Italy Visa – Applying for a Schengen Visa to Italy

If you are planning on visiting Italy, you might need a Schengen visa to enter the country. Although the application process is easy and straightforward, some people might find it difficult. This is why it is crucial to understand the Schengen visa application process to avoid any misunderstandings or mistakes that could delay or affect the outcome of your application.

Our visa experts have crafted the following guide to assist you at every stage of the Italian Schengen visa application process. Filled with valuable insights and in-depth information based on our expertise, this comprehensive guide will aid you in thoroughly preparing for your upcoming Italian adventure.

Step by Step Italian Schengen Visa Application Process

How to Apply for a Schengen Visa to Italy?

Here is the step-by-step guide on how to apply for an Italy Schengen visa:

  1. Check if you need a visa.
  2. Understand the type of visa you need.
  3. Determine where to lodge your application.
  4. Complete and download the visa application form.
  5. Schedule your visa appointment.
  6. Prepare the required documents.
  7. Attend your appointment.
  8. Wait for the visa to process.
  9. Collect your passport.

Check if You Need a Visa

Depending on your nationality, you may not need an Italy to enter the country at all, which is why it’s important to verify this before planning your trip.

Who Needs a Visa?

You will have to apply for a visa when travelling to Italy if you are:

Additionally, even if you are from a country which has a visa-free agreement, you may need to apply for a visa if you have been denied entry, for any reason.

Who Doesn’t Need a Visa?

You do not need a Schengen visa to enter Italy if:

Verify if You Need a Visa for Italy

You can also verify your visa requirement via the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

Here you have to answer a few questions as follows:

visa application question

According to your answers, the website will create an overview of your data and will provide you with the visa application form and what documents you need based on the reason for the visit you picked.

summary of information entered

If you do not need a visa, the website will display the following information:

questionnaire result

Understand the Type of Visa You Need

You must keep in mind that the Schengen visa is the same uniform visa but can be issued for different purposes based on the reason why you are visiting Italy. Furthermore, you also have the option to apply for a long-term national D visa if you plan to stay longer than 90 days (the maximum validity period of a Schengen visa).

Short-term Visa Types

  • Airport transit visa. You need a transit visa if you are traveling via Italy to join a connecting flight towards your main destination.
  • Tourist Visa. This visa is issued to you if you are planning to visit Italy only for tourism purposes.
  • Visitor Visa. If you have a family member or a friend who you are visiting in Italy, then you need to apply for this visa.
  • Business Visa. You need to apply for a business visa if you are planning to visit Italy to meet a business partner or take part in a business meeting or conference.
  • Medical Visa. If you are planning on entering Italy to receive short-term medical treatment, then you need to apply for a medical visa.
  • Cultural Visa. You can apply for this visa if you are attending a cultural event, sporting event, or competition in Italy or if you are entering the country as a part of a filming crew.
  • Short term study Visa. You can apply for this visa if you are planning to attend a short-term study course in Italy.

Long-term Visa Types

  • Italy Working Holiday Visa. If you’re looking to travel and work in Italy temporarily, you’ll need to apply for a working holiday visa; you can apply for this visa only if you are a citizen of countries that have a working holiday agreement with Italy.
  • Italy Work Visa. You can apply for this visa if you have an employer or a work contract in Italy.
  • Italy Student Visa. Students attending long-term studies in Italy need to obtain a student visa for their studies.
  • Italy Family Reunification Visa. If you’re joining family members who are already residing in Italy, you’ll need to apply for a family reunification visa.
  • Italy Retirement Visa (Elective Residency Visa). Individuals looking to retire in Italy can apply for a retirement visa, also known as an elective residency visa.
  • Italy Self-Employment Visa. Entrepreneurs and self-employed individuals planning to establish a business in Italy will need to obtain a self-employment visa.
  • Italy Seasonal Worker Visa. If you’re planning to work in Italy temporarily for seasonal employment, such as agriculture or tourism, you’ll need a seasonal worker visa.

Determine Where to Lodge Your Application

Once you’ve answered the initial questions, here, the website will guide you on where to apply for the visa. If there’s a visa application centre (VAC) in your country, you’ll be directed to submit your application there. Otherwise, you’ll need to submit your application directly at the Italian embassy or consulate. The website will provide the necessary address details based on the available options in your country.

Finding the Right Submission Location

Applying from a country in Europe

  • If you are a resident of Ireland or United Kingdom, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through VFS Global.
  • If you are a resident of Belarus, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through the Italian visa application center TLS Contact.
  • If you are a resident of Türkiye, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through the Italian visa application center iData.

Countries where you can apply for an Italian visa at the Embassy or Consulate of another Schengen country

Residents of Submit the application at
Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Russia, San Marino, Serbia, Ukraine, Vatican City The Italian Embassy or Consulates in these countries
Andorra The Spanish Embassy

Residents in all other European countries not mentioned above have to submit their Italian Schengen visa applications to the Italian embassy or consulate in their country of residence.

Applying from a country in Africa

  • If you are a resident of Algeria, Angola, Botswana, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Libya, Morocco, Mozambique, South Africa, Sudan, or Suriname, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through VFS Global.
  • If you are a resident of Nigeriayou are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through the Italian visa application center TLS Contact.
    • If you are a resident of Madagascar, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through the French visa application center TLS Contact
    • If you are a resident of Rwanda, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through the Belgian visa application center TLS Contact
  • If you are a resident of Senegal, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa application through the Italian visa application center BLS International.
    • If you are a resident of Equatorial Guinea or Mauritania, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa application through the Spanish visa application center BLS International.
  • If you are a resident of Cameroon, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through the Italian visa application center Capago.
    • If you are a resident of Benin, Burkina Faso or Guinea, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through the French visa application center Capago.
  • If you are a resident of Democratic Republic of the Congo, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through the Belgian visa application center CEV.

Countries where you can apply for an Italian visa at the Embassy or Consulate of another Schengen country

Residents of Submit the application at
Angola, Eritrea, Gabon, Sudan, Tanzania, Tunisia, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe The Italian Embassy or Consulates in these countries
Burundi The Belgian Embassy
Cabo Verde, São Tomé and Príncipe The Portuguese Embassy or Consulates in these countries
Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Mauritius, Niger The French Embassy or Consulates in these countries

Residents in all other African countries not mentioned above have to submit their Italian Schengen visa applications to the Italian embassy or consulate in their country of residence.

Applying from a country in Asia

  • If you are a resident of Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, India, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Maldives, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, United Arab Emirates, or Vietnam, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through VFS Global.
  • If you are a resident of Armenia, Lebanon, or Syria, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through the Italian visa application center TLS Contact.
  • If you are a resident of Georgia, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through the Italian visa application center Esteri
  • If you are a resident of Singapore or Kazakhstan, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa application through the Italian visa application center BLS International.
    • If you are a resident of Brunei, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa application through the Singaporean visa application center BLS International.
  • If you are a resident of Iran, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through the Italian visa application center VisaMetric.
  • If you are a resident of Tajikistan, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through the German visa application center iData.

Countries where you can apply for an Italian visa at the Embassy or Consulate of another Schengen country

Residents of Submit the application at
Afghanistan, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Myanmar, North Korea, Taiwan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan The Italian Embassy or Consulates in these countries
North Korea The Swedish Embassy
Timor-Leste The Portuguese Embassy

Residents in all other Asian countries not mentioned above have to submit their Italian Schengen visa applications to the Italian embassy or consulate in their country of residence.

Applying from a country in South America

  • If you are a resident from Chile, you are required to submit the Italian Schengen visa applications through VFS Global

Countries where you can apply for an Italian visa at the Embassy or Consulate of another Schengen country

Residents of Submit the application at
Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Paraguay, Uruguay, Venezuela The Italian Embassy or Consulates in these countries
Trinidad and Tobago The Deutsch Embassy

Residents in all other South American countries not mentioned above have to submit their Italian Schengen visa applications to the Italian embassy or consulate in their country of residence.

Applying from a country in North America and the Caribbean

Countries where you can apply for an Italian visa at the Embassy or Consulate of another Schengen country

Residents of Submit the application at
Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, United States The Italian Embassy or Consulates in these countries
The Bahamas The US Embassy
Belize The Mexican Embassy
Jamaica The Deutsch Embassy
Saint Lucia, Haiti The French Embassy or Consulates in these countries

Residents in all other North America and the Caribbean countries not mentioned above have to submit their Italian Schengen visa applications to the Italian embassy or consulate in their country of residence.

Applying from a country in Oceania

Countries where you can apply for an Italian visa at the Embassy or Consulate of another Schengen country

Residents of Submit the application at
Australia, New Zealand The Italian Embassy or Consulates in these countries
Cook Islands The New Zealand Embassy
Vanuatu The French Embassy

Residents in all other Oceanian countries not mentioned above have to submit their Italian Schengen visa applications to the Italian embassy or consulate in their country of residence.

Who Should Apply for a Schengen Visa at Italian Visa Authorities

If Italy is the only country in the Schengen Area you plan to visit, it’s straightforward – apply at the Italian embassy/consulate or the authorized Visa Application Center (VAC) in your country of residence. However, if your journey includes Italy and at least one more Schengen state, apply at the Italian embassy/consulate/VAC in your country of residence only if:

  • You will spend more days in Italy than in the other Schengen countries.
  • You will spend an equal amount of time in each country, but you are starting your Schengen adventure by entering through Italy.

You can’t apply for a short-stay Italian visa from a country where you are currently on a short-stay visa. You must hold a residence permit in the country where you are applying.

For more in-depth details, please refer to: How to Choose the Right Embassy/Consulate/VAC to Submit the Visa Application.

Complete and Download the Visa Application Form

To start your visa application, complete the official visa application form with your personal details, travel history, and purpose of visit. Ensure all information is accurate and complete. You can either fill out the form electronically and then print it or print it first and fill it out by hand. The printed copy will be crucial during your visa appointment or when submitting your application through designated channels.

Complete Online Application form

After you’ve received an answer as to whether you need a visa and where to submit your application, you can go ahead with the online application as follows:

Complete the Schengen Visa Application Form

To proceed with the application, you must click on “View” under the Documents and Forms section, which can be found in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, where you completed the questionnaire.

documents and forms

Once you click on View, you will automatically be taken to the official website of the online application. There you can find the three steps of the application process. Start the online Schengen visa application by clicking on “Proceed to online form.”

online visa application form

You also have the option to change the language as required depending on the available options from your chosen country.

Section 1. Applicant / General information

After clicking to proceed with the online application, you will be taken to a new window where you must provide your personal details.

applicant information

Please take note of the part where it says that information is not required for family members of EU, EEA, or Swiss citizens. Once you complete the answers click “Next” to continue.

Section 2. Home Address

The next part of your online application includes questions about your home address. Make sure to complete it all correctly.

home address

Section 4. Travel Documents

Provide the data for your travel document, such as travel document number, country of issue, etc.

personal details

Section 5. Travel Information

This section requires information regarding your travel, such as the reason for your trip, the country you will be traveling to, the duration of your stay, etc. Make sure you provide correct and relevant information.

travel information

Section 7. References, EU, EEA, or CH Citizens

This section applies only to family members of EU, EEA, or CH citizens (spouse, child, or dependent ascendant). If you are a non-EU national, skip this step and click “Print”.

print application form

Finish

Once you reach this point, your application is filled out and ready to print. You have the option to save your data and print your application later, whichever option suits you best.

Either way, once you click “Print,” your application will be downloaded automatically as a PDF file, and then you can print out the application and attach it to the rest of the documents so you can submit it to the corresponding embassy or visa application centre.

Please ensure to print the complete file, especially the final page with the barcode which you will need as it contains your entries in a machine-readable format.

appendix for applicants for schengen visa

Schedule Your Visa Appointment

Once you’ve finished filling out the visa application form online, you have to schedule an appointment with the corresponding Italian foreign representative as follows:

Make the Appointment

  • If you are from Algeria, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Botswana, China, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Iraq, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kenya, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan, Libya, Maldives, Morocco, Mozambique, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, Palestine, Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates, United Kingdom, or Vietnam, book an appointment with VFS Global; on their website, open an account and pick the “book an appointment” option.
  • If you are from Cameroon, Kazakhstan, Senegal, or Singapore, book an appointment with BLS International; here, you must open an account and find the book an appointment option.
  • If you are from Armenia, Belarus, Lebanon, Nigeria, or Syria, book an appointment with TLS Contact.
  • If you are from Türkiye, book an appointment with iData.
  • If you are from anywhere else, book an appointment with the local Italian embassy or consulate with the Prenotami online booking system. You must open an account to make any appointments.

When Should I Make an Appointment?

You are advised to book an appointment for your visa application a minimum of 15 days before your intended travel date. However, you cannot book an appointment earlier than six months before traveling. It’s important to schedule an appointment promptly to ensure you receive your visa on time; you must also take into account if there are any open slots for your appointment which may prolong the waiting time for an appointment.

Appointment Fee

Scheduling an appointment for an Italian visa application is free of charge. However, there are other fees associated with the application process, which we have outlined below in this article.

We highly advise against scheduling appointments through non-accredited third-party intermediaries, as they may add extra fees.

How Do I Change or Cancel an Appointment?

To change or cancel your Italy visa appointment, you must use the services available at the designated centre where you initially scheduled your appointment:

  • If you’ve booked an appointment with VFS, BLS, or TLS, you need to log in to your account and find the “cancel an appointment” button. Some visa application centres may allow you to even reschedule your appointment, but this depends on the specific visa application centre; you will have all the information available within your account.
  • If you’ve booked an appointment with the Prenotami online booking system, to cancel your appointment, you need to log in to your account and go to the option “my appointments.” You will have all the information about your booked appointment and the option to cancel your current appointment. You cannot reschedule your current appointment, but after you cancel it, you can request a new one at a different time and date.

Please note that you cannot cancel or reschedule an appointment with either option on the day of your actual appointment; you must do so a minimum of 24 to 48 hours in advance.

Prepare the Required Documents

To meet the short-term stay visa requirements for Italy, applicants must submit the following documents to the Italian embassy or consulate:

Each visa application undergoes a personalized review, so the required documents may differ. The Italian authorities may also ask for additional documentation in some cases.

Please ensure that you have all the documents with you since you may risk getting your visa denied if something is missing from your application.

Understanding the Requirement for Travel Insurance

Travel Medical Insurance is compulsory for Schengen visas under Regulation (EU) 2009/810 of the European Parliament.

Italy visa applicants can obtain visa insurance from either Europ Assistance or vti.travel, a European insurance comparison website, comparing insurance policies of AXA, Allianz, Europ Assistance and Mutuaide.

These insurance providers are acknowledged and accepted by Italian Embassies and Consulates worldwide. Moreover, you can cancel the insurance at no cost by submitting proof of Italy visa rejection.

How Much Money Do I Need to Apply for an Italy Schengen Visa?

For a duration ranging from 1 to 5 days, the amount required for an Italy Schengen visa per person is €269.60. Please note that the required amount increases as the days you plan to spend in Italy also increase.

Attend Your Appointment

After you print out the application form and assemble your documents, you must attend the visa appointment and submit in person your visa application at the designated visa application centre or embassy/consulate.

Biometrics

On the day of your visa appointment, you must submit your biometric information, i.e., your fingerprints and photographs.

However, you may be exempted from this requirement if you’ve applied for a Schengen visa in the last 59 months since your data will still be valid, and you do not need to resubmit your biometric information again.

Attend the Visa Interview

You will also need to attend a visa interview, answering questions about your planned trip to Italy. The focus of the interview will solely be on your planned activities during your visit and the duration of your stay.

Pay the Schengen Visa Application Fee

On the day when you submit your application you are also required to pay a Schengen visa fee of €90; the fee is halved to €45 for minors. Please note that if you apply for your visa via a visa application centre, you may be required to pay an additional fee of up to €40 to have your visa processed.

Can Someone Else Apply on My Behalf?

Someone else can apply on your behalf only if you’ve given them the authorisation to do so and only in cases where you are not required to show up in person at the designated appointment to submit your biometric information.

Wait for the Visa to Process

Wait for your visa application to be processed. You will be notified of your Schengen visa application status (approved/rejected) once a decision has been made.

Track Your Application

To track the status of your application, you need a reference number which is usually stamped on the receipt of your visa application fee.

The actual tracking process depends on where you submitted your application:

  • If you’ve applied for your Italy visa via a visa application centre (VFS, BLS, or TLS), you can track your application on their website using your reference number and passport number.
  • If you’ve applied for your visa directly to an embassy or consulate, online tracking may not be possible.

Receiving a positive decision

If your visa application is approved, you will receive a notification, usually an email, to notify you of the final decision. You can then pick up your passport, enter Italy, and stay in the country as per the validity of your visa.

Receiving a negative decision

If you’ve received a negative decision, you will find the reasons for your refusal highlighted in the denial notice.

In this case, you can either appeal against the decision or reapply for the visa. To reapply for the visa, ensure that you already have addressed the issues that caused your denial in the first place and then go through the process again.

How Can I Appeal a Negative Decision?

To appeal against a negative decision on your Schengen Italy visa application, you need to send an appeal request to the Regional Administrative Court (T.A.R.) of Lazio based in Rome. You must send your request within 60 days of having received your negative decision.

Additionally, you may not be able to send the appeal on your own; you need to employ a legal representative to send the appeal request on your behalf.

Will My Visa Fee Be Refunded?

No, you will not receive a refund of your Italy visa fee, even in cases of denial. The fee is meant to cover the costs and expenses it takes to receive, process, and give a final decision on your visa, which is why a refund is not possible, regardless of the final outcome.

Collect Your Passport

Finally, you can collect your passport in one of the following ways:

  • Pick it up in person. You have to pick up your passport in person either at the embassy/consulate or visa application center where you lodged your application. You will find the instructions on how and when to pick up your passport in the final decision regarding your visa application.
  • Receive your passport by courier. If you apply via a VAC, you may have the option to have your passport sent to you by courier after your visa has been processed. But for this service, you need to pay an extra fee.

How to Enter Italy?

Once you obtain your visa, you can find the dates you can travel to Italy on your visa sticker, which will be stamped on your passport.

On the day of your departure, you must have with you other documents besides your Schengen visa. These documents include the following:

  • A valid travel document (passport) with the visa sticker attached.
  • Proof of accommodation.
  • Ticket for return journey.
  • Documentation of sufficient funds.
  • Valid travel health insurance.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the validity of a Schengen Italy visa?

The Schengen visa for Italy allows stays of up to 90 days within a 180-day window for short visits. The day count starts as soon as you enter Italy and stops the moment you leave the Schengen Area.

Is it possible to extend my Schengen visa?

It is possible to extend your Schengen visa for Italy, but only under exceptional circumstances such as force majeure, humanitarian needs, or significant personal reasons. To extend your stay, you need to contact your local “Questura office where you are staying in Italy so you can submit a request for an extension.

Can I visit other Schengen countries with an Italy visa?

With an Italian-issued Schengen visa, you are free to explore other Schengen countries within the period of your visa, provided you adhere to the 90/180-day regulation.

Can I travel to non-Schengen countries with an Italian Schengen visa?

Beyond the Schengen Area, your Schengen visa also permits travel to certain non-EU and non-Schengen countries.

Can I work in Italy with a Schengen visa?

The Schengen visa does not permit engagement in paid employment in Italy. For work purposes, a specific work visa  is required.

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