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Glossary

SCHENGEN SPACE: the territory of the European States applying the rules of the Schengen Agreement: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxemburg, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Island, Norway and as of 21st December 2007 Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, Czech Republic, Hungry, Malta, Poland, Slovak Republic and Slovenia.The last inclusion was Switzerland. The United Kingdom and Ireland do not adhere to the Schengen Agreement.

VSU: Uniform Schengen Visa (type C), a visa valid for the whole territory of all the Schengen State, with a maximum validity of 90 days (NON IMMIGRANT VISA);

VN: National Visa (type D) is a visa valid for a stay longer stay (between 91 and 365 days). It can be immigrant or non-immigrant visa. It is valid only for the State that has issued the visa and its includes an airport transit in another Schengen State.

VDC: National visa (type D) including a short stay in the Schengen territory (maximum 90 days from the date of issue of the visa)

External border: the external borders of the Schengen territory.

E.U. - European Union. It is composed of: Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Estonia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungry, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxemburg, Malta, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Rumania, Slovak Republic, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

S.E.E. European Economic Space composed of: Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Island, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxemburg, Norway, the Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden and the United Kingdom.

Passports and travel documents
There are three types of passport: ordinary, service and diplomatic passport.
The validity of a passport must exceed of 90 days the validity of the entry visa (for short stay visas). For long-stay visa (work, family reunion, etc) whose duration is up to 365 days (one year), the passport must have a validity exceeding of 6 months the validity of this visa.
Each individual applying for a visa must have his/her own passport, even in case of infants.

Travel documents equivalent to a passport:

  • Travel document for stateless persons: delivered to people considered without citizenship according to the "Convention on stateless persons" dated 28th September 1954. It can have different titles but on all pages it must be printed "Convention of 28th September 1954".
  • Travel document for Refugees: delivered to people recognized as "refugee" as per the Convention on refugee status" of 28th July 1951.
  • United Nation Laissez-passer: issued by the United Nations to the personnel of United Nations and relevant Agencies.

Availability of financial means
The foreigner wishing to enter the Schengen Space has to provide evidence of possession of financial means. As to Italy, the Italian Ministry of Interior has established, by Law of 1st March 2000, the amount required (see attached list). In the case the applicant cannot provide evidence of personal income, a bank guarantee ("fidejussione bancaria") established by the sponsor in Italy should be submitted together with the visa application. The lack of financial means will result in the visa denial. Travellers are also requested to submit proof of financial means to the Immigration Police at the point of entry into the Schengen Space.

THE VISA

The visa is the authorization given to a foreigner by a member State in order to enter its territory. The visa is issued by the Diplomatic or Consular Representation where the foreigner is resident.

Short-stay visas (less than 90 days) are NON IMMIGRANT VISAS: they are "Uniform Schengen Visas" (VSU) - Visa type "C".

These visas allow the circulation and stay within the 25 States adhering to the Schengen convention.
Uniform Schengen Visas (VSU) can be issued for the following purposes:

  • Business
  • Tourism
  • Medical treatment
  • Sport competition
  • Invitation
  • Religious activities
  • Mission
  • Temporary work (subordinate or autonomous)

The number of days of allowed staying during a semester is indicated on the visa sticker. The semester of utilization of the visa counts from the day of the first entry but ends at midnight of the date of expiry indicated on the visa. A travel insurance covering the allowed staying is mandatory and it has to be showed to the Immigration Police at the point of entry in the Schengen space.

Long-stay visas are issued for stays between 91 and 365 days (visa type "D"): they are National Visas (VN). These visas can be immigrant visa (granting permanent residence stay) like family reunion, work and re-entry or long-stay non-immigrant visa, like study, religious activities, mission and medical treatment.
Long-stay visas are issued for the following purposes:

  • Family reunion (both with foreign citizens or Italian/E.U. citizens)
  • Work (subordinate or independent)
  • Studies
  • Religious activities
  • Re-entry
  • Mission
  • Medical treatment

The National Visas (VN) allow entrance into the Italian territory and one airport transit in another Schengen State. No travel insurance is requested for long-stay visas.

TYPE OF VISAS : SCHENGEN VISAS and NATIONAL VISAS

ADOPTION

National visa (type "D") - abbreviation "AD" (IMMIGRANT VISA). It is issued for the adoption of minors. The issuance of the visa must be authorized by a special Agency of the Italian Government.

BUSINESS

Schengen visa (type "C") - abbreviation: "AF" - Maximum stay: 90 days per semester. Single or multiple entries.
The visa is issued to traders and businessmen/women or highly skilled professionals (engineers, lawyers, medical doctors, and so on) who wish to go to Italy for reasons related to their profession

TOURISM

Schengen visa (type "C") - abbreviation: "AF" - Maximum stay: 90 days per semester. Single or multiple entries.
The visa is issued to people who wish to visit Italy for tourist purposes.

MEDICAL TREATMENT

Schengen visa (type "C"): maximum stay 90 days per semester or National Visa (type "D"): between 91 and 365 days - abbrevation "CM"
The visa is issued to patients who need to undergo specific medical treatments in Italy (but not single medical consultations).

E.U. CITIZENS' FAMILY MEMBERS VISAS

National visa (IMMIGRANT VISA) type "D" - abbreviation "FS" Length of stay: between 91 and 365 days - Single or multiple entries.
This visa is granted to:

  • the spouse of an Italian citizen;
  • the children of the spouse of the Italian citizen (under 21 or economically at the charge);
  • the mother and father of the spouse of an Italian citizen.

These provisions apply as well to the citizens of the European Union (E.U.) and Economic European Space (SEE) lawfully residing in Italy. Other family members, like brothers, sisters, nieces, nephews and cousins are not entitled to this type of visa.

FAMILY REUNION VISAS (Foreign citizen with foreign citizen)

National visa (IMMIGRANT VISA) type "D" - abbreviation "RF" Length of stay: between 91 and 365 days - Single or multiple entries.
Family reunion visas are visas intended to reunite family members. They are considered family members:

  • the lawful spouse married under civil law (religious marriages, of any kind, and polygamy are not recognized by the Italian laws),
  • the children under 21 years (or economically at charge). In case of adopted children, they must have been lawfully adopted in accordance with the laws of Nigeria;
  • the mother and father.

There are two types of family reunion visas:

  • the first one concerns the family members wishing to join the spouse/parents/children that are lawfully residing in Italy;
  • the second one concerns the family members who wish to settle in Italy at the same time of their family member who is going to obtain an authorization to work or study in Italy.

In both cases, the family reunion visas must be duly authorized through the so-called "NULLA OSTA" (No objection certificate issued by the "Sportello Unico per l'Immigrazione" - Immigration Office in Italy). In this authorization are listed the family members who may apply for this visa. It has to be noted that being listed in this authorization does not implies the visa would be automatically issued. In fact, the family members have to provide documentary evidence about the family ties and they can submit their visa application only after that their marriage certificate, birth certificates, and others certificates have been duly verified and legalized by the Legalization Section of the Consulate General of Italy.

SPORT COMPETITION

Schengen visa (type "C") - abbreviation "GS" - Maximum length of stay: 90 days - Single or multiple entries.
The visa is issued to sportspeople (athletes and trainers) invited to participate in sport competitions (both professionals and amateurs).
The issuance of this visa must be requested by the interested Italian Federation and duly authorized by the Italian National Olympic Committee (C.O.N.I.). This written authorization must be sent directly by C.O.N.I. to the Italian Consulate General.
To the foreign athlete applying for a visa in view of practicing a remunerated sport on a professional level can be issued only a national visa for subordinate or independent work.

INVITATION

Schengen visa (type "C") - abbreviation "IN" - Maximum length of stay: 90 days - Single or multiple entries.
This visa can be issued to foreigners invited by Italian Public Agencies, Institutions, Organizations (public or private but reputable and well-known) to participate in a special public event (political, cultural or scientific conferences). All the costs related to the stay will have to be born by the inviting party.

WORK (INDEPENDENT)

Schengen visa (type "C") for stays up to 90 day or national visa (type "D") for stays from 91 to 365 days.
Abbreviations: LA (independent work) - AX (independent work in spectacles as musician, dancer, etc) - AY (independent work as athlete). Single or multiple entries.
The visa for independent work is issued to people who wish to carry on a professional and independent activity (as industrialist, trader or craftsman) or to establish a company or take shares in a company.
Applicants of this type of visa have to obtain the authorization "NULLA OSTA" from the Italian Police ("Questura") as well as other specific authorizations in accordance with the type of activity sought, and they have to provide proof of previous businesses and of an income of at least 8.400 €uro during previous fiscal year.
However, due to the number of different authorizations requested, in case of an application for this type of visa, it is suggested to contact the Visa Office of the Consulate General.

WORK (SUBORDINATE)

Schengen visa (type "C") for stays up to 90 day or national visa (type "D") for stays from 91 to 365 days.
Abbreviations: "LS" (subordinate, non specific work); "SX" (subordinate work as artist); "SY" (subordinate work in sports activities); "SM" (subordinate work, seamen). Single or multiple entries.
All work visas are subject to prior authorizations "NULLA OSTA" form the Italian Immigration Office (Sportello Unico per l'Immigrazione) or "Dichiarazione nominativa di assenso" issued by Italian National Olympic Committee (C.O.N.I.) for athletes or the specific Employment Office (for artists).

MISSION

Schengen visa (type "C") for stays up to 90 day or national visa (type "D") for stays from 91 to 365 days.
Abbreviation: "MS" - Single or multiple entries.

This visa is issued, in view of a short or longer (but not permanent) stay, to the following people, who are going to Italy by reason of their public function:
a) Government members and functionaries, Public servants or officials of International Organizations who are invited in Italy in order to carry on their official duties;
b) private citizens, if in reason of their activities, their stay is of paramount importance for the relationship between their Government and Italy;
c) very well-known or authoritative persons (high-rank Governmental officials or prelates); members of delegations officially invited in Italy within the frame of bilateral agreements; Public servants sent to Italy on official mission.
In consideration of the "public" mission, it is not requested to the visa applicant to provide proof of his/her financial means.

RELIGIOUS PURPOSES

Schengen visa (type "C") for stays up to 90 day or national visa (type "D") for stays from 91 to 365 days.
Single or multiple entries.
This visa is issued to priests, nuns, ministers of religion belonging to denominational confessional or other confessions recognized by the Italian Ministry of Interior.

STUDY

Schengen visa (type "C") for stays up to 90 day or national visa (type "D") for stays from 91 to 365 days.
Single or multiple entries.
This visa is issued to students who wish to attend Universities in Italy. The issuance of the visa is subject to the positive outcome of a pre-selection made by the University in Italy.

RE-ENTRY VISA

National visa (type D) - Abbreviation "RE" - Single entry.
People lawfully residing in Italy, having lost their residence permit and/or passport in Nigeria, can apply for this visa enabling them to return to Italy. All the applicants of this type of visa have to be interviewed at the Consulate General. Re-entry visa can be issued ONLY after authorization from the competent "Questura" (Police Headquarters) in Italy.