Italy Visa FAQs

April 11, 2014

 

NAFSA's EA Consular Affairs Liaison Subcommittee reviews these pages for accuracy, but the consulate to which the student applies for a visa may change its procedures. Students and advisers should confirm specific procedures with each relevant consulate.

Read the latest news on Italian Visas.

Where is my local consulate?

Italian Consulates in the United States

Applying for a Student Visa

Is a student visa required?

A study visa is not required for U.S. students who study abroad for up to 90 days. International students from countries exempt from applying for a visitor visa do not need a study visa to participate in short-term study abroad programs up to 90 days.

A study visa is required for students who participate in long-term programs that are more than 90 days.

What is the process for applying for a student visa?
  • Go to the website of the Italian Consulate that has your state in its jurisdiction. View a list of the Italian Consulates General in the U.S.
  • The application, instructions and list of required documents are on the website. Follow these very carefully.
  • You may call or email the consulate to ask questions or discuss special circumstances of your student(s). Each consulate also has an email address you may use to ask your questions.
Is batch processing (a single institution submits visa applications on behalf of its students) possible?

Each consulate sets its own policies about batch processing. You may contact the consulate to request permission to batch process and ask about the procedures.

Does a student have to appear in person at the consulate to obtain a student visa?

When visas are batch processed, students are not required to appear in person.

Students who apply individually will be required to appear in person at the consulate. Certain consulates allow the student to appear in person at an Honorary Consulate, if closer to the student's home, to have their signature notarized on the application and then mail the application to the consulate for processing. Your consulate will inform you about which procedure to follow.

Can a non-U.S. citizen apply for a student visa through a consulate in the U.S.?

Yes. The requirements for the visa application may be different from those of U.S. citizens so the student must check with the consulate for proper instructions.

Does the student have to complete any additional procedures once overseas?

Yes, the institution in Italy typically guides the students through the process. Students on a short-stay study visa (up to 90 days) must declare their presence in the country with the local police (Questura). Students on a long-stay study visa (more than 90 days) must apply for a Permesso di Soggiorno at the local post office within eight working days of arrival.

Processing Time

When can students apply?

The consulates will accept the application no more than 90 days prior to the start of the study term.

How far in advance do students need to schedule an appointment with the consulate?  Are late applicants accommodated?

When consulates require that students schedule an appointment, students may need to book their visa appointments as much as 4-6 weeks in advance as appointment times are limited and fill quickly.  After the appointment, students should expect the visa processing time to be an additional 1-3 weeks.  Therefore, it could take as long as 8-9 weeks from the time the student books the appointment to when they receive the visa from the consulate.   The consulates do not have a process to accommodate late applicants with an earlier appointment time.  Students may check with the consulate for cancellations to move up their appointment date.

Will consulates make exceptions and allow for emergency applications if a student is leaving sooner that than the standard processing time?

Contact the consulate to explain the circumstances. The consulates may be understaffed or have large volumes of applications to process and may not be able to accommodate the request. Some consulates clearly state that emergency processing is not available.

Changing Visas While Abroad

Can a student obtain a study visa from another country?

It is possible for students who are studying abroad in another country to apply for and obtain a student visa to study in Italy the following semester. However, some students have been denied. The surest way is to return to the home country and apply from there.

Can a student extend his/her visa in country (for a second semester, for example)?

The host institution may request that a student's visa be extended. This request will be submitted to police headquarters.

Can a student travel before or after the program?

Students must declare their presence in Italy with the local police (Questura) within 8 days of arrival so travel time prior to the start of the program must be planned accordingly. The study abroad program will provide information about the amount of time that a student can travel in Italy at the end of the program. Students who wish to travel to any other Schengen country at the end of the study program are advised to contact the consulate of that country for information.

Problems with Visa Applications

If a student is having a problem obtaining his/her visa, what should s/he do?

If a student is having a problem with his/her visa, please have them contact the consulate directly. If the problem persists, the education abroad adviser should contact the consulate on the student's behalf to try and resolve the situation. However, if this still doesn't resolve the problem, the education abroad adviser can request assistance from NAFSA's EA Consular Affairs Subcommittee.

How do I ask for assistance from NAFSA's EA Consular Affairs Liaison Subcommittee?

Education abroad advisers may submit a request online in order to request assistance from NAFSA's Consular Affairs Liaison Subcommittee. Submit your request to www.nafsa.org/eavisahelp, and your message will be automatically routed to the appropriate NAFSA Subcommittee member. NAFSA Consular Affairs Liaison Subcommittee members have contacts at the majority of consulates in the United States and will respond promptly to your request for assistance. The link for EA Visa Help is also at the top of this web page's sidebar.