Getting my Long-Term VISA for Italy

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After researching all of the Visa types, collecting my documents and acquiring all of the required items for my Visa to Italy, I made the Italian Consulate appointment for the next available date which was Sept. 21st. During my appointment I submitted all the documents to the consulate – which included  showing a round-trip plane ticket, international health insurance coverage for the length of your stay, a contract/lease showing you have a place to live for the duration of your requested VISA length and proof of financial sustainability.
Yup – that means taking a gamble by spending a lot of money before you know you are approved to move to Italy.  This was just the beginning of  nerve-wracking experiences!!

Finding an apartment in Italy could be a whole novel in itself, but at this time, I will say I achieved getting an apartment lease for one year in Rome.  I had only seen photos online of the apartment.  I hated not being able to personally see the actual apartment, but I couldn’t afford to fly to Italy to go apartment hunting, but I had no choice since to get my VISA I had to show proof I had a place to live.

At this point of the process:
All of my documents have been submitted to the consulate, my house is sold, I am selling my belongings and all I can do is wait to see IF I will get approved for the long-term VISA.  

I was legally obligated to vacate my house by November 1.  I had made my plane reservation to Rome, Italy  for October 31.  While I waited for my VISA approval, I continued to sell and clear out my belongings from my home.  Trying to decide which few things I should take with me to my new life was difficult.  If you could only pack four suitcases  – what would you take?  I opted for the basic necessities – some clothes, shoes, computer, coats, important paperwork, etc.  No personal nick-knacks – just the basics.  (hated this part too)

All of this work & planning had to be done and I had no idea if I was going to get the VISA.  But, trying to stay positive, I just kept thinking that IT is going to happen.   Trust me, it was getting difficult as the countdown to having to vacate my house & flight date was inching closer.

Finally on October 21st, ten days before I am booted from my home and my reserved flight departs for Italy, I get a FedEX envelope.  The day the doorbell rang, I had so much going on that I had no idea what I was receiving from FedEx.  It had been nuts in my house up until now: 4 garage sales, people coming over to buy things, I’m ordering pet cages for the trip, contractors at the house for the house sale and even tenting my house for termites to ‘please’ the buyer of my house.

Visa-Visto from Italy-Connect.comBack to the FedEx man at the door…..I then realize, this must be IT – the response from the Italian Consulate.  I stand in my kitchen nervous, physically & mentally exhausted and rip open the tab…. there it is, my VISA

I was approved to live in Italy for one year !!

And at this moment I broke down and cried –  I was thrilled, terrified, in shock, relieved and probably a whole bunch more besides being exhausted.  There it was, staring me in the face – the permission to go live ‘my dream’.

My next thought – S**T !, I’ve got ten days left in the states….better get a move on it!



If you’re from the USA and want to live in Italy for more than 90 days, you need a VISA.

Before I initiated my plans to move to Italy I had only heard of work and study visas, and as it turns out there are close to 20 types of visas to Italy.  You’ll need to figure out which one can work for you personal situation.

(this information is based on an American citizen’s perspective.   If you are EU – you’ll have less requirements.  

If you want to only stay a maximum of 3 months – just go, no Visa is necessary.  

If you want to stay more than 3 months and are from the USA and don’t feel like jumping through the hoops and skip the required Visa- that’s your choice to be illegal.  However, if you get caught… you can be nixed from the entire EU for years.  It’s your choice but I’d recommend the Visa route.)


  • Melissa says:

    Hello Inta ~

    May we kindly ask what type of visa you submitted for? We have all the same paperwork and documents ready as you did, but not sure if we request for a residency visa or a self-employed visa. We just wish to stay in Italy for at least one year. We have the financial means, health travel insurance, and a lease as well as our round-trip tickets.

    Thank you in advance for your advice.

  • Brianna says:

    Great tips for anyone looking to be an expat in Italy.

  • Alli says:

    What an exciting adventure you have embarked upon! I can’t imagine how stressful completing such a thing would be – especially with 20 different Visa types . . . yikes! 🙂

  • Richelle says:

    20 different visa types? That’s insane! I’m glad you got your visa in time 🙂

  • Clay says:

    Haha congratulations!! That’s so cool. I had know idea they had 20 visas, that seems like a lot. I’m glad you were able to sort through the confusion to get the right one. 🙂

  • Sarah Ebner says:

    Well done you – as you say much easier for us over here in Europe, but probably not such a sense of accomplishment when you know you’ve done it and on your way!

  • Inta -Curious Cat Expat says:

    HI Jacqueline, Congrats to you on your move ! It’s pretty incredible that you got your Visa so quick, did you move for a job? I’ve heard from other expats that they’ve received their VIsas quickly when they have an employer backing their VIsa. I’m surprised to hear about the fingerprints, I didn’t have to do that.

    Getting my Permesso will be another article – I had three experiences with that….yes, it’s a trip for sure! 🙂

  • Jacqueline Mariani says:

    I enjoyed reading your article; ditto your experience, except I moved to Florence with two suitcases, and my house was still on the market (it took 2 more months to sell). I didn’t like having to rent an apartment based on pics, either, but it was for the short-term. I’ve since moved into a different apartment for the long-term. Surprisingly, I received my visa within 4 days of the appointment! I got to leave a month earlier than planned Getting the FBI fingerprint check back took the longest (6 weeks). I’d love to hear about your experience with getting the Permesso di Soggiorno. Now, that’s a real trip! 🙂

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