Passports and Visas: PCS Italy

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***No-Fee Passport and Italian entry Visa is mandatory for all dependents accompanying their sponsor on PCS to Italy. Note: dependents may not be able to book their flight until they have received both  of these.


No Fee Government Passport

  • Dependents authorized to accompany on official travel must have their own no-fee passport (valid for 5 years) and a Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) stamp in the passport
  • This stamp identifies government dependents as protected by the status of forces agreement (SOFA). In case of a natural disaster emergency, it allows evacuation with American military forces.

Applying for a No Fee Passport

  • Make an appointment  with your installation’s passport or travel office to fill out an application (DD Form 1056) as soon as possible. The application form may be given to you in advance to fill out before your appointment, then at the appointment they will use that information to type the official passport application and make any corrections.
  • The processing time for a No-Fee Passport may take up to eight weeks once received by the state department. The state department will process your passport application according to your departure date (order report date).  These passports are often sent back to the branch of service (travel office), rather than the individual. If a visa is required, after your no fee passport arrives in 6-8 weeks, you will make another appointment to complete the visa application form. This process will take an additional two weeks processing.
  • Do not come to Italy without an official passport and visa. You will have to return to the United States. You may only stay in Italy for 3 months on a U.S. tourist passport. The Italian embassy will not send your visa to Italy. You must take personal possession of it in the United States and enter Italy using it

Required Documents for Obtaining No-Fee Passport

  • Copy of orders, Request for Orders (RFO), EDAS, or memo signed by the Unit Commander for contingency operations. DD Form 1056 is proof that you and your dependents are authorized to apply for a no-fee passport. It is used in lieu of, or in addition to, official travel orders.
  • Original birth certificate (no copies) is required for all applicants under the age of 16. Both parent’s names must be on the birth certificate. Applicants 16 years of age or older may use their original birth certificate (no copy) or previously issued passport if the passport is not more than 15 years old.
  • Original marriage license (no copies)
  • Military/Dependent ID card; copy of sponsor’s ID card if sponsor is not available at the time of appointment (both front and back are required).
  • Social Security Card needed, if not on your ID card, for ALL applicants.
  • Two identical passport photos, measuring 2×2 inches on white or off-white background. Passport photos can often be taken in the Passport Office.
  • All documents that are submitted with the passport application must be an original, will be sent to the State Department for processing, and will be returned with the new passport.

Visa

  • After your no fee passport arrives, you can apply for the visa.
  • Your visa will be attached inside of your no-fee government passport
    • A visa is a stamp or impression placed on a page of a valid passport by a foreign embassy or consulate empowered to grant permission, as of the date issued, for the applicant to enter and remain in that country for specific period of time.
    • The Italian government will not allow family members (holding no-fee official passports) to enter the country without the visa stamp.
  • For the visa application you may need to bring  a copy of your orders, original marriage certificate, gaining unit address, and your sponsor’s name/address/phone number.
  • Once your visa arrives, the travel office will complete a form for SATO stating that you are good for travel.

Tourist Passport

  • Even though European Union countries do have open borders with one another, it is still a very good idea to have a tourist passport before you leave the U.S.
    • Government passports are for official government use only
    • Some countries will not accept your no fee passport when not on official government business
    • Allows travel to non-European Union countries or non-European countries

Soggiornos (Resident’s Permit)

  • After arriving in Italy, both the sponsor and family members will need a resident’s permit called Soggiorno.
  • Apply for your Soggiorno as soon as you have all the necessary documentation.
  • Spouse and family member Soggiornos must be requested within eight days of arrival in Italy through the Soggiorno Office, located within the Central Processing Facility on Caserma Ederle.
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