A record number of entry visas to Italy were issued in 2013. The 2,125,490 visas issued, 13.5% more than in 2012, generated 104 million euros for the state coffers – an unprecedented result. Italy takes second place in the Schengen area for the number of visas issued, behind France (2,471,220) and, for the first time, ahead of Germany (2,084,213).
Record number of tourism visas
Russia, China, Turkey and India were the leading visitor countries. Tourism visas numbered 1,657,075 – 22.8% up on the previous year and the highest total ever recorded. And a figure with positive implications for one of our country’s strategic sectors.
These results were the fruit of measures such as the Foreign Ministry’s efforts to identify innovative solutions to improve the transparency and efficiency of the visa issuing service, especially as regards the time required.
New “start-up” visa
Priority is given to visas for business purposes, which currently take no more than 8 days, thanks to rationalisation initiatives, staff training and new simplified procedures. To foster investment in Italy, a new “start-up” visa has been introduced for people wishing to set up innovative new businesses in our country.
The Farnesina’s efforts are continuing in the run-up to EXPO 2015, which estimates say could attract 6 to 8 million visitors to Italy. 500,00 to 600,000 visitors are expected from China alone, while our Embassy in Beijing is already the leading European mission in the city for the number of visas issued.