Whether it’s the sloping Cinque Terre villages or the romantic cityscapes of Florence, Naples and Rome that draw you in, Italy really tugs at the wanderlust strings.

Deciding to go is the simple part, but figuring out the rules around visiting can be a bit trickier. To make things a little simpler, here’s our guide to Italy’s entry requirements, with info on the different visa types available and the rules around them.

What you need to know about visas in Italy

Italy is part of the European Schengen area, which means citizens from the 26 countries within this region, such as Austria, France, Spain and Germany, do not require a visa to enter Italy. There is no time limit on how long visitors from Schengen countries may stay in Italy.

A number of countries outside the Schengen area, including the UK, USA, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand and Australia, are also granted visa-free travel to Italy, for a maximum of 90 days within any 180 day period. Stays over 90 days will require a visa.

Other countries require a Schengen visa to enter Italy for any amount of time. Such countries include India, Pakistan, China, Egypt, Thailand, the Philippines and Rwanda. You can check whether you require a visa for tourist visits to Italy on the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website.

If required, visas should be applied for at your nearest Italian consulate in your country of origin. Documents needed include a recent passport-size photograph and valid travel document (passport) with an expiry date at least three months longer than that of the visa requested. You may also be asked to show a return ticket, as well as proof that you have the financial means to support yourself during your visit to the country. Schengen visas cost €80 for adults and €40 for children (aged 6-12; there is no charge for children under 6). Visas can only be extended in exceptional circumstances.

Italy offers a working holiday visa to 18-30 year olds from Australia, New Zealand and South Korea, and 18-35 year olds from Canada. These visas allow holders to stay in Italy for one year, and work for a maximum of six months (for a maximum of three months for the same employer) during that time to financially support themselves.

It’s also worth noting a permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay, also referred to as a residence permit) is required by all non-EU nationals who stay in Italy longer than three months. In theory, you should apply for one within eight days of arriving in Italy.

EU citizens do not require a permesso di soggiorno, but are required to register with the local registry office (Ufficio Anagrafe) if they stay in Italy for more than three months.

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