All students (Fall and Spring Semester) are required to obtain a Student Visa from Italian Consulates in the U.S. and overseas who have jurisdiction over designated states and regions. Upon acceptance into the program, each student should immediately print the appropriate Consulate's visa application. Your specific Consulate is determined by either your permanent address or your address while at school.In the U.S., there are 11 Italian consulates and students must apply to the consulate that has jurisdiction over their state/county of permanent residence. Because visa procedures and requirements vary somewhat between consulates, you must consult the appropriate consulate's webpage for specific instructions before you apply. (It can be very difficult to reach a visa official by phone, but their recorded messages and websites are very informative.) For website addresses and links see: www.esteri.it/visti/index_eng.asp
Getting the Visa
Most consulates require a personal appearance to apply for the visa, or a personal appearance at one of the sub-consulates that collect your passport, financial statements, and other documentation for forwarding to the main consulate. A few consulates allow for application by mail (San Francisco, for example), but this can take longer. Consulates typically will return your passport with the new visa by mail, so you don't have to return in person for pick up, but again they are particular about what kind of prepaid mail service you use, so check their instructions before going to the consulate.
DO NOT WAIT TILL THE LAST FEW WEEKS TO APPLY!
Plan a trip to the consulate 6-8 weeks before you intend to leave. There may be long lines, so be patient! Arrive as early as possible to insure you get in before the doors close for the day.
It is important to check with your study abroad office at your current university about the visa process. They may already have special arrangements made with your local Italian Consulate.
Visa Application Requirements
General Visa Requirements (check your consulate's webpage for detailed instructions
One recent passport photo, which you will attach to your visa application form
Photocopy of the first page of your passport.
•Enrollment letters (in Italian) provided by the Florence School of Fine Arts.
•Official Passport (please make sure that it has been signed).
•Verification of Enrollment Letter (provided by your home school). This must state that you are a current student and when you are expected to graduate. Usually the registrars office will provide this official letter with their seal (2 copies). If you are attending our Post-Baccalaureate Program, you may submit a photocopy of your undergraduate diploma instead of the Verification of Enrollment letter.
•Notarized photocopy of your Student ID and your Drivers License (this provides proof of the consulate's jurisdiction).
Two Notarized copies of the Affidavit of Insurance.
•Official transcript from your home university.
•Two notarized and completed Financial Support Letters to be completed by the person who is financially responsible for you (form provided by Florence School).
•Proof of Financial means. The person who signs the support statement must submit proof of adequate means by providing two letters from his/her bank. The Italian government requests that students have access to at least $1,000 per month. These letters should be notarized as well.
•Your flight itinerary.
•Return envelope, self-addressed, pre-stamped or priority mail. It is recommended that you use a mail service that allows you to track the envelope.
Note: Most student visas are free of charge.
Make one full copy of everything you submit to the Italian Consulate and bring it to Florence with you.
This is a general list to give you an idea of the information you will need. Most likely you will need to submit additional materials and should follow the directions for your consulate very carefully. Do not follow requirements for a consulate other than your jurisdictional consulate. If your documents are not exactly as the consulate outlines, they will send your application back to you unprocessed. Make sure that you make one copy of all documents prior to submitting the application to the Italian Consulate.
Student Visa Information
The Florence School of Fine Arts will assist you in all steps to obtain your student visa. However, it is ultimately the responsibility of the student to verify the requirements to obtain his/her student visa, as Consulates may change student visa requirements at any time. All Italian consulates have the full authority to evaluate and request additional documentation to what is submitted. Often one consulate will ask for additional information while another will not. The Florence School of Fine Arts cannot guarantee that any of the information given has not changed or will not change.
Please Note: it is not possible to extend the dates on a visa outside your home country so if you think you may want to continue at the Florence School beyond the semester written on your application please contact us as soon as possible so that the visa letter has the accurate study dates.
Florence is an incredibly beautiful city often called "the birthplace of the modern world". It offers an amazing sensation of "seeing" and feeling": with the sheer magnificence of the Duomo, the incredible collections of the Uffizi, Galleria dell'Accademia, the frescoes in the Capella Brancacci, and literally hundreds of smaller sites, churches and palaces which contain several centuries of an electrifying history and culture.