Entry Visa and Permesso di Soggiorno
Unless you are an EU/EEA passport holder, you will need to complete a series of procedures in order to enter and stay in Italy for the duration of your internship. As you are probably aware, Italian laws and regulations can be extremely bureaucratic and involve several steps, which may generate confusion even to the savviest. As if that wasn't complicated enough, it is not uncommon for different agents in public offices to interpret the laws in different ways, which can be very frustrating. Please carefully read this guide, which has all the necessary information for you to obtain your entry visa and your residence permit (permesso di soggiorno).
(Visto di ingresso)
Contact the Italian consulate that provides services to your state of residency (each consulate offers services to specific jurisdictions - please check here) in order to make an appointment, ideally for the second week of September. You must apply in person but, when not possible, you should contact the honorary consulate closest to you in order to submit your application materials.
SITE will mail a very important document (progetto formativo) to your home address, which will be necessary in order to obtain your visa. Please let us know in advance if we should mail it to an address different than the one on your application.
Apply in person for a studio-formazione visa. It is a special type of study visa. Each consulate may have slight variations on the required documentation, therefore you should consult the website of the one nearest to you. In general, however, you must bring:
Progetto formativo (+2 copies of the entire document)
This is that important document you received in August, remember?
Visa application form
Here is a sample, but check your consulate’s website, as they may have a more specific one.
Here you can find the necessary instructions on how to fill the form.
Must be valid and not close to expiration date (expiration must be no longer than 6 months past the end of the internship) and have a blank page for the visa stamp.
2 Copies of your passaport’s vital statistics page
The one that contains your main information.
Two passaport-sized photos
Receipt for roundtrip flight (+2 copies)
Must have been already purchased and a one-way is not acceptable.
Proof of health insurance (+2 copies)
Which specifically states your overseas coverage. Alternatively, you may sign an affidavit stating that you will buy health insurance upon your arrival in Italy.
Proof of funds (+2 copies)
Official bank statement showing an accrued amount of approximately 1000€ for every month of the internship. Please note that in your progetto formativo there is a section which confirms your 700€ monthly scholarship, which may be used as proof to cover part of the total amount.
Proof of residency (+2 copies)
Many consulates require this, as their jurisdiction technically offers services to residents of specific areas. A driver’s license should be enough, but make sure to check with your consulate specifically.
USPS Priority Mail pre-paid envelope
If you want your passport mailed back to you. Most consulates also allow you to pick it up directly there when it’s ready.
Processing time usually requires 7-14 days. Plan your travels accordingly and a good rule-of-thumb would be to book the flight for the last few days of September (for assistants beginning in October).
(Permesso di Soggiorno)
Dichiarazione di Ospitalità
Upon arrival in Italy, you must report to the local police station (questura or commissariato della polizia) to submit the dichiarazione di ospitalità within two days. You must go either with your landlord or with the family that may be hosting you, as their documents and signature will also be needed. Please contact your school immediately after you arrival in order to complete this process. It is extremely important in order to obtain further documents.
Application for the permesso di soggiorno must be submitted within eight days. You have two ways of doing this:
1. Reporting to the nearest post office and picking up the yellow kit (kit giallo), which you will then need to take home and carefully read the instructions and fill out the form.
2. Going to the nearest ACLI, an organization that provides free consulation for foreigners in Italy. They can provide and fill out most of the paperwork for you, free of charge. To find the nearest ACLI office, go to www.acli.it
Applying at the post office and costs
You must then report to the post office with the following:
1. Completed forms in the unsealed envelope that comes with it;
2. A photocopy of your progetto formativo
3. A marca da bollo worth 16€ - purchasable at most tabacchi
4. Your passport and a copy of the pages with your personal details and all pages with visa or stamp marks.
5. A photocopy of your health insurance.
Moreover, when presenting the application to the post office, you must:
- fill in a payment slip (bollettino postale) for the document. The cost of the resident permit with a duration between 3 months and 1 year is of 70.46€
- fill in a registered letter form for sending the kit. Cost: 30€
After you submit all documentation, the post office will provide you with an appointment at the local police station to complete the application process. You will need to take photocopies of certain documents to your appointment; a full list of required documents should be given by the post office or found at the police station (it may vary slightly from town to town).
Picking up the document
After your appointment, you will receive a text message from the police station indicating which day you should report back to pick up the card. This process tends to take 2-3 months.