I (a non-Malaysian) got a 6 month research assignment in Italy and my visa was granted yesterday.

I plan to bring along my wife (a Malaysian National) for the 6 month stay but unfortunately the consular section does not issue a visa for such period. According to them, as Malaysia national does not require a visa for 3 months and hence she can accompany me for three months only.

They are not sure what kind of visa they should issue to us. Can someone suggest a way out?

Is it possible to go to Italy on a tourist visa and then she can apply for a residence permit?

  • 4
    Ideally you would get an Accompanying Spouse Long Stay Type D Visa. But since they can enter Italy for 90 days visa-free, the information on this is quite vague on the Italian Embassy in Malaysia website. From past experience though, you should talk to your consulate regarding this visa. Jun 24, 2014 at 4:33
  • It's possible they expect her to enter without a visa and apply for a 6-month residence permit/visa extension from within Italy. But it's also possible that this would be impossible so don't try it without official confirmation! (There are some countries/scenarios for which this is the usual procedure but I don't know about Italy and Malaysian citizens).
    – Relaxed
    Apr 5, 2015 at 8:34
  • It's also possible that there would be no legal way for her to join you in Italy as some countries do not allow temporary workers to bring their family with them, although I would think most of these types of regulations would have been abolished in Europe by now (but again, I don't really know about Italian law).
    – Relaxed
    Apr 5, 2015 at 8:37

1 Answer 1


Malaysian nationals indeed do not require a visa if their stay does not exceed 90 days, if the purpose of the visit is tourism, on missions, business, invitations, ought to take part in sports events, or study. However, your wife should apply for a Type-D long-term visa (Visto Nazionale) since the purpose of her visit is effectively to accompany you (her non-EU spouse) for 6 months:

  1. Long sojourn or "national" Visas (NV), which are only valid for visits that are longer than 90 days (type D), with one or more entries, in the territory of the Schengen State whose diplomatic mission issued the visa. Holders of type D visas are permitted to circulate freely in Schengen countries other than the issuing one for a period of not more than 90 days per half-year and only if the visa is valid.

She will then need to register for a residency permit (Permesso di Soggiorno) no later than 8 days after her entry in Italy. Quoting from this last website:

Non-EU citizens in possession of a National Visa (NV) for sojourns longer than 90 days are required, within eight (8) days from entry into Italy to request a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno) from the Italian authorities, and will be subject to photo/fingerprint registration.

Only this residence permit, which is issued for the reason and for the period indicated on the visa, authorises an alien to sojourn in Italy.

Since the Permesso di Soggiorno is not issued to visitors on Type-C short-term visas (for sojourns not exceeding 90 days), it should be safe to assume it shouldn't be possible to apply for one after entering Italy on one such visa. Moreover I would avoid trying to do this, since your wife would effectively be violating the EC Regulation on Visas, by entering the Schengen area for purposes not covered by her issued visa (long-term stay on a Type-C visa).

  • It seems that all this was already clear to the OP. But is it possible to apply for a “Permesso di Soggionorno” if you entered without type D visa (i.e. during a visa-free short stay)? If not, is it impossible for someone staying 6 months to bring their spouse with them? Or was the embassy incorrect in refusing to issue a type D visa in this situation?
    – Relaxed
    Apr 9, 2015 at 19:50
  • 1
    @Relaxed The permesso is not required for sojourns of up to 90 days. It should therefore not be possible to apply for it after entering on a visa waiver/short term visa. According to the linked ministry website, the embassy was wrong in refusing the type D visa.
    – JoErNanO
    Apr 9, 2015 at 20:56
  • There are certainly countries/situations where this is possible, there is no reason why it should not be possible.
    – Relaxed
    Apr 9, 2015 at 21:25
  • 1
    @Relaxed From the looks of it Italy is not one of those countries.
    – JoErNanO
    Apr 10, 2015 at 6:17

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