My SO plans to attend an art workshop held in Italy spanning 6 months. The workshop takes 2 full weeks per month. We are not sure about which visa he should apply. The workshop is not held by an registered education institution, so I doubt whether they will accept if he applied for a study visa.

As a sidenote, he is a Hongkonger and he holds a HKSAR passport (but doesn't currently hold, though eligible for, a British National (Overseas) Passport, if this makes a difference).

Which visa should he apply for in this situation?

  • Have you already tried asking the organizers?
    – mts
    Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 6:02
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    @o.m. For both BN(O) and HKSAR passport, we are eligible for a visa-free travel for 90 days every 180 days in Schengen area. During the breaks, he can "hop" to France and hop back in to Italy before workshop. But the point is, IDN whether this is legal to do so, and whether or not applying the visa is the way to go
    – Ron Lau
    Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 6:23
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    Mind the 90/180 rule is for the whole Schengen zone, so hopping to France would be of no use unless he has a residence permit or similar there. UK would do though.
    – mts
    Commented Oct 10, 2016 at 6:27
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    @RonLau, Schengen D visa are national residence permits from any one Schengen state. Each Schengen state can establish slightly different criteria and procedures how they are granted. Having one of those allows travel in the other Schengen states as if one had a multi-entry Schengen C visa, which is normal tourist/business visa.
    – o.m.
    Commented Oct 11, 2016 at 5:36
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    In fact, a D visa isn't a specific visa type at all, it's a generic name for all national visas. Hopefully someone can provide more details regarding Italy.
    – Relaxed
    Commented Oct 15, 2016 at 15:43

1 Answer 1


The common Schengen Type C visa (short-term visit) is intended for stays of up to 90 days in any 180 day period. The activity proposed lasts longer than that so is clearly not eligible for a C visa. That only leaves Type A (Airport Transit visa) and Type B (Transit visa), which clearly would not suit, and Type D (a national visa).

Queries regarding Type D (for longer-term) are generally a matter for Expatriates rather than Travel.

  • 1
    Type B visas were abolished several years ago.
    – phoog
    Commented Nov 2, 2016 at 14:22

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