TEFL qualified teachers from outside of the European Union can sometimes find it more difficult to secure teaching jobs in Italy as some schools are reluctant to go through the process of applying for a work permit. If this applies to you, one possible solution is to apply for a student visa as this will also allow you the legal right to teach up to 20 hours per week. Many teachers who follow this route to working in Italy also take on a few private students to top up their income.
How do I apply for a student visa in Italy?
As it can take up to a month for a student visa application to be approved, it is best to send it in well in advance of your planned departure. To apply you will need to visit an Italian embassy or consulate in person, with a passport that is valid for at least six months after your stay in Italy is over. You will also have to prove that you have enrolled on a study program (such as an Italian language course) that is recognized by the Italian government. The required documents might vary, but they currently include:
- Completed application form
- Valid passport
- Additional passport photo
- Photocopies of passport ID pages
- Documentation regarding the study course in Italy
- Proof of finances (either a bank statement showing access to $1,000 per month during your stay, or notarized document from parent or similar declaring responsibility for providing the funds)
- Health insurance documentation
- Proof of round-trip flights
- Proof of accommodation during your stay
What do I need to do on arrival in Italy?
Once you have been issued your student visa and have arrived in Italy, you will need to apply for a Residence Permit (Permesso di Soggiorno) within eight days. This can be done at a local post office and can take as long as three months to be processed. The following documents will be required:
- Completed application form (obtained from post office)
- Valid passport, plus copies of ID and visa page
- Four passport photos
- Tax stamp (obtained from post office)
- Acceptance letter from study program
- Public health insurance (49 euros for six months, 98 euros for twelve months. Obtained from post office)
- Once your application is sent, you also need to apply for a tax number through the government tax department
Is it easy to get a student visa for Italy?
As with all visas of this type, there are no guarantees that your application will be accepted. However, if you make sure that you provide all the required paperwork at the right time, you should find that you will have the visa in your passport and be on your way to Italy in no time.