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Do you want to move to Italy but aren’t sure of the type of VISA you need?
Now we try to clarify better!
Non-EU citizens planning to stay in Italy for more than three months will need a visa (visto). And the type you’ll need to apply for depends on why you want to live in Italy.
Suppose you’re a country citizen covered by European Union freedom of movement rules. In that case, visa requirements do not apply, but you will need an Italian residence permit for stays longer than 90 days.
How many types of Visa there are?
If you plan to stay in Italy for a long time, you need a long-stay visa, also known as the ‘Type D’ or ‘D-Visa’. You’ll need to get if you want to stay in Italy longer than 90 days – e.g. when moving here for study, work, family reasons, or retirement
Remember that a long-stay visa allows you to enter Italy. After that, you will also have to get an Italian residence permit (permesso di soggiorno) to be allowed to stay for longer than 90 days.
If you’re a citizen of another EU country, Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein or Switzerland, you don’t need a permit to work in Italy.
If you’re from another country, you will need a work visa. You will also need to check the requirements according to the type of work you intend to do, as Italy uses a quota system for permits for many occupations.
You must find a job before applying for a visa. The good news is that your employer will then complete most of the visa application process for you. All you need to do is provide them with the relevant paperwork.
Your employer will apply for permission to hire a migrant worker from the immigration desk at their local Prefettura (prefecture, the regional office of the central government). They will give the authorization to work. The Prefettura will inform the Italian consulate or embassy in your home country that your application will proceed.
Your local embassy will provide you with an entry visa, which should take less than 30 days. You’ll have six months from the date of authorization to visit your local Italian embassy and collect your access.
Non-EU students are required to obtain a student visa before entering Italy.
There are two types of student visas in Italy, depending on the duration of the study program:
Type C: Short-stay visa or travel visa (for a period not exceeding 90 days).
Type D: Long-stay visa (for more than 90 days).
When applying, you should provide a letter of acceptance to your course in Italy, as well as proof of accommodation, sufficient financial means and health insurance.
There is a visa available for dependents of an Italian citizen or a non-EU citizen with an Italian stay permit. By it, their spouse, children or dependent parents can stay in Italy.
You will need to provide evidence of your relationship with the person whose dependent you will be, for instance, marriage or birth certificates.
Foreign citizens can also apply for a visa to start a company in Italy, work as a qualified, self-employed professional (for instance, an accountant or translator), an experienced artisan, artist or athlete, or take a corporate managerial role.
Applicants must demonstrate that they have the equivalent qualifications and meet the same conditions required of Italians doing the same activity.
FOR RETIREES: ELECTIVE RESIDENCY VISA
This lesser-known type of visa is for those who want to live in Italy and have the financial means to support themselves without working. It is a retirement visa.
FOR YOUNG PEOPLE: WORKING HOLIDAY VISA
Italy also has a type of visa available only to people aged 18-30 from certain countries under a working holiday program.
Currently, Italy has Working Holiday Visa agreements with the following countries, and the requirements vary for each:
Whichever type of visa you need, you should apply for it at the Italian embassy or consulate in your home country before you leave. Bear in mind that the process can take a while – it’s best to ask your embassy for an idea of the required timeframe and then start as early as you can.
And remember that your visa isn’t the only permission you’ll need if you want to live in Italy.
After entering Italy with a long-stay visa, you have eight days to apply for a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno). The length of time this document will remain valid depends on the type of visa you have.
If you need to translate your documents you can visit my website https://www.italiancitizenshiptranslator.com/
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I'm Natalia Bertelli, an English/Spanish to Italian legal translator. Since 2008 I have been working on contracts, judicial deeds, certificates, corporate translations for foreign clients who want to do business in Italy, get a dual citizenship or simply settle in my beautiful country.