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Italy
April 1, 2024
4 min

How to Get Visa to Italy From the UK

Kenley Henderson

Planning a journey from the UK to Italy necessitates understanding of what is required and how to go about obtaining an Italian visa. This guide will provide you with essential information regarding eligibility criteria, required documentation, application process, and various types of visas available for British citizens.

We will explain who needs a visa to travel from the UK to Italy, including nationalities that require a Schengen Visa and their eligibility criteria. Furthermore, we will delve into the general documentation requirements for an Italian visa application as well as additional documents needed based on an applicant’s specific situation.

How to Get Visa to Italy From the UK

How to Get Visa to Italy From the UK

Who Needs a Visa to Travel to Italy From the UK?

UK citizens can travel to Italy without a visa, and stay there for up to 90 days in any 180-day period without a visa. This applies if they travel:

  • as a tourist;

  • to visit family or friends;

  • to attend business meetings, cultural or sports events;

  • for short-term studies or training.

Starting from 1st January 2021, British citizens planning to stay in Italy for more than 90 days within 180 days, will be subject to National visa requirements according to the Italian immigration rules applied to third country nationals.

British citizens may submit a Long Stay visa application for entry on 1st January 2021 or later, if applying for the following purposes:

  • study,

  • religious purposes,

  • mission,

  • elective residency.

Applications for National visas subject to the “Nulla Osta” Unified Immigration Desk became possible after 1 January 2021. The above mentioned procedure applies for Long stay visas for the following purposes:

  • work, including sport related activities and research;

  • family reunion and adoption;

  • investors and start-up;

  • conversion of residence permits originally issued for study or traineeship purposes.

Non-EU nationals residing in the UK may need a Schengen visa. Some common countries that require this type of visa include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Ghana, Iran, Nigeria, Pakistan and Russia. To apply for an Italian Schengen visa while living in the UK you must have been legally residing there for at least three months and intend to visit Italy as your main destination.

It is important to check with the Italian consulate or embassy for your particular nationality requirements prior to any journey arrangements being made, as this list is not exhaustive.

Eligibility Criteria for Applying from the UK

To apply for an Italian Schengen visa while living in the UK, you must:

  • have been legally residing in the UK for at least three months;

  • intend to visit Italy as your main destination;

  • apply at least two weeks but no more than six months before your intended date of travel.

If you hold dual citizenship and one of them is EU/EEA, you don’t need a visa to enter Italy. However, you must travel with your EU/EEA passport.

Investor Visa for the UK citizens

The Italy Golden Visa program, launched in 2017, offers a fast and efficient route for wealthy foreign investors to obtain Italian residency.

Investment options include innovative startups, government bonds or securities, limited companies, and social projects.

Eligibility criteria include having no criminal record, legal financial assets, and the ability to support oneself financially while residing in Italy without relying on public funds.

To join the program, investors can pick from four choices. Foreigners who invest can use residents' privileges, such as the right to live, work, study, and access medical care in Italy.

Investment amounts in specific categories:

  • €250,000 — non-EU citizens can gain residency through the Italy Golden Visa program with a minimum investment into a local startup;

  • €500,000 — investments in a limited Italian company. The investor can purchase listed or unlisted shares of an incorporated company operating in Italy with the minimum investment amount;

  • €1,000,000 — philanthropic donation. In this case, the investment is made in a public interest project related to education, culture, science, immigration, and cultural and natural heritage preservation;

  • €2,000,000 — investors can buy government bonds issued by the Italian government with a remaining maturity of over two years.

Investing in innovative startups benefits investors and supports Italy’s economy by encouraging foreign capital infusion into their burgeoning tech sector, potentially leading to obtaining Italian citizenship after five years, provided that certain conditions are met during this time frame.

Depending on the chosen investment option, the Golden Visa applicant provides specific documents to qualify for the residence permit.

Documents confirming the investment by categories

Investment option

Confirmation documents

Investment in an Italian startup or limited company

  1. Bank statements confirming the investment.

  2. A bank statement validation letter signed by an authorized representative of the entity.

  3. A copy of a securities dossier.

  4. A letter confirming the investment and a copy of the act of transfer are filed by the receiving party.

  5. A Certificate of Shares Deposit at a financial institution or an Italian bank.

Philanthropic donation

  1. A copy of the public donation deed.

  2. A letter from the receiving party confirming the receipt of the donation.

  3. Bank statements confirming the donation.

  4. A bank statement validation letter signed by an authorized representative of the entity.

Government Bonds Investment

  1. A certificate of the securities deposit in a financial institution in Italy.

  2. A copy of the securities dossier.

Tourist Visa for Non-EU Nationals in the UK

A Schengen visa allows a stay of up to 90 days within six months in Italy and other countries of the Schengen Area. You can choose between single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry visas depending on your travel plans and history.

Single-Entry Visa: enter Italy once during the validity period of your visa. No re-entry allowed.

Double-Entry Visa: enter Italy twice during the validity period. No further entries allowed.

Multiple-Entry Visa: unlimited entries into Italy during the validity period while staying within the 90-day limit per six months across all Schengen countries combined.

To apply for an Italian tourism short-stay, C-type, visa from UK-based application centers such as VFS Global’s Italian Application Centres, you will need to provide the following documents:

  1. A completed and signed visa application form.

  2. Two recent passport-sized photos with a white background.

  3. Your valid passport, which must have at least two blank pages and be valid for at least three months beyond your planned departure date from Italy.

  4. Proof of UK residence, such as a utility bill or bank statement dated within the last three months. This is necessary if you are not a British citizen but reside in the United Kingdom.

  5. Evidence of sufficient financial means to cover your stay in Italy, such as bank statements or payslips from the past three months.

  6. A detailed travel itinerary outlining your plans while in Italy. This should include information on accommodation bookings, transportation arrangements and any pre-booked tours or activities that you plan to participate in during your visit.

Before submitting an application, it is advisable to verify with the Italian consulate or VFS Global for any specific requirements based on personal circumstances. Check with the Italian consulate or VFS Global before submitting an application for specific requirements based on personal situations.

Italy visa from UK

Italy is known for its stunning scenery, fascinating history, and dynamic culture

Business Visa for Non-EU Nationals in the UK

This type can also be granted as single-entry, double-entry or multiple-entry visas depending on factors like frequency of visits and previous Schengen visa history. It allows you to attend meetings, negotiations, presentations, and other professional engagements related to work. However, it does not allow you to engage in paid employment while staying in Italy.

To apply for an Italian business short-stay, C-type visa, you will need to provide the following documents:

  1. An invitation letter from the Italian company you will be visiting, detailing the purpose of your visit and providing information on any planned business activities.

  2. A letter from your employer in the UK confirming your employment status, position within the company and details about your professional relationship with the Italian host organization.

  3. Proof of accommodation arrangements for your stay in Italy. This can include hotel bookings or a letter from an individual hosting you during your visit.

Once all required documents are gathered, you can book an appointment at the Italian consulate or VFS application centers to submit your visa application. Processing times vary depending on factors like applicant nationality and time of year, but generally, it may take up to 15 days for applications from non-EU residents in the UK to be processed and approved. Therefore, it’s advisable to plan ahead and schedule your appointment well before your intended departure date.

Conclusion

British citizens do not need a Schengen short-stay visa to spend up to 90 days in Italy within a period of 180 days. For long stay the UK citizens can apply for an Italy Investor Visa, so-called a golden visa.

Non-EU nationals residing in the UK may need a Schengen visa, depending on country of origin. It is important to check with the Italian consulate or embassy for your particular nationality requirements prior to any journey arrangements being made, as this list is not exhaustive.

Gathering required documents and scheduling appointments at Italian consulates or VFS application centers is necessary to apply for an Italy Visa UK, with different types of short-term visas available depending on your purpose of visit, such as tourism or business.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Can You Use a UK Visa to Enter Italy?

    No, a UK visa is not valid for Italy, but you can apply for a separate Schengen Visa if you need to enter the Schengen Area.

  • Is Italy Visa-Free for UK Citizens?

    Yes, British citizens can travel to Italy without a visa for short stays up to 90 days within any 180-day period, but they may need an ETIAS authorization starting from late 2023.

  • How Long Does It Take to Get a UK Visa from Italy?

    The processing time for a UK visa from Italy varies depending on the type of visa applied for, but it generally takes around 15 working days or more. You can check specific processing times at the UK government’s website.

  • Do UK Citizens Need a Work Visa for Italy?

    Yes, as of January 1st, 2023 due to Brexit changes, if you plan on working in Italy and staying longer than 90 days, you will need to apply for an appropriate Italian work permit before entering the country.

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