I have finally been cleared to get my Italian student visa from the consulate!
When I was starting this process, it was incredibly daunting and very difficult to figure out exactly what I needed. Naturally, the NYC Consulate website left me asking questions, and my internet stalking left me with conflicting instructions.
After much stalking, planning, copying, and stressing, I made my appointment to get my visa. And got rejected. But, all went went on my 2nd attempt. When I was in the waiting room during Round #2, three college students were stressing out over the same issues I had. This has convinced me to write a post explaining what the visa paperwork is and how to navigate it all!
(Keep in mind I applied by myself, for a graduate program, and had no “study abroad” help from any American universities).
What you need for an Italian student visa:
1. Visa application form
Of course, when I arrived at the consulate with my meticulously completed application, it turned out to be the wrong one. FML. This is the application I should’ve filled out. Use this form if you are staying for a year or more in a Schengen state.
2. Valid passport
3. Passport photo
4. Proof of means of support (at least €350.57 per month)
You need a letter from a bank, and if someone else is helping you, they need to sign this affidavit of support.
I ran into a slight hiccup here. My parents secured a letter from their bank proving they were able to support me financially in Italy. The bank, however, stated they had means greater than $xxxx… they converted the €350.57 into dollars! The visa officer told me it was the wrong paperwork, but after some smooth talking, she accepted my parents’ bank letter and affidavit.
5. Proof of lodging
This item confused me the most. My graduate school had no housing, and I plan on staying in a hostel when I first arrive. I contacted my school and they wrote me a letter stating they would support me in my housing search. This alone still wasn’t sufficient!! I had to add one sentence to the letter giving the address of my temporary housing. Yes, I got rejected because of one sentence. All they really look for is an Italian address, so make sure you have this!
6. Confirmation of employment (for anyone who is not a current student)
This was never listed on the Consulate website, nor was it in any blog I stalked. I was rejected on my first visa appointment because the visa officer couldn’t correlate my graduate program to my day job. Why she cared, who knows. I think it was because most student visa applicants go to Italy through a study abroad program, and I was applying solo. A lone wolf, if you will. Basically they required me to get a letter from my job simply stating what my position was.
7. State ID card
I live in NYC. I don’t drive. My license is still Florida-issued. I never bothered to change it. This may only apply to city-folk, but the confirmation email I got after scheduling my visa appointment requested a valid state ID/license proving you lived in the Consulate’s jurisdiction. So, a frantic trip to the NYC DMV I made.
8. Social Security card
9. Proof of health insurance
I almost bought an international plan, but thanks to Facebook stalking found out I could buy an Italian health insurance policy for €98 when I apply for my Permesso di Soggiorno. All you need to do is submit this affidavit to the Consulate as proof of future insurance.
10. Letter of enrollment from your school
The school should know this. It needs to be in Italian, and they will provide it upon your acceptance to the program. My school actually gave me 3 letters, all required by the Consulate.
What I didn’t need for my Italian Student Visa
Here are things that multiple blogs and forums told me to bring, but ended up unnecessary.
1. Airline tickets
Of course I had purchased round-trip airfare, because the Consulate website said they wanted to see a return ticket. They never asked me for this (but it’s a good idea to bring it anyway).
2. Utility bill
I read this was needed to prove you reside in the Consulate’s jurisdiction. Not needed.
3. Bank statement from my parents
They only cared about the letter from the bank.
4. College transcripts
I heard this was required if you were applying for a Master’s program. Nope, they wanted my employment letter instead.
The visa officer actually got a little annoyed that I had extra paperwork. Oh well. I pick up my visa November 23rd… thank goodness this process is over! (Until I have to apply for my Permesso di Soggiorno, that is!)italian, paperwork, visa