The beautiful landscapes and rich cultural heritage make Italy one of the most visited countries in the world, however, for some visitors, tourist visas are required before coming here. Even so, it is not hard to apply for a tourist visa for Italy for those considering a vacation or a city break in one of Europe’s greatest countries.
Below, our immigration lawyers in Italy explain the main steps for obtaining a tourist visa. If you are interested in coming to Italy as a tourist or want to move here, you can rely on our help.
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Preparations before traveling to Italy
Foreign citizens who want to travel to Italy for short periods should prepare ahead. The first thing to do is verify if they need to apply for a visa before leaving their home countries. If EU citizens do not need to apply for any type of visa, non-EU and non-EEA citizens must check the type of visas they need. Our immigration lawyers in Italy advise non-EU citizens to also verify other aspects of their travel arrangements to this country.
With respect to non-EU citizens, these can apply for a tourist visa if they need to travel for short periods to Italy. Depending on their countries of residence, it is possible for other documents to be required when filing for an Italian tourist visa.
EU citizens visiting Italy
For citizens of the European Union and of the European Economic Area (EEA), there is no need to apply for a tourist visa for Italy. These enter Italy based on their identification documents or passports which do not require any stamp or sticker representing a visa. Italy is also a member of the Schengen area which is means that all citizens coming from other member states also have the right to free travel to Italy.
If you are an EU citizen and want to immigrate to Italy for another purpose than visiting, you can discuss your relocation options with one of our lawyers.
Non-EU citizens visiting Italy
For citizens of non-EU and non-EEA countries, visiting Italy requires tourist visas. These must be obtained with the Italian Embassy or Consulate in their home countries, however, the procedure is not complicated or lengthy.
The main documents required to obtain a tourist visa for Italy are:
- the visa application form which usually comes in an online form;
- the valid passport – usually a 6 months validity period is required in order to be issued the visa;
- proof of accommodation in the form of a hotel reservation must be presented;
- the airway ticket which will contain the flight number, the date of departure and return;
- travel insurance and proof of sufficient financial resources to suffice for the duration of the visit.
In some cases, an itinerary of the visit could be required. In it, the tourist must also provide information about the places the person will visit and if these places are located in another Schengen state. For those traveling under an organized tour, a letter from the tour operator will be required.
It is also possible to apply for an Italian tourist visa for coming here and seeing family or friends, which is why for the citizens visiting for this purpose, a letter of invitation will be required.
The documents you will need to file in order to obtain the tourist visa depend very much on your reasons, which is why we invite you to discuss with our immigration lawyers in Italy who can provide the necessary support before traveling here.
An important aspect to consider for non-EU citizens who have Schengen visas is that they do not need to apply for another visa when coming to Italy for tourism purposes.
If you are considering relocation to Italy, however, do not doubt in asking for our immigration services.
Steps for applying for a tourist visa for Italy
Citizens who need to apply for tourist visas for Italy need to consider a few important things. Among these, the application procedure which should begin no later than 2 weeks before the travel, however, we advise on applying for the required visa as soon as the flight was booked. This is because the processing time of the visa is particular for each country.
The steps that will be completed when applying for a tourist visa for Italy consist of:
- booking the appointment and completing the application form;
- preparing the documents required for the visa (one should make sure all documents are in place in order to not delay the issuance of the visa);
- filing the application form and the documents with the Italian Embassy or Consulate;
- participating in the interview and paying the visa fees;
- picking up the passport after the visa is issued.
If you need help in organizing the documents for applying for a tourist visa, you can rely on our expat services in Italy.
The tourist Schengen visa for Italy
As mentioned above, the Schengen visa can also be used for traveling to Italy as the country is the Schengen area. This aspect offers a lot of benefits especially to non-EU citizens who are settled in one of these countries and want to come to Italy.
When applying for a tourist visa for Italy as a resident of a Schengen country, one must provide additional documents among which a bank statement that must indicate the financial status of the applicant for the past 6 months, the travel itinerary, and evidence on how the trip will be financed.
Traveling to Italy under organized tours
An important share of the foreign citizens who come to Italy based on tourist visas prefers organized tours. This option has the advantage of obtaining the documents related to the travel much faster, as the organizer can handle the process partially or totally. In certain cases, the tour operator can even handle the tourist visa application procedure.
When traveling to Italy with an organized tour, the visitor must obtain certain information from the travel agency, such as the flight ticket number and the itinerary.
The procedure of traveling to Italy based on a tourist visa has been simplified and the procedure can be completed in a matter of days, however, it is useful to know that one should start the process earlier in order to have all aspects covered.
If you want to immigrate to Italy and need assistance, our lawyers are at your service with tailored support.
Insurance requirements when seeking to obtain a tourist visa for Italy
One of the main requirements associated to obtaining an Italian tourist visa is having health insurance. Tourists, however, can also apply for travel insurance if they want to have extra protection in case of accidents or other unpredictable situations. The travel insurance is a good option for those who to practice various sports, as well as for recovering the amount of money paid for the vacation in case they cannot travel anymore.
With respect to the mandatory health insurance, the minimum services it can cover must be 30,000 euros. This requirement is available on the entire Schengen territory. Speaking of it, foreign citizens can also come to Italy based on their Schengen visas if they are residents of member countries.
Funds for staying in Italy
Depending on the duration of stay, foreign citizens coming to Italy based on tourist visas must also submit proof of sufficient funds. Those who want to stay in Italy for no more than 5 days, around 270 euros will suffice. For those planning to stay at least 10 days, the minimum amount of money to be secured per day is 45 euros, while for periods exceeding 11 days but no more than 20 days, foreign nationals must dispose of at least 52 euros per day.
If you plan on traveling to Italy, out immigration lawyers can offer various services depending on the duration of your stay and the type of visa you need.
Can a tourist visa be used for other purposes?
Even if the main purpose of the Italian tourist visa is travel, it is useful to know that non-EU citizens can also use this type of visa to come here for business reasons. This means that if a non-EU national plans to start a business or is in the process of company incorporation and needs to travel to Italy for various formalities, the tourist visa can be used for entering the country.
In this case, supporting documents should be prepared.
Our lawyers in Italy can also help foreign investors who are interested in business immigration. We remind these that Italy also has various programs dedicated to non-EU high net worth individuals who want to move here. The Golden Visa Scheme in Italy is one of the most successful programs in the EU.
The tourism sector in Italy
Tourism is one of the most important economic sectors in Italy, which is why there are numerous agencies that promote it. According to recent statistics published by statista.com:
- Italy is the 5th most visited country in the world and 3rd international tourist attraction in Europe;
- in 2018, there were 94 million international tourists in Italy;
- out of the 94 million, 1,8 million were U.S. citizens who were accommodated in Rome;
- in 2019, Venice was one of the most visited cities in Italy with 4,77 million tourists.
If you want to visit Italy, you can rely on our assistance in obtaining a tourist visa. You can also contact us if you are interested in immigrating to Italy.
Please mind that the tourist visa can’t be used as a way to apply for citizenship in Italy. For this, you must be the holder of a long-term/permanent visa, and to have a valid permanent residence permit as well.
Being a permanent resident in Italy is a prerequisite for citizenship, and it is necessary when the foreigner will become a citizenship through naturalization.