How to obtain a student visa

How to obtain a student visa

Student visa

Useful information

If you are a prospective student coming from a non-Schengen country and wishing to study in Italy, you must obtain a student entry visa (visto di ingresso per motivi di studio) from the Italian Embassy/Consulate in your country.

Under the provisions issued by the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Vatican Secretariat of State, the documents supporting your application for a student visa must bear the stamp of the Vatican Secretariat of State.

To obtain this stamp, please submit the following documents:

  1. certificate of enrolment or pre-enrolment in a pontifical university, duly certified by the Congregation for Catholic Education;
  2. letter of presentation (original copy) by the Ordinary of your Diocese of origin (the signature of the Ordinary must be certified by the Apostolic Nuncio);
  3. declaration of financial means of support (presa in carico) concerning the payment of your living and medical expenses; this declaration must be:
  1. certified by the Congregation for Consecrated Life and the Societies of Apostolic Life, if it is issued by a religious;
  2. cleared by the Ordinary of the relevant Italian Diocese, if it is issued by a priest, an individual, or an organisation;
  3. cleared by the Ordinary of your Diocese of origin (the signature of the Ordinary must be certified by the Apostolic Nuncio), if it is a self-support declaration;
  1. certificate of pre-enrolment.

If you need a student visa for entry into Italy, you can obtain the certificate of pre-enrolment from the General Registrar’s Office of the Athenaeum on a free-of-charge basis.

In Italy, you are not allowed to change a tourist visa into a student visa.

To obtain your certificate of pre-enrolment, please attach the following material to your admission application:

 
Prospective religious students
  • photocopies of your previous qualifications (including marks);
  • photocopy of an identity document (preferably your passport);
  • your residence address in Rome during your studies (as given in your admission form);
  • if you are a diocesan seminarian or priest, you are required to stay in special residences in Rome: if you do not wish to stay in these residences, you must submit an appropriate certificate (extracollegialità) issued by the Vicariate of Rome at the request of the diocesan Ordinary;
  • letter of presentation by your religious Superior or of the local Ordinary;
  • declaration of financial means of support (presa in carico) guaranteeing the payment of living and medical expenses during your stay in Italy, certification of scholarship including living expenses, or a document stating your capability of paying tuition and living expenses; in preparing these documents, you must comply with the previously described provisions of the Vatican Secretariat of State.

Prospective lay students

  • photocopies of your previous qualifications (including marks);
  • photocopy of an identity document (preferably your passport);
  • your residence address in Rome during your studies (as given in your admission form);
  • letter of presentation by the Ordinary of your Diocese of origin (a letter of presentation by a cleric is not sufficient);*
  • declaration of financial means of support (presa in carico) guaranteeing the payment of living and medical expenses during your stay in Italy; this declaration must be cleared by the Ordinary of the Italian Diocese of the individual or organisation issuing it; if you submit a declaration of self-support (automantenimento), the document must be certified by the Ordinary of your place of origin;*

All the material must be:

  • submitted in good time to the Registrar’s Office of the Faculty/Institute of your choice through a person acting on your behalf in Italy, or
  • sent in good time by e-mail to the Registrar’s Office of the Faculty/Institute of your choice, specifying Richiesta certificato di pre-iscrizione per il rilascio del Visto di Studio (application for pre-enrolment certificate to obtain the student visa) in the subject field.
E-mail addresses

Cycles

Courses

  • First-level Master’s Degree Course in Science and Faith: Marcello Tedeschi [email protected]
  • Specialist Diploma Course in Syndonology: Chiara Petrosillo [email protected]
  • First-level Master’s Degree Course in Philosophical Counselling: Renato Zeuli [email protected]
  • Specialist Diploma Course in Bioethics: Gennaro Casa [email protected]
  • Professional Master/Diploma Courses organised by the Higher Institute for Religious Sciences (ISSR), APRA: Daniela De Carolis [email protected]
  • Diploma and other courses organised by the Institute for Higher Studies on Women (ISSD): Anita Cadavid/Adele Ercolano [email protected]

For courses not listed here, visit www.upra.org.

The letter of presentation by the religious authority and the declaration of financial means of support must be delivered in original copy, as required by the Holy See. You may hand in these documents through a person acting on your behalf in Italy or send them by mail to the following address:

Ateneo Pontificio Regina Apostolorum
Segreteria Facoltà (inserire nome) o Istituto (inserire nome)  Registrar’s Office of the Faculty (enter the name) or of the Institute (enter the name)

Via degli Aldobrandeschi, 190
00163 Roma – ITALIA

 

If you send these documents by mail, attach a cover page specifying Documenti per la preiscrizione (documents for pre-enrolment), the name of the cycle/course that you wish to attend, and your full name.

If your documents are satisfactory, the Dean of the Faculty or the Director of the Institute will ask the General Registrar’s Office to issue a pre-enrolment certificate; this certificate will have to be certified by the Congregation for Catholic Education and the Vatican Secretariat of State.

You or the person acting on your behalf in Italy will be responsible for having the certificate certified (vidimazione) by the Holy See and for subsequently delivering it. You may ask the Athenaeum to handle the procedure for you by specifying the exact address for delivery and paying the charge for this service to the Bursar’s Office.

If you live abroad, you may pay by bank transfer (see bank details below). In the reason-for-payment field, please specify: Autenticazione e/o spedizione internaz.le di cert. preiscrizione (inserire Nome e Cognome del candidato) certification and/or international shipping of pre-enrolment certificate (enter the applicant’s full name).

Indicare le coordinate bancarie

Once you are in Italy, hand your original material (after sending it by e-mail) and the other documents required for enrolment to the Faculty/Institute Registrar’s Office and then to the General Registrar’s Office.

Residence permit

If you are a foreigner and you wish to stay in Italy for over three months, you need a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno PDS). If it is your first time in Italy, you must apply for the permit within eight days of your arrival.

To apply for a first-time residence permit, please file the following documents (using the postal “application kit”*) with the local police authorities (Questura):

  1. duly completed application form;
  2. photocopy of currently valid passport, or other equivalent travel document bearing the entry visa;
  3. photocopy of an insurance policy covering diseases and injuries;
  4. electronic revenue stamp (of the required value);
  5. documents supporting your application for the specific residence permit; for study purposes (motivi di studio), the required supporting documents are as follows: a) photocopy of your pre-enrolment certificate, stamped by the Italian Embassy/Consulate when issuing the visa; b) photocopy of your enrolment certificate, issued upon request by the General Registrar’s Office (a first-time certificate is issued on a free-of-charge basis);
  6. receipt of payment of a charge ranging from €80 to €200, as established by a decree of the Ministry of Finance, issued jointly with the Ministry of Interior, depending on the type of visa.

* Italian post offices make available an “application kit” that you will have to return together with the above-mentioned attachments. When doing so, you will have to present your passport or an equivalent document.

 

Subsequently, you will called to appear before the authorities of Questura – Ufficio Immigrazione (police headquarters – immigration office) for photographic identification and subsequent issuance of the residence permit. The notice to appear will specify the documents to be produced.

Renewal of the residence permit

If you are already in Italy and your residence permit is going to expire, you must apply for renewal at least thirty days before and no later than sixty days after its expiry. The validity of the residence permit is the same as that of the entry visa; if you have a residence permit for studies (permesso di soggiorno per motivi di studio), its validity will be for up to one year.

To renew your residence permit, you must submit the postal “application kit” required for your first-time residence permit to the local police authorities (Questura). You must provide a photocopy of your certificate of enrolment in the subsequent year; the certificate must specify that you passed at least one exam for your first renewal and at least two exams for subsequent renewals.

After enforcement of Legislative Decree 154/2007, you may renew your residence permit for studies even when you change your course or the location of your course (telegram of the Ministry of the Interior of 7 December 2006).

Conversion of the residence permit

You may convert your residence permit for studies (permesso di soggiorno per motivi di studio) into a residence permit for work (permesso di lavoro) at the end your studies under a recent immigration decree (decreto flussi), by filing an appropriate application within the deadlines set in the decree.

If you have obtained an academic degree, a professional master certificate or diploma, a PhD, or a specialist diploma or certificate in Italy, you legally reside in Italy, and you have come of age, you may convert your residence permit for studies into a residence permit for work. To do so, you may at any time submit a specific application – application form V2 – to be called to appear before the local One-Stop Shop for Immigration (Sportello Unico Immigrazione) with a view to signing a contract of residence/work. After obtaining this document, attach it to your application for converting your permit and send it using the postal “application kit” to the local Questura.

Other information

If you hold a residence permit for studies, you may:

  • visit and stay in Schengen countries for periods of less than three months without any formal requirement and without an entry visa;
  • voluntarily register with the national health service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale – SSN) by paying a lump-sum charge, or take out a private insurance policy covering diseases and injuries; if, when you became of age, you converted your residence permit for family reasons (motivi familiari) to a residence permit for studies, registration with the SSN is compulsory and free of charge  (circular letter of the Ministry of Health of 19 July 2016);
  • undertake employment, just as Italian nationals, but for no more than twenty hours per week (you do not need to sign a contract of residence);
  • enjoy social security benefits associated with regular employment.
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