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Schengen and national visas to Italy

The Embassy of Italy in Beirut deals with visa applications of those citizens, legally resident in Lebanon and Syria, who are subject to the visa requirement. It has competence to issue Schengen visas (type C) for short stay and national visas (type D) which enable foreigners to apply for residency permits in Italy. According to the Italian law, there are 21 genres of visas of both C and D types.

Visa stickers specify the following information: numbers of entrances, duration and validity of visas. Entrances can be 1, 2 or multiple. The maximum duration is 90 days every 180 days. Validity is the time (up to a maximum of 5 years) during which the visa can be used in compliance with the agreed duration. Surpassing the validity set forth by the visa (overstay), even if the overstay occurs within the agreed duration, is not permitted.

There are 21 genres of visas, which may be Schengen (C) or national (D). The main C visas are tourism and business. The main D are diplomatic and reentrance. Visas for medical care, autonomous work, mission, religious affairs, research, study can be C or D, according to the necessary validity.

The Embassy is in any case entitled to check whether the recipient of a visa has returned to Lebanon (or Syria) after the declared trip to Italy. In case of a person who has not come back within the limits of the visa validity, the Embassy has the duty to inform the relevant Italian judiciary.

Visa validity may not be extended to the last three months before the expiration of the passport; therefore, it is advisable to check the duration of the passport before applying for a visa. The passport must have at least two empty pages.

The procedure for Lebanese and Syrian citizens requires up to two weeks, due to the technical times of the Schengen consultation. Therefore, it is advisable to submit an application at least three weeks before departure. It is not possible to guarantee the issuance of the visa if the file is submitted less than two weeks before departure.


Schengen Visa Code

An amended version of the Schengen Visa Code has been in force since 2nd February 2020, establishing three major changes.

First, the Code increases the visa fee from 60 to 80 Euros, with variations as per national visas or visas for minors between 6 and 12 years old.

Secondly, it sets forth specific criteria for the issuance of long-term visas according to a progressive scale (Art. 24).

Thirdly, it allows submitting visa applications up to a maximum of six months before the forecasted departure.

According to Art. 24, visas can be issued “a) for a validity period of one year, provided that the applicant has obtained and lawfully used three visas within the previous two years; b) for a validity period of two years, provided that the applicant has obtained and lawfully used a previous multiple-entry visa valid for one year within the previous two years; c) for a validity period of five years, provided that the applicant has obtained and lawfully used a previous multiple-entry visa valid for two years within the previous three years”.

The Schengen visa Code can be consulted on the website of the European Union.


Submitting a visa application

To apply for a national or Schengen visa, you can contact TLScontact from Monday to Friday between 08:30 and 16:30 (Tel.: +961 78 917 986) or log to their website in order to set an appointment through the company itself (with an additional processing fee).

The Visa Desk of the Italian Embassy in Beirut deals with requests of information through the email address It is advised to specify name, query and phone number. Requests will be receive an automatic reply, prior to a written or phone answer.

If you wish to find out whether you need a visa or not, information can be found by answering 4 simple questions on the following website