Experience “la dolce vita” in Italy, right in the heart of the Mediterranean Sea. Italy is not only known for its natural and man-made wonders, but for its awesome universities as well, making it a magnet for international students. Should you decide to pursue your studies in Italy, you need to know the entry requirements to study legally.
If you come from European Union (EU) or EFTA countries, you don’t have to worry about applying for a student visa since you only need a valid passport or EU ID card to enter and study in Italy. However, if you are a non-EU student, you need to obtain an Italian student visa. Follow the steps below to get a student visa.
What documents do you need to apply for a student visa in Italy?
Non-EU international students need to provide the following documents on the day of the visa interview or appointment:
- Acceptance letter from an institution in Italy
- A completed visa application form
- A valid passport
- Proof of round trip flight itinerary to and from Italy
- Proof of financial capacity to support yourself (about €450 or US$530 per month)
- Proof of adequate medical insurance (minimum of €30,000 or US$35,290)
- Proof of no criminal record
- Proof of Italian or English proficiency
- Proof of arranged accommodation in Italy
- Proof of paid visa application fee (€50 or US$59)
How much money do you need for an Italian Student Visa?
International students are required to show proof of financial means to support their entire studies. At least €450 or US$530 per month is required but can go as high as about €900 or US$1,058 per month. Moreover, it is a must to obtain medical insurance with a minimum coverage of €30,000 or US$35,290, or at least €150 or US$176 for the first year of studies.
To apply for a student visa, the application fee is €50 or US$59. Other additional fees may depend on your country of residence. Plus, you’ll need to pay about €76 or US$86 for the residence permit.
Steps on Applying for a Student Visa in Italy
1. Get an acceptance letter from an Italian school
You can only get a Italy student visa once you have an acceptance letter or offer letter from an Italian school. After paying the necessary fees and securing a spot at the school of your choice, you’ll be given an acceptance letter. Each institution has its own requirements and procedures in order to get an acceptance letter.
To give you an idea of how they process international admissions, you can check the application process of the Sapienza University of Rome if you are applying for a degree. Check out the top universities in Rome below and find your future school.
- University of Bologna
- University of Padua
- University of Milan
- University of Naples Federico II
- University of Turin
2. Determine the type of visa you need
Find out if you need a visa through the official website for student visas in Italy. Depending on the duration of the program, non-EU students can apply through two types of visas:
- Visa type C: It’s a short-stay visa or travel visa for language or short courses which is valid for 90 days.
- Visa type D: It’s a long-stay visa for courses with 20 hours per week or 80 hours per month which is valid for more than 90 days.
3. Complete the visa application form and prepare your documents
Contact or visit the Italian consulate or embassy to learn more about the process and country-specific requirements. Make sure to correctly fill out the application form, making it free from mistakes. Don’t forget to pay the application fee and secure the receipt which will be needed as part of the requirements.
An additional document that the embassy may require is your language proficiency certificate, either for Italian or English. The language requirement depends on the language curriculum of your program of choice.
4. Book an appointment and attend a visa interview at your country’s consulate or embassy
We recommend booking a visa interview a month before the date of appointment to give time to complete the application form and gather the documents. Moreover, you should start the student visa application at least three months before your departure. After the interview, you will be given an acknowledgment receipt of your Italy student visa application.
5. Wait for the visa and apply for a residence permit
After completing the interview, wait for the results and track your application status through the Italian embassy website. Once the application is approved, you can collect your passport and Italy student visa from the embassy or have them safely delivered through a visa courier service. For non-EU students, the student visa will allow you to enter Italy but you need to obtain a residence permit within eight days upon arriving.
You can register and get a residence permit at the local Questura station (police station). The documents needed to get a residence permit are a passport copy with a student visa page, a copy of your health insurance plan, an acceptance letter from an Italian school, and four recent passport-size photographs. You can check the status of your residence through the Police website or wait for an SMS that will indicate the date, time, and place where the residence permit can be received.
If you are an EU or EFTA citizen, you don’t need to apply for a residence permit. However, for those who’ll be studying for more than three months, you need to register as a temporary resident at the Anagrafe office of your residence. To complete your registration, you need to provide the following documents: a copy of your ID card, enrollment certificate, a copy of health insurance, proof of financial means, and a copy of Codice Fiscale.
The residence permit is broken down into three fees: €16 “Marca da bollo” (the stamp placed on the residence permit application form); €30 when submitting the application; and €30 to collect the Electronic Residence Permit. It is renewed every year which can be done at the Post Office.
I hope that this article on how to apply for an Italian student visa was helpful. If you are interested, visit the Europe Scholarships Page!