Are you considering a study abroad experience and want to apply at a university in Italy? Well, complimenti! Italian universities are among the most prestigious in the world and you will not only experience excellent teaching, but you will also have the chance to enjoy the famous cuisine, magnificent architecture and get to see numerous breath-taking attractions.
If you've decided to study abroad in Italy and come from an EU/EEA country, good news! You won’t need an Italian student visa. For all the other non-EU/EEA students, just follow the next steps and prepare to apply for your student visa:
1. Apply to an Italian university and get the acceptance letter
If you’re still not sure where you want to study in Italy, you will have to decide before you can start your student visa application process. After being accepted at an Italian university, you’ll get a letter of acceptance required for the visa application.
Consider some of the best universities in Italy:
- Politecnico di Milano
- Politecnico di Torino
- University of Padova
- Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
- Università Cattolica del Sacro Cuore
- University of Siena
- SDA Bocconi School of Management
2. Find out what type of visa you need to study in Italy
While EU/EEA students can study in Italy without a visa, other international students aren't so lucky. Still, the visa application process becomes less complicated when you have all the necessary information.
Depending on how long you plan to stay in Italy and what you will study, you need to apply for one of the following visa types:
- Short-stay visa (type C) – if you apply for a language or a short course that lasts less than 90 days
Long-stay visa (type D) – if you apply for any degree course that has at least 20 hours of courses per week (or 80 hours per month) and lasts more than 90 days
The easiest way to find out if you need a visa is to answer a few simple questions on the official Visa for Italy website.
For example, citizens from some non-EU/EEA countries do not need to apply for a visa if they plan to stay in Italy less than 90 days. Here are a few examples:
- The United States of America
- New Zealand
- Hong Kong (SAR)
Check out the full list of countries whose citizens:
3. Conditions you have to meet to apply for a visa in Italy
- You must have a valid passport with at least two blank visa pages
- You must provide a copy of your flight itinerary
- You must not have a criminal record
- You must not have been denied entry in Italy previously
4. When and where to apply for the student visa in Italy
- Apply for visa at the Italian embassy or consulate in your country.
- Schedule a visa interview around 4 to 6 weeks in advance.
- Apply for a student visa at least 3 months before your arrival in Italy. The processing time of your application may take between 1–3 weeks and sometimes longer.
5. Tips about the student visa application in Italy
If you missed scheduling an appointment at least 4 weeks in advance, check with the consulate for cancellations and try to schedule the appointment date earlier.
If you are not able to reach the consulate for the visa interview, you may schedule an appointment at an Honorary Consulate, if it is closer to your home. However, first check with the consulate in your area if this option is available.
6. Language requirements for studying in Italy
In order to obtain a study visa for Italy, there are no specific language requirements. Since this is one of the mandatory conditions for admission at an Italian university, consulates don’t consider applicants should present any proof of language proficiency as well.
However, visa officers will be more impressed and will appreciate if you speak Italian at least on a conversational level. You can say "hi" and introduce yourself by speaking in Italian, for example.
For your English-taught degree at an Italian university, you need to pass one of the following English language tests:
First check which test or tests are accepted by the university before scheduling an examination date.
7. Documents for a student visa in Italy
- Entry visa application form
- Recent passport-size photograph(s)
- Valid travel document (the expiry date should be three months longer than that of the visa requested)
- Proof that you have arranged accommodation in Italy (for the whole period of your studies)
- Prove you have sufficient financial means to support your studies (at least 900 EUR/month)
- Paid health insurance of 150 EUR for the first year of studies
- Copy of the diploma of a previous education
- Acceptance letter from an Italian University
- Receipt of the visa application fee (50 EUR)
8. Apply for a work permit in Italy
If you are from the European Union, you are allowed to work in Italy without the need for a work permit. Still, your work schedule should not exceed more than 20 hours a week basis during the semester. If you would like to work full time, you can only do so during the holidays between semesters.
Foreign students from outside the EU will need to apply for a work permit at a local immigration office in Italy. However, you need to first have a signed employment contract and present a copy at the immigration office.
With a part-time job, you could not earn enough money to pay for your tuition fee. However, getting a student job is not that difficult, especially if you speak a little Italian as well. You can even find job opportunities within your university and work as a library assistant or office attendant throughout the academic year.
Regional job portals, newspapers, and the international office help-desk are the best places to check for job listings.
9. Conditions to apply for a residence permit
If you come from outside the EU, you should apply for your residence permit (permesso di soggiorno) at any post office within 8 days of your arrival.
The main required documents to submit are:
- Copy of passport
- A copy of your health insurance plan
- National student visa for Italy
- A copy of the statement certifying the studies you will be taking in Italy
- Four recent passport size photos
You'll just need to apply for a declaration of presence (dichiarazione di presenza) at the police headquarters (Questura) within 8 days of arriving in Italy.
Now that you know how to get a student visa for Italy, go ahead and apply for your dream Bachelor's or Master's degree. After being accepted by an Italian university and completing the visa application process in your home country, you can already start to pack your bags and make the travel arrangements.
Sunny Italy is waiting for you!