Italy: Use of Business Visas Restricted

Italian consulates are heavily scrutinizing business visa requests and are only issuing business visas for purposes of stay within the scope of acceptable business visa activities. Due to this scrutiny, Fragomen recommends that visa nationals should only apply for business visas to Italy if the activity they will perform falls within the scope of acceptable business visa activities.

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Feb 09, 2018
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The situation

Italian consular posts are currently only issuing business visas for purposes of stay which fall within the scope of acceptable business visit activities.

A closer look

Although there is no law outlining the specifics of business travel in Italy, business activities which are generally acceptable include:

  • Attending business meetings;
  • Signing contracts;
  • Attending exhibitions, seminars and similar events;
  • Receiving training in a classroom environment;
  • Verifying the use and functioning of capital goods purchased or sold under commercial and industrial cooperation agreements; and
  • Conducting internal audits of an affiliated Italian entity.

Consulates retain discretion to reject business visa applications for purposes of stay outside the scope of acceptable business activities, despite the Ministry of Foreign Affairs previously confirming that it may accept other purposes of stay, such as maintenance and repair of machineries sold by the sending company.

Impact for foreign nationals

Visa nationals travelling to Italy to perform activities not considered within the scope of acceptable business activities may face delays of up to a few months as they may need to obtain work authorization before travel.

Visa exempt nationals may also be affected by the restriction on permissible business activities since they may face personal sanctions for performing restricted activities and their employers could also be fined.

This alert is for informational purposes only. If you have any questions, please contact the global immigration professional with whom you work at Fragomen or send an email to emea@fragomen.com.

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Fragomen, Del Rey, Bernsen & Loewy, LLP, Fragomen Global LLP and affiliates, (collectively known as “Fragomen Worldwide”) is the world’s largest firm dedicated to corporate immigration, and is recognized as the leading global immigration services provider.

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