A man who has not been in Italy, is always conscious of an inferiority.

Samuel Johnson

General info

Italy is a member of the Schengen Agreement.

There are no border controls between countries that have signed and implemented this treaty – the European Union (except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania and the United Kingdom), Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland. Likewise, a visa granted for any Schengen member is valid in all other countries that have signed and implemented the treaty.

But be careful: not all EU members have signed the Schengen treaty, and not all Schengen members are part of the European Union.

This means that there may be spot customs checks but no immigration checks (travelling within Schengen but to/from a non-EU country) or you may have to clear immigration but not customs (travelling within the EU but to/from a non-Schengen country).

Foreign military entering Italy under a Status of Forces Agreement do not require a passport and need only show their valid military identification card and travel orders. Their dependants, however, are not exempt from visa requirements.

All non-EU, EEA or Swiss citizens staying in Italy for 90 days or less have to declare their presence in Italy within 8 days of arrival. If your passport was stamped on arrival in Italy, the stamp counts as such a declaration.

Generally, a copy of your hotel registration will suffice if you are staying at a hotel (i.e. a copy of your passport ID page will be retained by hotel staff and they will complete the paperwork for you).

Otherwise, however, you will have to go to a police office to complete the form (dichiarazione di presenza) yourself. Failing to do so may result in expulsion.

Travellers staying longer than 90 days do not need to complete this declaration, but must instead have an appropriate visa and must obtain a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno).


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