any additional paperwork, provided they have a valid national ID or passport. If your country is not part of the EU and you are not a citizen of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, San Marino, Switzerland, Monaco, or the Vatican City, either, you must apply for a visa.
However, the nationals of selected countries do not need a visa for stays that are shorter than 90 days and that do not involve gainful employment. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs lists all the countries currently covered by the visa-waiver agreement.
For longer stays or for expats working in Italy, there is a wide range of visas that can be assigned to people entering the country.
The following reasons are covered:
- Business travel
- Diplomatic reasons
- Elective residence
- Family member (accompanying dependent)
- Family member (family reunion)
- Medical treatment
- Re-entry visa
- Religious grounds
- Sports competitions
- Transit (including airport transit)
- Work and travel
To find out which nationals entering Italy require which type of visa, please visit the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website for more detailed information.
The visas with which non-EU nationals, or “aliens” as they are called in Italy, enter the country are divided into the following three categories:
- Uniform Schengen Visa: This visa enables non-EU or Schengen Agreement citizens to enter a Schengen country for up to 90 days. There are single-entry and multiple-entry visas of this kind.
- Limited Territorial Validity Visa: As its name suggests, this visa is issued for only one specific Schengen country, i.e. Italy. It cannot be used to travel to any other countries in the Schengen Area, such as Germany. This visa is not usually applied for. However, it may be assigned by the Italian government, as an exception to the normal Schengen Visa system, e.g. for humanitarian reasons.
- Long-stay or “national” visa: You will probably apply for this sort of visa if you are planning to move to Italy for more than three months. You need to do so in person. You usually have to bring the following documents with you: a valid passport, accommodation arrangements, purpose of visit, and proof of financial support during your stay. The long-stay visas are then subdivided into the other main categories, like student visa, family visa, or work visa.
Please be sure to visit your local Italian Embassy or Consulate for more specific information and application forms.
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