Getting a Student Visa

Umbra’s US offices (ISI Abroad) assist students as they navigate the visa application process, however, Italian study visa requirements are subject to change without notice and procedures may vary from consulate to consulate. It is the responsibility of each student to stay informed of the visa requirements of their consulate and to obtain the legal documents necessary to study abroad. Before you begin, check with your study abroad office and ask if they process visas.

Start Early!

It is imperative that you begin your application for your student visa to Italy as soon as you receive your acceptance email (or visa letter) — in the past, students have had to postpone their flights because of late visa applications. Ask your study abroad office. If your study abroad office does not handle visas, please review the guidelines below and contact us if you have questions.

If you do not already have one
apply for a passport ASAP!



Book your Visa Appointment

As soon as you are accepted, book a visa appointment. Make sure the appointment is set within 90 days of the start of the program. Note that some consulates call the visa a “Study Visa” while others call it a “National Visa”, ultimately, they provide the same travel & study privileges.

You will need to apply for your student visa from an Italian Consulate representing the jurisdiction where a) You live at a permanent address, or b) where you attend college. This will not necessarily be the nearest consulate. Consulates are responsible for certain states, and the consulate for your state may not be the nearest consulate to your residence. A list of Italian Consulates and their addresses can be found using the “Consular Network” list found clicking here. From this site, you will be able to link to any consulate office in the US.

Each consulate administers visas in a slightly different way. Review the specific requirements carefully. Please refer to the instructions listed on your consulate’s webpage to determine whether you must submit your application in person.

If you have difficulties getting an appointment, you may try either a company that expedites visas or a “consulate correspondent” at an honorary consulate. Not every consular jurisdiction has an honorary consulate that can process study visas. If this applies to your jurisdiction and you are having a hard time arranging an appointment, please contact us right away.

Valid Insurance is Required
for Visas Study Visas

All students are legally obligated to have health insurance that meets specific international requirements. Check with your study abroad office to see if they have a plan for you. If you must purchase a plan independently, here are some links to insurance providers that are popular among our student body.



Complete the Application Form

Once you have determined your consulate of jurisdiction and made your appointment, you will need to complete an application to obtain your visa. The application varies from consulate to consulate—sometimes called a “Study Visa”, other times called a “National Visa”. Please refer to your consulate’s website to obtain the application form but if you have a hard time locating or completing the form, please contact your ISI Abroad admissions advisor. 

Submit your Application

Once you have completed your application form, you will need to compile the documents listed below and submit the form either by mail or at your consular appointment. Please note that the New York and Boston consulates do not allow for mail-in applications. When mailing your application, you will need to include a pre-paid express mailer with your application (ideally a trackable envelope). 

Note: The list below is not exhaustive. It is important that you also consult your consulate’s website for the most updated list of application items. This list includes only the most standard items required by most consulates.

  • Your Valid Passport
  • Two recent, passport-sized photos to attach to your application
  • Both copies of the acceptance letter
  • Proof of health insurance coverage (Affidavit forms vary by consulate)
  • Your flight itinerary or travel tickets with exact, round-trip departure and arrival dates
  • Copies of student or state identification or the original if applying in person
  • Proof of financial means, which may also be satisfied by proof of financial aid
  • Affidavit of SupportThis document is only needed if your personal finances and aid do not cover the full cost of the program fee and living expenses. This form is typically provided on your consulate’s website.

If you are supported by your parents/guardians, you will need to provide the following documents of support: 1) a notarized Affidavit of Support and/or 2) a bank statement(s) of the Affiant or a letter from their financial institution that verifies their account balance(s).

Some consulates may also request an original Letter of Enrollment from your home college or university. Please request this letter from your school’s Study Abroad or Registrar’s office. The Italian consulate websites will explain what the letter should include. Please provide an original letter signed by the Registrar or another university representative.

Mail-In Visa Applications

Some consulates will allow mail-in applications. In that case, the consulate will require you to provide return postage in a self-addressed envelope so that your passport and visa can be returned to you. We recommend that you select an envelope with tracked, expedited shipping and that you place your address both as the sender and receiver. The consulate of your jurisdiction will tell you the type of mailer to use, though they typically prefer the use of USPS.

Receiving your Visa

Your visa will be affixed to a page of your passport by the consulate. As soon as your passport is returned to you, open it and check the visa for errors. If the visa dates are valid for a few extra (or fewer) days than the length of your program, this is not an issue. However, if the dates vary significantly or if your personal details contain an error, you must notify the consulate immediately. They will cancel your visa and ask you to return it to be fixed. They will tell you how to return the visa and if any documents must accompany it. Errors are not common but they can take a couple of weeks to fix and may cause unwelcome problems with Italian immigration control.