The basics
Italy: Visa Guides - Must read

Applying for a student visa in Italy

If you choose to study abroad in Italy, you’ll need a student visa. We tell you all you need to know about the entire visa application process


Studying in Italy is a dream for most students, but before you can soak up all the culture, sample all the delicious food and start your all important studies, you're going to need to sort your student visa! Help is at hand with our guide below. Read it carefully and you'll soon be on your way to securing your visa succesfully.

Visas and certain other important documents for students studying abroad in Italy are usually obtained through your country’s Italian Embassy or Consulate. It is very important that you contact your nearest Embassy or Consulate in order to make sure you are eligible to study and live in Italy. Your programme will require you to obtain the necessary documentation before you begin studies, so it is best to start this process as early as possible.


If you are an EU student...

You do not need a visa. However, you will need to complete a stay card, which can be obtained from your country’s Italian Embassy or Consulate. Please contact the Consulate or Embassy for further information.


If you are NOT an EU student...

If you're from outside the EU you'll fall into one of two categories, students on programmes of less than 90 days (short-term) and students on programmes for more than 90 days (undergradaute, postgraduate and other programmes).


Short-term study programmes 

You will not need a visa, but will have to complete an application for a Presence Declare within 8 days of arrival in Italy, which will cost a fee. The directors of your programme should be able to assist you with this process.


Long-term study programmes 

You will need to obtain a study visa. You can do this through your country of residence’s Italian Consulate. The best place to start is by researching your visa on the Consulate General’s website and contact them if necessary. Countries may have different processes for obtaining an Italian visa, so it is best to contact your Consulate directly and they can let you know the exact procedure. 


You will also need to complete a residency card within 8 days of arrival in Italy. You can complete this application at your local post office in Italy.


Documents you will need for the visa application

  • A completed visa application form with your signature
  • A passport sized photo
  • A passport that is valid for the entirety of your stay in Italy
  • Two full blank pages in your passport
  • A declaration of sufficient funds for the entirety of your stay

Additional documents you will need

  • Proof of medical insurance
  • Proof of payment for your study abroad programme
  • Letter from your institution proving credibility or an official acceptance letter
  • Proof of accommodation
  • A return plane ticket home



There are no fees associated with an Italian study visa, but you will be charged for your residency card. Contact your institution’s international office to inquire about this, or visit the post office closest to your Italian residence for more information.


Tips for obtaining a study visa

  • Apply early! Visas can take anywhere from a few weeks to a few months depending on where you permanently live and what time of year it is. Make sure you begin the visa process immediately after receiving acceptance into your programme.
  • Stay organised. You will be handling a lot of important documentation that will be difficult to replace if lost. Try keeping your important documents organised in a file cabinet or safe to keep them together and easily accessible. 
  • If in doubt, contact your embassy! The general process for acquiring an Italian student visa might be similar, but there can sometimes be different requirements depending on what country you come from. Contact your embassy if you are unclear about anything. 


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About Author

Ella Frazer is a student at the University of Puget Sound studying English Literature and Religion. She is currently studying abroad in London and is busy enjoying the collection of museums, constantly losing her way, and being of legal drinking age. When she is not writing for Hotcourses Abroad, you can usually find her searching for manuscripts at the British Library.