When Italy pops up in conversations, Italian passport visa-free countries aren’t usually the first thing someone would mention. After all, it’s a country that captivates the senses and sparks the imagination with its legendary influences on art, architecture, fashion, and cuisine worldwide. But on the topic of travel, Italian passport holders are some of the most privileged in the world.
Whether you’re planning a holiday, studying abroad, or looking to relocate, the travel freedom and visa-free access afforded to Italian citizens make life and travel planning much easier than in many other countries. Italian passport holders can travel visa-free or with a visa-on-arrival to many countries around the world. This is particularly advantageous for Italian travelers who love to travel frequently or want to explore new destinations and territories without the hassle of dealing with visa applications.
This article will take a closer look at the Italian passport (il passaporto italiano) and the many visa-free countries you can visit. We will explore some of the most exciting destinations and share useful information on travel requirements for Italian passport holders.
So, whether you’re dreaming of a tropical paradise or an exciting city break, let’s dive into the world of Italian passport visa-free countries.
How many Italian passport visa-free countries are there?
After the 2023 update to the Global Peace Index, there are now have 174 visa-free countries for Italian passport holders to travel to.
Where can Italian passport holders travel without a visa?
Of the 174 visa-free countries for Italian passport holders, 81 don’t require any form of electronic visa, electronic travel authorization, or issue a visa-on-arrival. Some of these countries include:
- Antigua and Barbuda: 90 days
- Brazil: 90 days within 180 days
- Colombia: 180 days
- Cook Islands: 31 days
- Costa Rica: 90 days
- El Salvador: 90 days
- Hong Kong: 90 days
- Israel: 90 days
- Japan: 90 days
- Malaysia: 90 days
- Marshall Islands: 90 days
- Mexico: 180 days
- Namibia: 90 days
- Panama: 180 days
- Sao Tome and Principe: 15 days
- Solomon Islands: 90 days
- South Africa: 90 days
- Saint Kitts and Nevis: 90 days
- Saint Lucia: 90 days within 180 days
- Saint Vincent and the Grenadines: 90 days within 180 days
- Thailand: 30 days
- United Arab Emirates: 90 days within 180 days
- United Kingdom: 180 days
- Turks and Caicos Islands: 90 days
- Cayman Islands: 180 days
- British Virgin Islands: 30 days
Where can Italian passport holders travel without a passport?
As a member of the Schengen Area, Italian citizens have the freedom to travel to 26 countries and territories without a passport. These passport-free countries are:
- Czech Republic
It’s also possible to enter European countries like North Macedonia without a passport.
Which countries will issue electronic visas to Italian citizens?
Twenty one countries will issue an electronic visa (e-visa) to Italian passport holders. Some of these countries include:
- Australia: 90 days
- Cambodia: 30 days
- India: 60 days
- Kenya: 90 days
- Papua New Guinea: 60 days
- Suriname: 90 days
Which countries will approve electronic travel authorization for Italian citizens?
Five countries will approve electronic travel authorization for Italian passport holders. These countries are:
- Canada: 180 days
- New Zealand: 90 days
- Qatar: 90 days
- South Korea: 90 days
- United States: 90 days
Which countries will offer a visa-on-arrival to Italian citizens?
Thirty countries will issue a visa-on-arrival or tourist card to valid Italian passport holders. Some of these countries include:
- Guinea-Bissau: 90
- Lebanon: One month
- Jordan: 30 days
- Maldives: 30 days
- Sao Tome and Principe: 15 days
- Sierra Leone: 30 days
- Togo: Seven days
How can Italian citizens apply for a visa?
Italian citizens’ visa requirements depend on the country they wish to gain entry to and what the country’s requirements are for Italian citizens to enter the country. Applying for a single trip or multiple-entry visa typically involves submitting a visa application and legal documents, such as a passport and criminal record certificate, to the embassy or consulate of the destination country.
A visa applicant can expect to be requested to present the following documents if they need a visa to enter a country:
- A valid Italian passport or certified copy with at least six months validity
- A completed visa application form
- Recent passport-size photos
- Proof of paying the visa fee
- A detailed travel itinerary showing locations of intended stay
- A Letter of invitation (if applicable)
Other requirements, such as proof of sufficient funds, health insurance, and a booked return flight home, may be requested during the visa application process. Contact the embassy or consulate of your destination country for relevant information and clarification on the visa requirements for Italian passport holders.
Applying for an electronic visa
The application process to obtain an electronic visa is generally straightforward and considered a type of pre-visa, informing a destination country of your intended arrival and details about your trip. Visa applications are submitted online via an official government portal and don’t involve attending an appointment at an embassy or consulate, provided you fulfill the eligibility criteria.
Applying for electronic travel authorization
An electronic travel authorization is a technical term for a visa waiver issued to foreign nationals with a visa-exemption. Similar to an e-visa, applicants are required to register online and submit details of their trip. It may also require detailed information about current and past work history, education, and criminal records.
Obtaining a visa-on-arrival
Being issued a visa upon arrival in a country at the immigration checkpoint is the most lenient form of entry after free entry and visa-free travel. It’s another form of visa-free travel as there’s no electronic visa required or requirement to apply and pay for an electronic travel authorization before arrival. Most countries that issue a visa upon arrival won’t request additional documents besides your passport for it to be approved.
Things to note about visa requirements
While the visa requirements for countries will come under the general terms of visa-free, visa-on-arrival, electronic visas, or electronic travel authorization, certain aspects will vary from country to country.
Single-entry versus multiple-entry: Visa-free countries may require a traveler to apply for a visa if they wish to gain multiple-entries into the country over a specific timeframe. Malaysia visa requirements for multiple-entry are more stringent than single-entry for passport holders who require a visa to travel there.
Air versus land border crossing: Traveling via air or over land may have different requirements for entry.
Italian passport holders can travel visa-free to Venezuela via Caracas, but crossing Venezuela’s land borders with Brazil or Colombia will require a valid visa issued by the Venezuelan Embassy in Italy.
Departure flight: Almost all countries require foreign visitors to have a booked onward journey confirming their exit from the country within the allowed stay period. The United States applies this rule differently; Onward travel by ESTA travelers to Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean islands is not considered a departure from US territory and may not be accepted in order to gain entry. Trips from the US to Canada, Mexico, and Caribbean islands for short periods will not reset the allowed stay counter and will count towards the maximum stay in the US.
Frequently Asked Questions about Italian Passport Visa-Free Countries
Can Italian passport holders travel visa-free to the USA?
Italian passport holders can travel without a visa to the United States. US visa requirements for Italian citizens are that they must obtain an Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA). An ESTA is an electronic travel authorization (visa waiver) issued by US Customs and Border Protection to passport holders of countries with a visa-exemption.
How many countries can Italian passport holders visit without a visa?
Italian citizens can travel without a visa to 174 countries around the world.
- 37 countries allow free access without a visa or valid passport
- 81 countries allow visa-free entry
- 30 countries issue a visa on arrival
- 21 countries require an electronic visa
- Five countries require an electronic travel authorization
How strong is an Italian passport?
An Italian passport is one of the world’s most powerful passports, ranking 26th out of 197 countries on the Global Passport Index. The German passport is currently the world’s strongest; however, Italian citizens can travel without a visa to the same number of countries as German citizens, at 174 visa-free countries.
Do I qualify for an Italian passport?
Whether or not you fulfill the Italian passport requirements depends on if you qualify for Italian citizenship. Foreign citizens can be granted an Italian passport if they meet the following eligibility criteria for citizenship:
- They have an Italian ancestor.
- They are married to an Italian citizen and have lived in Italy for two years, or three years if living outside Italy (the time period is reduced if they and their spouse have children).
- They are Italian permanent residents and have lived in Italy for ten years.
You can gain permanent residence and eventually citizenship in Italy through the Italy Golden Visa program. This investor visa program allows foreign nationals to invest in the country in exchange for a long-term residence permit.
How many passports can you have in Italy?
Italy officially recognizes dual citizenship and has no limitations on the number of passports Italian citizens can hold. You can have an Italian passport and passports from other countries you’re a citizen of.
Is Canada a visa-free country for Italian passport holders?
Italy is one of Canada’s visa-exempt countries. As one of the Italian passport visa-free countries, Italian citizens can travel visa-free to Canada by obtaining an Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA). A Canadian eTA is a multiple-entry travel permit valid for five years.