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For foreigners

Where can I find tourist brochures about Italy?
In Hong Kong there is no Italian Tourist Board office. The nearest Italian Tourism Office in Asia is in Beijing at the following address: Unit 1208, Tower C, Sino-Ocean Land Guanghua Centre Office Building n. 5, Jing Hua South Street, Chaoyang District, Beijing 100020 (China) Tel.: +86 (10) 85906686
Fax: + 86 (10) 85906687
E-Mail:   This is the link to the Italian Government Tourist Board website: ENIT

How can I get married in Italy?
Information about procedures for civil marriages should be gathered directly from the Italian municipality where the marriage will be celebrated.

To reach any municipality of Italy you can type: of the Italian for example:

List of sponsored links (please note that the Consulate General of Italy is not responsible for the contents of external sites):

Weddings in Italy Weddings in Florence

Visa Information
For tourism and business and for stays no longer than 90 days holders of B.N.O., HKSAR passports and Macao SAR passports are exempted from visa requirement when entering the Schengen Area.

Applicants under 18 years of age, together with their visa application form, are also required to submit a declaration of assent signed by both parents (or by their legal guardian/s) before the Officer of the Visa Section or the local competent Authority.

Detailed information can be found at the Visa section of this web site.

Can I drive in Italy?
Foreigners can drive in Italy as long as they have either an international driving license or a certified translation of their driving license.

I am a foreign graduate. Is my degree recognised in Italy?
Academic qualifications obtained abroad have no legal value in Italy. It is possible, however, to apply to have a degree recognized by the Italian Ministry of Education if the necessary Italian academic requirements are met.

In view of the autonomous status of universities, the academic authorities are free to assess whether qualifications obtained abroad have equivalents in our higher education system.

Applications should be addressed to the Dean of a university whose statute includes a course that is comparable to the one followed abroad.

The following documents should be enclosed:

a) the original of your secondary school diploma (or equivalent), which should be valid for university entrance in the country where it was obtained;

b) an official Italian translation of the diploma referred to in letter a);

c) a declaration attesting the value of the diploma referred to in letter a), issued by the Italian Diplomatic or consular mission in the country whose educational system issued the diploma;

d) the original of the academic diploma for which you are applying for recognition, accompanied by an official translation into Italian and the declaration issued by the Italian diplomatic or consular mission in the country whose educational system issued the diploma, referred to in letter c);

e) a certificate (original) containing details of the courses you have followed and the exams you have taken in countries other than Italy to obtain the foreign academic diploma as referred to in letter d);

f) official translation into Italian of the certificate as referred to in letter e);

g) course programmes (on the letterhead of the foreign university or stamped by the university), listing all the subjects included in the foreign curriculum, with translation into Italian.

h) in most cases, 2 passport-sized photos, one of which authenticated, are also required.

The academic authorities can provide a declaration attesting a foreign academic qualification to be the equivalent for all intents and purposes to the corresponding Italian qualification, or else they may grant partial recognition of individual exams. In the latter case, you will need to enroll in an intermediate year of the Italian academic programme to complete the exams and if applicable prepare to discuss your final thesis.

Foreign academic qualifications may also be recognised on the basis of specific conventions or bilateral cultural agreements drawn up with individual countries. The bodies that are able to provide detailed information on the documents that need to be included with the application and the relevant formalities are the Italian diplomatic authorities abroad and, in Italy, the Students’ Secretariats or the Offices for Foreign Students in each university.

I want to film a movie in Italy. Do I need an authorization?
For the information you need, please visit the following website:

How can I apply for a Certificate of No Criminal Record in Hong Kong?

For detailed information please see: Certificate of No Criminal Record (if issued in Hong Kong)

Can I claim a refund of IVA (VAT) on the goods purchased in Italy?
EU non-resident travellers may be granted VAT refund for goods intended for personal or family use purchased in Italy, provided that the overall value of goods exceeds 155 Euro. There are no rebates of the IVA tax on hotels, restaurants or tourist services.  Detailed information on how to get IVA refunds and customs formalities are available at the Italian Customs Agency Please note that invoices or VAT refund forms have to be endorsed by the Customs officials before leaving the E.U., the Italian Consulate is not authorized to endorse any VAT refund forms or invoices of good purchased in Italy or in EU.

For Customs information of foreign tourists entering or departing Italy please consult the Travellers’ Customs Charter.

I am travelling to Italy. Do I have customs duty exemption for products and consumer goods I am carrying in my luggage?
Customs duty exemption is granted for products and consumer goods carried by travellers coming from countries not belonging to the EU or carried inside their baggage provided that they are not intended for trade and their value is not superior to 175 EURO. Such limit is reduced to 90 EURO for travellers under 15 years of age. Provisions concerning currency: importation and exportation of foreign currency and bearer stocks is allowed up to Euro 10,000.00 without any declaration. For amounts exceeding this limit, a form shall be filled in and deposited at the Customs when leaving or entering the customs territory.

For detailed information please visit the “Travellers’ Customs Charter” web site. Tax Guide for foreigners in Italy

Can I have a calendar of trade fairs and exhibitions in Italy?
AEFI – Associazione Esposizioni e Fiere Italiane (the Italian Exhibition and Trade Fair Association)

How can I get the “Codice fiscale” (fiscal code)?

You can write an e-mail to to make a request for a “codice fiscale”, enclosing a scanned copy of your valid passport. Alternatively to can turn up in person at the Consulate General during business hours.

How can I purchase a property in Italy?

Information on Italian conveyance and tax system can be gathered from following web site addresses:

The Consulate General of Italy will bear no responsibility for the contents of this web site.

Can I travel to Italy with my pet?

New legislation (n. 998/2003/EC) regulating animal health requirements applicable to the non-commercial movement of pets (dogs, cats, and ferrets) within the European Union Member States came into effect on October 2, 2004. According to the new regulations, in order to bring animals into Italy from third countries (including Hong Kong), it is mandatory to obtain a European Community veterinary certificate for each pet that is to be introduced into the Member States. The new format of the certificate was approved by Commission Decision 2004/203/EC on February 18, 2004 and all subsequent amendments.

The document provides that all pets must:

be identifiable by a clearly readable tattoo or an electronic identification system (transponder/microchip), indicating the pet owner’s name and address; b) have a valid vaccination against rabies.

Additional information is available on the web site of the Italian Ministry of Health, on the website of the Agriculture Fisheries and Conservation Department of Hong Kong and on the website of the European Union.

Which documents are needed to Hong Kong and China citizens to get married in Italy?

Usually the documents a foreign citizen needs to produce in Italy are the following:
1.     a valid Passport (with visa if it is required)
2.     a full birth certificate (showing parents’ names). Citizens born in Hong Kong need to have the birth certificate legalised with Apostille. If you were born in China you need to obtain it from the Chinese Registry Office and have it certified by the by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the People’s Republic of China and later certified by the Italian Consular Authorities in China. The translation into Italian will also be necessary. Please refer to the Italian Consular Authorities in China for further information
3.     Certificate of No Marriage Records issued by the Hong Kong/China Authorities: a declaration stating that according to your country’s laws you are free to marry
4. Nulla Osta from the Chinese Consulate in Italy, stating that you are free to marry.

Documents of point 2 and 3 must be translated into Italian (by one of the translators included in our list). We do not provide translation services.

Please also be informed that different Municipalities might require different certificates. We recommend to contact directly the City Hall of the city chosen to get married before starting collecting the document.

Please be aware that certificates are valid for 3 months from the date of issue.

How can I import to Hong Kong medicines/controlled substances without incurring penalties or arrest upon arrival?

Importation of pharmaceutical products and medicines is regulated by the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap. 60), which is enforced by the Customs and Excise Department. Pharmaceutical products and medicines imported in the personal baggage of a person entering Hong Kong in a reasonable quantity for their personal use may be exempted from licensing requirement, as provided under the Import and Export Ordinance (Cap. 60). Nevertheless, it is advisable to have a doctor’s certificate (with English translation) for the medication prescribed. Please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions section from the website of the Drug Office for more details.

On the other hand, if the pharmaceutical product contains dangerous substances/ingredients as defined by the Dangerous Drug Ordinance (Cap. 134), and a person visiting Hong Kong intends to bring pharmaceutical products containing dangerous drugs substances/ingredients as personal effects and for their own personal use, prior approval in writing from the Chief Pharmacist is required. Please refer to the website of the Drug Office of Department of Health for more information or contact them directly for enquiries at +852 3974 4180 or by e-mail:

For more information on Customs clearance, please refer to the website of the Customs and Excise Department ( or contact them directly for enquiries (email: