Vatican City Visa Policy

Browse the Vatican City visa policy to find out if you need a visa to visit the Holy See.

Visa policy for Vatican City

The visa policy of Vatican City determines who may enter the territory visa-free and who needs a visa for the Vatican.

Vatican City is the smallest sovereign city-state in the world with an area of just 49 hectares, having become independent from Italy under the Lateran Treaty in 1929. It is not a part of either the European Union (EU) or the European Economic Area (EEA).

Nevertheless, as Vatican City is only accessible via Italy and maintains an open border with the Mediterranean country, it is not possible to travel to the enclave without first passing through the Schengen Area.

Therefore, by default, the Vatican shares the same visa policy as the 26 European countries that have signed the Schengen Agreement for passport-free travel.

At present, citizens of over 90 countries do not need a visa for Vatican city, including all citizens of the Schengen zone, and can cross its borders using only a valid national ID card.

Citizens of a number of third-national counties of the Schengen Area, including the United States and Canada, are also permitted visa exemption for short stays in the Vatican if they present a valid passport at Schengen border control.

These citizens do not currently require a tourist visa, student visa, transit visa, or business visa if they do not exceed a period of stay of 90 days within every 180-day period. However, by the end of 2022, these individuals will be required to obtain an ETIAS travel authorization to visit the Vatican for the same purposes and period of stay.

All other travelers are required to obtain a Schengen visa for Vatican City no matter the purpose of the visit or length of intended stay. This must be obtained in advance of travel from the nearest diplomatic government office of the Vatican in the visitor’s country of evidence.

Below you’ll find more detailed information about the different visa types for Vatican City.

Tourist Visa Policy for Vatican City

As the sovereign entity is located within Italy and the Schengen Area, Vatican City rules and regulations for tourism are largely the same as those for the 26 countries who are part of the Schengen Agreement for passport-free travel.

Therefore, citizens of Schengen countries do not need a visa for Vatican City for tourist stays: they are able to visit the Holy See by simply presenting a valid national ID card at Schengen border checkpoints.

Nationals of several other countries who have signed bilateral agreements for visa-exempt travel to the Vatican are also permitted a tourist stay of up 90 days without a visa, if they present a passport with validity of at least 6 months when entering the Schengen Area.

Nevertheless, visa-free third nationals of the Schengen zone will need to meet a new requirement to visit the Vatican for tourism by the end of 2022, when the ETIAS tourist travel authorization will be introduced.

The ETIAS electronic visa waiver will be available through a simple online application, and once approved, is electronically linked to the traveler’s passport, eliminating the need for a paper document.

All other foreign nationalities require a Vatican City tourist visa, also known as a Schengen visa, to visit the Holy See for tourism. This must be obtained from an embassy or consulate of a Schengen country well in advance of the visitor’s intended arrival date.

More information about tourist visa types for the Vatican can be found below.

ETIAS for Vatican City

Vatican City immigration policy currently permits citizens of countries with bilateral visa-free agreements with the Schengen Area a stay of up to 90 days for purposes of tourism, business, transit, or medical treatment without the need to obtain a visa or travel authorization.

But by 2022 this will change with the introduction of ETIAS (European Travel Information and Authorisation System) for all visa waiver nationalities.

Approved by the European Parliament in 2016, ETIAS is expected to take 5 years to fully implement. It is being introduced with the intention of pre-screening visa-exempt travelers in order to strengthen the external borders of the Schengen Area.

Eligible passport holders will be required to obtain this multiple entry electronic permit through an online application that will only take minutes to complete with basic personal and passport data.

It will also be necessary to answer a few security questions before submitting a Vatican City ETIAS application, which will be screened against various European information databases before the travel authorization receives approval.

Once approved, an ETIAS for Vatican City is electronically linked to the same passport the applicant used to complete the digital form. It is valid for 3 years or until the associated passport expires, whichever is first.

To discover the nationalities that will require an ETIAS authorization for the Vatican, browse the list below.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required

Vatican City immigration policy currently states that roughly 150 nationalities are required to obtain a visa to travel to the sovereign entity, no matter how much time they intend to spend or the motive for their visit.

As Vatican City is located within Italy’s borders, it is a de facto part of the Schengen Area, and so shares the same visa policy as the 26 Schengen countries.

Therefore, it is necessary for citizens from all visa-required countries for the region to obtain a Schengen visa for Vatican City from an overseas government office before they can visit the enclave.

To obtain a Vatican City visitor visa, it is first necessary to make an appointment at the nearest embassy or consulate of a Schengen country to the traveler.

Applicants will then be required to fill in an embassy visa application form, indicating which travel document they require for their visit, whether a tourism visa, work visa, student visa, business visa, transit visa, resident visa, or other visa option.

Travel visa restrictions for Vatican City state that it will be necessary for the applicant to bring a variety of different supporting information to the consular appointment depending on the type of visa they select, as well as to pay an embassy visa fee before the application can be processed.

As it may take several weeks for an embassy visa for Vatican City to be approved, applicants are advised to begin the application protocol well in advance of their intended travel dates, to allow for sufficient processing time.

Find a complete list of embassy visa required countries for the Vatican below.

Embassy or Consular Visa Required: Country list

  • Afghanistan
  • Aland Islands
  • Algeria
  • American Samoa
  • Angola
  • Anguilla
  • Antarctica
  • Armenia
  • Aruba
  • Azerbaijan
  • Bahrain
  • Bangladesh
  • Belarus
  • Belize
  • Benin
  • Bermuda
  • Bhutan
  • Bolivia
  • Bonaire
  • Botswana
  • British Indian Ocean Territory
  • British Virgin Islands
  • Burkina Faso
  • Burundi
  • Cambodia
  • Cameroon
  • Cape Verde
  • Cayman Islands
  • Central African Republic
  • Chad
  • China
  • Christmas Island
  • Cocos Islands
  • Comoros
  • Congo
  • Cook Islands
  • Cuba
  • Curacao
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo
  • Djibouti
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • Egypt
  • Equatorial Guinea
  • Eritrea
  • Ethiopia
  • Falkland Islands
  • Faroe Islands
  • Fiji
  • French Guiana
  • French Polynesia
  • Gabon
  • Gambia
  • Ghana
  • Gibraltar
  • Greenland
  • Guadeloupe
  • Guam
  • Guernsey
  • Guinea
  • Guinea-Bissau
  • Guyana
  • Haiti
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Iran
  • Iraq
  • Isle of Man
  • Ivory Coast
  • Jamaica
  • Jersey
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Kenya
  • Kuwait
  • Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos
  • Lebanon
  • Lesotho
  • Liberia
  • Libya
  • Madagascar
  • Malawi
  • Maldives
  • Mali
  • Martinique
  • Mauritania
  • Mayotte
  • Mongolia
  • Montserrat
  • Morocco
  • Mozambique
  • Myanmar
  • Namibia
  • Nauru
  • Nepal
  • New Caledonia
  • Niger
  • Nigeria
  • Niue
  • Norfolk Island
  • North Korea
  • Northern Mariana Islands
  • Oman
  • Pakistan
  • Palestinian Territory
  • Papua New Guinea
  • Philippines
  • Pitcairn Islands
  • Puerto Rico
  • Qatar
  • Reunion
  • Russian Federation
  • Rwanda
  • Saint Barthelemy
  • Saint Helena
  • Saint Martin
  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon
  • Sao Tome and Principe
  • Saudi Arabia
  • Senegal
  • Sierra Leone
  • Sint Maarten
  • Somalia
  • South Africa
  • South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  • South Sudan
  • Sri Lanka
  • Sudan
  • Suriname
  • Svalbard and Jan Mayen
  • Swaziland
  • Syrian Arab Republic
  • Tajikistan
  • Tanzania
  • Thailand
  • Togo
  • Tokelau
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey
  • Turkmenistan
  • Turks and Caicos Islands
  • Uganda
  • United States Virgin Islands
  • Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Wallis and Futuna
  • Yemen
  • Zambia
  • Zimbabwe

Visa Not Required

Vatican City laws regarding visa rules and regulations currently permit visa exemption to travelers from approximately 90 countries worldwide, including citizens of all Schengen Area countries.

As it is a de facto part of the Schengen Agreement for passport-free travel between European countries, those with a valid national identification card for a Schengen member state may present this document at Vatican border control to gain entry to the enclave.

Other visa waiver travelers to the Schengen Area are currently able to present a passport valid for at least 6 months to immigration officials to gain a visa-exempt stay of up to 90 days for tourism, transit, business, or medical treatment purposes.

However, an approved ETIAS for the Vatican will become a mandatory requirement for these same citizens for short stays by the end of 2022. This electronic travel authorization is being introduced to pre-screen visa waiver visitors before they can even board transportation bound for Europe, in order to increase the security of Schengen’s external borders.

To visit the Holy See for longer periods, or for purposes such as to work or study, all visa not required citizens must obtain a Vatican City travel visa from an embassy or consulate of a Schengen country well in advance of their intended trip.

Discover if you come from a visa not required country for Vatican City by browsing the list below.

Visa Not Required: Country list

  • Albania
  • Andorra
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bahamas
  • Barbados
  • Belgium
  • Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Brazil
  • Brunei Darussalam
  • Bulgaria
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Dominica
  • El Salvador
  • Estonia
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Georgia
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Grenada
  • Guatemala
  • Honduras
  • Hong Kong
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Ireland
  • Israel
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Kiribati
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Macau
  • Macedonia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Marshall Islands
  • Mauritius
  • Mexico
  • Moldova
  • Monaco
  • Montenegro
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Nicaragua
  • Norway
  • Palau
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Republic of Cyprus
  • Romania
  • Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Lucia
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Samoa
  • San Marino
  • Serbia
  • Seychelles
  • Singapore
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Solomon Islands
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Timor-Leste
  • Tonga
  • Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Ukraine
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Vanuatu
  • Venezuela

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