Holy See entry requirements

Shamil Hasanli 19 June 2021 0 views 6 min. read

Where is Holy See? Holy See, The Vatican City, commonly known by the simple word the Vatican, is the smallest state globally, both in terms of population and area. It was officially created in 1929 with the signing of the Lateran Pacts by Benito Mussolini as a representative of the Italian State and Pietro Gasparri as a Holy See. In previous centuries, on the other hand, the Papal State had been a much larger entity, extending over a large part of Central Italy. With the emerging of the Kingdom of Italy in 1870, the territory was conquered by Italian troops, and the temporal power of the Popes was put to an end. The Vatican obviously opposed this imposition by the Italian government and continued its battle to obtain an autonomous territory until 11 February 1929. Where is Holy See? On this date, an agreement was finally reached which placed a portion of territory within the city of Rome at the disposal of the Holy See. In 1948 with the creation of the Italian Constitution, the Lateran Pacts were officially recognized also within the new legislation of the Italian Republic.

Holy See visa entry requirements

flag of holy see

If you want to travel to this historical and beautiful micro-statein the heart of Rome, the first thing you may think of is Holy See visa requirements or entry requirements. That is why, first of all, I want to make it clear that there are no special requirements for Holy See, all you need is to obtain the Schengen Visa for tourists. It is important to note that there are no airports in the Vatican and that, to get there, the closest international airport in Rome. The Vatican does not have passport controls, the rule that applies is that if you get into Italy, you will get into the Vatican. It is not possible to say for sure whether the Vatican is part of the European Union or the Schengen Treaty, but as it has open borders with Italy, you must follow the entry rules of European countries to enter. Indeed you may need special tickets for entering museum areas of the Vatican, but that is irrespective of your citizenship status. 

Schengen visa entry requirements

schengen visa

Schengen Treaty organizes border control among 26 European countries, so within these countries, there is free movement of people. There are three microstates in Europe which are namely: Holy See, Monaco, and San Marino that are not members of this treaty, but they agreed to open the borders. So this means that if you have an active Schengen visa from any of the member countries, you can easily visit Holy See. So, you will not find Holy See visa requirements particularly, instead it is better to apply for the Italian Schengen Visa. 

Holy See visa application with the invitation letter?


If you intend to stay at the home of a friend or relative during your stay in Italy, you must obtain a letter of invitation written by the person who will accommodate you, in which they are responsible for you during your trip. To make the letter of invitation even more reliable, you can send along with it a document proving that the author of the letter is legally living in the country, so that the authorities can be even more sure that he is able to take responsibility for you. If you have no idea how this invitation letter is made, you can find several templates online, with examples of how it should be structured.

Holy See visa application

filling visa application

The Uniform Schengen Visa allows you to travel for tourism in the 26 European countries that have joined the Schengen Convention. Having obtained a visa from one of these countries, with the same visa it is also possible to visit the other countries of the Schengen area, within the limits and validity of the visa itself. To obtain the Schengen visa for tourism, it is necessary to apply for it to the competent Consulate by presenting, among other documents, also flight bookings, hotel reservations, and a bank statement with sufficient funds to cover travel expenses. Consult the Table of the minimum funds required by the Italian Consulates. If, on the other hand, the applicant is staying with a person resident in Italy, of Italian nationality, or in possession of a residence permit, he can apply for a Schengen visa by invitation and bank guarantee. The same documents could be requested at airport controls or at land borders between Schengen states to those who exhibit a visa issued by another country.

Duration and entries of the Schengen visa

red passport

The Schengen visa is issued for a maximum stay of 90 days to be used in a single trip (one entry) or in multiple trips (multi-entry). Generally, however, Schengen visas are issued for a duration equal to that indicated by the documents presented, such as flight and hotel reservations, letters of invitation, sureties, and health policies. Longer visas (multi-entry with 90 days to be used within 6 months) are usually only granted to those who have already obtained a Schengen visa in the past. If you want to travel to multiple countries, consider those in your Holy See visa application.

1-entry Schengen visa

It allows you to enter the Schengen area only once and to move freely within the 26 European countries; after leaving the common area, the visa is no longer valid even if all the days granted have not been used

2-entry Schengen visa

It allows you to enter the Schengen area twice and move within the 26 European countries; after leaving the common area for the second time, the visa is no longer valid even if all the days granted have not been used.

Multi-entry Schengen visa

It allows you to enter and exit the Schengen area several times in a given period, staying in total in the Schengen countries for a specific number of days. For example, if the visa is valid from January 1st to June 30th and allows a stay of 90 days, it means that within those 6 months it is possible to enter and exit the common area several times, but the sum of all stays must not exceed 90 days.

Who needs the Schengen visa?

filling immigration form

Non-Schengen citizens with a residence permit in one of the countries of the area do not need a visa, they can travel with a passport and residence permit. Citizens of some non-Schengen countries can stay in the Schengen area countries for 90 days without a visa for tourism or business. Citizens of all other non-Schengen countries need a visa to visit the countries of the area, for any travel reason. For example, citizens of the following countries do not need a Schengen visa: Albania, Australia, Brazilia, Canada, South Korea, Croatia, Japan, Israel, Mexico, New Zealand, the United States, and some other countries.

Where and how to apply for the Schengen visa for tourism?

passport with visa

The application for the Schengen visa for tourism must be presented in person by the applicant in his country of residence, at the Consulate of the Schengen country that will be the destination of his trip. For example, if a Russian citizen wants to visit Italy for tourism, he will have to apply for a visa to the Italian Consulate in Moscow. The applicant will have to submit the documents required and, if requested, will have to undergo an interview with the consular authorities. If the trip involves visiting several Schengen countries, the visa must be requestedat the Consulate of the country that will be the main destination of the trip. If there is no main destination for the trip because the applicant will stay in each country for a similar duration, the visa must be requested at the Consulate of the country from which he will enter the Schengen area.

Schengen Visa documents

open passport

The documents must be presented in person by the applicant, both in original and in copy. Each Consulate may require additional documents. For an official list, it is advisable to contact the single Consulate where the application will be submitted.

- Passport with at least 2 consecutive free pages, valid for at least 90 days after the end of the trip and at least 6 months from the time of the request

- Visa application form

- Two recent passport-sized photos

- Identity card or residence permit

- A complete itinerary of the trip

- Booking of return flights

- Hotel booking

- Bank statement with the movements of the last 6 months that proves sufficient funds to cover travel expenses

- Letter from the employer on letterhead with stamp and signature of the manager - must indicate salary, years of service, job position, travel dates, and holidays granted (or for students, the letter from the university with the status of education)

- Medical insurance with a ceiling of at least 30,000 euros valid in Schengen countries for the entire duration of the trip

Holy See visa status and fee


You can check your Holy See visa status (Schengen visa status) from the embassy or Consulate you have applied at, or if you apply via the service company, you can check it from them. Regularly, processing time takes two weeks. The application fee for adults is 80 EUR, but it is better to check from the website of the embassy if you are eligible for any category. 

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