What is a Schengen Visa?

The Schengen Uniform Visas (VSU) allows stays of up to 90 days per semester in the Schengen area for reasons pertaining to business, tourism, family and study.
Schengen visa holders can enter the Schengen area many times over the period of validity of the Visa (up to 5 years) as long as they respect the limitation of 90 days per semester spent in the Schengen area.

Who needs a Schengen Visa?

Foreign nationals willing to enter and circulate within the Schengen area,

• who Are not nationals of a country whose citizens can enter the Schengen area for reasons related to business, tourism for up to 90 days every semester without a visa, based on specific international conventions;

• and who do not have a valid residence permit issued by one of the Schengen States.

Below there is the list of Countries for which a Schengen Visa to enter Italy is mandatory:

Afghanistan, Algeria, Angola, Saudi Arabia, Armenia, Palestinian Authority, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Belize, Benin, Bhutan, Byelorussia, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cambodia, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central Africa, Chad, China, Comoros, Congo, Congo (Democratic Republic), North Korea, Ivory Coast, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Egypt, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Fiji, Philippines, Gabon, Gambia, Georgia, Ghana, Jamaica, Djibouti, Jordan, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, Equatorial Guinea, Guyana, Haiti, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kyrgyzstan, Kosovo, Kuwait, Laos, Lesotho, Lebanon, Liberia, Libya, Madagascar, Malawi, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Myanmar, Mongolia, Mozambique, Namibia, Nauru, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Papua-New Guinea, Qatar, Rwanda, Russia, Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Syria, Somalia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Sudan, Suriname, Swaziland, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Thailand, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen, Zambia, Zimbabwe.

On the contrary, the citizens of the following countries are not requested to have a Schengen Visa to enter Italy:

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominica, El Salvador, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), United Arab Emirates, Georgia, Japan, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Solomon Islands, Israel, Kiribati, Malaysia, Macao, Northern Marianne, Marshall, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Saint Lucia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, Switzerland, United States, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan, East Timor, Tonga, Trinidad, Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine , Uruguay, Vanatu, Venezuela.

For citizens of Taiwan, the Visa exemption applies only to holders of passports, including the identity card number.

For citizens of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, the ex- Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro and Serbia, the Visa exemption applies only to holders of biometric passports.

Serbian citizens holding a passport issued by the Serbian Coordination Directorate are excluded from the Visa exemption.

Which Countries can a foreign citizen visit with a Schengen Visa?

With the Schengen Visa one can stay in any of the following 26 European, regardless of the specific Schengen Country that issued it:
Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Norway, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Slovakia, Hungary.

Where should one apply for a Schengen visa?

The application for the Visa must be submitted to the competent Consulate of the Schengen country that will be the main destination of the trip, in the country of residence of the applicant.