What is a Sport Visa?

A Sports Visa is a type of long-term National Visa issued to professional or amateur athletes who have to perform Sports activities in Italy. The Visa can be granted within a maximum yearly number of Sport Visas established at the national level (the so-called quota) by a specific Decree drawn up by CONI (the Italian National Olympic Committee) and Home Affairs.

Once in Italy, this type of Visa entitles the holder to obtain a Residence Permit to carry out even long-lasting sports activities in Italy. The Sport Visa needs to be differentiated from the short-term Visa for Sport Competitions (a Schengen Visa), which allows applicants only a maximum period of 90 days in the Schengen area.

Who is eligible to apply for a Sports Visa?

The procedure to get a Sports Visa and Residence Permit is specifically conceived for foreign citizens engaging in professional or amateur salaried activity with an Italian Sports Club.

The prerequisite is that the sports activity should be compensated, being valid in both employment and self-employment arrangements. The Visa applicant can also be under the age of 18.

Finally, it is noteworthy that this type of Visa can be applied for by both athletes and trainers.

Main requirements to apply for a sports visa

  • The applicant has to be an athlete or a trainer;
  • The applicant needs to have accommodation in Italy (hotel, lease agreement, hospitality etc);
  • The sports club has to be in compliance with social security and insurance contributions for its employed personnel.

Main procedural steps

  1. Application for the declaration of consent for sports activities, to be submitted by the athlete or coach to the affiliated National Sports Federation;
  2. Application for the Certificate of no Impediment (Nulla Osta) to the Police Headquarters;
  3. Submission of the so-called Contract of Stay (similar to an employment agreement) and request for a declaration of consent by the affiliated National Sport Federation;
  4. Verification by CONI of available visas (within the maximum yearly quota), and issuance of the declaration of approval for the specific athlete or trainer;
  5. Application for the Visa at the Italian Consulate of the applicant’s place of residency;
  6. Entrance in Italy and application for the residence permit to the competent Immigration Desk;
  7. Registration of the applicant’s fingerprints at the Police headquarters;
  8. Issuance of the residence permit.

Validity of the Residence Permit

The residence permit for Sports activity has the duration of the job offer between the applicant and the Sports Club.

The first residence permit has a maximum validity of two years and it is renewable under the same conditions for its first issuance, provided that the applicant does not leave Italy for longer than 6 continuous months.

The applicant can renew the residence permit on their own or through our firm’s assistance.

After 5 years of continuous legal residency in Italy, the applicant may apply for a permanent residence permit.