Visas for Italy
The requirements and process to get a visa for Italy will vary depending on the applicant's country of origin and their reason for visiting Italy.
Citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Free Trade Association (EFTA), and those from a designated list of countries drawn up by the Italian government are afforded visa-free entry into Italy and the right to a 90-day stay.
All EU and EFTA citizens need to cross the border is a passport valid for three months after their departure date; no additional tourist visa or business visa is required. This list includes Canada, New Zealand, Australia and the USA, but does not include India or South Africa, among others.
Citizens of the European Union (EU) may also legally work in Italy without a work permit. All they would need to do is apply for a residence card in order to navigate bureaucratic channels and tap into certain parts of local life, like opening a bank account.
Citizens of countries not appearing on the visa-free list must apply for a Schengen visa to gain entry into Italy for tourism or business purposes.
Schengen visas for Italy
There are two main types of visas for Italy. The Uniform Schengen Visa (USV) or type C is a short-term visa that is valid for up to 90 days and allows for travel to Italy and other Schengen states. The second kind of visa is the National Visa (NV) or type D, a long-term entry visa that allows the holder to stay in Italy as well as travel to other member states for a maximum of 90 days every six months. The type D visa is valid for six months.
Type C and D visas fall into a number of different categories, each of which has their own requirements. Prominent among these are the visas for business, subordinate work, independent work, working holiday and study.
Schengen visas allow individuals access to 26 EU member states (except the UK and Ireland), as well as three non-EU member states (Switzerland, Iceland and Norway).
Non-EU citizens who want to work in Italy will need to apply for a work permit.
Residence permits for Italy
If staying in Italy for more than 90 days, expats will need to apply for a residence permit. Expats will need to prove a legitimate reason for their stay, and this will determine the length of the permit's validity. For instance, a residence permit can be granted for seasonal work, valid for up to six months (or, in some cases, nine months), or for study purposes, valid for up to a year, or for self-employment, open-ended employment, or family reunification, valid for up to two years.
Holders of residence permits close to their expiring will need to apply for a renewal at least 90, 60 or 30 days before the expiry date, depending on the length the permit was granted for.
*Visa requirements can change at short notice and expats should contact their respective embassy or consulate for the latest details.