A guide to required documents to study in Italy

March 15, 2024

Embarking on a journey to study in Italy is an exciting and enriching experience, but it requires careful preparation, particularly when it comes to documentation. Navigating the bureaucratic processes of a foreign country can indeed be daunting, but with the right information and organization, you can ensure a smooth transition into your academic endeavors. 

Identification documents

To live in Italy, it's essential to ensure that you have all the necessary identification documents in order. These documents not only serve as proof of your identity but also play a crucial role in various administrative processes, such as enrollment at educational institutions and accessing essential services during your stay.


The passport serves as your primary form of identification and travel document when venturing abroad. It not only verifies your identity but also provides crucial information about your citizenship and personal details. Therefore, it's imperative to ensure that your passport is up-to-date and valid for the entire duration of your stay (if not more). 

Making sure you have a copy of your passport is equally important for safeguarding your identity and facilitating necessary procedures in case of emergency. In the unfortunate event of loss or theft, having a backup copy will expedite the process of obtaining a replacement passport and assist in proving your identity to relevant authorities. 

Visa, passport and other documents required to go to Italy to study


Obtaining the appropriate visa is a crucial step, especially if your intended stay exceeds a certain period. A visa will grant you permission to enter and reside in Italy for the specified duration and purpose of your visit, whether it's for study, work, tourism, or other activities. It is therefore essential to familiarize yourself with the visa requirements and to initiate the application process well in advance of your intended departure date.

When applying, you'll need to provide documentation supporting the purpose and duration of your stay in Italy. For students, this typically includes an acceptance letter or certificate of enrollment from an accredited Italian educational institution, proof of sufficient financial means to support yourself during your stay, and evidence of medical insurance coverage.

Permit of stay

The permit of stay is a vital document for international students studying in Italy, serving as official authorization to reside in the country for the duration of your academic program. This document not only validates your legal presence in Italy but also outlines important details such as the duration of your stay.

You should apply for the permit of stay promptly upon arrival in Italy and keep a copy securely stored for complying with immigration regulations and facilitating administrative processes.

Codice fiscale

Requesting a tax code (“codice fiscale” in Italian) is a vital step for establishing legal residency or engaging in financial transactions in Italy. This unique identification number is essential for a myriad of administrative and bureaucratic processes, including opening a bank account, signing rental agreements, and accessing healthcare services. 

To request it, you should visit the local Agenzia delle Entrate (Revenue Agency) office or designated post office with the necessary documentation, such as a valid passport or identity card. If you’re not yet in Italy, another option is requesting your tax code through your national consulate or embassy. This way you’ll have the tax code even before arriving in Italy!

Academic documents

Academic documentation plays a pivotal role in the process of pursuing education abroad. For international students planning to study in Italy, ensuring the authenticity and completeness of academic documents is essential for securing admission to Italian educational institutions. 

Certificate of admission or acceptance letter

The certificate of admission and the acceptance letter serves as tangible proof of your acceptance into the chosen study program at an Italian educational institution. Upon receiving it, you will find it to be a comprehensive document containing vital details essential for planning your travel in Italy (dates of the program, breakdown of the curriculum, prerequisites, tuition fees, and deadlines). 

Be sure to keep both digital and hard copies of the document securely stored, as you may be required to present it during various stages of your journey, including visa applications, enrollment procedures, and academic registration.

Academic transcripts

Academic transcripts are another crucial part of academic documentation, providing a comprehensive record of your previous academic achievements. For international students planning to pursue their studies in Italy, academic transcripts play a crucial role in demonstrating their academic preparedness and suitability for their chosen study program.

Once you've obtained your academic transcripts, carefully review them to ensure accuracy and completeness. Check for any discrepancies or errors such as incorrect grades or missing coursework, and promptly address any issues with the issuing institution.

Health-related documents

These documents play a pivotal role in safeguarding one's well-being and providing access to essential healthcare services. So, whether you're planning a short-term visit or embarking on a long-term academic journey, understanding and organizing your health-related documents is essential for a smooth and worry-free experience.

Health insurance

Securing adequate health insurance coverage is paramount for individuals planning to visit or study in Italy. While Italy's National Health Service provides universal coverage to eligible citizens, international visitors typically need supplementary private health insurance to meet visa requirements and ensure comprehensive healthcare access. 

For this reason, it is essential to carefully review and select a health insurance plan that meets your specific needs and complies with Italian visa regulations. 

Insurance required to come to Italy

Health insurance card

The health insurance card (or “tessera sanitaria” in Italian) is a fundamental document for accessing healthcare services in Italy. Containing essential information such as your personal details and healthcare identification number, this card not only serves as proof of enrollment in the Italian National Health Service but also facilitates the seamless provision of medical care during your stay. 

Remember to carry it with you at all times, as it grants you access to a wide range of medical services, including consultations, prescriptions, and hospital treatments at reduced cost.

Financial documents

Financial documents play a central role in demonstrating the ability to support yourself financially during the duration of your stay in Italy and in ensuring compliance with visa requirements.

Proof of sufficient financial means for stay

Giving proof of sufficient financial means is a critical step for international students planning to study in Italy. This documentation serves indeed to assure authorities that you have the resources necessary to support yourself throughout the stay. Typically, this involves providing a variety of financial documents, such as bank statements, certificates of deposit, or financial support letters from parents or guardians.

By meticulously preparing and providing evidence of sufficient financial means, you can confidently embark on your adventure in Italy, knowing you have the necessary resources to support yourself and fully immerse in your experience.

Documentation related to scholarships or funding

If you've been fortunate enough to secure financial assistance through scholarships or funding, it's imperative to have all the relevant documentation prepared and readily available for submission. These documents serve indeed as formal confirmation of the award and outline key details such as the amount of funding, the duration of the scholarship, and any specific terms or conditions attached to it.

In addition, it's also essential to gather any other documentation that confirms the financing of your studies in Italy. This may include bank statements showing the deposit of scholarship funds, letters of sponsorship, and any other official documents that verify the availability of funding for your expenses.

Rental agreement or hospitality letter

When arranging accommodation, it's imperative to ensure that all necessary documentation is in order so as to avoid any potential complications or misunderstandings.

If you choose to rent a house, a rental agreement will serve as the cornerstone of the accommodation process, outlining the terms and conditions of the tenancy and providing clarity on important aspects. By having a comprehensive agreement in place, you can minimize uncertainty and establish clear expectations with your accommodation provider.

Alternatively, for those seeking accommodation with a host family, a letter of hospitality may be required. This document, typically provided by the accommodation host, serves as a formal invitation and confirmation of the accommodation arrangements. While not as comprehensive as a rental agreement, a letter of hospitality may include important details. It's therefore important to carefully review it and ensure that all necessary information is accurate.

Other useful documents

In addition to the main documents presented above, there are some other documents that may be useful during your stay in Italy.

Travel documents

Travel documents are essential for your journey, ensuring smooth travel experiences and efficient navigation through various checkpoints. In addition to your passport and visa, keep documents such as plane tickets and accommodation reservations organized and easily accessible. Having these documents readily available will streamline your travel experience and help you manage unexpected situations with ease.

Boarding pass for the plane to come to Italy

Emergency contact list

Make sure to compile a comprehensive emergency contact list, including family members, friends, and local authorities, both in your home country and in Italy. In the event of an emergency, having immediate access to these contacts can provide essential support and guidance, helping you navigate through challenging situations with confidence. 

Practical tips for document management during your stay in Italy

Managing your documents effectively during your stay in Italy is crucial for a smooth and stress-free experience. Here are some practical tips to help you stay organized:

  • Create digital copies of all important documents and store them securely in cloud storage or email them to yourself. This ensures you have backup copies in case the original documents are lost or stolen.
  • Carry physical copies of your essential documents with you at all times, preferably in a secure and waterproof folder or pouch.
  • Keep a record of important dates, such as visa expiration dates and academic deadlines, to avoid any last-minute issues.
  • Regularly update your contact information with your educational institution, accommodation provider, and emergency contacts.
  • Familiarize yourself with local regulations and procedures regarding document requirements, such as visa extensions or residence permits, and ensure compliance to avoid any legal complications.

By following these practical tips and staying organized, you can effectively manage your documents and focus on making the most out of your experience!

Our ultimate guides series of article cover more than that, check it out:

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