The visa can be of an individual type - issued to an individual applicant and affixed to an individual passport - or collective - passport issued to a group of foreigners, all having the same citizenship as the country of issue of the passport, and on condition that the document is expressly and formally recognized by Italy.
According to the Visa Code (EC Regulation No. 810/2009 of 13.7.2009, which entered into force on 5.4.2010), visas are divided into:
1. Schengen Uniform Visas (VSU), valid for the territory of all the Contracting Parties, issued for:
- Airport transit (type A);
- Transit (type B): type of visa repealed by the Visa Code (EC Regulation No. 810/2009 of 13.7.2009, in force since 5.4.2010). From 5 April 2010, transit visas are type C;
- Short-term or travel stays (type C) up to 90 days, with single or multiple entries.
To prominent personalities or to favorably known persons, who require visas on a regular basis and offer the necessary guarantees, the Schengen legislation allows, exceptionally, the issue of type C visas which, while allowing to stay up to 90 days for each semester, are valid for one (C1), two (C2), three (C3) or five years (C5).
2. Limited Territorial Validity Visas (LTV), valid only for the Schengen State whose Representation has issued the visa (or, in particular cases, also for other specifically indicated Schengen States), without any possibility of access, not even for the sole transit, to the territory of the other Schengen States. It constitutes an exceptional derogation from the common regime of the VSU, admitted only for humanitarian reasons, of national interest or under international obligations.
They cannot be requested directly by the foreigner but, in a few particular cases, issued by the diplomatic or consular representation when, even if not in the presence of all the conditions prescribed for the issue of the Uniform Visa, the latter deems it appropriate to grant a visa equally for the reasons described, or in the presence of a valid unrecognized travel document, for particular reasons of urgency, or in case of need.
3. Long-stay or "National" (VN) Visas, valid for stays of more than 90 days (type D), with one or more entries, in the territory of the Schengen State whose representation has issued the visa. D Visa holders can move freely in Schengen countries other than the one who issued the visa, for a period not exceeding 90 days per semester only if the visa is valid.
Countries whose citizens are visa-free for short stays.
Citizens of the following countries and territories are instead exempt from the entry visa requirement for stays of up to 90 days, for tourism, mission, business, invitation, sports competition and study:
Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, South Korea, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominica, El Salvador, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), United Arab Emirates, Georgia, Japan, Grenada, Guatemala, Honduras, Hong Kong, Solomon Islands, Israel, Kiribati, Malaysia, Macao, Northern Mariana Islands, Marshall, Mauritius, Mexico, Micronesia, Monaco, Montenegro, Nicaragua, New Zealand, Palau, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Saint Lucia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, United States, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Taiwan, East Timor, Tonga, Trinidad, Tobago, Tuvalu, Ukraine , Uruguay, Vanatu, Venezuela.
As far as Taiwan is concerned, the exemption from the visa requirement applies only to holders of passports including an identity card number.
For citizens of Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, the exemption from the visa requirement applies only to holders of biometric passports.
Serbian citizens holding passports issued by the Serbian Coordination Directorate (in Serbian: Koordinaciona upreva) are excluded from the benefit of the visa waiver.
The citizens of SAN MARINO, SANTA SEDE and SWITZERLAND are exempt from the visa requirement in any case.
See also Migrant Integration Portal