Visa and Stay Permit

Studying in Italy is a good opportunity for students. Many state universities in Italy provide study scholarship to foreign students. Other scholarship is offered by the state or a province.  Once a non-european student receives an admission to a program, they need to contact the Embassy/Consulate in their countries to start the visa application to enter Italy legally and then to register their long-term stays at the local Questura in the cities where they study in Italy.

In the series of process for preparing for study in Italy, today we will cover the following process:

  1. Pre-enrolment process
  2. Visa
  3. Stay permit

Let’s discuss these procedures in detail. In the following, we refer to students coming from Vietnam, but the procedure should be similar to other non-EU countries.

Pre-enrolment process

The pre-enrolment process is the first step a non-EU student must do at the Embassy/ Consulate in their countries of residence. This procedure must be completed before starting the visa application. In this process, selected students, who receive admission to universities, must contact the Italian Embassy/ Consulate to start the pre-enrolment procedure personally. Applicants need to prepare and hand-in the following documents to  the Italian Embassy/ Consulate:

1) Two original copies of pre-enrolment form (2 origianl copies)

2) Original of the university degree or education qualification

3) Applying for the Declare of value (shortly called as DoV) of the  university degree, issued by non-EU countries, to the Italian Embassy/ Consulate at their countries of residence. In this step, students have to prepare the following:

3.1 Notarizing the copies of the university degree at the notarized offices authorized by the Ministry of Justice.

3.2 Students need to hand in the original and notarizied copies (at step 3.1) of the university degree to Department of External Relations of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs at their origin countries. They will legalize the signature and stamps on the copies.

3.3 Next, bring the above documents issued by the Department of External Relations to the Italian Embassy/ Consulate. They will translate them to Italian and certify your documents for use in Italy.

4) The notarized copy of transcript of records translated in Italian

5) The admission letter issued by universities;

6) Two passport-sized photos. One of them should be signed on the back.

Once the Italian Embassy/ Consulate receives the pre-enrolment request from students, they will  send a list of pre-enrolled students to related Italian universities. Then the universities send official confirmation back to the Embassy. Once this procedure is completed, students can start applying for visa for study.

For updated information, please visit the website of the Italian Embassy/ Consultate in Vietnam (or only other non-EU countries)

Visa application (visto)

After submitting the pre-enrolment, students will wait for a couple of weeks for the procedure to be communicated between the Italian universities and the Italian Embassy in Vietnam. Once the list of the pre-enrolled students is confirmed, students will start applying for a visa type C (less than 90 days) or type D (more than 90 days).

For detailed information on the visa procedure, please visit the website of the Italian Embassy/ Consulate in the countries of residence. In the following, we present the documents required for the visa application for Vietnamese students.

  1. Filled in visa application form
  2. Copy of passport
  3. 2 passport-sized photos with size of 4×6
  4. Passport with at least three months valid
  5. Flight booking or ticket
  6. Proof of sufficient economic means for studying in Italy
  7. Declaration of accommodation in Italy
  8. Travel insurance with a minimum coverage of €30,000 for emergency hospital
  9. Consulate legalization copy of the University degree that has been done in step 3.3.

Stay permit (permesso di soggiorno)

Students that enter Italy with a valid type D visa for long term stays (more than 90 days) must apply for a stay permit to the Immigration Office  (‘’Questura”) by sending a stay permit application (kit permesso di soggirono) to the authorized Post Offices in the cities where they study. The entire procedure is explained as follows:

1) Fill in the stay permit application:

Upon arrival in Italy or other Schengen countries, students have to register for their long stay (more than 90 days) at the Questura in their cities withing 8 working days.

  1. First of all, students need to go to the International Office of their universities or to the authorized Post Offices to get a stay permit envelop (aka kit permesso di soggiorno) for free. Then they need to fill in the application (Module 1) and attach to the kit the following documents. Note that students can get advice on how to fill the Module at the Internation Office of their universities or at CAF.
  2. Buy a 16 euro revenue stamp (namely “marca da bollo”) at any newspaper stand (or “Tabacchi”) and stick it on the first page of Module 1.
  3. Copies of their valid passport with personal information pages and the stamped/written pages.
  4. Copy of the enrollment letter or invitation letter issued by the Italian university that declares their stay in Italy for study reason.
  5. Copy of the health insurance that covers sufficiently their long stay. Usually, students can buy the national health insurance at the cost of 149.77 euro at the Post Office, and ask them to make a copy and place in the kit of permesso.
  6. Copy of housing contract showing their accommodation in the city. If the housing contract is not available, applicants can submit or update it later when going to an appointment at the Questura.
  7. Copy of codice fiscale

To apply for stay permit, students will pay around: 70.46 application fee, 31.50 postal service fee, 149.77 health insurance and 16 euro for the revenue stamp at the desk of Post Office. The payment can be done by cash or card.  After that, students will receive an appointment letter for their first meeting at the Immigration Office (“Questura”)’ and a post receipt of their stay permit application. Please make a copy and keep the receipt carefully because you will need to present it at the first appointment at the  Questura and when collecting the stay permit.

2) First appointment at the Immigration Office (Questura)

Students should go to the Questura on the date as written on the appointment letter. In case, they have ad-hoc and serious problems that prevent their presence at the Questura on the first meeting, they must go to the  Questura before the appointment date and ask for changing the date. The Questura will decide  and the result is different case by case. Now, let us review some mandatory documents an applicant must prepare for the first meeting at the Questura.

  1. Original of passport.
  2. The appointment letter issued by the Post Office.
  3. The Postal receipts issued by the Post Office.
  4. Codice fiscale
  5. 4 passport-sized photo with white background.
  6. Updated enrollment certificate.
  7. Health insurance card (if have) and receipt of health insurance
  8. Updated housing contract with students’ names clearly written
  9. Proof of sufficient economic means for studying at least 6 months in Italy. You can submit one of the following:
    • Copy of scholarship
    • Copy of PhD enrollment certificate with the total amount of salary students will receive for their research activities.
    • Copy of bank statement
    • Previous stay permit (if have)

At the Questura,  the Immigration officers will check all documents and give you back all original documents or receipts. It also take a few minutes for scanning applicants’ fingers on their system.


3) Pick up a stay permit when ready

Applicants should always check the status of their stay permits at the website of Polizia di Stato ( Fill in the reference number of the kit (numero pratica) written on the post receipt, and submit. If a stay permit is ready, students bring their passports and the post receipt to the Questura for collecting their stay permit.


In this page, we shared some important procedures students have to apply for, such as the pre-enrollment as well as visa at the Italian Embassy and Consulate of the countries of residence. Moreover, the stay permit application is another mandatory procedure that students must finish within 8 working days from their first arrival in Italy or Schengen countries. These procedures require time to process for both applicants and the Questura. Once students finish these legal documents, it guarantees their stay in Italy. We hope you find this page useful for your visa and stay permit preparation. If you still have doubts about these procedures, please contact us at

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