Italian passport: the world’s 3rd most powerful passport

Oct 15, 2019

The original ranking of all the world’s passports – Henley passport index has ranked the Italian passport the world’s 3rd most powerful passport of 2019.

The ranking is based on the number of destinations their holders can access without a prior visa. Italy hold third place in the index, with visa-free/visa-on-arrival access to 187 countries.

The Italian passport

The Italian passport is both a travel and an identification document. It is issued by the Police (Questura) in Italy (for Italian nationals residing in Italy) or by the embassies/consulates abroad (for Italian nationals residing outside Italy).

As a rule, the passport must be applied for at the relevant Police or embassy/consulate with jurisdiction over the place of residence. Under some circumstances, it is possible to apply at a different office than the one with jurisdiction, but in this case, the application will take longer because the relevant office will need to “authorize” the other office to issue the passport. 

Passport Types

Italian law provides for 3 types of passport

I. Ordinary Passport (48-page booklet)

This is an electronic passport using advanced technologies such as an anti-counterfeit stamp and a microprocessor chip containing the personal data of the holder and the authority that issued it.

Passport validity depends on the age of the holder:  

  • minors up to 3 years: passport validity 3 years;
  • minors from 3 to 18: passport validity 5 years;
  • anyone over the age of 18: passport validity 10 years.

If the applicant has children under the age of 18, he/she must obtain a written statement of consent to the issuance of the passport from the other parent, regardless of applicant’s civil status (single, married, separated or divorced); if the applicant is under the age of 18, it is necessary to submit a written statement of consent from both parents;

As the passport application requires the collection of fingerprints and signature personal presence is necessary. Minors under the age of 12 are exempt from having their fingerprints taken.

II. Temporary Passport (16-page booklet)

The Temporary Passport is an emergency paper format document which does not contain a microchip with the holder’s personal data and is issued in cases of temporary inability to provide fingerprints, and only in emergency circumstances where it is deemed necessary to guarantee safety, health or economic interests of an Italian national. It has a potential validity of up to one year.

III. Group Passport

Group passports are issued only by the Italian Police in Italy (Questura) for cultural, religious, sports and tourism reasons, or other reasons based upon international agreements. The application can be made by a group leader with a valid passport and allows for travel of groups from 5 to 50 people. It is valid for a maximum of 4 months from the date of issuance.

Passport Renewal

A passport cannot be renewed, an application for a new passport must be submitted. There are no specific timelines for requesting a new passport, the application can be filed well before the current passport expiration date.

Second Passport

It is possible to obtain a second passport only in 2 cases:

  • when for documented political/international reasons or due to war or religious reasons the use of 2 separate passports for entry and/or stay in certain countries is required
  • when for urgent and documented professional reasons, one cannot wait for obtaining a visa or for the necessary procedures to enter a certain country and must travel immediately

The procedure is the same as the one for requesting a new passport. It is to be noted that this it’s an exceptional procedure and that before issuing the passport authorities will thoroughly check the supporting documents submitted upon application. Authorities can also decide to limit the passport validity (in terms of countries and/or time). Additionally, the passport that cannot be used for travel should be deposited at the Police Office. Only in certain circumstances, authorities can allow the holder to keep both passports.

Passport duplicate

If the passport is lost, stolen or if it runs out of pages a new application must be filed (authorities do not issue a duplicate). In case of loss or theft, the applicant must also submit the relevant police report.

In order to determine whether or not you would qualify to request Italian citizenship and obtain an Italian passport, contact us by filling out the online form, or send us an email to

Giuditta Petreni

Giuditta Petreni has over 10 years of experience in assisting companies and business investors with relocation of managers and staff to Italy. Giuditta has extensive experience advising corporate and private clients on a full range of Italian immigration categories. She is fluent in Italian and English.

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