Student Visa Information
All students (Fall and Spring Semester) are required to obtain a Student Visa from Italian Consulates in the U.S. and overseas who have jurisdiction over designated states and regions. In the U.S., there are 11 Italian consulates and students must apply to the consulate that has jurisdiction over their state/county of permanent residence. Because visa procedures and requirements vary somewhat between consulates, you must consult the appropriate consulate's webpage for specific instructions before you apply. (It can be very difficult to reach a visa official by phone, but their recorded messages and websites are very informative.) For website addresses and links see: www.esteri.it/visti/index_eng.asp
Getting The Visa
Most consulates require a personal appearance to apply for the visa, or a personal appearance at one of the sub consulates that collect your passport, financial statements, and other documentation for forwarding to the main consulate. A few consulates allow for application by mail (San Francisco, for example), but this can take longer. Consulates typically will return your passport with the new visa by mail, so you don't have to return in person for pick up, but again they are particular about what kind of prepaid mail service you use, so check their instructions before going to the consulate.
DO NOT WAIT TILL THE LAST FEW WEEKS TO APPLY!
Plan a trip to the consulate 6-8 weeks before you intend to leave. There may be long lines, so be patient! Arrive as early as possible to insure you get in before the doors close for the day.
It is important to check with your study abroad office at your current university about the visa process. They may already have special arrangements made with your local Italian Consulate.
Visa Application Requirements
General Visa Requirements (check your consulate's webpage for detailed instructions)
•One recent passport photo, which you will attach to your visa application form
Photocopy of the first page of your passport.
•Enrollment letters (in Italian) provided by the Florence School of Visual Arts.
•Official Passport (please make sure that it has been signed).
•Verification of Enrollment Letter (provided by your home school). This must state that you are a current student and when you are expected to graduate. Usually the registrar’s office will provide this official letter with their seal (2 copies). If you are attending our Post-Baccalaureate Program, you may submit a photocopy of your undergraduate dipoloma instead of the Verification of Enrollment letter.
•Notarized photocopy of your Student ID and your Driver’s License (this provides proof of the consulate's jurisdiction).
Two Notarized copies of the Affidavit of Insurance.
•Official transcript from your home university.
•Two notarized and completed Financial Support Letters to be completed by the person who is financially responsible for you (provided by Firenze Arti Visive).
•Proof of Financial means. The person who signs the support statement must submit proof of adequate means by providing two letters from his/her bank. The Italian government requests that students have access to at least $1,000 per month. These letters should be notarized as well.
•Your flight itinerary
•Return envelope, self-addressed, pre-stamped or priority mail. It is recommended that you use a mail service that allows you to track the envelope.
Note: Most student visas are free of charge.
Make one full copy of everything you submit to the Italian Consulate and bring it to Florence with you.
This is a general list to give you an idea of the information you will need. Most likely you will need to submit additional materials and should follow the directions for your consulate very carefully. Do not follow requirements for a consulate other than your jurisdictional consulate. If your documents are not exactly as the consulate outlines, they will send your application back to you unprocessed. Make sure that you make one copy of all documents prior to submitting the application to the Italian Cosulate.