Study Abroad in Italy: an Italian Student Visa Step-by-step Guide

Study Abroad in Italy: a Step-by-step Guide to Getting an Italian Student Visa

After visualising yourself enjoying the Mediterranean climate, mouthwatering about the Italian cuisine, immersing in the Italian history and culture, its captivating language, the openness of its people…

You have decided to take a step ahead and come to study in Italy and experience la dolce vita! Yay!

And now you might be wondering: okay, but how do I actually do it? 

Worry not. We are here to get you covered.

Although getting a Student Visa for Italy may feel a cumbersome process, it’s actually a straightforward one if you know how to do it.

So, in this article, we unravel the process.




First of all, let’s identify if you need a Student Visa for Italy or not 

The easiest way to find out this is going into the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation and fill the 4-question form they provide (scroll down to find it):

4 questions to find out if you need a visa for Italy
Answering these questions will automatically provide information whether you need to apply for an Italian student visa or not and the specific documents required for your personal case.

*Important: bear in mind that your intended study program in Italy might require an admission test or language test before you can enrol (have a look at these things you need to know before applying to a study program in Italy to get more information about that).

If this is your case, first you will have to apply for a short-stay visa to come to Italy and sit the test before your pre-enrolment (unless you are exempted from needing a visa. Again, you can check this on the 4-question form link provided above the image). 


Still, here are the exemptions summarised:

Summary of Italian Student Visa Exemptions

Nationalities exempted to apply for an Italian Student Visa depending on the length of stay:

  • Short-stay up to 90 days

Citizens from this list of countries exempted from visa requirements.

  • Long-term stay over 90 days

Citizens from any of the following nationalities:

If you are exempted from needing an Italian student visa, you will only need to present a valid passport or a national identity card upon arrival. 

Plus one last step once you have already arrived in Italy. Go to the final section in this article where we explain about this.

For any other cases, take a deep breath and let’s dive into the application process.

Let's go for the Italian student visa application process

Italian Student Visa Application Process 

Before we get into the step-by-step process, you have to consider the required documents when applying for your student visa in case you need to prepare any of them in advance.

They may vary according to your country of origin. So, again, filling the 4 question-form mentioned above will give you the list of required documents for your specific case.

Nonetheless, these are the most usually required documents:

Italian Student Visa Documents’ Checklist

  • Valid passport (with at least 2 blank pages, and valid for at least 3 months after the intended date of completion of the study program).
  • Recent passport-size photographs.
  • Italian student visa application form.
  • Letter of admission from the study program institution in Italy (provided by the pertinent school right after the enrolment).
  • Return flight tickets (to and from Italy).
  • Certification of no criminal record.
  • Proof of language proficiency (Italian or English, depending on the language of instruction of the study program).
  • Proof of subsistence (minimum of 460€ per month).
  • Proof of accommodation in Italy (hotel booking, declaration of hospitality…).
  • Health insurance (150€ for the first academic year).
  • Receipt of application fee payment.

*Important: all documents should be written in either Italian or English otherwise a translation into any of those languages would be required.


Step-by-step Italian Student Visa Application Process

  1. Locate the nearest Italian Embassy or consulate post in your home country. Bookmark the website for easy reference. 
  2. Contact them to book a visa appointment and clarify any existing doubts.
  3. Go to the Il Visto per L’Italia website and fill the 4-question form to get the list of all the documents required for your specific case.
  4. Download the Italian visa application form from the link provided in the list of the previous step and fill it out.
  5. Gather all the other documents you require.
  6. Attend to the Italian embassy/consulate office in your home country on the appointed date. Make sure you bring all the documents with you.
  7. Provide all the documents required and pay the application fee. Secure the receipt.
  8. Wait for the result of your application. You can track your application update through the Italian embassy website.
  9. When successfully approved, go back to the Italian embassy/consulate office to collect your approved student visa.
Step-by-step infographic to get the Italian student visa

Italian student visa step-by-step Infographic


 🎉🎉 Ready to pack! Italy awaits you! 🎨🍝🍦🏛

Successful Italian student visa

One more step after arriving in Italy 

All right. You made it! You managed to get through the visa application experience. 

And by the time you get to Italy, I’m sure you will be missing some bureaucracy rush, and that’s why there’s one last step waiting for you: 

Declaring you are in Italy

For this step, the procedure will depend on whether you are in Italy for a short-stay or a long-stay:

  • Short-stay in Italy Declaration

Declaration of presence. By any of the three ways stated in the “Rights and duties of foreign nationals for entry or short-stay of up to 90 days” by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

  • Long-stay in Italy Declaration

Residence Permit. Within 8 working days after arriving on Italian territory. Check our guide on how to get your Italian Residence Permit.


And that’s it.

Not as unmanageable as it seemed, huh? Especially considering after this you will have one the most incredible experience of your life.

Now it’s time to prepare for the adventure, so discover how to get ready to study in Italy in 7 simple steps.

Or if you are still not sure which Italian university matches all your study-abroad requirements, have a look at our Italian universities’ browser to find out which one suits you best.

(You might also be interested to check this overview of the Study Visa for Italy along with some FAQ’s).

Ci vediamo in Italia!

Get to discover the Italian life

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