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Competence for issuing visas

The competence for issuing visas of the Italian Republic lies with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and its network of authorised diplomatic-consular offices, which are responsible for ascertaining whether the applicant possesses the necessary requirements to obtain the visa, which shall be issued by the Italian Representation with territorial competence in the jurisdiction where the applicant legally resides.

With specific reference to issuing a Uniform Schengen Visa (for transit or short stay), competence lies with the Representation of the Schengen State present in the place that is the sole or main destination of the journey.

If it is not possible to identify a main destination, among the various possible stages of the journey, the Representation of the Schengen State of first entry shall be competent for issuing the visa.

In the case of a national visa (for a long stay), the Representation of the Schengen State present in the place of the foreign national’s long-stay destination is competent for issuing it.

In cases where the Schengen State responsible for issuing the visa has not its own diplomatic or consular Representation in the foreign national’s country of residence, the Uniform Schengen Visa may be issued by the diplomatic or consular Representation of another Schengen State which may represent it.

No delegation, however, is envisaged for issuing National Visas.

The possession of a visa does not absolutely guarantee entry to foreign nationals, as the border authorities may reject them if they lack means of support and are unable to provide exhaustive information regarding the purpose and modalities of their stay in Italy, or for reasons of security and public order.

No visa can be issued to a foreign national who is already present in the national territory.

In exceptional cases, a transit or short-stay visa may be issued directly by the border authorities (Article 35 of the Visa Code).