• Use of Business Visas Restricted
  • March 20, 2018
  • 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.