3 Things You Should Know about Obtaining a Visa before You Study Abroad in Rome

John Cabot

Studying abroad in Rome is a great opportunity for students to experience Italian life and culture, exploring thousands of years of art, architecture, and history, while tasting some of the finest food in Europe, visiting world-class museums, and developing a more global perspective.

Students considering a study abroad program in Italy, however, might have questions about obtaining a visa for their stay. If you are interested in coming to study in Rome and want to know more about the process, here are three things that you should know about obtaining a visa.

1. You Might Not Require a Visa if You’re Staying for Less than 90 Days

One of the first things to note is that students from certain countries – for example, the United States, Canada, and Australia – coming to study in Rome for one of our 5-week summer sessions do not require a visa, as long as they are staying for less than 90 days. However, students from some countries will need a study visa, even for a short stay in Italy. If you are unsure whether you will need a study visa, you can check the requirements for your country on the Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ website.

If you do not require a visa, you’ll still need to ensure that your passport is valid for at least three months after your intended date of departure from Italy (or from Europe, if you are coming from the US). You will also still need to ensure that you have a health insurance plan that is valid in Italy, and complete a Declaration of Presence to register your presence in the country; JCU’s Immigration Office will assist you with the Declaration of Presence.

Keep in mind that EU citizens do not need a study visa, whether they are studying at JCU for a summer session or all four years.

Students coming for a summer session at John Cabot University might not require a visa

Students coming for a summer session at John Cabot University might not require a visa

2. Students Will Require These Documents to Apply for their Student Visa

Non-EU students coming to study abroad in Italy for a stay of longer than 90 days will require a study visa to legally enter the country. To get your visa, contact the Italian consulate in your jurisdiction. Note that several documents will be needed, including:

  • Entry visa application form
  • Recent passport-sized photos
  • Valid passport with an expiry date at least three months past your expected departure from Italy
  • Proof of accommodation (if you stay in JCU housing, we will provide you with that)
  • Proof of financial support during your entire stay in the country
  • Health insurance valid in Italy (we recommend CISI)
  • Proof of enrollment at the university (JCU will provide this letter when you are accepted)

Please keep in mind that the specific documentation required can change from consulate to consulate, so be sure to check with the consulate in your jurisdiction before beginning the process. While you’re waiting for your acceptance packet from JCU with the proof of enrollment and (if applicable) proof of accommodation, interested students should check their passport’s expiration date to ensure that it doesn’t need to be renewed before applying for their study visa!

3. The Process Can Take Two Months or More – So Don’t Wait!

If you’re considering a study abroad program in Italy, it’s important to keep in mind that the process of obtaining your visa could take two months or longer. This means that students intending to study in Rome should aim to begin the process as soon as they’ve received their letter of acceptance from John Cabot University, to ensure that all of their documentation is in order before the beginning of the semester or summer session they hope to attend.

Students in Rome have the opportunity to see world-famous works of art and architecture

Students in Rome have the opportunity to see world-famous works of art and architecture

Are you ready for your trip to Italy?

Contact John Cabot University today to learn more about our study abroad Rome program.

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