FAQs (frequently asked questions)


1. I am a US citizen. I am going to Italy to study for less than 90 days. Do I still need a visa?



2. Do I have to apply in person or can I apply by mail?

Applicants are required to apply in person.


3. Can I provide copies of my passport?

We do not accept passport photocopies. Applicants must apply with an original valid passport.

All the document for visa must be produced in original and photocopy


4. What are your office hours?

Monday, Wednesday, Friday, from 9.00 am to 12.00 pm.


5. Can I pay with a personal check?

No. The visa fee is payable by money order or cashier check. Make the money order or cashier check payable to: Consulate General of Italy. We do not accept personal checks. The fee must be paid at the time of the application, and is non-refundable REGARDLESS of whether the VISA will be issued or not.


6. Do I have to provide a picture?

Yes. You have to provide 1 recent passport size picture.

The photograph must:

• Show you looking directly at the camera (no half-face pictures);

• Be professionally made pictures, in high quality color and printed on photo-quality paper;

• Show applicant alone (no other people or other objects in the background);


7. How can I proof my residency in the Consular Jurisdiction?

You have to show your driver’s license or Fed. State Income Tax Return.


8. When the visa will be ready can I receive my passport by mail?

In order to receive the passport with visa by mail, the applicant should provide a self-addressed, stamped envelope and a photocopy of it. Please note: the Visa Office cannot accept special services requests such as: Confirmation Requested or special services since these services can only be requested at the Post Office. The applicant understands that the Visa Office is not responsible for lost or stolen passports in transit. Should the applicant decide to pick up the passport in person, the Visa Office hours for the retrieval of passports are: Monday, Wednesday, Friday, from 12.00 pm to 1.00 pm.

The passport will be released directly to the applicant or to a representative holding a written

authorization and presentation of the receipt. In order to receive passport back by mail, please

complete the mailing responsibility declaration.


9. How long will it take to get my visa?

It may take between 3 to 21 days depending on the applicant's nationality. Since this matter is

regulated by law, the visa officers cannot intervene in the process. The applicants are therefore

required not to discuss or try to negotiate the date of issuance of the visa. Be advised that a rush fee is not applicable. Since during the months of: May, June, July, August, November and December the number of visa applications increase, it is therefore advisable to apply at least 3 weeks in advance. Note, however, that applications cannot be processed earlier than three months before your planned departure date.


10. Can I check with you if my visa is ready?

No, the the Visa office does not provide status of the Visa application.


11. I hold a US Alien Registration Card do I still need to apply for a visa to enter Italy?

It depends on your nationality. To check if you need a visa go to









12. My daughter is a minor traveling with her school. What is she required to bring?

For minor applicants (under 18 years), the following certification is needed:

• A letter from both parents granting permission to travel and assuming financial responsibility for the entire trip. The authorization to travel must be signed by both parents who should appear in person either at the Philadelphia Consulate or have their signature notarized by the competent Italian Consulate Office where he/she resides;

• Birth certificate, original or a notarized copy; (All foreign documents MUST be translated into English and the translations legalized by the competent Consulate);

• Follow the tourist visa requirements


13. Once I get my visa, am I guaranteed entry in the country?

The visa does not guarantee entry in the country. Further checks by Immigration Officers at the

borders may lead to a refusal. Travelers are advised to carry copies of documents submitted with visa application and to provide them to the Immigration Officers if requested.


14. Can I use my visa to make a side trip to another European country?

Yes, you can. According to the present Regulation a Schengen Visa is also valid for the following countries: Austria, Belgium, The Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland (starting December 12th, 2008).


15. My flight itinerary requires an overnight stay at an Italian airport. Do I have to apply for an airport transit visa or a regular visa?

Citizens of some nationalities may require a transit visa if they are planning a short stopover, waiting a few hours for their onward flight at the airport's international transit area. It is therefore advisable to check if you are required or not to have a visa.

However, if you are planning to stay in Hotel overnight, since they are only available outside the transit area you can apply for a regular tourist visa.


16. To apply for a visa how long should my passport be valid?

Your passport should be valid for at least 3 months upon conclusion of your trip.


17. I cannot get a national passport from my country of origin. Can I use the "US Permit to reenter” to travel to Italy?

Yes, you can. Before applying check the expiration of the document. It should be valid at least 3 months upon conclusion of your trip.


18. I cannot get a national passport from my country of origin. Can I use the "US Refugee Travel Document (Document de Voyage de refugee’) to travel to Italy?

Yes, you can. Before applying check the expiration of the document. It should be valid at least 3 months upon conclusion of your trip. The use of a Travel Document might delay the issue of your visa.


19. I plan to visit my family or my friends in Italy and I cannot provide a hotel reservation what should I do?

Your family or friends can write a host’s declaration (form).

The completed host’s declaration (according to format provide) is required along with a copy of the host’s ID (Permit of stay for non-European Union citizens) and can be faxed directly to you.


20. I have my own business and therefore cannot bring an employment letter. What documents should I submit?

You can provide your business registration, your latest tax return and a recent company bank

statement to complete your application.


21. I am a student and the tourist visa requires proof of documentation of socio-professional standing, what should

I bring?

You can provide a school letter of enrollment.


22. I am a student and my parents will pay for my expenses while in Italy. What should I bring as proof of financial means?

Your parents can make an affidavit of financial support (form) and provide a most recent bank

statement or a bank letter of financial good standing.


23. My wife and I are planning to travel together; I will provide my bank statement as proof of financial good standing, but my wife name is not mentioned in the bank account. What document should I provide with her application?

You can provide employment information from spouse (i.e. employment letter), pay stubs, joint income tax return and affidavit of financial support (form) along with your most recent bank statements.


24. Why am I required to have health insurance coverage for Italy?

Schengen regulations require applicants to have health insurance coverage before departing. This is necessary in case you have an accident during your stay in Italy. Please check carefully whether your medical insurance will cover costs for medical treatment abroad. If it does not, you need to submit a health insurance covering your stay in Europe.


25. I do not have health insurance coverage in the US, where can I find an insurance to cover my stay in Italy? Do you sell medical insurance?

We do not sell medical insurance. You can ask your travel agent or you can check the Internet under:

international medical insurance or international travel insurance. You may also contact your credit card company and request information on travel insurance coverage they may be offering. Here are some medical insurance providers:



Insuremyvisa.com 1-800-487-4722

Access America 1-866-807-3982

International Corporate Benefits Inc. 1-800-237-6615

International Medical Group 1-800-628-4664





26. My US Resident Alien Registration Card expired and has not been renewed yet. Can I apply with the Advanced Paroled document issued me by the US Immigration and Naturalization Service?

Yes, you can.


27. My US visa is expired as well as my I-94 and I cannot renew it in the US. Can I apply for a Schengen visa?

No, you cannot. We can process visa request only from legal residents of the US.


28. My passport has my maiden name and my Resident Alien Registration Card has my married name what should I do?

You can provide a notarized copy of your marriage or divorce certificate.


29. I received my visa, and I noticed that my name is misspelled what should I do?

You can bring or mail back the passport to have a correction made. Please include a cover letter specifying which name has been misspelled and a prepaid express mail envelope for the mailing of the passport.


30. Where can I find all the requirements about my visa?

To find all the requirements for your visa go to http://www.esteri.it/visti/home_eng.asp


visti.filadelfia@esteri.it .