Studying in Italy For Members

Italian student visa: Five things you need to know about applying

Giampietro Vianello
Giampietro Vianello - [email protected]
Italian student visa: Five things you need to know about applying
Photo by Green Chameleon on Unsplash

If you’re planning to move to Italy to study, you may know you'll need a visa. But how does the application process work? Here's what to be aware of before you start.


Every year, thousands of students relocate to Italy - not simply because it's an attractive country to live in, but because of the quality of its higher education system and its relatively low tuition fees.

But moving to Italy isn’t always a smooth process, especially for non-EU students.

Ranked: Italy’s best universities and how they compare worldwide

While EU citizens enjoy freedom of movement across member states, international students need to obtain a student visa before entering the country. If you’re not familiar with Italian bureaucracy, the ins and outs of the application process can be a headache.


So, to help you out, here are five things you need to know prior to applying.

What type of visa do I need?

This is entirely dependent upon the length of your chosen course and, in turn, of your stay in Italy. There are two types of student visas: a type-C visa and a type-D one. The former is for short stays (a maximum of 90 days), whereas the latter is for long ones (anything over the 90-day mark).

Given that most Italian academic courses last longer than three months, the majority of foreign students are required to obtain a type-D visa. As a result, that is going to be the subject of this guide.

If you do require a type-C visa to enter the country, you can find details on the Italian foreign ministry's website here.

Where do I need to apply?

All applications for a type-D visa must be submitted to the Italian embassy or consulate of your own home country. Should you not know where your nearest Italian consulate is, filling out this online questionnaire will give you the answers you seek.

Before you do go ahead and start applying for an Italian student visa, you should make sure you have proof of pre-enrollment on an Italian university course. This can be easily requested and downloaded through the Italian universities’ official online portal Universitaly (a close relative of the British UCAS, if you will).


The moment you get the above-mentioned document, you can start filling out your application.

What will I need to apply?

Unfortunately, you'll need a whole lot of things, including the pre-enrollment paper we’ve just touched upon. 

Here’s the full list according to the Italian foreign ministry

  • Visa application form;
  • Recent passport-size photograph;
  • Travel document expiring at least three months after the expiry of the applied-for visa;
  • Proof of pre-enrollment in an Italian university course;
  • Proof that you have any type of accommodation in Italy (proof of a hotel booking is sufficient in this case); 
  • Proof that you have financial means which are sufficient to support your livelihood for the entire length of your stay (the Italian government sets the bar at 467 euros per month and bank statements are generally accepted as evidence);
  • Insurance coverage for medical treatment and hospitalisation (unless your home country has relevant ongoing agreements and/or conventions with the Italian government).

Find further details about the required paperwork on the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs website here and here.

You may notice that the ministry hasn't provided an English-language version of the application form online (you can find the form in Italian here). Your best bet is to reach out to the Italian consulate in your own home country and request the latest English-language version of the form.

How much is the visa going to cost?

You'll be charged 50 euros for “the administrative costs of processing the visa application”, the foreign ministry states.

Except in as-yet-unspecified “special cases", fees are to be paid in the local currency (ie. euros).

Is a type-D visa the only thing I’ll need to enter Italy?

Yes… and no.

No document other than a type-D visa (or type-C one for shorter stays) is required to simply enter the country.

But in order to lawfully remain in Italy for the entire length of your stay, you will have to apply for a residence permit ('permesso di soggiorno' in Italian) within 8 days of your arrival. The length of time this document will remain valid depends on the type of visa you have.

For more information about visa applications, see the Italian Foreign Ministry’s visa website, or contact the Italian consulate in your country.



Join the conversation in our comments section below. Share your own views and experience and if you have a question or suggestion for our journalists then email us at [email protected].
Please keep comments civil, constructive and on topic – and make sure to read our terms of use before getting involved.

Please log in to leave a comment.

See Also