How to apply for an entrance visa

How to apply for an entrance visa

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How to apply for an entrance visa

In order to enter Italy, foreign nationals must have a valid passport and an entrance visa. Upon entrance to Italy, the border control authority will put an entrance stamp on the foreign national's passport, who, depending on the type of entrance visa, within 8 days must apply for a residence permit at the relevant Police Headquarters (Questura). 

Where to apply for a visa

The entrance visa is applied for and issued by a Diplomatic Representative and Italian Consular staff in the country of origin.

The Diplomatic Representative or Italian Consulate must check that the applicant meets all necessary requirements to receive a visa. The Consular Authority, upon issuing the entrance visa, checks that the foreign national has:

  • a valid passport or other travel document;
  • paperwork that confirms the motives and conditions of his/her stay;
  • economic means to support him/herself during his/her stay and to return home and any eventual suitable accommodation.

The entrance visa is issued for the duration of time that is predetermined by the motive for entrance to Italian territory. On the Ministry for Foreign Affairs website one can consult a list of Diplomatic Representatives and Italian Consolate staff abroad

Types of Visa

The collective code for visas allows for the following types of visa: 

  • Uniform Schengen Visa (USV) allows the holder to travel throughout all Schengen countries for short term periods of no more than 90 days, within the Schengen area.
  • Limited Territorial Validity visas (LTV or National NV visa) on the other hand allows the holder to travel solely within the member State where it was issued ;

In order to enable authorities to quickly identify the type of visa held, a letter is added to the “type of visa” section on the adhesive card, as follows:

A: Airport traffic, valid only in the international transit areas of airports;
B: Transit, valid for a maximum of 5 days;
C: Short term stays, up to a maximum of 90 days for business purposes, medical care, sporting events, invitation, autonomous work, subordinate work, mission work, religious reasons, study, transport, tourism.

D: Long term stays, for adoption, medical care, diplomatic reasons, additional family member , autonomous work, subordinate work, mission work, voluntary work, religious reasons, re-entry, elective residency, family reunification, study, working holiday.

The following is a list of reasons for which visas can be issued by Italian Diplomatic Consolar authorities abroad:

  • adoption;
  • business;
  • family reaons;
  • medical care;
  • diplomatic reasons;
  • sporting events;
  • invitation;
  • autonomous work;
  • subordinate work;
  • mission work;
  • religious reasons;
  • re-entry
  • elective residency;
  • study;
  • research;
  • transit;
  • tourism,
  • working holiday;
  • voluntary work.

Special Cases

Citizens from some countries outside the EU are exempt from the obligation to apply for an entrance visa for stays of no longer than 90 days for touristic, business, sporting, invitation or religious reasons.

All countries outside the European Union, whose citizens are required to obtain a visa to enter Italy, are listed in the appropriate section of the Schengen Agreement.

Some extra-ordinary residence permits do not need to be accompanied by an entrance visa: such as those seeking asylum or social protection.


Last update: martedì 13 dicembre 2016
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