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Italy visa help

Travel Forums Europe Italy visa help

1. Posted by summer910 (Respected Member 1342 posts) 7y

Hi guys, need some help here. I'm thinking of studying Italian in Italy, specifically at the University for Foreigners in Perugia. They have those three-month Italian courses that go up to six levels and by then you're (hopefully) completely fluent in Italian. I am hoping to stay on in Italy to complete all six levels, which will probably take me about 15-18 months.

I know I will definitely have to apply for a visa if I am staying more than 90 days in Italy. What I want to know is... because I am applying for a three-month course and hoping to continue studying there, how does the visa application work? Can I tell them how I intend to do all six levels or something?

I read here that the maximum period of a visa is one year though it's renewable, but I couldn't find this in the embassy website (visa link). I tried calling the embassy but the guy on the phone wasn't very helpful. I guess he didn't understand what I was trying to say.

Another question is that... say I want to volunteer at an animal shelter in Rome, what sort of visa do I apply for and what's the duration?

Many thanks in advance for any advice given.

[ Edit: Edited on Nov 5, 2008, at 12:19 PM by summer910 ]

2. Posted by t_maia (Travel Guru 3289 posts) 7y

I read that the maximum period of a visa is one year though it's renewable, but I couldn't find this in the embassy website.

This is how it works: From the embassy you get a long-term visa. This visa either allows you to apply for a residency permit once you are in Italy or has a short-term residency permit already included.

The difference between residency permit and visa:

visa - issued by the embassy for a short or limited period of time (one year in this case)
residency permit - issued by the immigration office for a longer (sometimes limited) period of time, can be renewed, can be issued for life, but needs a visa from the embassy first

So you apply for a visa, but extend the residency permit.

how does the visa application work? Can I tell them how I intend to do all six levels or something?

Yes, you can. All you have to do is show them that you got enough money. If you enroll at the University you are a student, which makes me think that your best bet is to apply for a student visa.

Check the http://www.esteri.it/ website for the costs this involves, IIRC they wanted you to have around 5500 EUR for 6 months.

say I want to volunteer at an animal shelter in Rome, what sort of visa do I apply for and what's the duration?

You cannot just waltz in and volunteer at any odd place, you need to be with an officially recognised voluntary organisation. You can go to Italy on your student visa or on a normal 90-day visa-free stay so there is no problem there, but you need to be registered as volunteer and have the place where you volunteer pay insurance fees on your behalf.

3. Posted by summer910 (Respected Member 1342 posts) 7y

Thanks so much, t_maia!! I'm really relieved to know that I can apply for a visa this way. I was in circles trying to find a language school that offers a one-year course. I went to the website you mentioned and saw the table they have - they even broke it down into particular periods of stay. I should be fine on the financial side, have managed to save up a bit in the last few years.

I also got this information on what I must provide for a visa application:

1. visa application form (click here)
2. recent passport-style photo
3. passport or travel document valid for at least three months after visa expiry date
4. proof of means of support in Italy of not less than €350.57 for each month of the academic year
This availability can be proven through:
- proof of personal or family resources
- guarantee of financial resourses by accredited Italian institutions or agencies, local governments, or foreign - institutions or agencies considered trustworthy by the italian Diplomatic Representation
5. declaration of the availability in Italy of appropriate lodgings.

The last point, about appropriate lodgings... must I prove that I have lodgings for the entire stay in Italy, or just the first three months? I've looked at this site (recommended by one of the members here) and if I contact the site and tell them I want to rent a studio apartment for 12 months, will they freak out? And is that sort of price from - € 400,00 to € 550,00 - reasonable? Will rental units be partial to animals in the apartment?