Find out whether you require visa?
You must first determine whether your country of nationality requires a visa to enter Italy. EU nationals from countries within Schengen borders don’t require visas for visits to Italy but require a permit to stay (permesso di soggiorno) if they plan to remain longer than 90 days. Some countries, such as the UK and United States also do not require visas for visits of under 90 days, but require visas for visits of longer duration. Applications should be made at an Italian consulate abroad at least 3 months before the intended date of travel. There are two main categories of visas:
- Short-stay visas – applicable for visits of up to 90 days. There are two short-stay categories of visas: Uniform Schengen Visas (USVs) and Limited Territorial Validity Visas (LTVs). USVs are more common and valid for allSchengen member states while LTVs are valid to some, but not all member states and are only issued in exceptional circumstances. These are “type C” visas.
- Long-stay visas – valid for more than 90 days. These are national visas (VN) which allow you to stay in the country of issue for long periods of time. VNs also allow you to travel within Schengen area for up to 90 days. These are “type D” visas.
The fees for entry visas in Italy can vary considerably. It can take up to a month to obtain a routine visa or up to 90 days. A visa is usually valid for a first entry within 60 days. If you require a visa to enter Italy and attempt to enter without one, you will be refused entry. If you’re still in doubt as to whether you require a visa to enter Italy, ask at your local Italian consulate at home before making travel plans.
If you required a visa to enter Italy and have entered the country and obtained a permit to stay, you may still require a re-entry visa to return to Italy after a trip abroad. This must be obtained from your local police headquarters before leaving Italy.