When you are looking at moving to Italy, one of the absolute best ways to get a foot in the door and start your journey is with a student visa. There are of course some challenges along the way, and you will need a stack of paperwork, but at least this visa has no lottery and has fairly simple requirements. Then once you have it and have your permesso it is easier to renew and convert your permesso in order to remain in Italy for a longer period. So let’s explore your options for studying in Italy and how to get your student visa.
What you’ll need for the Italian Student Visa
First of course, you will need to be accepted into a valid program. In order to obtain the Visa, it will need to be a full-time program. This means you should be studying for at least 25 hours a week. The study program could be anything from a short-term TEFL course to an Italian language program, and even a degree program at a University.
Studying in Italy: University
If you are looking for an English-speaking University program in Italy, you can start by searching for American Universities. Then there are a number of English programs in Italian universities you can explore.
While applying to an American school, the process will be very much what you might be used to applying for a school stateside. However, when it comes to applying to an Italian University the process is a bit more complicated. Every University is different but many may ask for an apostilled version of High School Diplomas, birth certificates, and other official documents. Unfortunately, I can’t provide a full list as every program has its own requirements. However, I did want to share a little about what you may need to do when gathering these official documents.
Getting an Apostille
Be it your Diploma, past degree, transcripts, or even a birth certificate, it is likely every document will need to be “legalized” or receive an apostille. Some universities will accept official English documents, while others may require an official translation.
Since the USA adheres to the Hague Convention, you will need an apostille if your documents come from there. This is an authenticated seal and signature on public documents. The document will need to be notarized through a notary public, then it will be sent to be certified by the proper authority. This online service can help you get things apostilled. If your home country is not part of the Hague Convention you will need to check with the nearest Italian Embassy in order to have the documents legalized.
The Declaration of Value
You will also most likely need to provide a “Declaration of Value” showing that your diploma is legitimate by Italian standards. This is issued by the Italian Embassy and generally contains info about the legal status of who issued you the diploma, the requirements to receive it, etc. This is also required of your Undergraduate degree if you plan on getting a Master in Italy.
I just wanted to share this information so that if you do have your heart set on an Italian school, you know what you are getting into in terms of paperwork. But let’s see what you will need to show up with for the Visa.
Getting your Italian Student Visa
Getting the Italian student visa is fairly straight forward, here are the documents you will need:
- Application Form
- Passport photos
- Valid passport
- Proof of enrollment in your course in Italy (the school will provide you with a letter in Italian)
- Proof of accommodation in Italy (Rental, Family or Friends, or even an Airbnb)
- Proof of financial support in the form of bank statements, or letters from your bank, you will need € 5824.91 per year in your account.
- Health Insurance (This can be your current insurance if they will cover you, or a long term travel insurance)
- Return Flight to prove you can come back
Process of obtaining a Student Visa to Italy
You will sign up for an appointment online at the website of your closest consulate. Bring all the above documentation, plus anything else they said to bring. Bring both originals and copies. There will be a short meeting just to look over your documentation and ask a few questions. If everything goes well they will take your passport and mail it back to you in the next few weeks with the visa inserted.
Remember then once you arrive to Italy, you will have 8 days to apply for the Permesso di Soggiorno. This is a necessary document to remain in Italy!
If you need any help or have any extra questions, you can get in touch for a 1:1 or quick questions consultation!