If you wish to come to Italy as a student you must:
- be over 18 years. Minors who are over 14 years old are allowed to enter if they take part in exchange programmes;
- prove that you will follow a course in an educational institution or professional training on a full-time basis or for a certain period of time, in line with previous studies in your country of origin;
- obtain a study visa before you come to Italy;
- apply for a residence permit for reason of study, once you have entered Italy
Where and how to apply
You must apply for an entry visa at the embassy or consulateSearch for available translations of the preceding link in your home country abroad.
After being issued the visa, you can ask for a study permit to sit entrance exams for universities or other educational institutions. This is valid for three months.
If you are enrolled in a course of study, you must apply for a residence permit for reason of study within eight days of arriving in Italy.
To obtain a residence permit, you must first submit your file to the Post Office (Portale Immigrazione), together with your passport and travel documents. Your file will be sent to the Immigration Police Headquarters (Questura) which will arrange an appointment with you.
As a general rule, visas to enter the Italian territory (excluding Uniform Schengen Visas) cost €116. As for residence permits, their cost is €40 for stays between 3 and 12 months; €50 for stays between 12 and 24 months; and €100 for long-term residence permits, highly-qualified workers and intra-corporate transferees. In addition, administrative costs amount to €30 for the sending of the postal kit; €16 for the tax stamp; and €30.46 for issuance costs.
You will need to show:
Duration of validity of permits
A study permit is issued for the duration of three months if you are sitting entrance exams in a university or another scholastic institution.
A residence permit for reasons of study is issued for the duration of the study programme envisaged.
Conditions for renewal
Renewal may be requested every year, at least 30 days before and 30 days after expiration. The student must demonstrate adequate economic resources and health insurance as well as having passed 1 to 3 exams. It may be renewed for three consecutive years.
Decisions related to visas and residence permits can be challenged before the Regional Administrative Tribunal within 60 days of notification.
Employment during studies
You are allowed to work 20 hours per week, with a limit of 1040 working hours within 52 weeks.
Employment after studies
Upon conclusion of studies (BA or MA degree), a residence permit for studies or vocational training can be converted into a residence permit to search for employment which will have the duration of one year if conditions are satisfied.
If you want to carry out independent activities after your studies, you must apply through the One-Stop-Shop for Immigration which will forward your application to the Provincial Directorate of Labour.
The Provincial Directorate of Labour will check the availability of entry quotas for self-employed workers and inform the One-Stop-Shops as to the results.
More on self-employed non-EU citizens 1
If you have a permit/visa for studies in an EU country and are covered by an EU or multilateral programme or an agreement between universities, you may carry out part of your studies and work (in addition to your studies) in Italy if you fulfil certain requirements. You may reside and study in Italy for up to 360 days.
If you are not covered by a programme or agreement, you can apply for a new permit/visa in Italy ( EnglishSearch for available translations of the preceding link and Italian version).
Two cases apply:
If you are a student holding a valid authorisation to study issued by another EU Member State and you are enrolled in a student programme that benefits from an EU or multilateral programme which provides for mobility or from an agreement between educational institutions: then you may enter and stay in Italy for a maximum of 360 days in order to pursue the studies initiated in the former without a visa or residence permit. Upon arrival, you will have to declare your presence at the Police headquarters (Questura) within eight days.
If you do not meet the conditions above: then you will have to apply for a residence permit. Upon arrival on the Italian territory, you will have to declare your presence at the Police headquarters (Questura) within eight days.
In accordance with the two cases listed above, a) and b), you will have to produce different documents.
For a), you will have to exhibit the documentation necessary for your registration at Police Headquarters. Note though that, in cases in which the EU Member State which issued your authorisation to study in its territory does not fully apply the Schengen Acquis, you will have to produce a copy of said authorisation and documentation relating to the student programme you are enrolled in upon registration of your presence at the Police Headquarters (see applicable procedure).
For b), you will have to produce the documentation necessary to apply for a residence permit and, in addition, documentation proving that the programme you are to follow in Italy is complementary to that followed in the first EU Member State. Note that said documentation must be issued by the Academic authorities of the first Member State. Upon arrival in Italy, you will have to exhibit the documentation necessary for your registration at Police Headquarters.
In the event your situation requires you obtain a residence permit, their cost is, as a general rule: €40 for stays between 3 and 12 months; €50 for stays between 12 to 24 months; and €100 for long-term residence permits, highly-qualified workers and intra-corporate transferees. In addition, administrative costs amount to: €30 for the sending of the postal kit; €16 for the tax stamp; and €30.46 for issuance costs.
Allowed number of working hours/days
As a general rule, students residing in Italy are allowed to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week for a maximum of 1040 hours per year.