Close

Visas for Italy

Recommend

Have you decided to relocate to Italy? Whether or not you need to obtain a visa depends on a number of factors including your citizenship, your current country of residence, your reasons for staying in Italy, and how long you plan to stay there for. It’s important to determine which visa you might need before you move.

There are three types of visas:

  • Schengen Uniform Visa - for people seeking to stay in Italy for 90 days or less
  • National Visa (Visa D) - for people seeking to stay in Italy for longer than 90 days
  • Limited Territorial Validity Visa - issued for people seeking to stay in Italy due to humanitarian reasons, national interest, or under certain international obligations. These are issued by the citizen’s country diplomatic or consular representative

 Good to know:

EU, EEA and Swiss citizens are not required to seek a visa to stay in Italy, though they will need to register for residency in their local municipality if they wish to stay in Italy for longer than 90 days.

These types of visa also vary according to your reasons for travel, including business, tourism, retirement, study, family reunion, transit, and religious purposes.

Staying in Italy for less than 90 days

Should you wish to stay in Italy for less than 90 days, you may be exempt from requiring a visa.

Visitors who do not require a visa include:

  • EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens.
  • Citizens of countries covered by the Visa Waiver Agreement. These include: Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Bermuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominica, East Timor, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Moldova, Monaco, Montenegro, Nauru, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Salvador, Samoa, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Serbia, Samoa, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Tonga, Trinidad and Tobago, United Arab Emirates, United States of America, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Vatican and Venezuela.

 Important:

Citizens of any of the above will still require a valid national ID or passport which expires no less than three months after the intended date of departure from Italy.

If you are unsure whether your country of citizenship is covered by the Visa Waiver Agreement, you can use the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website to search for your specific scenario. Countries not covered by the Visa Waiver Agreement are also listed on the Schengen Visa Info website.

All other citizens must apply for a Schengen Uniform Visa to enter Italy.

In order to obtain your visa, it is recommended that you visit the Italian Embassy or Consulate in your home country. Generally, you will need to provide:

  • Entry Visa Application Form
  • Passport-size photographs
  • Valid passport/national ID with an expiry date at least three months after the departure from Italy date
  • Return ticket/booking
  • Proof of subsistence as required here
  • Supporting documentation on professional/health status
  • Health insurance (minimum €30,000 for emergency hospitalisation)
  • Proof of accommodation

 Good to know:

You can apply for an Entry Visa up to three months before your planned trip. Depending on your nationality, processing time can take between two and ten working days from the date of application.

Staying in Italy for longer than 90 days

If you’re planning to stay in Italy for longer than 90 days, you will need to visit the Italian Consulate in your country of residence.

 Good to know:

EU, EEA, and Swiss citizens do not need to apply for a visa to work anywhere else in the EU. However, if you plan to stay for longer than 90 days, you must register residency in your local municipality as soon as possible.

There are a variety of different types of long-term visas, with different criteria. The most common types include:

  • An Italian Elective Residence Visa is for foreigners (EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals excluded) who have chosen Italy as a permanent residence and who are able to support themselves without having to obtain employment in the country (dependent, self-employed, or remote). People who usually obtain this type of visa are retired, or have self-sustaining incomes and financial assets, for example, people with international investments or international properties. With this form of visa, you are not permitted to finance the residency through employment.
  • A student visa is for students over 18 years who can prove that they are enrolled in a course in an Italian educational institution or professional training for a specific amount of time. Student visas must be obtained before arrival in Italy and residency permits can be obtained once you have arrived in Italy. Most student visas allow you to work for up to twenty hours per week.
  • A work visa is for people who have already secured a job in Italy (EU, EEA, and Swiss nationals excluded). There are a number of different types of work permit (for example seasonal workers, startup) but in order to work in any capacity in Italy as an employed worker you must obtain authorisation for employed work. Please note that Italy operates on a quota system for the work visa, and it is fixed annually.

The process is administered regionally, so the exact requirements may vary slightly depending on the area of work. Once the application is successful, your employer will be given your ‘authorisation to work’ and the local municipality will inform the Italian Embassy in your country of residence, who will provide you with an Entry Visa and a Work Visa. The EU Immigration Portal contains further information for specific circumstances.

Foreigners who wish to work for themselves will still need to follow a similar process. For example, if you plan to open a business in Italy, you will need to apply to the Chamber of Commerce for a certificate confirming their approval of the business you’re hoping to open. You will need to prove your funding and qualifications, as well as business plans and credentials. Applicants hoping to run a start-up business may be eligible for a specific ‘Start-up Visa’, more details can be found on the Italian Visa Startup website.

  • A Family Reunification Visa can be applied for once you have a long-term residence permit and you have an adequate yearly gross income to provide for all reunited family members. Family members include: legitimate adult spouse, unmarried minor children or those of your spouse, dependent adult children with serious health difficulties, dependent parents who do not have children in their country of origin or parents over 65 (if their other children cannot provide support due to proven health reasons.) Family members must obtain an entry visa and apply for a residence permit upon entry into the country.

What do you need to apply for a visa?

You will usually need to bring along:

  • A valid passport
  • Accommodation arrangements
  • Document detailing purpose of visit
  • Proof of financial support

Other documentation varies depending on the type of visa which has been requested.

 Useful links:

Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy
EU Immigration Portal
Schengen Visa Portal

We do our best to provide accurate and up to date information. However, if you have noticed any inaccuracies in this article, please let us know in the comments section below.
Recommend
expat.com Your favourite team
Member since 01 June 2008
Small earth, Mauritius
Write a comment

See also

Before moving to Italy, you are advised to inquire on travel conditions. Citizens of non-European countries may need a visa.
For all those of you thinking of visiting Italy for one reason or another here are a few things to know about visas in Italy
Want to become a digital nomad in Italy? The digital nomad's guide to Italy will help you make the most of your nomadic life abroad.
An explanation of the choices and technicalities of watching British television programs from Italy
Finding a temporary job in Rome can be quite easy, according to the kind of job you are looking for. Permanent jobs, on the other hand, are rather rare.