If you are travelling to a non-Schengen country, but have to stop in Italy to change your means of transportation, you may need an Italy Transit Visa. The transit visa for Italy (also known as an A-visa) is a type of short-stay visa for Italy.

However, even though the Italy Transit Visa falls under the Schengen category, it does not allow the holder to stay in Italy for up to 90 days or visit other Schenegen countries, like the C-type Italy Schengen visa does.

Depending on how you are travelling (by plane or by sea) there are two types of Italian transit visas:

  • Italy Airport Transit Visa (ATV)
  • Italy Transit Visa for Seamen

They have different requirements and times of validity.

Italy Airport Transit Visa

The Italy Airport Transit Visa is only valid for 24 hours and it does not allow the holder to leave the transit area of the airport. You must stay in the airport even if it means waiting overnight.

You need an Airport Transit Visa for Italy if you are stopping at an Italian airport to catch another flight and continue your travel to a destination outside the Schengen area.

However, not everyone needs an Italy Airport Transit Visa.

Who Needs an Italy Airport Transit Visa?

You need an Airport Transit Visa to change flights at an Italian airport if you are from the following countries:

  • Afghanistan
  • Bangladesh
  • Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Ghana
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Nigeria
  • Pakistan
  • Somalia
  • Sri Lanka
  • Senegal
  • Syria

However, even if you are a national from the aforementioned countries, you may be exempt from an Airport Transit Visa for Italy if you fulfill one of the following conditions:

  • You already have a valid visa or residence permit for one of the Schengen-area countries or for:
    • Andorra
    • Bulgaria
    • Canada
    • Cyprus
    • Croatia
    • Ireland
    • Japan
    • Romania
    • San Marino
    • United States of America
    • United Kingdom
  • You are a family member of an EU citizen.
  • You have a diplomatic, service, or special passport.
  • You are an airline crew member and a national of a country that’s part of the Chicago Convention on international civil aviation.

Requirements for an Italy Airport Transit Visa

When you apply for an Italy Airport Transit Visa, you must submit the following documents:

Keep in mind that if you want to change planes in Italy to travel to another Schengen country, you need a regular C-type Schengen visa, even if your final destination is a non-Schengen country. You can only change planes in Italy if you are catching a flight to a non-Schengen country.

Italy Transit Visa for Seamen

You need an Italy Transit Visa for Seaman if you are a crew member of a sea vessel (such as a container ship) and you need to:

  • Join a sea vessel on an Italian sea port
  • Disembark from one sea vessel to another in an Italian seaport
  • Disembark from a sea vessel because of sickness, repatriation, holiday, etc.

An Italian Transit Visa for Seamen is valid for up to five days.

Who needs an Italy Transit Visa for Seamen?

You need an Italy Visa for Seaman if you are a national of a country for which Visa requirements apply to. This excludes Schengen and EU/EEA nationals as well as a certain number of other countries.

What are the Requirements for an Italy Transit Visa for Seamen?

When you apply for an Italy Transit Visa for Seamen, you need to provide the following documents:

  • A completed and signed Italy Schengen Visa Application Form.
  • Two recent and identical passport pictures in line with Schengen photo requirements. One of the pictures must be attached to the application.
  • Your current and valid passport with at least two blank pages.
    • In some cases, you may need to submit any previous passports (if applicable). If a previous passport was lost, you need to present a police report.
  • Photocopies of your passport’s biographic data pages.
  • Your Seaman Book (along with photocopies of it) which must be valid for the duration of your assignment.
  • Invitation letter from the Local Shipping Agency. It must include:
    • Information about the port of entry, arrival and departure dates, details of the sea vessel, as well as the seaman’s employment status on the ship.
    • The shipping agency’s certificate/license.
  • Travel insurance of at least €30,000, covering the entire Schengen Area and all arising medical emergencies.
  • Copy of your employment contract.
  • If applicable: Confirmed flight reservation.
  • Paid Italian visa fee.

How to apply for an Italy Transit Visa?

You apply for an Italy Transit Visa (Airport or Seamen) at the adequate location which accepts all other Italian Visa applications in your country. Depending on the country, this could be:

  • The Italian Representation in your country, such as an Italian embassy or consulate.
  • The Representation of another Schengen country that Italy has outsourced visa applications to (if there is no Italian Representation in your country).
  • A private Visa Application Center, such as VFS Global, COX and Kings, or TLS International, that Italy has outsourced visa applications to.

Before you submit your application, you have to book an appointment. On the date of your appointment, you must submit the completed Visa Application Form and all required documents in person.

That day, you also pay a non-refundable Italian visa fee.