How to apply for a Visa to Italy ?
Do I need a Schengen visa to travel to Italy ?
As part of the Schengen area, Italy requires from its visitors to apply for an Italy Schengen visa for stays shorter than 90 days. This does not apply to all countries.
Some, such as the US, Canada, Brazil, Australia and Mexico have visa-free arrangements with the European Union, therefore citizens of these countries do not need a Schengen visa to visit Italy. Starting 2021, they will however need to apply for an ETIAS visa waiver to travel.
Citizens of countries which do not have a visa waiver deal with the EU, such as China, India, Russia and all African nations need a Schengen visa to visit Italy, even if they are permanent residents of countries enjoying visa waiver arrangements. If you are an Indian citizen but a UK resident, you will need a Schengen visa If you are a Nigerian citizen but a US resident, you will also need a Schengen visa. Whether you need a Schengen visa or not depends on your nationality not your place of residence.
A Schengen visa covers travel in all countries within the Schengen Area of Europe (countries which have abolished border controls between each other).
How do I apply for a visa to Italy?
According to where you live and where you are from, there are different options. You can
- either contact your nearest Italian embassy or consulate
- or apply through the official VFS Global Italy Visa Centre website.
In the UK, visa services are handled by the Italian consulates in London and Edinburgh. You will be given an appointment to apply in person with all the required documents either at the consulate or in a VFS centre in London, Manchester, Edinburgh or Cardiff depending on the purpose of your visit to Italy.
Visa for Italy from India
Visa for Italy from the USA
In the US, depending on where you live you will either apply for your Schengen visa at the Italian Embassy in Washington DC or at a Consulate General of Italy which are located in main cities. You will be asked to fill-out an application form on line, print it and submit it with the other required documents to the consular Officer during a previously booked appointment.
Biometric data (i.e. fingerprints) are collected when you apply for an Italy Schengen visa for the first time.
Which documents are required to apply for a Schengen visa for Italy ?
Italy visa requirements
To obtain a Schengen visa for Italy you will be asked to provide specific documents (original and copy).
Depending on your situation and the purpose of your stay, you may be asked for additional documents (photocopies of previous Schengen visas, driver’s licence, car registration number etc…) .
Here is a list of the basic mandatory documents for an Italy Tourist visa:
- a Schengen visa application form, signed and completed with your personal information,
- a recent passport-sized photograph, meeting the criteria required for official documents
- a valid passport (with 2 blank adjacent pages), your residence permit if applicable: expiration dates should be minimum 3 months beyond the date when you will leave the Schengen area.
- your confirmed returned ticket (roundtrip)/travel reservations or proof that you have your own means of transport
- proof of sufficient means of subsistence: recent bank statements (not older than 3 months) or letter of sponsorship
- Proof of your social and professional status: a signed letter of employment/proof of self-employment or business ownership (registration number, recent company tax return and company bank statements)/ proof of enrolment for students/unemployment document/retirement statement. The letter of employment or enrolment must specify the duration of the contract/course.
- A health & travel insurance certificate: your insurance must cover a minimum of €30,000 ($26,855) for health emergencies (hospitalisation, repatriation) and be valid in all countries of the Schengen area even if you have no plans to visit them during your stay.
- Proof of accommodation: according to the purpose of your stay, you will need to provide:
- for a Tourist visa : proof of hotel bookings for every night of your stay in the country. Confirmed hotel reservations stating name, address and telephone of the hotel, a confirmation number as well as your name and personal information (+one copy).
- for cruise ship travellers: booking confirmation with detailed itinerary and the address of the first port of entry (+one copy).
- for a Visitor visa: a signed declaration of hospitality (DICHIARAZIONE GARANZIA E/O ALLOGGIO) (+one copy).
- if you are travelling for business:
- a schedule of your stay with your business contacts or a signed letter of invitation from an Italian company
- documentation linked to your business operations
Keep in mind that submitting all your documents does not guarantee visa issuance.
How much does a Schengen visa for Italy cost ?
Starting January 2020, Schengen visa application fees are €80, €40 for children between 6 to 12 years old. For citizens of Albania, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bosnia – Herzegovina, Georgia, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Serbia and Ukraine, application fees are 40€.
Note that service provided by VFS incurs an extra cost.
What are the financial subsistence requirements when applying for an Italy Schengen Visa?
According to Italy’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, for stays of up to five days you need to prove you have access to €269.60 for your overall trip, with longer stays requiring you to prove you have funds amounting to between €27.89 and €51.64 per person per day, depending on the length of your trip, amount of travelers and plans.
What is the processing time to obtain my visa to Italy?
Processing time depends on the country in which you are applying as well as your situation:
- In the US and the UK it may take between 7 to 15 days after your appointment.
Processing is longer from May to September as well as in December.
It is strongly advised to apply minimum 2 or 3 weeks in advance but applications can not be processed earlier than 6 months before your planned departure date.
What is Schengen travel insurance?
When wishing to travel in the Schengen area, travel insurance is mandatory to obtain an Italy visa. This insurance must cover a minimum of €30.000 for your emergency medical expenses (such as injury, illness, hospitalisation, repatriation).
You will need to enclose a travel insurance certificate with your application file.
Why choose AXA Schengen Insurance ?
AXA’s Schengen travel insurance is certified by embassies and consulates and meets all the necessary requirements to obtain a Schengen visa.
When you subscribe to an AXA Schengen insurance, your certificate will be sent to you by email immediately after your online subscription. All you need to do is print the certificate and enclose it with your application file.
Under certain conditions, it can be refunded if your visa application is denied.
AXA’s Low Cost travel Insurance only costs 0.99€ a day and will cover the possible expenses linked to you or your loved ones’ emergency medical needs.
Other Schengen countries you might be interested in
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Frequently asked questions (FAQs) about obtaining an Italy Schengen Visa
I plan to work in Italy, can I do this with an Italy Schengen Visa?
No. Although you can use a Schengen Visa to make a business trip to Italy, to work full or part-time in Italy you will need a national Italy work visa and residence permit.
Can I change my visa type or my residence status once in Italy?
You cannot make any changes to your Italy Schengen Visa type or residence status after you arrive.
As an Italy short-stay Schengen Visa holder, can I extend my visa while in Germany?
Yes, you can extend your Italy Schengen Visa but only in exceptional cases where new facts and special reasons arise after entry.