travel documents

Before departure it is important to check that you have the necessary documents - identity and health - to enter the country you are travelling to.

Otherwise you may be refused entry. You can check details either on Viaggiare Sicuri or on Agenzia delle Dogane websites.

SCHENGEN area

The Schengen Agreement, which came into effect in 1995, abolished internal border controls between member countries. The agreement introduced uniform border procedures and common rules on visas and political asylum allowing people to travel freely among the signatories.

Passengers travelling to a Schengen destination must show a current identity document that is valid for foreign travel.

Countries which apply the Schengen Agreement in full are: Austria, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, Austria, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Belgium, Netherlands, Malta, Poland, Portugal, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Hungary, plus Iceland, Norway and Switzerland (which do not belong to the EU). Sweden, the last country to join the Schengen area, opened its land borders in 2008 and air frontiers at the end of March 2009.

Ireland and the U.K. have not signed the agreement. Cyprus, which joined the EU in 2004, and Bulgaria and Romania, which joined in 2007, are still not full participants to the Schengen agreement. You must therefore show a valid passport or ID card to enter these countries. A driving licence is not a valid travel document.

For more information, please visit Ministero degli Affari Esteri website.

flights to the USA

From 12 January 2009 it is obligatory to fill in an online electronic travel authorization form (ESTA - Electronic System for Travel Authorization) to visit the United States under the Visa Waiver Program.

Updated information on the requisites fro entry to the United States are available at:

U.S. EMBASSY Web site: www.usembassy.us
U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE Web site: www.travel.state.gov
MINISTERO DEGLI AFFARI ESTERI Web site: www.esteri.en
ITALIAN POLICE Web site: www.poliziadistato.it
ESTA Web site: esta.cbp.dhs.gov

Flights to Canada

From 29 September, all foreign nationals without visas, including Italian citizens, will be required to have an "electronic Travel Authorization" (eTA) before embarking their flight, as already happens in the US with the ESTA.

The eTA is electronically linked to the passport of the applicant and is valid for a period of five years or until the passport expires, whichever occurs first. Applications must be made online. The application costs 7 Canadian dollars. The application form is available at Canada.ca/eTA.

Applications can be made from any device with an Internet connection, including mobile phones and, as a rule, will be answered within a few minutes except in cases in which the competent Canadian authorities deem that further checks are necessary. The new requirements came into force on 15 March 2016 but until 29 September travellers not in possession of an eTA may still board their flight as long as they have appropriate travel documents, such as a valid passport. In this period of time, customs service officials may allow travellers with an eTA to enter Canada as long as they satisfy the entry requirements.

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