How, when and where to apply for a visa


Most non-EU (European Union) visitors coming to ICTP will need a visa to enter Italy and either a declaration or a permit of stay to formalize their visit in the country. Important information is given below on:

  • how, when and where to apply for a visa
  • types of visas and their restrictions on travelling between Italy and other Schengen countries
  • visas for accompanying family members
  • information for visitors from EU and Schengen States

visa regulations are continuously evolving. PLEASE CONSULT THE WEBSITE OF THE ITALIAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS FOR DETAILED AND UPDATED INFORMATION FOR FOREIGNERS REGARDING ENTRANCE VISAS FOR ITALY, AND PERMITS OF STAY (information is offered in several languages). If at any time the instructions you receive from an Italian consulate differ from those below, kindly help us to keep up-to-date by letting us know without delay.

The ICTP Passport and Visa Information Office assists ICTP visitors to obtain the necessary visas to come to the Centre.

When to apply for a visa, and where

Apply no later than 6 weeks before visiting ICTP; during the summer even 8 weeks before. Make sure that you have confirmed the dates of your visit to the ICTP secretariat.

The rule is that an application for a visa shall be done at the Italian consulate or embassy in your country of origin or where you have permanent residence. If living in another country, you may find the Italian consulate or embassy willing to let you apply for a visa from there, but this is entirely up to the Consulate to decide. You should inquire about this possibility, but the general rule is as stated above.

If you and your family members have different nationalities, applications for visas may have to be sent from your respective country of origin. Please check with an Italian consulate.

Types of visas and their restrictions:

  • SINGLE ENTRY maximum 90 days stay SCHENGEN STUDY VISA (type C): With this visa, you can enter Italy and the other Schengen countries but only once.
  • MULTIPLE ENTRY maximum 90 days stay SCHENGEN STUDY VISA (type C): This visa allows you to travel in and out of Italy and the Schengen area, so you can therefore visit any other country and re-enter Italy.
  • SINGLE ENTRY more than 90 days stay ITALIAN LONG-TERM STUDY VISA (type D): With this visa, you can travel from Italy only within the Schengen Area during the first 90 days of your visit; later, once you hold an Italian permit of stay (see below) you will be able to travel freely.
  • MULTIPLE ENTRY more than 90 days stay ITALIAN LONG-TERM STUDY VISA (type D): This visa permits you to travel in and out of Italy and the other Schengen countries during the first 90 days of your visit; later you will still be able to do it but only with a permit of stay (see below).

All of the visas above allow for travelling between the Schengen countries for a maximum time of 90 days (starting from the first entry into the Schengen area) every period of 6 months. For any further information please contact the ICTP Passport and Visa Information Office (

From some countries you can enter Italy as a tourist, for a maximum of 90 days, without having a visa. But, under no circumstances will you be able to extend your stay beyond 90 days. Thus, this solution is not recommended to ICTP visitors. Also, be aware that at the border while entering Italy, you will normally be asked to present travel documents showing your return ticket back home as well as documentary evidence (ICTP invitation letter, credit/bank debit cards, travelers cheques, etc.) that you have financial means of support to cover your stay.

When applying for a visa you will need to bring the following documents with you to the embassy:

  • Your passport, which must be valid for the duration of your stay (in any case, for at least six months) and must have some empty pages for the visa stamp
  • The official ICTP invitation letter (the letter should specify exact period of stay)
  • The bilingual document “To the Consulates Concerned” and the  declaration issued by the insurance company both concerning your health insurance coverage
  • Travel documents (return air ticket if available) or printout of air reservation
  • Confirmation of accommodation arrangements in Trieste
  • Certification/statement from your home institute/employer concerning your position.

If problems arise, or you should need help, please contact the ICTP Visa Office.

At the port of entry into the European Schengen area please make sure to get your passport stamped by the immigration authorities (police or passport control officers) with a fully readable ink stamp. If there is a visa relevant to your visit, the stamp should be placed on the same page.

Visas for accompanying family members

On the basis of existing practices and Italian rules, ICTP suggests two alternatives:

  • If the ICTP invitation is for a period of less than 90 days, family members (spouse and minor children) can come as tourists accompanying the visitor, either from the start or join him/her at a later stage, but for a maximum period of 90 days. Please check with the Italian consulate whether the nationality of the family members is such that a tourist visa is required.
  • If a visitor has a 12-month or longer invitation from ICTP, he/she can apply for a Family Reunion Visa (FRV). In this case, the visitor should first come alone to Italy. When (s)he has obtained a standard permit of stay (Permesso) valid for 12 months, an application for the FRV can be made. Kindly note however that the FRV procedure can be started only when you have received your permit of stay and this is presently taking a long time. According to the present Italian legislation, an Italian consulate abroad cannot issue the FRV without prior authorization (NULLA OSTA) from the local Italian police authorities. There is a list of documents (some of which may only be processed upon arrival in Italy) which may take one/two months to be ready. In order to speed up this procedure there is one document, a copy of which the visitor should bring from his/her home country, i.e., a family relationship certificate issued by a government authority, and a translation of this document authenticated by a relevant Italian legacy abroad. The original of this document however should stay in the home country as the family members will need it in original for their visa application.

In order to inform us when the visitor wishes to be accompanied by family members he/she should kindly complete and return the Family Visa Information Form as well as the Self Declaration Form.

Visa information for visitors from EU and Schengen States

EU and/or Schengen passport and/or identity card holders do not need a visa to enter Italy, according to instructions received from the Italian authorities. EU and/or Schengen state passport holders visiting ICTP for more than 90 days should register at the Town Hall through a local General Registry Office (Ufficio Anagrafe).

Non-EU and/or Schengen Passport Holders who reside in a Schengen member state and have a valid residence permit in that country may enter Italy without a visa for a maximum period of 90 days. To visit ICTP you only need your residence permit (provided it covers the period of your stay at ICTP), your valid passport and the official ICTP invitation letter. However, please check your situation with the nearest Italian consulate before entering Italy. Schengen residence permit holders should register their presence in Italy with the local authorities via the ICTP Visa Office, within 8 days from the date of arrival at the ICTP.

For more details, please contact ICTP's Passport and Visa Information Office:
telephone: +39-040-2240-510/509, e-mail: