Enthusiastic photo with your Passport encouraged but not required

The process for getting an Italian Study Visa may seem daunting, but hopefully this paperwork guide puts your mind at ease.

Disclaimer: Make sure you are checking the website for the Italian consulate in your jurisdiction and not relying completely on this guide as the guidelines for each Italian consulate may differ slightly.

And before you get too far… if you are reading this page and your departure date is less than 90 days away and you haven’t made an appointment with the consulate yet, do it now! There are only a few appointment slots each day and they can fill up months in advance.

In preparation for my appointment I created a binder with every document the official could possibly ask for. I made copies of my TEFL certificate, printed out confirmation of an apartment deposit, and even tax documents. However, the consulate official only wanted the exact documents from the visa instructions page.

These materials include:

  • Your passport (the original and a photocopy)
  • Proof of residence in that consulate’s jurisdiction in the form of a driver’s license, bank statement, utility bill, etc. (the original and a photocopy)
  • A visa application form (make sure you fill out the correct form for the visa you are applying for!)
  • One ICAO standard photograph (this is the same as a passport photo; I got mine taken at Walgreens for ~$10)
  • A cashier’s check or money order in the exact amount of the visa fee (check the consulate website for the current price as it fluctuates with the exchange rate)
  • Official documents from the language school, in original (yes, that means they have to be sent from Italy)
    • These documents must be in Italian and signed by the school official
  • Financial documents in one of the following options:
    • A letter from your bank, on the bank’s letterhead, signed by a bank official (while the website doesn’t clearly state what the letter is supposed to have in it, I would assume an account balance is sufficient) or a recent bank statement
    • An affidavit of support from you parent or guardian that they will support you (this must be notarized) and a letter from their bank or a recent bank statement
    • In either case, the amount of money you must show is approximately $30 per day or about $1,000 per month. Check the consulate’s website for the most recent amounts
  • Health insurance coverage for your stay in one of two forms:
    • A letter from your insurance company, on their letterhead, signed by a representative that states that you will be covered for medical care and emergencies (this letter must list the dates of the program)
    • An affidavit stating that you will purchase Italian health insurance once you arrive in Italy (this must be notarized)
  • Proof of lodging for your entire stay and a Declaration of Hospitality sent, in original, (yes, more papers from Italy) from your host with a copy of their passport
  • A Declaration for Mailing Passports filled out
  • An envelope (USPS only) sent from yourself and to yourself so the consulate can send you back your passport

Note: round trip tickets are no longer required for a long-stay study visa as of July 2017

If you have all of these documents assembled and you are ready for your big appointment, make sure to check out my post about the Italian Consulate.

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