Applying for a visa to Italy as a U.S. citizen

Dozens of millions of people from around the world visit Italy annually. However, many of them need to apply for an Italian Schengen visa first. That’s because Italy is one of the 29 member nations of the Schengen Zone. As such, it does have a visa-fee travel arrangement with the U.S. Nevertheless, whether you need to apply for a Schengen visa from the U.S. or not will depend on your particular situation. And when it comes to Italy in particular — AXA has all you need to know too.

Do U.S. citizens need a visa for Italy?

The good news is that, as a U.S. passport holder, you won’t need a visa to Italy from the USA (or any other Schengen country) as long as your trip is less than three months long (within a 180-day period). All you’ll need is a valid U.S. passport issued no more than 10 years before your entry into Italy and valid for at least three months after your planned date of exit.

The slightly bad news is that you’ll need a passport only until 2024. Because starting that year, U.S. passport holders will need to apply for a visa waiver through the EU’s European Travel Information and Authorisation System (aka ETIAS). And that’s to travel to Italy or anywhere else in Europe.

Meanwhile, if you’re planning on staying for longer than 90 days, you will need either a long-stay national visa and/or a residency permit. These can be obtained — respectively — from an Italian embassy/consulate (before coming to Italy) and by visiting an Italian post office and/or police station upon your arrival (in Italy). Those wishing to stay for more than 12 months may also have to sign a declaration of integration.

Can I travel to Italy with a Green Card?

As far as needing an Italy visa for Green Card holders (and non-citizen residents of the US of A), that depends on what country you are a citizen of originally. Because many states —such as India, China, Russia, and the 54 nations of Africa — do not have visa-free travel arrangements with Italy (or the rest of the Schengen Zone). The European Commission provides a full list of these nations here.

If you do need a visa despite your Green Card, you’ll need (at least):

  • a valid passport or travel document;
  • a valid U.S. residency permit (or Identity Card);
  • to fill out the following application form;
  • one passport format photo,
  • travel and medical insurance (covering up to €30,000 in costs and valid in all Schengen states);
  • your itinerary;
  • proof of accommodation;
  • a letter of invitation (if applicable);
  • proof of financial means.

How much does it cost to get a visa for Italy from the U.S.?

Schengen visa costs are universal, and a visa to Italy for one adult is €80 (i.e., around $80). For children between the ages of 6 and 12, it’s €40. And kids under 6 can get a Schengen visa for free.*

*The visa fee may sometimes also be waived for:

  • participants in certain seminars, conferences, sporting, cultural, and/or educational events (25yo or under);
  • students/teachers on study and/or training trips;
  • certain professionals traveling for the purpose of scientific research.

NOTE that you’ll also likely have to pay some extra administrative and/or service fees associated with your visa center and/or the respective officials.
Visa fees are not reimbursed if your visa is refused.

How to apply for an Italian visa from the U.S.A.


Again, AXA has everything you need to know about applying for a Schengen visa from the States. And that goes for Italy too. But it’s also a good call to double-check the latest info via Italy’s official visa website.

Once you have all your paperwork in order, you should make an appointment at your nearest U.S. Italian consulate of VFS Global center.

When should I apply for my Italian visa?

You should apply no earlier than six months and no later than 15 days before your departure date to Italy. But plan ahead — as in, it’s a good idea to start prepping all the paperwork at least a month in advance.

How long is the visa valid for?

The most common type of Schengen visa for Italy — i.e., the “short-stay” or Type C visa — is valid for up to 90 days in any 180-day period.

A “long-term” (or Type D) Italian, on the other hand, can be valid from 12 months to up to 5 years.

It all depends on the nature of your particular trip. But AXA can also help you figure out which Italian Schengen visa suits your needs best (and its length of validity) here.

Do I need travel insurance to apply for an Italian Schengen visa from the U.S.?

Yes. Travel insurance is a mandatory requirement when it comes to obtaining a Schengen Visa. And that goes for the U.S. and anywhere else in the world. Moreover, to be granted a visa your travel insurance must meet a certain set of requirements.

How AXA can help

And that’s exactly where we can help make your trip from the U.S. to Italy that much more realistic. AXA offers comprehensive Schengen visa travel insurance that ensures you can get the medical treatment you need — be it in Italy or anywhere else in the Schengen zone.

Our plans start from as little as €22/week. Furthermore, they meet all the necessary requirements for obtaining your Schengen visa, are accepted by all Schengen embassies and consulates, and can be purchased online in a matter of minutes.

In short, an AXA plan will both give you peace of mind and help you say Buongiorno, Italia! in no time.

Related Articles:

How long does it take to process a Schengen visa for Italy in the States?

Universally - it usually takes about 15 days. And that includes the U.S.A. Although in certain cases it may take the consulate or embassy up to two months.

Can I extend my Schengen visa when in Italy?

You can - but only under exceptional circumstances. You can learn more about said circumstances here.

Can I work or study in Italy with a tourist visa?

A tourist (or “short-stay”/TypeC) visa allows you to visit Italy (and the rest of the Schengen Zone) for vacation - to see family - or for a short business trip. However it cannot be converted into a work or study permit once you’re there.