Italy’s membership in the Schengen system led to adapting the Italian legislation process to the European one.


A vast common area formation inspires this uniformly shared system by most European countries.


To begin with, here’s where European citizens’ and foreigners’ free movement comes proper after the Schengen agreement providing for internal borders demolition and strengthening external ones.

With this in mind, foreign citizens who intend to enter Italy from outside the Schengen area can do so only in some cases. These conditions are essential in any case.

Point often overlooked, they deny access if you fail to observe them, even if you own a regular entry or transit visa.

First, foreigners from a country outside the Schengen area must appear at a “border crossing.”

Then, they must own a valid passport or other equivalent travel document recognized by the Italian Government for crossing the border.

In exceptional cases, the Italian representations can grant foreigners a “pass,” valid only to enter Italy.

Besides, foreigners must demonstrate their stay purpose and conditions with suitable documentation, have sufficient money in proportion to the stay purpose and duration, and have enough money to return to the originating or transit country.

On the contrary, those who enter for work do not have to observe the mentioned obligations.

The ones with a valid entry or transit ticket will be allowed to enter in cases where it is expressly provided for by law.

Next, persons with a regular residence permit obtained in one of the countries of the Schengen area must not apply for new permission if their stay in Italy does not exceed three months.

Furthermore, foreigners must not turn out to be reported by authorities to prevent entering Italy.


It must be remembered they must not have been considered dangerous either for public order, national security, or the countries with which Italy has stipulated agreements for the abolition of internal border controls and the free movement of persons.

To say nothing of, foreigners must have neither been sentenced nor have negotiated a plea bargain after being charged with the crimes described in Article 380 of the Italian criminal code.

Neither must they have been sentenced to one of those crimes, implying life imprisonment or no less than five years and no more than twenty years sentence.

Not only that, but also, there must not have been any conviction for crimes relating to:

  • drugs;
  • against sexual freedom;
  • illegal immigration to Italy or from Italy to other countries;
  • prostitution;
  • exploitation of minors in unlawful activities;
  • or violation of copyright and counterfeiting of trademarks and distinctive signs.

In addition, they must not have been expelled and cannot enter Italy until the re-entry ban has elapsed, starting from the day they left the national territory.

In this case, they can obtain special authorization from the Interior Ministry to exercise the right to defend themselves in Court.

What happens if there is a conviction and you want to enter Italy?


At any rate, they cannot automatically reject foreign citizens at the border.

In this situation, the Administration must, in any case, verify:

  • the supervening extinction of the crime;
  • the offender’s rehabilitation;
  • Or the automatic end of the negotiated sentence that the Italian State Council, a Court for administrative issues, has, for some time now, equated to rehabilitation in Judgement no. 3902 of 2008.

Otherwise, they deny entry, but the Officer in charge must, in any case, assess the “effective social dangerousness” of the person concerned.

After that, you can impugn it before the Judge when you think denying entry is unfair.

What happens for a stay in Italy of over ninety days for any reason?


In this case, all foreigners must have an entry visa, even if they are citizens of countries not subject to the visa requirement for short-term periods, as mentioned above.

These countries adhere to Schengen, that is, almost all European countries.

First, we can exclude the obligation of a long-term residence permit for the citizen and his family members who obtained a European residence permit from the Member State of origin.

In the second place, they do not require an entry visa for foreigners holding a residence permit for study issued by another Member State (excluding the United Kingdom, Ireland, and Denmark, which did not adopt Directive 2004/114/EC).

Examples are students from abroad enrolled in a university course or a higher education institution who intend to complete their studies or integrate them with a related study program in Italy.

Of course, an entry visa is not required to apply for international protection or a temporary protection regime.

In the final analysis, free movement in the Schengen area is allowed for a total stay of fewer than three months within six months in one of the adhering countries.

However, the Italian Public Security Authority may request the presentation of the passport and the declaration of presence to verify the stay regularity lasting no longer than three months for:

  • tourism;
  • business;
  • visits;
  • or study.

By all means, the said Authority would ascertain stay regularity through the date stamp affixed to the passport from the Italian border police or the Schengen country of origin at the first entry.

What does “first entry” mean?


By “first entry,” we mean not only the first-ever entry but every first entry following the end of a six-month one, calculated from the elapsing date of the previous first entry, as clarified by the European Court of Justice in judgment C-241-05.

What happens if the “datestamp” in the passport is missing?


Under those circumstances, foreigners can prove that the first entry date into the Schengen area differs from the passport’s stamp date.

Take the case of the Public Security Authority, which verifies a legitimate period of fewer than six months from whatever source.

With this purpose in mind, it writes down the place and date of crossing the external border in the passport, handing the foreigner a form containing the same information under Regulation EC/562/2006.

What would the lack of regular documentation for entry and the absence of a date stamp on the passport imply?


Owing to this lack, it would make one presume the irregularity of the foreigner’s presence duration.

In due time, the foreign tourist must declare entry within eight business days, starting from the date of each entry.

Visa Information System (VIS).


Another critical point is that since 2008, the Visa Information System has operated standard checks at border crossing points.

Moreover, within the Member States, the VIS simplifies the entry application procedure and better fights fraud by sharing data.

This system makes it possible to standardize the procedures of the Schengen area states, which have given themselves standard rules to avoid differentiation.

So, at each entry request, they open a file where they enter, among other things, biometric data.

Data to be entered into the Visa Information System are mandatory and optional for the Administration.

Given that, the law establishes the mandatory ones, and among these, there are:

  • fingerprints;
  • information on the leading destination;
  • and the person who will bear the living expenses.

“Italynlaw” Law Firm issued this Article.

Image 15: San Gottardo in Corte Church’s steeple Milan – Lombardy (Italy).

Source: “Italynlaw” Law Firm.

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