Italy is a peninsular country located on the Mediterranean Sea surrounded by France, Switzerland, Austria, and Slovenia in the European continent. It is a very lovely country and quite famous for its fantastic cuisine, trendy fashion industry with its own fashion week, luxury sports cars, motorcycles and races, diverse cultures and dialects including French and German, and also beautiful coastal cities, islands and towns like Venice, Tuscany, Sardinia, Sicily, Capri, Rome (a city on seven hills), and natural landscapes like the alpine lakes and various mountain ranges such as the Alps and Apennines. It is also home to some of the major monuments in history such as the Colosseum, the Pantheon, the Trevi fountain, and lots of western European art like the Picassos, and literature.
For all you travel enthusiasts and honeymooners, Italy is a fantastic vacation destination! As a Nigerian citizen, in order to travel to Italy, you’ll first need a six months valid international passport; this is a legal document that authenticates your identity and citizenship anywhere in the world. International passports are gotten at your states’ immigration office; I recently profiled an article on how to process your international passport, please click on the link below.
Italy is a member of the European Union and the Schengen agreement, so as a Nigerian citizen you’ll need a Schengen tourist visa from Italy to visit the country. Although, if you have a general Schengen tourist visa, you will not need one, you can just include Italy as a destination when applying.
Click here to read the article on how to apply for a general Schengen tourist visa.
An Italian visa is an official endorsement stamp on your international passport issued by the consulate officials of Italy which allows you to visit Italy. When you are trying to get an Italian visa, you must be honest about your true intentions for the visit, so that the consulate officer doesn’t think you intend to be an illegal immigrant in the country. There are different types of Italian visas available for Nigerian citizens based on purpose of your visit and length of your visit.
The categories of Italy visas available are as follows:
- Travel visa: This visa type is granted to anyone traveling to Italy for vacation, tourism, and recreational activities or see friends and family who reside in Italy. This highest visa duration is usually 90 days.
- Business visa: This is granted to foreign visitors, who intend to speak with business associates, conduct trade activities, negotiate terms of a business agreement, professionals to attend a scientific, educational, professional, or business meeting, retreat or conference, and settle an estate in Italy. It falls under a Schengen type c visa with a maximum stay of 90 days.
- Transit visa: This is a travel permit granted for transit through Italy for 72 hours if you’ll need to enter Italy on your travel to a different country via car, train or you are travelling to join a ship as a member of the crew. You might not need to submit an application for this visa.
- Student visa: This is granted to international students who intend to study at an Italian educational institution for short or long term courses.
- Work Visa: This is issued to expatriates who intend to work legally in Italy. This can either be long or short term.
If you’re wondering how to apply for the Italian tourist visa from Nigeria, you’ll have to apply using the Italian Visa Application centre (VFS global), it is practically like applying for a Schengen visa (this is because of the Schengen agreement like I stated earlier) but for only Italy, which is your major and only destination. This is a detailed guide on how to go about it. These are the supporting documents for your Italian Schengen visa application:
- First of all, download, complete in block letters and sign the Schengen visa application form. You can also electronically fill in the form for a Schengen Italy Visa and print it out.
- Two passport photo is to be attached; the photo must have the following format of 35-40 mm full-face capture, recently taken and a white background. One passport is glued on the application form, while the other should bear the applicants name on the reverse and attached with a paper clip.
- International passport as well as copies of your previous expired or valid visas to the US, UK, Asia or Australia, entry and exit stamps. Passport must be valid for at least 6 months prior to your departure and must be less than 10 years old. The passport must have at least three blank pages. Click here for how to process your International passport at your nearest immigration office.
- Three Clear color photocopies of your international passport bio data page
- A typed sheet of paper containing the applicants’ bio data information, phone number, active email address and duly signed.
- Travel insurance policy covering any medical emergency with hospital care and travel back to Nigeria in adverse cases. This health insurance policy has to cover expenses up to €30,000, the sum has to be valid in all Schengen countries and it must be purchased before picking up the visa. Click here for places to get your travel insurance
- A copy of your round trip flight reservation ticket for the time intended to be travelling.
- A copy of your accommodation details if you’ll be staying in a hotel.
- Documents to prove your current financial status and ability to afford the trip, transportation, accommodation and spending costs. Your last 6 months bank statement will be preferred.
In a case where you don’t have a bank account or don’t possess enough funds to cater for your total expenses during the trip and you’re visiting friends or relatives, you may ask them to sign an “official affidavit of support” issued by the competent authorities in Italy. If the sponsor is not a citizen, please include a residence permit. Ensure that you carry the original document when applying for the visa.
Bank draft in convertible currency
- A formal invitation by the relative/friend residing in Italy if any.
- A detailed description of your trips’ itinerary, the purpose of travelling, the duration and intended tourist visits with dates written down in a letter.
- Your Personal Income Tax returns for the last three years i.e. tax clearance certificate
- A reference letter from the employer if any
- Proof of physical address, a utility bill can cover this
- Social media pages if applicable
- Police clearance certificate to prove that you have no legal issues pending or a criminal record
- Receipt of Visa Application Fee and VFS Global service charges where applicable (This is collected at the GT bank counter in the visa application centre)
- Applicants below the age of 18 years must provide a copy of his/her birth certificate, parents’ letter of consent, marriage certificate of the parents (where applicable), sworn affidavit stating the guardians’ relationship to the child and a national Identity card
- Other documents, specified by the consular officer of Italy
Document checklists can be downloaded via this link
Visa Application Fees
The approved standard visa application fees for the Italian Schengen visa is €60 (N21, 900) and €35 for children of age 6 – 12 years, payment is made at the GT bank counter at the VFS global office. Take not that you might be charged extra (N8280) for biometric data collection for The Visa Information System and visa application centre extra services.
Visa Application Process
The visa applications are submitted at the visa application centres in Lagos and Abuja. Applications submitted will be assessed by The Consulate General of Italy, located in Lagos. Note that a personal interview with the consulate immigrations officer may require at The Consulate General of Italy in Lagos before a decision can be made on your visa application. The Visa Application Centre will assist you to place an appointment for this interview.
To complete your visa application process, you must bring along your Italian Schengen visa application form and all necessary supporting documents mentioned above to the visa application centre between 08:00AM to 13:00PM on Mondays – Fridays for submissions in Lagos and 08:00AM to 15:00PM on Mondays – Fridays for Abuja, except on Nigerian public holidays.
Collection of passports back from VFS Visa Application Centre is from 11:00AM to 16:00PM on Mondays – Fridays in Lagos and 08:00AM to 15:00PM on Mondays – Fridays in Abuja as well. If you want a representative to collect your passport on your behalf, you must include a letter of authority at the submission counter while submitting your visa application documents.
Biometric Data Collection
Biometric details will be collected from you at the visa application centre for the visa information system; this helps to ascertain your identity and travel status. This is done in a quick, discreet process that captures a facial image with a digital camera and a 10-digit fingerprint scan with a digital finger scanner.
Your face must be clearly visible for a photograph to be taken. If you wear a head or neck covering for religious reasons you must ensure your face is clearly visible, from the bottom of your chin to above your eyebrows including both cheeks. You may also need to remove your glasses when the photograph is taken.
Visa Processing Time
The Italian Schengen visa application process takes duration of 15 working days. You can track your visa application with your full name and visa receipt fee number via this link or by calling the VFS Helpdesk on 0815 018 8800 between 9:00AM to 16:00Pm on any working day.
Italy Visa Application Centre, Lagos
Plot 110, Admiral Ayinla Way,
Opposite Treasure Garden Estate,
Third Roundabout, Lekki Phase I
Italy Visa Application Centre, Abuja
62, Lobito Crescent,
Telephone +234 815 018 8800
Visa Application centre website: http://www.italy-ng.com/index.html