On arrival in Italy: residence permit (permesso di soggiorno) for students enrolling in degree programmes or single learning activities

Non-EU students, enrolling in degree programmes or single learning activities, who are intending to stay in Italy for more than 90 days must apply for a residence permit.

General information

Non-EU students arriving in Italy with a D visa for STUDIO/Immatricolazione Università, must apply for a residence permit within 8 days of arrival. This page provides some general information on the procedure; individual Questure (central police stations) may require additional procedures and documents.

Before applying for your first residence permit, where possible:

It is fundamental to submit the application for a residence permit complete with all the required documents.

If your study permit application is complete at submission, you will get your permit sooner.
If you have to complete the missing documents after submission, the time required for issuing the permit could be several months longer.

Student residence permits can be renewed only if the student meets specific study requirements, and they cannot be renewed for more than three years beyond the standard duration of the degree programme. For more information on the times, procedures and requirements for renewal, see the Frequently Asked Questions about residence permits.

Application procedure

  1. Filling in the application
  2. Preparing the documents
  3. Submitting the application
  4. Appointment at the Questura (central police station)
  5. Collecting the residence permit
  6. Support

1. Filling in the application

If you live in Bologna and surrounding areas (Città Metropolitana di Bologna): the University of Bologna collaborates with immigration support services. The personnel of such services can provide you with an application kit (including the envelope and required forms), and will assist you free of charge in filling out the application for the issue or renewal of the residence permit.

In order to book an appointment with the immigration support service, please write from your @studio.unibo.it email box to ases.bolognapermit@unibo.it.

If you live in Cesena, Forlì, Rimini and Ravenna and surrounding areas: you can contact the International Relations office in CesenaForlìRavennaRimini for more information on the support services.

You can also apply for the residence permit on your own: you can obtain an application kit from any qualified post office (Sportello Amico); the kit consists of an envelope containing the forms and instructions on how to fill them in. You have to fill in the forms by yourself. Go ahead on your own only if you know the procedure well and you are sure that you have all the correct documentation: in the event of missing or incomplete documents, the time required for issuing the permit could be several months longer.

Important: when filling in the forms, you must provide your contact details where you will receive any notifications from the central police station (Questura): you must specify the city, the street, the name on the bell and letterbox of your accommodation in Italy, and your Italian mobile number. In the event of problems, the staff of the central police station (Questura) may call you on the mobile number you indicated.

Also remember to always update your phone number on Studenti Online.

2. Preparing the documents

The documents you should attach to the application or bring to the immigration support service are the following:

  • a copy of your passport (blank pages not included): you need to include copies of the pages containing your personal details, the entry visa, entry stamp into Italy and any other pages with visas and entry and exit stamps;
  • a copy of your registration with the Italian National Health Service (SSN) or health insurance policy;
  • your Italian tax code (codice fiscale), if available
  • a copy of the documents proving you have the funds needed to cover living in Italy (minimum required for 2023: € 6,542.51 per year). You can submit the same documents you provided for the visa application or a bank account statement or, if you have been assigned a scholarship, an official letter detailing its amount, duration and issuing body;
  • documents detailing your accommodation in Italy;
  • if you are applying for the first issue of your residence permit and you have completed your enrolment: a copy of an enrolment certificate in a degree programme at the University of Bologna. You can obtain this from the competent Student Administration office. Do not submit self-certifications.
  • if you are applying for the first issue of your residence permit and you have not yet enrolled (recommended only if you are unable to complete your enrolment quickly):  the summary of your pre-enrolment application submitted and validated through the Universitaly.it portal. After completing your enrolment, remember to ask for an enrolment certificate from the relevant Student Administration office and send it via PEC “Posta Elettronica Certificata” (certified email) to the central police station (Questura). Contact the International Desk for further details on PEC (Posta Elettronica Certificata) submission. Do not submit self-certifications.

    Important! For the Bologna central police station (Questura): you can also send messages via normal email to the PEC , but you will not receive a confirmation receipt.

  • If you are applying for the renewal of your residence permit:
    • a copy of an enrolment certificate at the University of Bologna, listing the exams you have passed (please check the minimum number of exams required for the renewal of the residence permit). You can obtain an enrolment certificate from the competent Student Administration office, or print out a certificate with digital stamp from Studenti Online. Do not submit self-certifications;
    • a copy of the expiring residence permit.

Any supplementary documents must be sent to the central police station (Questura) by PEC (you need to open a PEC “Posta Elettronica Certificata” - certified email); contact the International Desk for more information.

Important! For the Bologna central police station (Questura): you can also send messages via normal email to the PEC , but you will not receive a confirmation receipt.

3. Submitting your application

Go to a tobacconists (tabaccheria) and purchase a €16 duty stamp (marca da bollo). Next, go to any Post Office offering the “Sportello Amico” service (the main post office in Bologna is in Piazza Minghetti).

Bring the following with you to the Post Office:

  • the application kit and payment slip (bollettino) duly filled in;
  • a duty stamp (marca da bollo) to the value of €16.00;
  • your passport.

At the Post Office you have to:

  • settle the payment slip for the fee and production cost of the residence permit (€30.46 + €40.00);
  • hand in the application kit and the duty stamp;
  • fill in a registered letter form (posta assicurata) with your data and pay the service charge of € 30.

The Post Office staff will verify your identity (via your passport) and you will sign the completed form in front of them. Important: do not sign the form beforehand.

The Post Office staff will give you:

  • an appointment at the immigration office (Ufficio Immigrazione) of the central police station (Questura) for your photographic registration; it is very important that you keep this appointment;
  • a receipt of your residence permit application: keep the application receipt and make a copy of it, that you should always carry with you. In case of police checks, it proves that you have duly applied for the residence permit.

Important! You must send a copy of the receipt via email to the relevant Student Administration office for the degree programme you are enrolled in, from your account @studio.unibo.it.

If you matriculated by submitting only the entry visa for study purposes, your (conditional) enrolment will be activated only after the receipt has been recorded. Your career will remain active for 180 days and during this period you will be able to sit exams and obtain certificates. Remember that you will also need to send a copy of the residence permit obtained, otherwise your career will be temporarily blocked, 180 days after your permit application.

If you have paid the registration fee for the Italian National Health Service, do not forget to contact the AUSL offices to activate your registration and choose a general practitioner.

4. Appointment at the Questura

It is important that you go to the central police station (Questura) on time for the appointment assigned to you at the Post Office for photographic registration.

Take the following with you to the central police station (Questura):

  • your passport
  • Four identical passport-size photographs. They must be recent and they must have a white background
  • the original application receipt you received from the Post Office
  • the document issued by the Post Office confirming your appointment at the Questura.

In the residence permit application you should have photocopies of your documents, but the officers at the Questura may need to check the original documents, so don’t forget to take them.

Important! If you receive a document with a Subject (Oggetto) containing the text “art.10 bis Legge nr. 241/90” during your appointment at the central police station (Questura), you need to submit other documents. If you need support, please contact the International Desk (Bologna) or the offices in CesenaForlìRavennaRimini .

5. Collecting your residence permit

To track the status of your application following your appointment at the Questura, you can enter the code allocated to the file during the appointment or the registered mail tracking number (the password written on the receipt given by the post office) on the State Police website.

Important! (only for the Questura in Bologna): the Immigration Office in Bologna will not notify you via SMS when your permit is ready. However, around 3 to 4 months after the photographic registration, you will be able to check on a dedicated website whether your residence permit is ready and book an appointment to collect it. Remember to print out your collection booking and take it with you to the Immigration Office.

In Bologna, for information in the event of delays in issuing the permit, you can go to the URP (Public Relations Office) of the central police station, Piazza G. Galilei 2/A. 

After you have collected your residence permit, send a copy via email to the relevant Student Administration office for the degree programme you are enrolled in, from your account @studio.unibo.it.

If you do not send a copy of the final residence permit, your student career will be temporarily blocked 180 days from the application date.

Make a copy of the residence permit for yourself and keep it in a safe place.

6. Support

For additional information, you can read the residence permit vademecum

If you need support and you live in Bologna and surrounding areas, you can contact International Desk

If you need support and you live in Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna or Rimini and surrounding areas, you can contact the offices in CesenaForlìRavennaRimini.