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Italy is one of the oldest places of learning in Europe. With institutions like the University of Bologna, the University of Padua, and the University of Federico II; Italy has always been an attractive educational destination for international scholars. Suppose you wish to complete your higher education at these esteemed universities in Italy. In that case, you will need to know all about the Italian student visa application process. Since Italy is part of the European Union (EU), some of the steps in this process may be similar to other EU nations. However, some procedures are unique to Italy.
Let’s take a look at the 8 most important things you need to keep in mind when planning to study in Italy.
Types of Italian visas
Italy is part of a union of 24 European countries known as the Schengen group. This group includes 22 European Union (EU) countries like Germany, France, Spain, etc. Once you get a Schengen Visa, you can use it to travel to any of the 24 Schengen countries. Four main types of Schengen Visa can grant you entry into Italy. These are –
1. Uniform Schengen Visas (USV)
The requirements for an Italian student visa are different from the Uniform Schengen Visa because the latter consists of Category A or C Visa. It allows you to stay in any Schengen country for up to 90 days. While Category A is also known as the Airport transit visa, Category C is the visa that most tourists apply for when visiting Schengen countries like Italy. This Category C Visa consists of single-entry, double-entry, and multiple-entry sub-categories. Moreover, the multiple-entry visas can be valid for 1, 3, or 5 years.
2. Limited Territorial Validity Visas (LTV)
This type of Schengen Visa limits your travel to either one or a handful of Schengen countries as per the specifications of the visa guidelines. In most cases, if you apply for your LTV from Italy, you will only be permitted to travel within Italy. This means you will most likely not be able to visit any neighboring Schengen countries with this visa. You should be aware that your Italian student visa application is not for this type of visa.
3. National Visas
Also known as the D Category of Schengen Visa, these permits allow you to both study and work in Italy. It is important to note that these are single-entry visas, and you cannot return to your home country in between your period of work or study. If you wish to obtain a multiple-entry national visa, then there are some strict criteria that you have to meet.
4. Student Schengen Visa
Finally, the Student Schengen Visa is what you should consider when planning to live in Italy for your higher studies. This type of visa is specifically for a third-country citizen who’s sole purpose of visiting Italy is to complete an educational degree or course. To apply for this visa, you will have to fill out an Italian student visa application, and upon approval, it is valid for 3 months. If your study duration is longer than that, you need to apply for a Long-stay Student Schengen Visa.
Visa application process
Applying for a student visa to Italy begins with understanding whether you need a Schengen Student Visa, a Long-stay Student Schengen Visa, or a National Visa. Once you know which type of visa you require as a student, follow these steps to get your student visa application approved.
- Find out where you need to apply for the Schengen Visa. You can submit your application form at the European Consulate or Embassy in your country. You could also submit your form at a designated Schengen Visa Application Centre (VAC) in your country.
- Next, you need to know the best time to submit your Italian student visa application. The best time to apply is 3 months before your trip to Italy or at the latest, 15 days before your flight to Italy. If you submit your form any later than 15 days, there is a high chance that it may get approved after your scheduled trip to Italy.
- Once you have all of the above planned out, you need to fill out the visa application form by providing all the necessary personal details. During this step, you should also compile all your academic and personal documents as well as all personal identification like a passport.
- In the next step, you need to book an appointment at your local European Consulate or Embassy or Schengen VAC. Once you have submitted your Italian embassy student visa application online or offline, you will receive a link. Upon opening this link, you can schedule your interview appointment.
- Finally, you need to attend the interview, answer all the questions truthfully, and then pay the student visa fee. All you need to do now is to wait for your visa to get approved.
Student visa requirements
Several documents need to be submitted along with your visa application form for your student visa to get approved. Here is a list of all the documents that you will need. You can go over them carefully and even use them as a checklist for submitting your application form.
- Get two application forms, fill them up, and sign both of them. You need to submit one and keep one for yourself for future reference.
- Two identical passport-sized photos, taken within the most recent 3 months, prior to filling out your application form.
- A valid passport that does not expire for at least 3 months after the end of your journey.
- The documents for an Italian student visa also include a copy of the biometric data that is linked to your passport.
- Any previous passports that you might have held need to be attached to your current one.
- Proof of your residency is also required.
- Moreover, you should also submit your itinerary or purpose of visit as a confirmation.
- You should also get travel medical insurance that provides coverage of at least €30,000 during your stay in Italy.
- Since you will be going to study, you should provide proof of accommodation in Italy like a rental agreement, a college dormitory contract, or even a letter of invitation from a college hostel.
- Finally, you should also attach a letter of acceptance from the university in Italy where you have enrolled at. This should be accompanied by all the details of your educational qualification and evidence of your financial condition.
- The final document required for the Italian student visa checklist is a copy of the receipt of the visa fee that you have already paid earlier.
Work Permit with Student Visa
If you apply for a Student Schengen Visa or a Long-stay Student Schengen Visa, you will not be able to work during your stay in Italy. To be able to work part-time jobs during your study, you will have to apply for a National Visa (which is a D Category Visa).
If you hail from the USA, Australia, Canada, Israel, Japan, New Zealand, Switzerland, or any other EU nation, then you need to apply for a particular work visa. However, upon arrival in Italy, you will have to apply for a residence or work permit. On the other hand, if you are from a country other than the ones mentioned above, you will have to apply for a National Visa if you wish to study and work in Italy.
Italian Student Visa validity
The Italian student visa duration and validity depend entirely on which type of visa you have applied for. If you apply for a Category C Student Schengen Visa that provides single-entry, double-entry, or multiple-entry; it will be valid for up to 90 days.
However, if you apply for a Category D Student Schengen Visa, it will be valid for more than 90 days. Moreover, if you plan to work part-time jobs during your study in Italy, you should know that students are not permitted to work more than 20 hours per week.
Now that you are well aware of all the details related to your student visa application for studying in Italy, you can begin looking for the best universities to study in Italy. Besides, it would be best to remember that there are specific stringent Italian student visa financial requirements, as mentioned above. By successfully completing all the preparatory steps, you can be ready to move to Italy and complete your higher education at the university of your choice.
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Q1. Where can I apply for an Italian student visa?
According to the new rules established in 2014, you can now apply and submit your Category C Visa application form at the Italian Embassy or Consulate nearest to you.
Q2. Can I apply for a multiple-entry Schengen Visa before my existing one expires?
Yes, you can always apply in advance because the validity of your new visa begins just after your existing one expires.
Q3. Can I check online whether I have got my visa or not?
There is no such facility to check your visa approval status online. You will know whether your visa has been approved or rejected once you open the envelope. You will receive it from the Schengen VAC or your nearest Italian Embassy or Consulate.