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Find out the correct visa type according to your needs. Be informed on needed documents to be submitted when applying for a visa. Know how to correctly use Schengen and National visas, know your rights and your duties following information here below.




As from 12 October 2015, all Schengen visa applicants are required to provide their biometric data (10 fingerprints and a photo) when applying for a Schengen visa. All applicants will have to apply in person when fingerprints have to be taken for the first time. Since biometric data information are stored for five years, in case of following visa applications it won’t be necessary to come again in person. It is a simple and quick procedure that only takes a few minutes.

Exemptions from the fingerprinting requirement are provided for a limited number of applicants, including children under the age of twelve and persons for whom the collection of fingerprints is physically impossible. Heads of State and members of the national government with members of their official delegation and spouses will also be exempted, if travelling for official purposes.
. For more information please read the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs webpage and the website of the European Commission.

Italy does not require fingerprint capture for national visas.



Visa applications can be submitted as follows:

a) At the Italy Visa Application Centres:

All visa applicants can go to the Italy Visa Application Centre (click here for the website) without the need to previously schedule an appointment. Italy has a total of 15 visa application centre in China. Visa application centres related to the Embassy of Italy are located in: Beijing, Jinan, Shenyang, Wuhan, Xi’an.

Opening hours (Monday to Friday): submission of individual visa applications  8 am to 3 pm; submission of ADS visa applications 8 am to 11 am; passport pass-back and call centre 8 am to 5 pm.


East 101, Floor B1, Block C, Guanghua Lu SOHO II, No. 9 Guanghua Lu, Chaoyang District, Beijing, China, 100020

Phone  +86-(0)20-28292276; e-mail: (click here for the website)

Visa Application Centres in Jinan, Shenyang, Wuhan and Xi’an are temporarily closed.

Visa applications can also be lodged at Italian Consulates in the following Chinese cities: ChongqingGuangzhouShanghai; and at the Italy Visa Application Centres located in the following cities: Changsha, Chengdu, Chongqing, Fuzhou , Guangzhou, Hangzhou, Kunming , Nanjing, Shanghai, Shenzhen.

Important note: Italy allows Chinese citizens to apply for a Schengen Visa at all Italian Consular Offices in China, independently from residence as indicated in the “hukou”.

Chinese citizens resident in Hong Kong or Macao shall submit visa application at the Consulate General of Italy in Hong Kong.

b) At the Visa Office of the Embassy of Italy:

To schedule an appointment or to ask information, please write to

For information only, we answer by phone Monday to Friday from 9.30 am to 11.00 am (Chinese time) by calling 0086.010.85327639 (languages: Chinese, English, Italian).

Visa Office is open from Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 5 pm. All appointments will be scheduled from 9 am to 11:30 pm, according to availability. Access is restricted to applicants who have an appointment confirmed by the Embassy or whose interview has been scheduled through the Visa Centre. Please, always remember to print and bring with you the appointment confirmation received from the Embassy or from the Visa Centre. Proof of appointment will be asked both by guards at the main gate on the street and by security at the entrance of the Embassy.

Important notice: be aware that waiting time for an appointment at the Embassy usually is around ten working days. For all applicants not willing to wait, please be informed that you can go to the Italy Visa Application Centre where no appointment is needed.



All Chinese citizens resident in Mainland China.

All nationals of countries whose citizens are subject to visa obligation (please, check here the list) legally residing in China.

All nationals of countries whose citizens are subject to visa obligation who are legally present in China can present a justification for lodging an application in China rather than in their country of residence. The Embassy of Italy in Beijing has the right to evaluate the justification provided and to receive or not the visa applications. In this case, the applicant should lodge the visa application directly at the Embassy.

As for national visas, applicants can present their applications at the Embassy of Italy in Beijing only if there were residents of the consular jurisdiction of this Embassy (Beijing, Tianjin, Heilongjiang, Jilin, Liaoning, Inner Mongolia, Hebei, Shandong, Henan, Hubei, Tibet, Xinjiang, Qinghai, Gansu, Ningxia, Shaanxi and Shanxi).

ADS Tourism groups:

According to the EU-China Memorandum of Understanding, ADS (Approved Destination Status) group tourism visa applications are submitted by accredited travel agencies. Appointments for fingerprints capture will be scheduled for the whole group of travelers. ADS visas are limited to a maximum of 30 days.

Travel agencies aiming to apply for accreditation (white badge) must follow procedures according to the Manual of Sanctions related to ADS (LINK).

Chinese Diplomatic, Service and Public Affairs passport holders:

According to Chinese regulation, all diplomatic, service and public affairs passport holders must submit visa applications through the Consular Department of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Visa applications are submitted directly at the Embassy. Appointments for fingerprints capture are scheduled between the Embassy and the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, with a cap of 60 applicants per day and start at 2.30 pm.

EU/EEA citizens’ family members:

EU/EEA citizens family members benefit of a privileged treatment accorded by law (Directive 2004/38/CE and Italian Legislative Decree 30/2007).

EU/EEA family members, as indicated by EU Directive 2004/38/CE (link), can submit visa applications Monday to Friday from 11.30 am to 12 pm without the need to schedule an appointment. In order to be granted access, please bring with you marriage (or) family (or) birth certificate to prove family relation.

EU/EEA citizens’ family members benefit from a reduced list of documents. Please find here the documents you must submit for tourism and here the documents for family reunion (note: EU/EEA family member reunion applicants will be issued a short term tourism visa, once in Italy please go to relevant police authorities to convert your visa into residence permit).

Please, check here below if according to your family relation with the EU/EEA citizen you do have the right to exemption from visa fees.



Schengen visa applicants can apply to the Italian Embassy or the Italy Visa Application Centre if:

  1. Italy is the sole destination of the visit
  2. or, in case visit includes more than one Schengen country if Italy is the main destination in terms of the length or purpose of stay
  3. or, in case no main destination can be determined if Italy is the external border where the applicant intends to enter Schengen territory.



National visas: 116 euro

National study visas: 50 euro

Schengen visas: 80 euro

–      children from the age of 6 years and below the age of 12 years: 40 euro

–      nationals of countries with which the EU has concluded Visa Facilitation Agreements shall pay a fee of 35 euro. Please consult the list on the European Commission website to know if your country is one of them.

See Visa fee in RMB under current exchange rate please click here

Visa fees are waived for applicants belonging to one of the following categories:

• children under 6 years

• school pupils, students, postgraduate students and accompanying teachers who undertake stays for the purpose of study or educational training

• researchers from third countries travelling for the purpose of carrying out scientific research as defined in Recommendation No 2005/761/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 28 September 2005 to facilitate the issue by the Member States of uniform short-stay visas for researchers from third countries travelling within the Community for the purpose of carrying out scientific research

• representatives of non-profit organisations aged 25 years or less participating in seminars, conferences, sports, cultural or educational events organised by non-profit organisations

• EU/EEA citizens family members, when accompanying or joining the EU/EEA relative, falling under Directive 2004/38/CE and Italian Legislative Decree 30/2007:

a) spouses;

b) partner (in case of bounding civil union, compared by hosting  Member State’s law to marriage and not in violation of hosting Member State law);

c) direct descendants under the age of 21 or who rely on them and those of the spouse or partner;

d) direct ascendants relying on them and those of the spouse or partner.

• diplomatic passport holders

Applicants lodging the visa application at the Italy Visa Application Centre will also be asked to pay a service fee: 62 CNY for ADS visas and 78 CNY for all other visas.



The Embassy of Italy processes individual tourism and business visa applications in two working days (36 hours) from passport delivery at the Embassy; in case controls cannot be done in 36 hours longer processing time might be needed. According to the Schengen Visa Code all decisions must be given within 15 calendar days, extendable to 45 days (see art. 23). For national visas the processing time is of 90 days, shortened to 30 days for family reunion and salaried work, and lengthened to 120 days for self-employment work.

We do recommend lodging visa applications well in advance (at least 15 days prior to departure date). Applications cannot be lodged earlier than six months before the start of the intended journey.

Citizens of some countries are subject to consultation procedure which might extend processing time.



Holding a valid visa does not automatically give the right of entry to the Schengen area

Please, be aware that holding a short-stay visa does not automatically entitle to enter Schengen area. Once arrived at Schengen border control, or during other controls, travelers may be asked to provide information on means of support, on how long they intend to stay in the Schengen State, and why they are visiting the Schengen State.

It is therefore recommended to carry with you copies of the documents presented when you applied for the visa (e.g. letters of invitation, travel confirmations, other documents stating the purpose of stay). For more information, please read art. 5 of the Schengen borders code (link).

What happens if a visa is refused

Negative decisions on applications are notified to the applicant. In the refusal letter reasons on which refusal decision was taken are clearly stated. Visa applicants whose applications are refused can decide to apply again or to appeal. Appeals must be brought against refusal decisions directly at the T.A.R. of the Latium Region, through a lawyer acting on applicant behalf, within 60 days of the serving of the decision itself. The appeal will have to be notified, under penalty of nullity (as per art. 144 of C.P.C. and art. 11 of R.D. no. 1611 of 1933), to the relevant “Avvocatura dello Stato”.

For family reunion visas only, appeals must be addressed to the ordinary court (“Tribunale ordinario”) of the place of residence of the family member living in Italy.

How to read a Schengen visa sticker and correctly use your Schengen visa

“Duration of stay … days” indicates the number of days you may stay in the Schengen area. The days should be counted from the date you enter the Schengen area (the entry stamp) to the date you exit the Schengen area (the exit stamp), i.e. both days included. The period of time between “From … until” is usually longer than the number of days printed in the “Duration of stay”. The difference in period is meant to give you flexibility to plan your entry into and exit from the Schengen area, but your stay in the Schengen area must never exceed the exact number of days in the “Duration of stay … days” filed. No matter how many days you have stayed in the Schengen area, you must leave no later than the date printed in the “Until” field.

Schengen visas entitle to one or two or multiple entries. Travelers who often need to go to the Schengen area can apply for multi-entry visas valid up to 5 years. In case you are a multi-entry visa holder, please remember that for intended stays on the territory of the Member States duration of stay cannot be more than 90 days in any 180-day period, which entails considering the 180-day period preceding each day of stay. In order to avoid overstaying or to better know how many days you can still stay in Schengen territory, please check here the European Commission calculator.

How to correctly use your Italian national visa

All Italian national visa holders, once arrived in Italy must convert their visa into a residence permit (“permesso di soggiorno”) applying within 8 days from their first entry in Italy. Applications must be submitted to the relevant police authorities (“Questura”) of the Province of intended residence. Residence permit duration will be the same as indicated in the visa. Residence permits can be renewed or extended directly in Italy. To know the relevant police authorities according to your destination, please check the following website.

Further information

For any further information, please check the website of the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the website of the European Commission.

Information on the protection of individuals with reference to the processing of personal data for the issuance of an entry visa in Italy and in the Schengen area (General Data Protection Regulation (EU) 2016/679, art. 13)