Passports, Visas and Sojourner Permits

Military personnel may enter Italy on official military orders and with a military ID card. For security reasons, personal travel should be conducted with a tourist passport instead of a military ID card. Generally, non NATO countries require passports for military personnel. If your new duties in Naples require you to travel on official business to countries requiring an official passport, coordinate with your new command to obtain an official passport. Tourist passports are obtainable through the American Consulate in Naples. See your command’s travel representative for current information.

All military dependents and DoD civilians, including children, require a passport and a Missione visa for entry in to Italy. Thus, all military spouses, civilian component members and family members must obtain a Missione visa and an official or no-fee passport prior to their entry into Italy. Military family members, DoD civilians and their respective family members must request and receive the visa through their travel office or from the nearest Italian Consulate prior to their departure from the United States.

Visas require several weeks to obtain, and you cannot obtain a visa once you arrive in Italy. It is strongly recommended you start this process early so that your entire family may transfer with you. If you have a Letter of Intent from your detailer, you can begin the process. For additional information on visa requirements, see the Bureau of Consular Affairs website at http://www.state.gov/travel or check with your local NAVPTO or travel office.

Obtaining the appropriate visa after arrival in Italy is impossible, and most situations would require a return to the United States.

Dependents who are citizens of European Union countries do not require a visa. See http://www.usis.it/visa/ for additional information regarding Italian visa requirements.

Non-U.S. dependents may travel on their country passport, although non-U.S. dependents should consult with the Italian Embassy to determine if any further documentation is required for entry into Italy, which is usually determined by the dependent’s country of nationality.

Within eight days of their arrival in Italy, all military family members and DoD civilian employees and their family members are required to apply for a Sojourner Permit, the Permesso di Soggiorno. This document is issued by the Italian government. A Sojourner Permit is a confirmation of your legal resident status in Italy, much like an American Green Card. If you do not have a visa upon arrival in Italy, you cannot obtain a Sojourner Permit. It is different from a visa, which is merely an approval for entry to the country. Italian law requires all foreign personnel working or living within Italy, other than an active-duty service members under military orders, to apply for a Sojourner Permit within eight days of arrival in Italy.

All applicants over 14 years of age must apply in person, as each person’s signature is required at the time of application. Part of this procedure is the requirement to fingerprint individuals aged 18 and older.

As part of the Area Orientation process, the Region Legal Service Office, Europe Africa, Southwest Asia (RLSO EURAFSWA) assists in preparation and overseas the acquisition of the Sojourner Permit for all personnel attached to U.S. Navy commands in the Naples area. Army and Air Force personnel stationed at JFC must apply for Sojourner Permits through the Carabinieri at the JFC Provost Marshall’s Office, Building L.

Before you travel to Italy, you must have all necessary documents for the permit – specifically, a Missione visa issued by an Italian Consulate inside your no-fee U.S. passport. It is vital to work with your sponsor and new command to ensure that you have all necessary documents before you detach.

Civilians should always carry their Sojourner Permit and passport when traveling to other countries. While commuting in the local area, it is a good idea to carry a photocopy of your Sojourner Permit in case you are stopped by the police. Military members should, of course, always carry their military ID cards with them. 

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