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					                                         FAQ

Welcome to the FAQ page. Here you will find answers to some of the most common
questions about visa rules and procedures. The questions are listed by type; if you
cannot find the answer to your question below, please email your enquiry to
visti.pechino@esteri.it .


General information
Business visa
Employment visa
Study visa
Tourist visa
Re-entry visa
ADS visa


                                General information


Where do I have to apply for visa?

      Visas must be requested at Italian missions abroad having jurisdiction on the
       applicant’s place of residence. As a rule, residence is defined as the place
       where a person lives and works. If the applicant’s place of residence is not in
       agreement with their passport’s place of issue, the applicant is asked to
       submit a residence permit issued at least six months prior to application. The
       Embassy may require extra documents (like working contract or house
       property) to support residence permit.

I am a third-country national living in China. Can I apply for a non-immigrant
visa here in China or do I have to apply in my home country?
      While there is no prohibition for third country nationals to apply, applicants
       should be able to provide evidence of their legal permission to reside in our
       Consular District, by producing their student or work residence permit. The
       Embassy may require extra documents (like working contract or house
       property) to support residence permit.

My husband holds a Beijing permanent residence permit, while I hold a
Shanghai one; I have recently moved to Beijing and I do not have any
temporary residence permit yet. Can we apply for visa together at the same
Consulate?

      No. In this case you have to apply for visa separately at the Consular District
       having jurisdiction on the province that has issued the permanent residence
       permit.

I already hold a multiple-entry Schengen visa that is about to expire. Can I
apply for a new visa in advance?

      Yes. However, the validity of the new visa will start from the expiry date of the
       previous visa.

My Schengen visa has a 6-month validity. How long can I stay in the
Schengen area?

      If you hold a 6-month multiple-entry visa, you have to leave the Schengen
       area before the expiration of your visa, you can stay up to a total of 90 days
       within a validity of 180 days.
Can I bring friends and family with me, if I am to be interviewed?

      We regret that there is not enough space in our visa section for friends and
       family. We therefore ask you to come alone, if possible. We make an
       exception for family accompanying applicants aged 18 or under, elderly
       relatives aged 65 or over, as well as for sponsors of settlement applications.


How far in advance of my travel date can I apply for visa?

      Three months maximum. For example, if you plan to depart in September, you
       cannot apply before June. We recommend that you apply at least three weeks
       before your planned date of departure.


Can I apply by EMS?

      No. Neither the Italian Embassy Visa Section nor the Italy Visa Application
       Center will be able to accept applications sent via courier. However, if you do
       not wish to return to the Italy Visa Application Centre, a courier service will be
       available at an additional cost.


Which is the expiry date of my visa?

      Two important data appear on the visa: the visa expiry date (e.g. 17th
       November) and the duration of the stay expressed in days (e.g. 10 days). The
       applicant must leave the Schengen area before their visa expiry date, making
       sure that the duration of their stay does not exceed the one stated on their
       visa.


What should I do after obtaining visa?

      Upon entering Italian territory, you have to make sure that you hold all the
       documents already submitted for your visa application, as well as proof of
       financial means. Where applicable, you will have to apply for a residence
       permit at the local police station (“Questura”).

Should I refer to a travel agent or other advisor to help me with my visa
application?

      No. It is not necessary since the Italy Visa Application Center can assist you on
       any issue related to your visa application. Please distrust people promising a
       speedy processing of your visa application. No one can guarantee visa issue to
       you. Application forms and information are available free of charge on the
       websites www.ambpechino.esteri.it and www.italyvac.cn.


I have heard that it is better to say that I am going for business rather than
for tourism or to see relatives. Is this true?

      No. On the contrary, problems arise when applicants deliberately mislead the
       interviewing officer during the interview. Once a misrepresentation is made, it
       will be difficult to believe any other information supplied by the applicant.


Shouldn't I conceal the fact that I have close relatives living in Italy, that I
have an immigration visa application on file, or that I have previously been
denied visa? What are the consequences if an applicant conceals or
misrepresents information or submits fraudulent documents to the Embassy?

      The risks of fraud are serious. Applicants who provide incorrect information
       will be denied visa. All applications are checked against computer records to
       see if certain information on the application was truthfully presented.
       Applicants submitting fake documents are reported to the Italian Prosecutor.
       Public passport holders submitting fraudulent documents will be reported to
       the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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                                    Business visa


I often go to Italy for business purposes and I wish to apply for a 1-year
multiple-entry visa. Do I need to draw up a 1-year insurance policy?

      The insurance policy has to cover only the first period of stay in Italy, which
       has to be documented. It is implied that applicants will draw up an insurance
       policy every time they travel to Italy within the period of validity of their visa.


The inviting Italian company undertakes to provide me with an insurance
coverage for the whole duration of my stay in Italy. Do I need to further
draw up a Chinese insurance policy?

      Undertaking to provide health insurance is not sufficient. If the Italian
       company has drawn up an insurance policy in Italy, relevant certification has
       to be attached to the visa application. Otherwise, the applicants will have to
       draw up an insurance policy themselves.

The inviting Italian company issued an invitation letter for a period of 10
days; I will then proceed to Paris for a 3-day conference. Can I apply for a
Schengen visa whose duration covers both visits?

      Yes. However, it is necessary to submit a letter of invitation from France, or,
       on the alternative, a declaration by the Italian company stating that the
       applicant will proceed to France and specifying the reason of the trip and the
       hotel where the applicant will stay.

I am going to Italy a for 10-day training session at a Milan-based company.
Before returning to China, I wish to go to Vienna on a 3-day holiday. Shall I
apply for a business or a tourist visa?

      You can apply for a business visa. However, you will need to provide proof of
       financial means and hotel reservation in Vienna.


Two colleagues and I have been invited by the same Italian company for a
10-day training session in Rome. I hold a public passport with previous
Schengen and US visas, while my colleagues have never travelled before and
hold standard passports. Can we apply for visa together?

      No. Even though you have been invited by the same company, visa
       applications from public passport holders MUST NECESSARILY be forwarded to
       the Italian Embassy by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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                                  Employment visa


What should I do to obtain a working permit in Italy?

      The application can only be submitted by the Italian or foreign employer at the
       local Unified Immigration Desk (“Sportello Unico”).

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                                      Study visa


I wish to enroll in an Italian university. Where can I find relevant
information? Which documents should I submit to apply for visa? What
validity will my visa have?

      You can find all the information on enrolment into Italian universities on the
       website www.studyinitaly.cn . The visa application is the final stage of the pre-
       enrolment procedure. For a list of the necessary documents to apply for visa,
       please visit the website www.italyvac.cn and click on the relevant checklist.
       Study visa is usually valid until 31st January of the year following the
       registration year; the validity of the residence permit will be extended
       accordingly by the relevant police headquarters upon passing the prescribed
       university exams.

I have a scholarship covering university tuition, lodging and boarding for the
whole period of my stay in Italy. Do I have to show any other proof of
financial means?

      You will have to only if the amount of your scholarship is lower than the one
       set by the relevant directive passed by the Italian Ministry of the Interior in
       2000.

I have been granted a 3-year scholarship to study in Italy. Can I bring my
wife and children with me?

      Yes. Family reunion is granted to anyone staying in Italy for a period of over 1
       year. Before applying for a family reunion visa, you will have to obtain special
       permission (“nullaosta”) at the relevant Unified Immigration Desk.

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                                     Tourist visa


I have already traveled to Schengen countries with business visas. I now
wish to go to Italy on a long holiday. Can I apply for a 6-month multiple-
entry visa?

      As a rule, tourist visas are issued for short periods and based on the
       documentation submitted by the applicant.


I wish to go and visit a relative living in Italy. In order to be granted visa, is
it sufficient for me to just provide proof of financial means?
      If the applicants have a solid financial position or have already travelled to the
       European Union in the recent past, it is sufficient for them to provide proof of
       financial means. Otherwise, the inviting person is advised to arrange a bank
       guarantee (“fidejussione”) in favour of the applicants. Upon application for
       visa, if the original certificate of bank guarantee is submitted, there will be no
       need to provide any other proof of financial means.


How much is the amount of the bank guarantee supposed to be?

      The amount is set by the relevant Directive of the Italian Ministry of the
       Interior, circulated among all Italian banks.


I am an Italian citizen registered with AIRE and resident in China. I have
lived with my Chinese girlfriend for two years; I would want to marry her,
but I have a pending divorce case in Italy. I wish to invite my girlfriend to
Italy for a short stay. What kind of visa should I apply for?

      You can only apply for a tourist visa.


I have been studying at the University of Madrid for 6 months and I hold a
residence permit issued by the Spanish Police. I wish to travel to Italy for a
2-week holiday; which documents should I prepare?

      No document is necessary. As a resident and holder of a residence permit in a
       Schengen country, you need not apply for visa.

I am currently in Italy and my tourist visa is about to expire. Can I extend it
at the Police Station (“Questura”)?

No. You NECESSARILY MUST leave Italian territory before your visa expires. Visas
cannot be extended, they only entitle you to enter national territory.

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                                    Re-entry visa


I hold a valid Italian residence permit. If I wish to travel to China for a short
period and then return to Italy, do I have to apply for a re-entry visa to Italy?

      No. If you hold a valid residence permit, you do not have to apply for a re-
       entry visa to Italy. You will just have to show your passport and residence
       permit at the border customs post.


I have applied through the Post Office for the issue of my residence permit,
but I have not obtained it yet; in the meantime, I have returned to China.
What do I need to do to re-enter Italy?

      You can re-enter Italy without applying for a new visa, provided that:

       1.   your permit of stay is issued for reasons of working or family reunion
       2.   you exit and re-enter through the same border post
       3.   your trip does not entail transiting through any other Schengen countries
       4.   you can show your passport, your entry visa or expired residence permit,
            and your Post Office receipt at the border post
       Foreign border authorities are aware of this procedure.


I have applied through the Post Office for the renewal of my residence
permit, but I have not obtained it yet; in the meantime, I have returned to
China. What do I need to do to re-enter Italy?

      You can re-enter Italy without applying for a new visa, provided that:

       1. you exit and re-enter through the same border post
       2. your trip does not entail transiting through any other Schengen countries
       3. you can show your passport, your entry visa or expired residence permit,
          and your Post Office receipt at the border post

       Foreign border authorities are aware of this procedure.

My employment residence permit expired a few days ago, after my
temporary return to China. I am supposed to return to Italy in 2 weeks to
resume work. Can I apply for a re-entry visa?

      Yes.


I lost my Italian residence permit in China. What should I do?

      You have to apply for a re-entry visa at the relevant Italian diplomatic mission
       in China, attaching the residence permit loss/theft report issued by the local
       Police Station and legalized by the Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

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                                      ADS Visa

I am a Chinese citizen wishing to go to Europe on holiday with a tourist
group. Which documents should I submit to apply for visa?

      Please contact any accredited Chinese travel agency for detailed information.
       The list of accredited agencies can be found on www.cnta.gov.cn



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