The Italian business visa is for employees travelling to attend meetings, meet customers, visit plants and other, without physically working. It is intended for non-EU/EEA travellers who need to enter Italy for business purposes. The duration of the Italian Business Visa depends on the length of the stay for business: however, it cannot exceed a duration of 90 days per semester.
Definition of the Italian Business Visa
The Italian business visa is a document that allows a foreigner to enter Italy for economic and commercial purposes. The business visa allows to carry out different activities, such as:
- attending business meetings with customers or providers;
- conclude contracts;
- perform negotiations, sale or purchase products;
- participate in industrial fairs.
The duration of the Italian Business Visa depends on the length of the stay, which however cannot last more than 90 days per semester.
Requirements for the application of the Italian Business Visa
Official Documents: passport or travel document
When applying for the Italian Business Visa, applicants must first provide a valid passport or travel document to the Competent Authorities. Said documents cannot be older than 10 years and must have a validity of at least 3 months after the return date to the country of origin.
Moreover, the passport must have 2 blank pages where the authorities will affix the Italian Business Visa.
Applicants must also provide:
- 1 passport-size photograph, done within 6 months prior the request;
- Visa application form, duly filled in and signed with original signature.
Proofs to support the stay in Italy
Besides official documents, applicants must also certify they can support their stay in Italy, providing proofs of:
- Sufficient economic means covering the entire stay in Italy;
- Accommodation in Italy for the whole stay. Applicants may provide hotel or hostel reservations, or a rental agreement in case the applicant is staying in an apartment;
- Private health insurance covering the entire period in Italy;
- Copy of the round trip/flight reservations and complete itinerary;
Additional Documents from the Employer and Host Company
Lastly, applicants must be able to provide a letter from the Employer confirming employment conditions, work title and responsibilities of the applicant.
The letter from the Employer shall summarize the purpose of the trip, names and addresses of any companies the applicant will visit for business purposes.
Applicants shall also provide the invitation letter of the Italian Company. The invitation letter must be stamped with the official corporate stamp, and signed by a legal representative of the inviting Italian company.
The letter of invitation from the Italian company must clearly report the detailed cause of the business trip, dates of travel, entry tickets in case of trade fairs.
Criminal Liability in case of wrongful visa application
Within the field of application of Italian Visas, it is worth reminding that the Italian Business Visa, like other work visas, is programmed for specific activities. For instance, companies that get business visas for non-EU workers to perform activities not covered by the visa, may incur criminal liability for wrongful application of the Italian Business Visa.
How to apply and obtain the Italian business visa
To obtain a business visa valid for Italy, applicants must prepare all the required documents, fill-in the business visa application form and book an appointment at the Italian Consulate or Embassy that is competent in the applicants’ place of residency.
If you need help to find the relevant Italian Institution, have a look here to find the one competent for your country.
For the purpose of the application, applicants will leave their passport to the Competent Authority, which will then start the issuing process.
How long does it take to issue the Italian Business Visa?
The processing time for the release of the Italian business visa is usually around 10- 15 working days, but it varies according to the issuing authority.
Check if you also need to submit a Declaration of Presence
If the business trip of the applicant includes a stopover in another member country of the Schengen area, the applicant must also submit a declaration of presence, upon arrival to Italy.
The declaration of presence must be submitted by the foreigner within 8 days from the date of entry to Italy, at the competent Police station.
Please keep in mind that the Declaration of Presence is a mandatory requirement for foreigners that entered Italy for business reasons and did a stopover in a Schengen country. Penalties may apply if the foreigner does not submit the declaration of presence to the competent Italian authority.
Duration of the Italian business Visa
The duration of the Italian Business Visa varies depending on the frequency and duration of the business activities to perform in the Schengen area. This sort of visa does not allow the applicant to stay in the Schengen area for more than 90 days per semester.
The duration of the Italian business visa, however, is entirely at the discretion of the competent Embassy or Consulate.
The authority can decide to issue a business visa that is valid for the number of days specified in the applicant’s travel itinerary.
If you are looking for a solution to stay in Italy for more than 90 days and carry out business activities, have a look at our full guide about the Italian Work Visa.