All U.S. nationals who will reside in Italy longer than 90 days must have a visa from an Italian Consulate in the U.S. Consequently, every semester- or academic-year student is required to obtain a study visa unless he or she is a citizen of a country of the European Union. In such a case, the student must possess a valid passport for that country. If a student is a dual citizen of an EU country and of the USA, then he or she must hold valid passports for both countries. (Summer Students who are USA or EU citizens do not need a study visa; all other non-US, non-EU citizens should check with the Italian consulate to apply for a visa.)
Citizens of all non-EU countries must acquire a study visa; consequently all USA citizens need a visa and should read carefully through this entire message before taking any action. Questions should be addressed to firstname.lastname@example.org
NOTE: Visas to other countries which require them may be obtained either in Rome or in the United States, although it may be easier to obtain such visas before departure from the USA.
Study Visa Procedure
Before starting the visa application process, please do the following:
- Locate your passport (be sure you have signed your passport; the signature line is on the page above your photo page).
- Purchase your flight, either with the group or independently, and print a copy of your e-itinerary or of the group confirmation letter.
- Obtain a recent passport photo. There are updated specifications about the size of the passport photograph (1.2’’x 1.5’’ = 3x4 cm.); the photograph must be taken professionally for the purpose of the visa application.
- Peruse the guide to Italian consulates in the USA (click here for guide). It will tell you in which city each consulate is located and which states are under its jurisdiction. It will also tell you where there are branch locations. You can also visit the Italian Embassy website for a list of consulates.
- Decide at which consulate you will apply. You may have two choices. You are always eligible to apply to the consulate having jurisdiction over your state of permanent residence. As a full-time student, you are also eligible to apply at the consulate having jurisdiction over the state in which your home institution is located. YOU MAY ONLY APPLY AT A CONSULATE HAVING JURISDICTION; you cannot apply just to any consulate.
Example: You live in northern California but attend university in New York, so your options would be the San Francisco consulate or the New York consulate. But if you live in Tennessee and attend university in Ohio, your only choice is Detroit.
- Check with your home institution to see if your study abroad office will be assisting you in the visa application process. It is possible that a workshop on the visa process and/or a group submission of the visa application may be scheduled so you may prefer to apply through your home institution rather than apply on your own.
- If you will be applying on your own ... bear in mind that there is a start date and an end date for applying for the visa; the start date is 90 days prior to the beginning of the study abroad program. The Spring 2019 JFRC semester begins on January 16, 2019, so the earliest appointment date would be Friday, October 19, 2018; that is when the 90-day window opens. The latest one should apply is Monday, December 17, 2018 to insure having a visa. One should not apply later than 30 days' prior to the program's start; if you have not applied by that date, you run the risk of not getting your visa in time.
- Visa application dates for the 2019-2020 academic year are Friday, May 31, 2019, when the window opens, until Monday, July 29, 2019 for the Fall 2019 semester, and, for the Spring 2020 semester, Friday, October 18, 2019 for the earliest date through Monday, December 16, 2019 for the latest recommended date.
Regardless of when you actually apply, you must schedule your appointment at the consulate well in advance (10-12 weeks beforehand) of the appointment date; the most difficult part of the entire process is scheduling the appointment. Students who apply individually must forward confirmation of their appointment date and time at an Italian consulate to email@example.com in order to be eligible to enroll for JFRC classes.
Once you have selected the consulate to which you plan to apply, go to its website; just Google "Italian consulate in _________ (name of city)" and you should be able to get the link to its home page. Once you are on the consulate's home page, click the link in the upper right-hand corner to change the language to "English," then click onto "Visas" in the appropriate column.
READ EVERYTHING CAREFULLY. All consulates require you to make an appointment; you cannot just walk in and apply for a visa. Schedule your appointment at least ten-to-twelve weeks prior to the date you want the appointment. Do not wait to schedule your appointment; during June, July, and August and during October, November, and December, all consulates are booked solid. If you cannot get an appointment at the consulate itself, you may also go to one of your consulate's branch locations to have all your documents notarized, then mail everything to the primary consulate for processing, but you will still need an appointment with the consular representative.
When you are ready to fill out the visa application, locate "Forms" on the consulate's website; select "National Visa Application (Long-Term Visa, more than 90 days)." Complete pages one and two of the form; you may be able to type directly onto the form. You will need both your passport and your itinerary in order to answer specific questions; your passport for questions #13, #14, #15, #16, and your itinerary for questions # 23, #29, and #30.
- The answer to question #24: Multiple Entries
- The answer to question #25: Fall = 107 days / Spring = 107 days / academic year = 247 days
- The answer to question #31:
"For ... Study, ..., give (school) address in Italy."
John Felice Rome Center, Via Massimi 114/A, 00136 Rome, ITALY / E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org / Telephone & fax: (06) 355-881 & (06) 355 88 352
- The answers to question #32:
"Name and address of inviting company/organization."
Loyola University Chicago, John Felice Rome Center, Via Massimi 114/A, 00136 Rome, ITALY / Telephone & fax: (06) 355-881 & (06) 355 88 352
"Name and last name, address, phone, fax and e-mail address of contact person ..."
Paula DeVoto, Rome Center's Chicago Office, Loyola University Chicago, 1032 West Sheridan Road, Chicago IL 60660 / 773 508-2760 / 773 508-8797 / email@example.com
Once you have completed pages one and two of the visa application form, print off all three pages of the form. Attach the photo to the first page where indicated. When you appear in person either at the consulate or a branch location, you will need to sign and date the application in the presence of the visa officer or the consular representative.
Gather all the documents specified by the consulate. All consular web sites should have a visa category called "study" and will have a list of the documents you are required to submit for your visa. Some consulates require more than others, so be sure that you gather ALL the documents specified by the consulate to which you are applying. For a list of the basic documents needed for any consulate click here, but your consulate may require additional documents (for example, the NY consulate requires a transcript from the home school, a letter from our Rome campus, etc.) so be sure you know what you must bring with you before you present yourself at the consulate for your visa appointment. When in doubt, e-mail the visa officer at the consulate for clarification. BE PREPARED BEFORE YOU GO.
Study Visa Fee: In February 2016, a Euro fee of 50,00 was implemented for the long-term study visa application. This fee must be paid to the "Consulate General of Italy" only by money order in the US Dollar equivalent amount set for the quarter of the calendar year in which you will be applying for your study visa. You must check the website for the amount of US $$ and purchase a money order for that amount to submit with your other documents.
Loyola University Chicago students will have the charge for the fee (in US $$) posted on their LOCUS accounts along with their other JFRC charges since the University will issue the check to the Consulate General of Italy in Chicago for all of its students through a batch submission of study visa applications.
Our Chicago office prepares the two copies of the "official letter of acceptance" (lettera d'iscrizione), with the university seal affixed, mentioned in the documents' list. But we cannot prepare this letter without first receiving your round-trip itinerary from you. You must e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org with your e-itinerary (if you have purchased independent flights) or with the confirmation letter from the travel agency for the group flights. You must allow our office at least two weeks to prepare your letters.
All students must coordinate preparation of their documentation for the study visa with the Rome Center's Chicago Office. Consulates require that a student appear in person so it is imperative that visa applicants communicate early and frequently with the Rome Center Office to be sure that they are not lacking any credentials before they go in person to their respective consulate. Many consulates also have satellite locations at which students may present themselves; these are listed on the consulate's website under the "Consular Network."
Any non-U.S. citizens participating in the Rome Center program are advised to obtain all the necessary information concerning visa requirements of countries they plan to visit in addition to Italy. Often the procedures are easier, faster and more economical if completed in the United States. Updated information is usually available at their consular offices.
A student who is not a U.S.A., Canadian, or E.U. citizen and who does not carry a U.S.A., Canadian, or E.U. passport should keep in mind that, even though planning to travel with an officially- sponsored Loyola group, he or she may encounter obstacles -- may in fact be denied permission to travel -- from officials for other countries if the student has not obtained all the necessary visas for his or her particular citizenship status.
Permission to Reside in Rome (permesso di soggiorno)
Under Italian law, all foreigners must obtain permission to live in Rome (the permesso di soggiorno) within eight days of arrival. The John Felice Rome Center staff will assist students in the application process upon their arrival at the Rome Center. Students must show the study visa stamp inside their passport to apply for the residency permit. The required fees cover a tax stamp (€20,00), electronic notification (€150,00), and a postal handling charge (€30,00). A student's account is billed to cover these fees.
Upon arrival at the JFRC, be sure to have this documentation with you for your permesso di soggiorno:
- Three (3) legible copies of the data (photo) page of your passport; be sure to include the page above with your signature
- Three (3) copies of the page of your passport with the visa stamp
- Three (3) copies of the entry stamp in your passport issued by Passport Control upon entry into Europe (these you will make at the JFRC after your arrival)
- Three (3) copies of the official letter of enrollment (lettera d'iscrizione); this is written in Italian, imprinted with the seal, and stamped (notarized) by the Italian Consulate
- Four (4) passport sized photos (can be done at CVS or Walgreen’s, among other places)
- Three (3) copies of proof of international health insurance coverage (CISI or equivalent)
Two copies of the official letter are initially provided to each student to submit with the visa application. The Italian Consulate will notarize one and return it with the student's passport and visa stamp. Failure to bring this notarized letter may result in dismissal from the program.
There are no vaccinations required for travelers to Western Europe. However, certain vaccinations may be required for persons traveling to Eastern Europe, Africa, and Middle Eastern countries. It is wise to check the regulations of countries in which students intend to travel. It is suggested that students consult with their physicians regarding routine inoculations when having the Medical History Report completed.