Italian Student Visas

Please note that, due to COVID-19, student visa requirements and procedures are constantly changing. We are doing our best to keep our information up to date, but students are asked to confirm all information via the Consulate website (contact information on the checklists below).

In accordance with Italian law, students studying in Italy for 91 days or more are required to obtain a student visa. Those with Italian/EU citizenship are exempted. It is not necessary for US students studying for 90 days or less to obtain a visa. Non-US nationals should consult their local Consulate for details on student visa requirements.

If you need to apply for a new passport or renew a passport set to expire within 3 months of your program end date, please plan accordingly. SAI highly encourages expedited passport processing to ensure your new passport is received 3 months prior to your program start date if your program requires a student visa. If your program does not require a visa please ensure you receive your passport at least 1 month prior to your program start.

The SAI Student Visa Office assists all students in getting ready to apply for their visa, and we provide simple step-by-step instructions for the application process to students after they are accepted.

SAI also offers an optional service to process visa applications for students who are within the Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York, and San Francisco Italian Consulate jurisdictions. SAI Visa Processing will prepare your visa application so it will be approved without any issues.

For visa-related questions please contact our Student Visa Director at visas@saiprograms.com.

Before you Begin

  • Obtaining a student visa may be a time-consuming process, therefore the application should be started as early as possible, and all documents should be gathered in a timely manner.
  • You may start looking for appointments approximately 6 months before your program starts.
  • The turnaround time for your application to be processed and to receive your visa is approximately 3 – 4 weeks, so plan accordingly. Your visa will be affixed to a page in your passport.
  • Since Italy is a member of the Schengen community, upon obtaining a student visa students will have free access to travel throughout the Schengen area.
  • It is ultimately each student’s responsibility to verify the requirements and obtain his/her student visa. Since Consulates may change student visa requirements at any time SAI cannot guarantee that any of the information given has not changed or will not change.
  • Consulates have full authority to evaluate and request additional documentation, if they deem necessary, in addition to what is submitted. Submitting all required documentation does not guarantee the issuance of a student visa.
  • Non-US citizens and students not residing in the US should contact their nearest Italian Consulate and follow those directions for obtaining a student visa.
  • Our student visa office is available to assist you with any questions, please reach out!

Visa Application Instructions

Note: the VIVI – Very Important Visa Information email was sent when your enrollment was confirmed. Now is a good time to re-read the VIVI Step 1 & Step 2!


SAI Student Visa Processing
SAI offers Visa Processing for students applying through the Chicago, Detroit, Boston, New York, and San Francisco Consulates. The deadline for all Spring 2023 SAI visa applications to be submitted to SAI is November 22, 2022. You will send all required documents to SAI by the deadline and we will handle the rest! You will not need to appear at the Consulate or Honorary Consul.

Please submit this form if you are interested in SAI Processing and our visa department will be in touch with you.


Use the list of Consulate jurisdictions below to determine your specific Consulate.

  • Your specific Consulate is determined by either your permanent address or your address while at school.
  • Most Consulates also have Honorary Consulates in alternative locations. These volunteers review your visa application and “notarize” your signature allowing you to then mail your visa application to the main Consulate to finish the process. To locate a nearby Honorary Consulate go to Consulate Network on the Consulate’s website.

Complete the visa application and all supplemental materials below, following the SAI instructions. Make a copy of your completed application to bring with you for your program.

SAI will mail 3 visa letters to your permanent address to be included with your visa application:

  • Official acceptance letter
  • SAI enrollment letter
  • Proof of insurance letter

Your letters will be requested after your confirmed enrollment. SAI will send you an email letting you know once all your letters have been received and are ready to be mailed.

Let us know ASAP if they have not arrived within 15 days after their mailing.

NOTE: All Consulates require that you show some form of financial documentation to prove you have finances to live on once you arrive in Italy. All 10 Consulates require different documentation . We strongly suggest you look at the checklist for your specific Consulate (below) to see what is needed to complete your application. Your application will be rejected if you do not give them exactly what they want.

Permit to Stay (Permesso di Soggiorno)

After students receive their student visa, one more step remains. While visas allow students to be in Italy for more than 90 days, the Permit to Stay (Permesso di Soggiorno) allows students to reside in their host city. Students receive SAI’s detailed step-by-step instructions prior to departing for Italy, as well as a list of the items that need to be brought to Italy to complete the Permit to Stay Application upon arrival.

Consulate Jurisdictions & Materials

BOSTON CONSULATE – ME, MA, NH, RI, VT
Optional Student Visa Processing is available for this Consulate. Please submit this form if you are interested in SAI Processing.

Boston Consulate Application
Boston Consulate Application Instructions
Checklist – SAI Processing
Checklist – Applying Directly
Boston List of Supporting Documents
Affidavit of Support
Affidavit of Insurance
Declaration of Passport Return by Mail
No Current Enrollment Affidavit (only if you are not enrolled in school)

CHICAGO CONSULATE – CO, IL, IA, KS, MN, MO, NE, ND, SD, WI, WY
Optional Student Visa Processing is available for this Consulate. Please submit this form if you are interested in SAI Processing.

Chicago Consulate Application
Chicago Consulate Application Instructions
Checklist – SAI Processing
Checklist – Applying Directly
Chicago Affidavit of Support
Chicago Affidavit of Health Insurance Coverage
Declaration to Return Passport by Mail
No Current Enrollment Affidavit (only if you are not enrolled in school)

DETROIT CONSULATE – IN, KY, MI, OH, TN
Optional Student Visa Processing is available for this Consulate. Please submit this form if you are interested in SAI Processing.

Detroit Consulate Application
Detroit Consulate Application Instructions
Checklist – SAI Processing
Checklist – Applying Directly
Detroit Affidavit of Support
Detroit Affidavit of Health Insurance Coverage
No Current Enrollment Affidavit (only if you are not enrolled in school)

HOUSTON CONSULATE – AR, LA, OK, TX

Houston Consulate Application
Houston Consulate Application Instructions
Checklist
Affidavit of Support
No Current Enrollment Affidavit (only if you are not enrolled in school)

LOS ANGELES CONSULATE – AZ, NM, NV, Southern CA Counties (Imperial Valley, Kern, LA, Orange, Riverside, Santa Barbara, San Bernardino, San Diego, San Louis Obispo, Ventura)

Los Angeles Consulate Application
Los Angeles Consulate Application Instructions
Checklist
Affidavit of Support
Declaration of Passport Return by Mail
No Current Enrollment Affidavit (only if you are not enrolled in school)

MIAMI CONSULATE – AL, FL, GA, MS, SC

Miami Consulate Application
Miami Consulate Application Instructions
Checklist
Affidavit of Support
Declaration of Passport Return by Mail

NEW YORK CONSULATE – CT, NY, NJ (Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Middlesex, Monmouth, Morris, Passaic, Sussex, Union, and Warren, Hunterdon, Mercer, Somerset counties)
Optional Student Visa Processing is available for this Consulate. Please submit this form if you are interested in SAI Processing.

New York Consulate Application
New York Consulate Application Instructions
Checklist – SAI Processing
Checklist – Applying Directly
New York Bank Letter Sample
Affidavit of Support
Declaration of Passport Return by Mail
No Current Enrollment Affidavit (only if you are not enrolled in school)
Employment Resignation Affidavit

PHILADELPHIA CONSULATE – DE, PA, NC, WV, MD (all counties except Montgomery and Prince George’s), NJ (Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, Salem counties), VA (all counties except Arlington and Fairfax)

Philadelphia Consulate Application
Philadelphia Consulate Application Instructions
Checklist
Affidavit of Support
Philadelphia Checklist Form
Declaration to Return Passport by Mail
No Current Enrollment Affidavit (only if you are not enrolled in school)

SAN FRANCISCO CONSULATE – AK, ID, MT, OR, UT, WA, HI, Northern CA Counties (all except those counties listed under the LA Consulate’s jurisdiction)
Optional Student Visa Processing is available for this Consulate. Please submit this form if you are interested in SAI Processing.

San Francisco Consulate Application
San Francisco Consulate Application Instructions
Checklist – SAI Processing
Checklist – Applying Directly
Affidavit of Support
No Current Enrollment Affidavit (only if you are not enrolled in school)
Declaration To Return Passport by Mail

WASHINGTON, DC CONSULATE – DC, MD (only Montgomery & Prince George’s counties), VA (only Arlington & Fairfax counties)

Washington, DC Consulate Application
Washington, DC Consulate Application Instructions
Checklist
Affidavit of Support
Passport Visa Pick-up Authorization Form

About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.