Everything You Need to Know About Getting Your Italian Student Visa

Congrats! You’ve been accepted to study abroad in Italy. Now, it’s time to start planning and preparing for your upcoming adventure. The most important step before you head to Europe is securing your student visa. First, check with your study abroad program to find out if you are required to handle the visa process on your own. Some programs will secure all their students’ visas at once. If this is the case, all you need to do is give your program the required information and be thankful that you get to skip out on the arduous process. For everyone else who isn’t quite so lucky, check out these frequently asked questions and make your visa procurement process as painless as possible!

  • Who/What/Where is the Italian Consulate?

    • The Consulate General represents the public administration of their home country in a foreign city. Italian Consulates are spread out across the country, and they are typically located in big, metropolitan areas. A quick google search will tell you which Consulate is closest to you.
  • When should I go to the Consulate?

    • In order to get your student visa, you need to make an appointment on your local Consulate’s website. Make your appointment as early as possible. Often, spots fill up months in advance.
    • Because it can take up to a few weeks to receive your student visa after your appointment, you should make your appointment for a date that is at least three weeks before you plan to leave.
  • How long will it take to get my visa?

    • The process can take anywhere from three days to three weeks depending on how busy your Consulate is.
  • How much will my student visa cost?

    • A student visa will typically cost anywhere from $40-$60. They won’t accept debit cards, credit cards or checks, so plan to pay with a money order, cashier’s check or cash.
  • Can I use my student visa to travel to other Schengen countries?

    • Yes. Once you’ve gotten your student visa and entered the Schengen region, you’re free to travel from country to country.
  • What documents will I need for my visa appointment?

    • Check you local Consulate’s website for a definitive list of documents that you need, as they may vary from state to state. Here is a list of the basic documents you are most likely need in any state.
    •  Passport Picture

      • Make sure this is the real deal. Printouts and photocopies won’t cut it, so head to Walgreens or CVS for a legitimate passport photo.
    • Your Passport

      • Bring your actual passport along with a photocopy of the main page (the one with your picture!). Make sure your passport is valid for three months past the time you plan to return home.
    • A Copy of your Drivers License

    • A Letter of Enrollment from your Home University

      • You’ll need to bring a letter of enrollment from your home university that shows you’re a student in the US. You should be able to print this letter out online, but if you run into trouble, contact your university’s registrar’s office.
    • Proof of Health Insurance Abroad

      • Your study abroad program should send you the information about the insurance they offer for you while abroad. Make sure to print this out before your appointment.
    • Round-Trip Airline Confirmation

      • You’ll need to show proof of your flight reservation that coincides with the dates you plan to stay in Europe, so be sure to have your flight home booked before your visa appointment.
    • Your Bank Statement

      • The Consulate will want to see proof that you can financially support yourself while you’re in Italy. If you’re financially independent, all you need to do is print out a copy of your bank statement. If your parents are supporting you, they’ll need to fill out an affidavit of financial support.
    • An Affidavit of Financial Support

      • If your parents are supporting you financially, they’ll need to fill out an affidavit of financial support. You can find this document on your local Consulate’s website. Along with this, you’ll need a copy of your parents’ bank statement. Your parents can either sign this document in front of a notary, or they can come with you to your visa appointment and sign it then.
    • Study Abroad Acceptance Letter

      • This letter should contain information about your lodging in Italy and it should state that you are a full-time student. If your acceptance letter doesn’t contain this information, contact your study abroad program and ask them to send you a statement confirming those two things.
    • Visa Application for Long Term Stay

      • You can find this on your local Consulate’s website. Fill out the application before your appointment, but if there are any sections that are confusing or unclear, leave them blank and ask during your appointment to avoid having to redo the entire application. Bring an extra, blank application incase any information on yours is incorrect and you need to start again.
  • What if I’m still confused?

    • Check your consulate’s website for more information. The Italian student visa process is notoriously arduous, and visa officers are known to be finicky. Prepare in advance and triple check that you have the right documents. You’re better off being over prepared than under prepared!

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