Sport visa – how to apply?

Jul 01, 2021

Visa for sport events – up to 90 days

Foreign athletes who need to participate to a sport event in Italy shall apply for short-term Sport Competition Visa at the Italian Consulate in the country of residence. This type of visa authorizes the holder to stay in Italy for up to 90 days to take part to a sport competition/event without performing continuously sport activities.

Among the documents to be submitted for the visa application, it is necessary to submit an invitation letter from CONI (Italian National Olympic Committee), or from the relevant Italian Sports Federation or the entity organizing the event confirming that the applicant is attending the competition.

Nationals of the following countries do not require a visa for visits up to a maximum of 90 days for participating in sports events:

Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominica, El Salvador, Emirati Arabi Uniti, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Georgia, Guatemala, Grenada, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Macao, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Northern Marianas, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Santa Lucia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, St, Vincent e Grenadine, Taiwan, Timor Est, Trinidad e Tobago, Ukraine, United States, Uruguay, Vanuatu, Venezuela.

Long term Sport visa

Foreign athletes who need to move to Italy for sport purposes must apply for a long-term Sport Visa, which allows for a long term stay in Italy and to perform professional activities for an Italian Sports Association.

Sport Visas are issued subject to the availability of Government quotas, which are allocated to CONI (Italian National Olympic Committee) and subsequently shared among the various Italian Sport Federations.

For example, for the season 2019/20, the Italian Government released 1,090 quotas which are valid for (a) sportsmen entry for work reasons, and (b) the enrolments into sports clubs of foreigners, already in Italy, with a valid Residence Permit (Permesso di Soggiorno).

Italian Sports Associations willing to hire a foreign national must obtain a special authorization from the Italian National Olympic Committee by filing a sort of Work Permit application. If the CONI grants the quota and issues the Work Permit, then the foreigner can apply for the sport visa at the Italian Consulate in the country of residence.

Within 8 days of arrival in Italy with the sport visa, the foreigner must apply for the Residence Permit which is issued by the local Police Headquarters. The permit shall be valid for 1 year, renewable and – if eligibility requirements are met – can also be converted into a permit allowing to work in Italy in any sector.

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