An entry visa is an authorization granted to a foreigner to enter the territory of the Italian Republic. It is a special sticker applied to the passport or other valid travel document of the applicant.

What Is the Entry Visa?

An entry visa is an authorization granted to a foreigner to enter the territory of the Italian Republic. It is a special sticker applied to the passport or other valid travel document of the applicant.
The visa is issued by the Italian Representations abroad and allows access, for transit or for a short stay (up to 90 days), both in Italy and in other countries that apply the Schengen Convention (i.e. a treaty stipulated by most European states to facilitate the free movement of persons and cooperation between police forces), and takes the name of “Visa Schengen Uniform” (VSU). Similarly, the VSU issued by the diplomatic-consular Representations of other countries that apply the Convention also allows access to Italian territory.
The entry visa for a long stay (more than 90 days) takes the name of “National Visa” (VN) and allows access for long stays in the territory of the State that issued the visa and, provided valid, allows free movement for a period not exceeding 90 days per semester in the territory of other Member States.

Who Issues the Entry Visa

The competence to issue visas issued by the Italian Republic lies with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs through its network of authorized diplomatic-consular offices, which are responsible for ascertaining the possession and evaluation of the requirements necessary to obtain the visa itself, which will be issued by the Italian Representation territorially competent for the place of residence of the foreigner.
For the issuance of a Standard Schengen Visa (transit or short stay), the Representation of the Schengen State present in the place that is the sole or main destination of the trip is responsible for issuing the visa. If it is not possible to identify a main destination among the various stages of the journey, the Representation of the Schengen State of first entry will be responsible for issuing the visa.
For the issuing of a National Visa (long stay), the Representation of the Schengen State present in the place where the foreign citizen’s long stay destination is located is responsible for issuing the visa (for example, a Moroccan citizen who wants to enter Italy must obtain a National Visa from the Italian Consulate in Morocco).
If the Schengen State responsible for issuing the visa does not have its own diplomatic or consular representation in the country of residence of the foreign citizen, the uniform Schengen visa may be issued by the diplomatic or consular representation of another Schengen State that may represent it. There is no provision for delegating the issuance of national visas.
In exceptional cases, transit or short-stay visas may be issued directly by the border authorities.

How to Apply for an Entry Visa

A foreigner who intends to apply for an entry visa must go to the diplomatic or consular representation in person, where he/she will be heard about the reasons and circumstances of his/her stay.
In that place he/she must present:

  • the appropriate form in a single copy, completed in all its parts, signed by the alien;
  • a passport-sized photo;
  • A valid travel document, usually a passport, to which the visa can be physically affixed;
  • supporting documentation for the trip (where required).

The alien is required to certify:

  • the purpose of the trip;
  • the means of transport and return;
  • means of subsistence during travel and stay;
  • housing conditions.

Having assessed the admissibility of the visa application on the basis of the documentation produced by the applicant and of what has been learned during the interview – which is usually direct and personal – the Representation carries out the required preventive security checks, consulting the list of foreigners not admissible to the Schengen area by computer or telematic means through the World Visa Network.

How Soon Is the Entry Visa Issued

A “Uniform Schengen Visa” (VSU) is issued within 15 days, which may be extended, in the cases provided for, up to 60 days.
With regard to the issuance of a “National Visa” (VN), the law establishes that the diplomatic-consular Representation, after assessing the admissibility of the application and carrying out the required checks in relation to the type of visa requested, shall issue the visa within 90 days of the request (30 days for employment, 120 days for self-employment). Also, in this case, these deadlines may not be respected should it become necessary to carry out verifications, checks, and acquisition of data, documents, and evaluations of foreign authorities.

for What Reasons You Can Apply for an Entry Visa

A foreigner may apply for an entry visa for the following reasons: adoption, business, medical treatment, diplomatic, sports competition, invitation, self-employment, employment, mission, family reasons, religious reasons, re-entry, elective residence, research, study, airport transit, transit, transportation, tourism, working vacations, volunteer work.

What Are the Types of Entry Visas and Their Duration

There are three types of entry visas:

  • visti Schengen Uniformi (VSU);
  • Limited Territorial Validity (LTV) visas;
  • Long-stay or “National” (VN) visas.