Pre-enrolment and visa for non-EU students
An entry visa is the authorisation granted to non-EU foreign nationals (from countries outside the European Union and the Schengen Area) to enter, transit or stay in Italy.
The visa is issued by the Italian Embassies and Consulates in the territory of residence of the foreign citizen. The list of Italian Embassies and Consulates can be viewed at the following link: www.esteri.it/mae/it/ministero/laretediplomatica.
Citizens of certain countries are exempt from the visa requirement for stays not exceeding 90 days (every 180 days) in the area of the Schengen countries, including Italy (list on the Farnesina website). The exemption does not apply to entry into Italy for medical treatment or the exercise of a paid activity.
For all long stays (over 90 days), foreigners must always obtain a visa.
In the case of stays of more than three months, and in any case if they are in possession of a type D visa, non-EU foreign nationals must apply for a residence permit within eight working days of their entry into Italy.
The documents to be drafted and/or produced in order to obtain a student visa are mainly:
- entry visa application form
- recent passport-size photograph
- valid travel document with an expiry date at least three months longer than that of the visa applied for
- availability of suitable accommodation in Italy
- registration or pre-registration for the course to be followed in Italy
- health insurance, if the foreigner is not entitled to health care in Italy by virtue of agreements or conventions in force with his country
- proof of the availability of means of subsistence in Italy, amounting to no less than € 448.52 for each month of the academic year.
This availability may be proven by:
- display of personal or family means;
- economic guarantees provided by Italian institutions and bodies with established creditworthiness, by local governments, or by foreign institutions and bodies considered reliable by the Italian diplomatic mission.
The requirements and procedures for issuing visas are set out in a specific provision, published annually by the MIUR, in agreement with the MAECI and the Ministry of the Interior.
For full details on issuing visas for Italy: http://vistoperitalia.esteri.it/home/it
The procedures described below apply exclusively to international students who require a visa to enter Italy for long-term stays.
These procedures do not apply:
- citizens of European Union countries, as well as those from Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein and the Swiss Confederation, the Republic of San Marino and the Holy See, even if they hold a foreign qualification;
- foreigners already legally present in Italy, as expressly indicated in Article 39, paragraph 5, of Legislative Decree no. 2864 of 25 July 1998.
The admission process for non-EU students who require a visa to finalise their matriculation procedures follows the guidelines published annually by the Italian Ministry of University and Research (MUR) in collaboration with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MAECI) and the Ministry of the Interior.
These guidelines also set out the procedures and deadlines for pre-enrolment at Italian representations abroad and for applying for a study visa.
All details and information on deadlines are available in the document "Procedures for the entry, stay and enrolment of students applying for visas, relating to higher education courses in Italy, at higher education institutions valid for the academic year 2021-2022" on the Ministry's international students page.
The updated version for the academic year 2021-2022 was published on 16 April 2021 and sets out the procedures subject to the current and future emergency provisions of the Italian Government and the European Union concerning the prevention and containment of the COVID-19 virus outbreak.
Since last year (2020/2021), the pre-enrolment procedure has been entirely digitalised and the only channel for submitting applications to Italian representations abroad will be the Universitaly portal, implemented by the relevant ministries.
To start the pre-enrolment application you need to register on the Universitaly portal. More information on the procedure can be found in the vademecum to be downloaded at this link: How to pre-enrol on Universitaly.
Following the submission of the pre-enrolment application, the university staff will check the applications received on the Universitaly portal and will indicate in the candidate's profile the final outcome of the pre-assessment application previously submitted by the candidate on the university portal, specifying whether it was accepted or conditionally accepted.
Once the checks carried out by the universities have been completed, the system will forward the pre-enrolment applications to the relevant embassies/consulates, which will process them according to their own procedures and timetables.
Applications from candidates accepted on condition may be accepted by the diplomatic-consular missions with reservations.
To find out whether the course you are interested in has a pre-screening procedure to check that you meet the curricular requirements and to issue a letter of eligibility for enrolment, please contact the International Relations Office (email@example.com).
Non-EU candidates who receive the letter of eligibility for enrolment in a degree or master's degree course must proceed with university pre-enrolment, by accessing the Universitaly portal in order to complete the relevant application online.
Candidates in possession of a letter of eligibility for registration are reminded that this document:
- does not replace the relevant university pre-enrolment procedures, which must be carried out on the Universitaly portal;
- does not imply any claim or automaticity for the purposes of issuing the relevant visa for study purposes, which is the exclusive responsibility of the competent diplomatic-consular missions;
- does not replace and does not create any claim regarding the relative enrolment procedures for the chosen course of study, which will be completed once the university pre-enrolment procedures have been completed and the student visa has been obtained, after verifying the authenticity of the documentation produced and the existence of all the elements necessary for enrolment.
Once the pre-enrolment application has been validated by both the university and the Italian diplomatic representations, the candidate may begin the visa application process. The procedure may vary according to the provisions issued by the individual Italian Representations abroad and it is the responsibility of the candidate to find out about specific procedures and deadlines.
The procedures for issuing these visas must be completed by the representations, unless otherwise specified at a later date, by 30 November 2021.
Check the list of Italian diplomatic missions abroad.
For general information on the requirements for obtaining a visa, please refer to the circular (Part IV: entry visa for study purposes, residence permit and subsequent fulfilments) on the Ministry's website.
The final decision on the issue of a student visa is the exclusive responsibility of the diplomatic-consular mission.
The documentation produced by higher education institutions concerning individual applicants for courses applying for visas is to be considered as support for the diplomatic missions' assessment procedures and does not automatically lead to the issue of a visa.