If you need to move from Italy to the USA, it is important for you to know about the US visa possibilities for Italians. If you plan to live in the US permanently, you will need an immigrant visa. Immigration to the US is a complex process. The U.S. Consulate General in Naples is Italy’s sole immigrant visa-issuing authority in Italy. They also process visa applications for residents of Italy and Malta. For an immigrant visa, you first need to file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) office in Rome, Italy or the United States. Once the petition is approved, there is an interview at the U.S. Consulate in Naples.

Your US Visa application will depend on the type of visa you need, such as:

  • Family-Based Immigration

  • Fiancé(e) Visa

  • Employment-Based Immigration

  • Diversity Visa

  • Returning Resident Visa

There are 2 types of family-based immigrant visa, one for immediate relatives and other for family preference. You first need to submit a petition and once it is approved, you need to get started with National Visa Center Processing and/or Consular Electronic Application Center Processing. You can hire an agent for this and pay fees. Next, you need to submit the visa application, collect financial documents and supporting documents and submit them to the NVC. Finally, you need to appear for the interview.

A US citizen can also file an immigration visa petition for his family members like spouse, children, parents, brothers and sisters. A green card holder i.e. a legal US permanent resident can file an immigration petition for his/her spouse and unmarried children. So, if you want to immigrate to the US and have a relative who is a US citizen or is a legal permanent resident, you can ask your relative to sponsor you and file your petition. He will also need to submit proof that he/she will support you financially. The petition filed by your U.S. sponsor needs to be first approved by USCIS before going ahead with the visa procedure.

As already mentioned, visa petitions that are approved by USCIS are further sent to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) for pre-processing. This involves collecting visa fees, forms, and documents from sponsors who have filed a petition and immigrant visa applicant(s). It is important to know that the number of US Visas is limited each year in certain categories and also for certain countries. So, even if USCIS approves your immigration visa petition, you will need to wait till there is visa availability in your visa category.

If it is employment-based immigration, your employer in the US can also sponsor workers who they will give permanent jobs. For each visa-category, the procedure is different.

With this information, you can plan moving from Italy to USA seamlessly.

In case you plan just to travel to USA for a short period of time, both for pleasure or business, then you can just apply for an ESTA visa. The Electronic System for Travel Authorization will allow you to stay in US soil for up to 90 days in row or 180 days in a year. It is also very easy to get, since it has a fully online procedure.