An alien wishing to enter Italian territory, or the Schengen Area in general, must have sufficient financial resources available to guarantee maintenance throughout the planned visit and the return trip. The availability of means of subsistence is therefore an essential condition for the entry of an alien into the Schengen Area (Visa Code).
On 1 March 2000 the Interior Ministry, (pursuant to section 4(c)(3) of the Consolidated Act no. 286/1998), issued a, "Directive defining means of subsistence for the entry and sojourn of aliens on Italian soil" (published in the Official Journal No. 64 on 17 March 2000).
This Order requires foreign nationals to demonstrate that they possess means of subsistence by showing liquid cash, bank guarantees, insurance policy guarantees or equivalent credit instruments, vouchers for prepaid services or other documents demonstrating access to sources of income in Italy.
Except where otherwise provided by the instruments mentioned above, the alien must give proof of having made arrangements for appropriate accommodation in Italy and the availability of funds for repatriation, which may also take the form of a prepaid return-trip ticket.
The need to provide evidence of means of subsistence in the amount required is not only a fundamental condition for the issue of certain types of visas, but is also required at the moment the alien enters Italian territory.
No visas can be issued in the event of failure to produce evidence of means of subsistence or, in the event that such evidence cannot be provided to Border Police, the alien will be formally turned away from the border.