How to Apply for a Student Visa in Italy

Created: Jul 10, 2024 | Updated: Jul 10, 2024

Italy is home to some of the world’s oldest and most renowned universities, ranking in the top ten study destinations globally. No wonder it attracts thousands of students every year who are eager to learn in a country rich in history. If you’ve secured admission into an Italian institution, you may need a visa to travel abroad to begin your studies. In this article, we’ll cover the types of Italian student visas, how to apply, required documents and what to do if your application is rejected. 

Table of Contents

Types of student visas in Italy

There are two main types of Italian student visas:

  1. Visa Type C (Short-Stay Schengen Visa): This visa type is for students studying in Italy for a short period, typically up to 90 days. It is suitable for summer schools or short courses.
  2. Visa Type D (Long-Stay National Visa): This visa type is for students whose courses last longer than 90 days. It is the appropriate choice for international students attending full academic programs such as undergraduate, graduate, and postgraduate studies.

Who does not need a visa to study in Italy?

Citizens from member states of the European Union (EU) and the European Free Trade Association (EFTA) do not require a student visa to study in Italy, irrespective of the length of their study program. However, they must register for a residence permit if their stay exceeds three months.  


Benefits of studying in Italy

Choosing Italy as your study destination offers you several benefits. Here are some reasons it should be at the top of your list:

  • Access to world-class education 

Studying in Italy grants you access to diverse programs renowned for excellence, particularly in arts, architecture, and fashion. Italy’s higher education system features some of the oldest universities in the world, which blend high academic standards with practical, hands-on learning to prepare you for a successful career.

  • Rich cultural heritage

Living in Italy allows you to explore its historical landmarks, artistic heritage, and savoury cuisines. Whether you're exploring ancient ruins in Rome, admiring Renaissance art in Florence, or attending a traditional festival, every day offers a new and exciting learning opportunity outside the classroom.

  • Opportunity to expand your language skills

You can take the opportunity to master Italian. Fluency in Italian can enrich your travel experiences across Europe and enhance your career prospects in various international fields.

  • Opportunity to build global connections

Studying in Italy brings you in contact with other students from around the world, helping you build a network of friends and professional contacts across continents. This global network can be invaluable in your personal and professional life.


Eligibility requirements for a student visa in Italy

When applying for an Italian student visa, you must gather some important documents and meet specific conditions. First, you must already be admitted to an Italian educational institution. Here’s what else you need to prepare:

  1. Your completed visa application form.
  2. Two recent passport-size photographs on a light background, measuring 35mm x 45mm. Your face must carry a neutral expression in the photographs.  
  3. A passport with at least two blank pages and three months validity.
  4. Photocopies of any previous visas (if applicable).
  5. Relevant civil status documents, such as your birth or marriage certificates.
  6. An official proof of enrollment from an Italian university or institution.
  7. A police clearance certificate from your home country.
  8. Proof of secured accommodations in Italy (a lease agreement or a housing confirmation from the Italian school).
  9. Evidence of sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay (usually around €6,000 per year).
  10. Comprehensive health insurance of at least €30,000
  11. Academic certificates and transcripts from your previous school.
  12. Proof of your proficiency in English or Italian, depending on the language of your study program.
  13. Proof of visa fee payment (see section on ‘Italian student visa fee’).
  14. A signed consent form from your parents or legal guardians if you’re under 18. 


How can Translayte help?

When applying for your Italian study visa, you must get certified translations for all documents that are not in Italian or English. This is where Translayte can assist you. Our certified translation services in Italy ensure your essential documents, like academic transcripts and financial statements, are accurately translated and legalised, complete with an apostille stamp. We help streamline your visa application process, ensuring you focus on your upcoming studies rather than tedious paperwork.


How to apply for an Italian student visa

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand how to apply for an Italian student visa:

  1. Confirm Your Admission: Secure an official acceptance letter from an Italian university.
  2. Determine the Right Visa Type: Choose between a short-stay visa (up to 90 days) or a long-stay visa (more than 90 days) based on your course duration.
  3. Gather Required Documents: Collect all necessary documents (see required documents above).
  4. Visit the Italian Embassy or Consulate: Submit your application in person. Ensure you schedule your appointment in advance to avoid long wait times.
  5. Attend the Visa Interview: Be prepared to explain your study plans and financial support during the interview.
  6. Wait for Visa Processing: The process can take a few weeks, so plan your travel itinerary accordingly so you can get your visa in time for your departure.


Italian student visa fee

The short-stay Italian student visa costs €80, while the long-stay student visa costs €50 plus residence permit fees. Payments must be made using a money order or cashier’s check addressed to the Consulate General of Italy. Cash is only accepted if you can't use the other payment methods, and you'll need prior authorisation from the consulate.


Italian student visa processing time

The processing time for an Italian student visa typically ranges from 15 to 30 days. However, it can extend to 60 days if additional documentation is required or during busy periods. Ensure your application is complete and apply at least three months before your planned travel date to avoid delays. Always check with the specific Italian consulate for their current processing times, as they can vary.

How to check your Italian student visa status

Contact the Italian consulate or embassy where you submitted your application to check your visa processing status. If they offer an online tracking service, use your reference number to check your status on their website. You can also call or email them, providing your reference number and personal details for verification.

What to do if your student visa application is rejected

If your Italian student visa application is rejected, here are the steps you can take to address the issue:

  1. Review the Rejection Notice: Carefully read the rejection reasons provided by the consulate. Common reasons for visa rejections include incomplete documentation or insufficient financial proof.
  2. Correct errors and reapply: Address the issues mentioned in the rejection notice. This may involve providing additional documents or more detailed information about your financial situation or study plans in Italy.
  3. Appeal the decision: If applicable, you can appeal the decision. For visa rejections, you can appeal to the Regional Administrative Court of Lazio within 60 days. For denials concerning family reunification, appeals can be made directly to a competent Italian court without a time limit​.
  4. Seek expert advice: Consult with immigration experts or legal advisors for advice to increase your chances of success when you reapply. 
  5. Submit a New Application: Once you've made the necessary corrections, you can reapply for the visa. Ensure that your new application is complete and corrects any previous errors.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost of studying in Italy?

The cost of studying in Italy for foreign students varies based on the type of institution and the student's living expenses. Annual tuition at public universities typically ranges from €900 to €4,000, while private institutions might charge between €6,000 and €20,000

Living expenses in Italy can also vary greatly depending on the city and lifestyle. On average, students may need between €900 and €1,300 per month to cover rent, food, transportation, and other personal expenses. 

How long is the Italian student visa valid?

The long-stay student visa is valid for up to one year, but you can renew it for the duration of your courses. To renew your visa each year, you must pass all your annual exams at the university. This provision allows you to continue your studies in Italy without interruption. 

Is IELTS required for studying in Italy?

IELTS is not mandatory for studying in Italy, as universities may accept TOEFL, Cambridge Exams, or previous education in English as proof of language proficiency. However, for programs taught in English, Italian universities typically recommend or require a minimum IELTS score of 5.0 to 5.5. Always check the specific requirements on the university's website or contact their admissions office for the most current information.

Can a student get permanent residency in Italy?

Yes. At the end of your studies, you can obtain permanent residency in Italy after living on a temporary residence permit for five years. During this time, you must demonstrate financial stability, maintain a clean criminal record, and show integration into Italian society, such as proficiency in the Italian language and understanding of local culture. Once you meet these conditions, you can apply for a permanent residence permit​.

Can I bring my family members with me to Italy on a student visa?

Yes, you can bring close family members, like your spouse or children, to Italy on a student visa. You must first apply for an authorisation known as "Nulla Osta." Once approved, the local immigration office sends it to you and the Italian embassy or consulate in your home country. Only then can your family members apply for an Italian family visa to join you in Italy. 

Can you work with an Italian student visa?

Yes, you can work with an Italian student visa. While studying, you're allowed to work up to 20 hours a week. After finishing your studies, you can convert your student visa into a permit that allows you to look for a job for one year, as long as you meet the necessary conditions. 


Related posts

Choosing The Right Italian Visa

The Latest Italian Immigration Policies And Updates

How To Get Married in Italy As A Foreigner

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