How do I apply for a student visa to legally teach English in Italy?

Italy is one of several European countries where it can be difficult for non-EU citizens to find teaching jobs. Many language schools are reluctant to go through the process of getting a work permit for a non-EU teacher when they can simply hire one with an EU passport. If you are in this situation, one option available to you is to apply for a student visa that also includes the right to teach up to 20 hours per week. To allow for a comfortable lifestyle many teachers also take on a few private students in their free time.

What is the application process for a student visa in Italy?

It can take up to a month for your visa application to be processed after you have handed over the required documents to an Italian embassy or consulate in person. Your passport needs to be valid for a minimum of six months after your stay in Italy is over and you also need to prove you have enrolled on a study program (such as an Italian language course) that is recognized by the Italian government. The documentation required may vary, but the usual requirements are:

- 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

How can I check that I have the right documents?

As with all visa issues, we recommend that you visit a French embassy website before submitting your application to ensure you have all the necessary paperwork.

What should I do on arrival in Italy?

Once in Italy with the student visa in your passport, you will need to apply for a Residence Permit (Permesso di Soggiorno). This should be done within eight days of your arrival at a local post office. This process can take anything up to three months and you will need the following documents:

- 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

How easy is it to get a student visa for Italy?

Applications for a student visa are by no means guaranteed to be accepted. However, as long as you supply all the required documents at the right time during the process, you should find you will be on your way to Italy with a student visa in your passport before you know it.

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