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Italian Student Visa | Type C and D

Italy is one of the most budget-friendly nations in Europe and is home for several educational institutions that rank high on world’s best university lists. 

Since these universities offer courses in English language, they are sought-after by international students. 

Here’s what students should know about Italian student visas, the best universities in the country and courses offered by them. 

What Is a Student Visa

A student visa is a mandatory travel authorization granted by a country’s government to foreign students. Students who wish to study in a foreign university must obtain a student visa to pursue education in that country. 

A student visa allows an applicant to enroll as a full-time student at an accredited university or an education institution. They can take up courses in various fields. 

International students who wish to pursue education in Italy are required to get an Italian student visa to enter the Schengen nation.

This is not applicable for students belonging to Schengen countries and those from countries like Switzerland and Norway who do not need a visa to enter Italy. However, students from the above-mentioned countries will need to get an Italy residence permit within three months of their arrival in the country. 

Foreign students from other countries who wish to take up full-time courses in an Italian university or those who are planning to do their secondary school in the country should apply for a student visa. 

Doctoral students and foreigners who plan to do internships (those who do not qualify for an internship visa) can also apply for an Italy student visa. 

Types of Italy Student visa

There are two types of Italian student visas based on duration of the course and intended stay – type C student visa and type D visa. 

An Italian type C is granted to foreign students who wish to study or train in the country for a period not exceeding 90 days. 

This is a short-term visa and will permit one or more entries to the European country. This visa does not come with employment opportunities and students have to submit proof of funds as they are not allowed to work. 

An Italian type D visa is a long-term visa and foreign students must get this type of visa if they are planning to remain in the country for more than three months. International students who wish to enroll in longer programs must get this visa type.

This visa is usually valid for one year and students can renew it afterwards. This long-term type D visa also allows students to work for as many as 20 hours in a week in Italy during their period of stay. 

How to Apply for an Italian Student Visa

International students are required to apply through an Italian embassy or a consulate for this type of visa. 

Students must start the application process early as the processing time can be lengthy. The requirements and documents for a student visa are subject to change. Applicants should contact the embassy for the latest information regarding this. 

The first step to get an Italy student visa is to secure admission in one of the accredited universities in the country. 

Once the applicant receives an acceptance letter from an Italian university, he/she can start the visa procedure. The applicant needs to compulsorily submit their acceptance letter with the application form. 

After this, they can contact the Italian embassy or consulate in their country to schedule an appointment. Applicants must go to the mission with their application form and supporting documents on the day of appointment. 

They will have to submit the documents and go through an in-person interview following which they are asked to pay the processing fee. 

The common documents required for an Italian student visa are as follows:

  • Completed application form
  • Passport
  • Acceptance letter from a university in Italy
  • Documents to prove economic solvency
  • A medical insurance
  • A cover letter with the name, purpose of study and economic details

Note that the Italian mission reserves the right to ask for additional documents if necessary. 

Processing Time for a Student Visa for Italy 

The processing time for an Italian student visa varies from mission to mission. However, it is relatively long. The processing time taken by an Italian embassy can be anything between one week to three weeks. It can be longer. Students are encouraged to apply for the visa just after receiving the acceptance letter from a university in Italy. 

The Residence Permit

Italian student visas are also considered as an entry visa. International students arriving in Italy with a type D student visa must report to the nearest post office to apply for a Italian residence permit. This residence permit will allow them to work in the country for a maximum of 20 hours in a week.  

International students with a type C student visa will have to get this permit within 90 days of their arrival.

Does Having a Criminal Conviction Affect Application

Incomplete or erroneous application forms, missing documents and lack of funds to support an applicant in Italy are the main reasons for student visa denial.

A criminal record does not necessarily result in visa denial especially if the applicant is from a country eligible for an ETIAS waiver. 

The application for an Italian student visa can be approved if the applicant is not convicted for severe criminal offences like human trafficking. Minor offences may not affect the visa. 

They may reject an application if the applicant is found to be a serious threat to the country’s security. 

Sought After Schools in Italy

Italy is home to some of the best educational institutions in the world. Many of them rank high on the best universities in the world list. Some of the best educational institutions are as follows: 

  • Sapienza University in Rome   
  • University of Padua
  • Milan University
  • University of Bologna

Note that the above-mentioned universities have been ranked in the 200 best universities list of US News and World Report published in 2022. 

Popular Graduate Programs

Universities in Italy offer various courses in art, science, theology, banking, engineering and medicine. 

They offer courses both online (distance education) and offline (on campus) modes. They also offer undergraduate, postgraduate and certificate courses. 

Being the fashion capital of the world (Milan and Rome), most international students come here to pursue various courses in fashion and designing. There are also many takers for courses in hospitality and tourism followed by business and management.


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