If you are planning a trip to Italy and are looking for information on getting Visa to visit places like Rome, Venice, Florence and more – you have come to the right page.
This will be a long detailed article, which we are writing after years of experience in applying for Schengen visas.
Reading this article from start to end, will increase the chances of getting your visa approved.
Let us start with the documents checklist.
Italy Visa Documents Checklist
- Passport must have been issued within the last 10 years and validity of the passport must not exceed 10 years (Note: The passport issued by the government does not exceed 10 years validity, do not worry about this requirement)
- Latest Passport with a minimum validity of 3 months from the date of your return flight ticket. 2 blank pages.
- Two colour photocopies of the passport (front page and last page).
- Application Form (filled and signed)
- One photograph (Size 3.5 x 4.5 cm, background must be white).
- A cover letter with all details about your trip, including names of people traveling with you, who is sponsoring the trip and purpose of visit. (We have also attached a cover letter which you can edit)
- Travel Insurance (Coverage 30,000 euros)
- Flight tickets from India and Return tickets.
- Itinerary of your trip to Schengen countries (including Italy) with travel dates and day-wise plan.
- Confirmed Hotel Bookings.
- Income Tax Returns for the last 3 years.
- Bank Statement for the last 6 months (stamped by the bank)
- If employed: Salary Slips for the last 3 months.
- If employed: Original letter from Employer on its company letterhead, stating the date of joining and current designation. The letter has to also approve the leave for the dates of the trip, along with confirmation of continued employment upon return to India. The letter must be stamped and signed by the authorized person, whose name, designation in the company and contact details (email and contact number) must be clearly mentioned.
- For Students: A no-objection-certification must be provided from the school or college where he/she is studying. It has to be signed and stamped.
- Optional: You can also attach property papers in your name or show proof of your investments (stocks / mutual funds) as support documents to increase your chances of obtaining a visa.
- Optional: Credit card copy with statement of credit limit.
- Optional: One set photocopy of previous Schengen visas, valid UK and US visa (if any)
- For minors: Application signed by both parents. If traveling with one parent, No objection affidavit from other parent must be provided.
Italy Visa Step by Step Procedure
- Book your flight tickets. It is better to have fully paid confirmed ticket.
- Make sure your passport isn’t expiring within 3 months from the date of your return flight back to India. Example: If your flight back to India is on August 1 2023, the expiry date on your passport should be November 2 2023 or later.
- Download the application form (links below), take printouts, and fill all the details. If you have a minor child, they will need a separate visa application.
- Visit a local photo studio, tell them you need photographs for Schengen visa. There are some strict requirements for the photos (more details below).
- Buy travel insurance from an approved travel insurance company (list below). The minimum coverage must be 30,000 Euros per person.
- Take printouts of your hotel bookings. These need not be paid. Websites like Booking.com, Agoda and few others offer ‘free cancellation’ bookings without paying for the reservation. You can pay once your visa is approved. Contact us if you need any assistance with hotel bookings.
- If you are sponsoring the trip, visit your bank and ask for bank statement for the last 6 months. Important, all pages of the statement should be sealed and signed by the bank.
- If employed with a company, attach 3 months salary slip and 3 months statement of your account where your salary gets deposited.
- Also, if employed, get leave letters from your company for the dates of your trip, along with a ‘no objection statement’. These letters need to be signed by a person with authority in your company.
- If self-employed, attach your company documents – which could be business registration certificate, GST registration, Partnership deed or Proof of proprietorship.
- If retired, attach bank statement of your pension account or proof of regular income from property ownership or business.
- If minor, attach original birth certificate.
- If going it school, it is better to get a ‘leave letter’ from the school or college principal.
- If married and travelling with your spouse, attach marriage certificate. (If the name of your spouse is mentioned in the passport, then a marriage certificate is not required. In most cases, marriage certificate needs to be provided for newly married couple without children).
- It is mandatory to attach Income Tax Report (ITR) for the last 3 years of the person who is funding the trip.
- After all of this is done, write a clear Covering letter giving the embassy a clear idea of your trip, that you can cover your individual expenses of the trip – along with that of your family if you are sponsoring the trip.
- Next, visit the VFS website and book an appointment. With relaxation of Covid rules the world over, many people are travelling all over the world. Appointments are hard to get. Make sure you book appointments well in advance, it could be hard to get if you have just 1-2 months left for your trip.
- You might be thinking – what about the visa fees for Italy. Do you have to pay anything in advance? Read on.
Italy Visa Fees
There are two types of charges. One is the ‘visa fees’ which is paid to the Embassy of Italy in India.
The Embassy fees must paid at the VFS centre when you submit your documents.
Charges are as follows:
- Above 12 years – 80 Euros (Approximately 6800 rupees)
- Children between 6 to 12 years – 40 Euros (Approx 3400 rupees)
- Child under 6 years – Free.
The second charge is from VFS, which collects your documents, verifies them, and then sends them over to the Embassy of Italy.
These charges are to be paid online, in advance, when you book your appointment. You can use your credit card, debit card, UPI or Net banking to make this payment.
VFS charges are as follows:
- Service Fees – 498 rupees
- Convenience Fee – 166 rupees
- Courier* – 690 rupees
- SMS charges* – 345 rupees
- Total – 1699 rupees per application (children under 6 also must pay)
Note: These charges can change. Visit the VFS website to know their latest fee structure.
In total, the total Italy Visa price including Embassy and VFS charges would be around ₹ 8,500 for an adult. Children between 6-12 years will end up paying around ₹ 5000. And kids below the age of 6 will pay around ₹ 1700.
Note: Courier fees is optional, you do not have to pay if you can visit the VFS office to collect your passport. SMS charges are also optional, and it isn’t very useful either. You can opt out of it.
VFS also offers other conveniences like ‘Form Filling’ at ₹ 2600 per application, Premium Lounge at ₹ 3020 and Courier Assurance at ₹ 1035.
Importance of Bank statement for Italy Visa
The bank statement is a very important piece of document. It could be one of the biggest factors which decides whether your visa will be approved or rejected.
The reason is simple: European trips are expensive. If your bank balance is low or inconsistent, your visa could be disapproved citing your inability to fund your trip.
Ideally, you need to have a consistent bank balance of 100 euros per day (per person).
For example, if you are planning a trip for 10 days. Then you need to show a balance of 100 euros x 10 days = 1000 euros (approx. ₹ 90,000).
If you are sponsoring a trip for a family of 3 people. Then your consistent bank balance should be 100 euros x 3 people. So, 300 euros x 10 days = 3000 euros (approx ₹ 2.7 lakhs).
Consistency in balance is important. If you deposit 2 lakhs just before taking a printout of your bank statement, it is a big red flag. Your visa could get rejected.
One problem which most people face is because they do not keep a lot of money in their savings bank account. If your balance doesn’t meet requirement mentioned above – you could attach copies of your fixed deposits.
You could also attach credit card statement, which clearly mentioned your ‘credit limit’. The credit limit should ideally be high enough to meet your expenses in Europe.
If you have any doubts, feel free to contact us. We can help you get your visa documents in order for a small fee.
Italy Visa Processing Time
Usually, it takes 15 working days or less for the Embassy of Italy to process your visa application and return you passport.
However, there can be delays. It can be pretty stressful if your travel dates are close and you do not receive your passport a few days earlier.
We suggest you apply for your Visa as early as possible. You can submit your visa applications 180 days (6 months) before your flight to Italy (or any other Schengen country).
Applying early gives you enough time to re-apply for a visa, just in case your Visa gets rejected.
Italy VFS centre timing
All VFS centres are open from Monday to Friday, except national or state holidays. The timing can vary. But make sure you reach the VFS centre about 15 minutes before your appointment time.
|Ahmedabad||09:00 – 17:00|
|Bengaluru||09:00 – 13:00|
|Chandigarh||09:00 – 16:00|
|Chennai||08:00 – 15:00|
|Hyderabad||08:00 – 15:00|
|Jalandhar||09:00 – 16:00|
|Kochi||09:00 – 13:00|
|Kolkata||09:00 – 14:00|
|Mumbai||09:00 – 14:00|
|New Delhi||09:00 – 16:00|
|Pune||08:00 – 14:00|
Italy Visa Photo Size and Requirements
VFS is extremely strict when it comes to photo size and requirements for Schengen visa.
Here are the guidelines:
- The photo you submit should not be older than 6 months.
- The size should be 35mm – 40mm in width (3.5 cm to 4 cm).
- It should not a scanned copy. The quality must be good.
- It cannot be printed from a photo taken on a mobile phone. Make sure you get the photo clicked and printed from a professional photo studio.
- The background colour of the photo must be white or off-white.
- The photo must contain your full face – without a smile, no sunglasses, no cap.
- Your face and eyes should be straight, and your ears should be visible.
- Stick one photo on the application form (do not staple or pin it). Another photo has to be given at the VFS centre.
Some frequently asked questions, with our answers:
Q. Should hotel bookings be paid in advance to get Italy visa?
A. Not necessary. You can book Hotel rooms (Booking.com, Agoda) or AirBnB’s with free cancellation. Just in case your visa application gets rejected, you can cancel your bookings.
Q. What is the balance required in bank account for Italy trip?
A. Ideally, you should have around 80-100 Euros per day, per person in your bank account. If you are a couple planning a trip for 10 days to Italy (or other Schengen countries), then maintaining a consistent average balance of ₹ 1.5 lakhs to ₹ 1.8 lakhs would be great.
Do note, visa approval depends on various factors – including the mood of the Embassy officer who is handling your visa application. You can have less than adequate funds and your Visa could be approved, or sometimes you could have more and your visa could be rejected.
Q. How to increase chances of getting Italy visa?
A. Below we have highlighted some of the important points that could help you increase chances of getting your visa approved.
1. A strong application includes a decent travel history, proof that you have adequate funds to cover the expenses of your trip, a clear itinerary, a well-written covering letter and it helps if you are a family (married with kids). We have seen in the past that people who are single, have higher chances of getting their visa rejected.
2. Your 6-month bank statement should be consistent with a balance of more than ₹ 1 lakh. A lot of people who get their visa rejected tend to deposit a big sum of money just before they take copies of their bank statement. This is a major red flag that the funds could be borrowed from someone and not your own. Before you plan your trip to Europe, try to maintain as high a bank balance as possible for 5-6 months.
3. You could include your property documents along with your application, this tells your officer that you have investments here in India which will make you get back to the country.
4. You could also attach your investments – like Fixed deposits, Demat account statement, credit card statements with high credit limit, or mutual fund investments. These documents make your application stronger.
5. Do not submit a vague or uncertain itinerary. After analyzing a few rejected visa applications in the past, it gave us the impression that tentative itineraries have a higher chance of rejection – especially if you are planning the trip on your own. Don’t just say you are planning to stay for 4 days in Rome and attach a ‘free cancellation’ hotel booking along with it. Instead, show a more detailed itinerary with different places that you actually intend to see and visit. Once you get your visa approved, you can change your itinerary if you want to.
6. Your itinerary should not seem like you are spending too much time in one place. For example, if you are going to Italy for 10 days and your itinerary says all 10 days will be spent in Rome. Your visa application could get rejected. Instead, spread the days out. Make your itinerary seem like you will spend 4 days in Rome, 3 days in Venice and 3 days in Florence. Remember, you can change your itinerary after your visa is approved.
7. Do not apply for the visa at the last moment. You can now apply for Schengen visa 6 months before your trip. Try to apply as early as possible. Getting an appointment with VFS has become difficult during Covid times and applications are also taking longer to process. Applying early will also give you ample time to re-apply for a visa, if your visa gets rejected the first time you apply.
Q. Can I travel to other countries with Italy visa?
A. Yes, Italy comes under the Schengen area shared between 26 countries. If your Italy visa is approved, you can travel to all those countries including Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
If you have any other questions related to obtaining Italy visa, feel free to comment below and ask your question. If you want any assistance to get your documents in order, we charge a fee to help. Contact us.
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