Entry and residence in Italy for research activity (visiting researchers and other researchers from abroad)

Information on the entry and residence in Italy of researchers from abroad working at the Departments or Interdepartmental Centres as visiting researchers, visiting fellows, fixed-term researchers, or under contract, with a research fellowships or a research training grant, also funded externally.

The following procedures apply in all cases where the research activity is prevalent.

For support in the incoming procedures contact the International Desk diri.visiting@unibo.it if the destination is Bologna, otherwise contact the International Relations office on the relative campusCesena, ForlìRavennaRimini. The visa issue procedures take a long time and you should start the procedure well in advance (at least 3 months).

The activities described below, concerning the International Desk, are done on the campuses by the International Relations offices.

Before arriving in Italy

Researchers from the European Union

You must:

  • check that the identity document is valid for the whole period of your stay in Italy;
  • have appropriate health care coverage valid also for Italy (TEAM card and/or private insurance).

Researchers from outside the European Union

You must:

  • receive the welcome agreement (convenzione di accoglienza), sign it and return the original to the relevant Department; 
  • receive the approval (nulla osta) from the University of Bologna (for stays of more than 90 days);
  • having received the “nulla osta”, apply for a visa for “research pursuant to art. 27 ter” usually submitting:
    - visa application form [.pdf]; for researchers receiving a research fellowship (assegno di ricerca), read the example with instructions in English [.pdf 479 KB] on how to fill in the form.
    - a recent passport photo;
    - valid travel document expiring at least three months following the requested visa;
    - copy of the “nulla osta”, for research activity (for stays of more than 90 days); 
    - documentation certifying that the applicant is a researcher employed by a foreign university or research institute (for stays of less than 90 days);
    - copy of the “convenzione di accoglienza” signed with the University or Department (for stays of less than 90 days).

It is important to contact the Embassy to apply for the visa well in advance, to find out if any additional documentation is required (e.g. the original “convenzione di accoglienza” and “nulla osta”, flight booking, documentation concerning your financial resources, study grant assignment letter).
Read more information on Visa for Italy

Once you arrive in Italy

Visiting researchers from the European Union

If you stay in Italy for more than 3 months, you must register with the Registry Office (Iscrizione Anagrafica) in the city where you live.
Find out how to register (iscrizione anagrafica) with the Municipality of Bologna.

Visiting researchers from outside the European Union

Permesso di soggiorno (residence permit)

Once you arrive in Italy, if you need to stay for less than 90 days you do not need to apply for a residence permit, but within 8 days you must go to the police station (Questura) to report your presence (Dichiarazione di presenza), if you are not exempted from doing so.

If you stay in Italy for more than 90 days, within 8 working days of your arrival in Italy you must apply for a residence permit. You must apply at the Immigration office (SUI) of the Prefecture in the city where you will be carrying out your activities, with the following documents:

  • €16.00 duty stamp;
  • original passport + photocopy of all pages (including blank ones);
  • copy of the notification of issue of the “nulla osta” for research;
  • copy of the Welcome Agreement (“convenzione di accoglienza”) signed with the research institute;
  • copy of the Declaration of Hospitality or Lease Agreement, with a photocopy of the ID document of your landlord or host, and a receipt proving that it was sent to the relevant Questura;
  • health insurance or registration to the National Health Service;
  • If you already have one, your Tax ID;
  • any additional document that may be required by the relevant Prefecture.

You can check here the contacts of the SUI at the Prefecture in Bologna.

Having checked that all your documentation is correct, the SUI will provide you with the file to deposit at a Post Office with a “Sportello Amico”.

When submitting the application to the post office, you must:

  • pay a fee for your electronic residence permit. The cost of the residence permit for research purposes for up to 12 months is 70,46 €;
  • fill in an insured letter form for sending the kit. This costs 30 €.

At the Post Office you will be given an appointment for having your photo and finger prints recorded at the Questura. It is very important to go to the appointment, and to indicate the correct address on your permit application. In the event of problems in issuing the residence permit, the Questura will send any notices or calls to the indicated address.

Important: the surname of the researcher must be clearly visible on the door panel/letter box.

Keep the receipt you are given at the Post Office, you must show it with your passport in the event of a police check. Send a copy of it by email to the Department.

To find out the status of your application for issue/renewal after the appointment at the police station (Questura) enter the file code number assigned during the appointment or the insured mail number (the password written on the receipt issued by the Post Office) in the Polizia di Stato website.

Only for the Questura in Bologna, when the residence permit is available you can check the collection methods on the specific website.

When you collect your residence permit, check that all the details are correct. In particular, the “Tipo di permesso di soggiorno” (type of residence permit) must be “ricercatore” (researcher) and not, for example, “ricerca lavoro”(job search). If you find any errors, do not collect the permit and ask for it to be rectified.

Renewing the residence permit

To renew your residence permit for research purposes, a new agreement must be signed.

Important: the residence permit “ricercatore” (researcher) cannot be converted into “studente” (student). If you want to enrol in a degree programme you must return to your country and apply for a visa for study purposes.

For more information contact the International Desk ().