Italy has one of the most performant education systems in the world, especially at the university level, which is why it attracts thousands of students from Europe every year. Not only European students come to study in Italy, as the number of students from other continents has increased substantially in the last few years attracted by the important art universities in this gorgeous country.
It is important to know that students seeking to immigrate to Italy also need a visa that needs to be obtained prior to entering the country. Apart from that, certain requirements must be met when applying for a student visa in Italy.
Below, our immigration lawyers in Italy explain the requisites for obtaining an Italian student visa. If you are interested in obtaining a study visa for Italy, you can ask for help from our immigration lawyers.
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Who needs to apply for a student visa for Italy?
The student visa for Italy must be obtained by non-EU citizens coming with the purpose of enrolling in various courses or who have been admitted to an Italian university. There are two types of visas that can help a student enter Italy: the short-stay or type C visa which has a validity of maximum 90 days and the long-stay or type D visa for study.
In order to apply for a D-type student visa for Italy, the applicant must have been admitted to a university or college which offers at least 20 hours of courses weekly or 80 hours monthly.
Our immigration lawyers in Italy advise foreign students to carefully choose the type of visa they want to apply for. They can rely on our expat support services if they want to immigrate to Italy based on a student visa.
A student visa also comes with a temporary residence permit in Italy.
What are the main requirements for a student visa for Italy?
It is important to meet the following criteria when applying for an Italian student visa:
- the applicant must be at least 18 years old and must come from a non-EU country;
- the applicant must have a clean criminal record (verifications will be made in this sense);
- the applicant must have a valid passport (usually two blank pages are required);
- the applicant must also have a valid flight ticket when applying for the student visa;
- the applicant must have not been declined to enter Italy previous to the application.
Our Italian immigration lawyers can guide foreign citizens who want to relocate to Italy for study purposes. We can also guide those who want to obtain permanent residence in Italy.
You can find out from the infographic below how to obtain a student visa for Italy:
How to choose an educational institution in Italy
The first step that needs to be completed before applying for the student visa for Italy is to select the educational institution to enroll in. It should be noted that only visa applications for accredited universities will be considered. The verification of the desired institution can be made with the Italian Ministry of Education, University and Research.
Foreign students can enroll with various programs spanning over a few months or during an entire year. Based on the selected program, a short-term or long-term visa can be requested.
With respect to the courses, one can come to Italy for through a student visa, it should be noted that this country is quite flexible and applicants can enroll with faculties, or to follow master’s degrees, or even to simply the Italian language or complete other courses related to arts.
Once enrolled, the student can start the visa application procedure. Our immigration lawyer in Italy is at your service if you want to apply for a student visa.
How to apply for a student visa in Italy?
The procedure of applying for an Italian student visa should begin as soon as the applicant has decided on a university or college and has been admitted to it. For this purpose, it should be noted that admissions start at the beginning of summer in Italy, therefore the applicant should start the enrollment process at least 3 months ahead. The admission procedure is completed quite quickly in Italy. Once the person has been accepted, an interview with the Italian Embassy or Consulate in his/her home country should be scheduled. The interview should be scheduled within a maximum of 6 weeks before leaving for Italy.
Once the future student has been admitted, the documents for obtaining the student visa for Italy should be prepared.
The short-stay student visa for Italy
As mentioned earlier, the Type C or short-term stay visa is quite easy to obtain when coming to study in Italy and an applicant is subject to a few requirements such as having a valid passport and proof of the course enrolled for. Among the other requirements to be fulfilled, the student must also have a clean criminal record and must have not been refused a previous visa application.
You can find out more information about the Type C student visa from our immigration lawyers in Italy. If you are interested in a permanent residence permit in Italy, you can reach out to our specialists.
The Type D visa for studying in Italy
Italy provides equal educational opportunities for students all over the world and schools and universities here are open to receiving foreign citizens who want to complete their entire studies here. For this, however, one will need to apply for a long-term stay visa, also known as the Type D visa.
In order to be granted this student visa, a foreign citizen must apply for a course or degree taught for 20 hours per week (80 hours per month).
An important tip when applying for a student visa for Italy is that there is no need for a language test or proof of speaking Italian. Our lawyers can offer various services to foreign students when coming to Italy, such as assistance in registering with the local police department upon arrival. Under this type of visa, it is also possible to obtain Italian citizenship.
Documents for obtaining an Italian student visa
The following documents need to be presented with the Italian Embassy or Consulate when applying for a student visa for Italy:
- the visa application form which can be downloaded and filled out before the interview;
- two recent passport-size photographs and the valid travel passport (at least 3 months validity is required);
- the proof of being accepted to the college or university the candidate was admitted to;
- proof of accommodation in Italy (a rental contract) and proof of financial support;
- medical insurance is also required, as well as proof of financial means in case of repatriation;
- a receipt indicating the payment of the visa application fee with the Embassy or Consulate.
It is useful to know that a foreign student will be required to dispose of at least 900 euros per month as proof of financial support. Also, the minimum value of the insurance policy is 150 euros.
It is also important to note that there are no language requirements when applying for a study visa for Italy, however, the college or university requires at least an intermediate level of the Italian language.
Obtaining a student visa in Italy is quite simple and quick and those who relocate here based on such a visa must also register with the police department in the city they live in within 8 days from their arrival.
Working and studying in Italy
One of the advantages of obtaining a student visa for Italy is that once here, a student can work. While there are no requirements for EU and EEA citizens to apply for work permits, non-EU students must also apply for employment permits. The good news is that compared to other EU countries, student visas can be transformed into work visas in Italy.
There are several aspects when seeking employment as a student in Italy among which the fact that a foreign student can work no more than 20 hours a week during an entire semester of studies, however, one can find full employment during vacations. Also, non-EU students must first have employment contracts before filing for work permits. The employment visa can be used to apply for Italian citizenship once all conditions are met.
Applying for a residence permit as a foreign student in Italy
Foreign students can also apply for residence permits once they arrive in Italy. Just like in the case of other applicants, the residence visa must be requested within 8 days from entering the country. Among the documents required for obtaining it, are a copy of the passport, medical insurance, the student visa, and the admission notice of the university.
Our immigration lawyer in Italy can help foreign students who want to convert their student visas into employment ones.
How long does it take to obtain an Italian student visa?
The procedure of obtaining a student visa for Italy should begin at least 6 weeks from arriving in Italy, or better said right after being admitted for study. When it comes to enrollment, the process should right when the university or other educational institutions announces the beginning of admissions. The documents for the visa must be filed with the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the applicant’s home country.
Foreign student statistics in Italy
In the university year 2017/2018, statistics indicate that:
- the greatest number of foreign students in Italy was from Albania – 9, 527;
- they were followed by Romania with 9,012 students;
- 7,408 of the foreign students were Chinese;
- Iranian and Indian students accounted for more than 6,000 of all students.
Italy also welcomed students from other non-EU countries, such as Moldova, Cameroon, and Ukraine for the respective year.
For assistance in applying for a student visa in Italy, please contact our immigration lawyers.