Residence permits

Guide for non-EU students residing abroad who enrol in first and second cycle degree programmes and single learning activities at the University of Bologna.

Which office should I contact to receive information about applying for a residence permit?

Students of the Bologna Campus Branch should contact:

International Relations Division - International Desk

Via Filippo Re 4 - 40126 Bologna - Italy
tel. +39 051 2088101
fax +39 051 2086113
email: internationaldesk@unibo.it

Opening Hours: Monday, Wednesday, Friday 10:00-12:00; Tuesday, Thursday 14:30-16:00.

Students of the Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna and Rimini Campus Branches should contact the offices in Cesena, Forlì, Ravenna or Rimini.

Important Information

When should I apply for a residence permit?

If this is the first time you are requesting a residence permit, you must apply within 8 working days from the date of your arrival in Italy.

If you are a non-EU student enrolling in the first year of a degree programme in the Italian language, during the Italian language test you will receive information on the support services available for the residence permit application.

To renew your residence permit, you must submit your renewal application at least 60 days before your permit expires.

You can find more information on how to renew your residence permit here.

If you live in Bologna and need assistance, please contact the International Desk.

If you live in the provinces of Forlì-Cesena, Rimini or Ravenna, you can contact the International Relations offices in CesenaForlìRavenna or Rimini.

What determines the duration of the residence permit?

A student residence permit can be issued for a maximum of 12 months. A shorter permit may be issued, depending on a number of different factors. The main ones are:

  • health insurance. Your residence permit cannot be issued for a period exceeding your health insurance coverage period;
  • academic year of enrolment. Your residence permit cannot be issued for a period exceeding the academic year you are enrolled in.
    For example, if you are enrolled in the 2018-2019 academic year, the latest possible expiry date of your permit is 31 March 2020.
    If you plan to renew your residence permit during the summer, don’t forget to enrol for your next academic year before applying, and collect your certificate of enrolment with list of exams passed from the Student Administration Office or download it from Studenti Online.
    Do not submit self-certifications.

How many exams must I pass to renew my residence permit?

To renew your residence permit you need to have passed at least one exam during the first year of study (of your degree programme) and at least two exams per year, for the subsequent years.
Exams must be registered.

Attention: in addition to the laws and requirements regarding student residence permit renewal, you also must consider the requirements set by the University of Bologna in order to avoid the loss of student status.

Which assessment tests count when applying to renew a residence permit?

To renew your residence permit, you must pass exams or other full assessment tests taken and registered during the course of your student career. Partial tests or single parts of integrated exams do not count when applying to renew a residence permit.

Additional Learning Requirements (OFA) and Italian language course units at the University Language Centre do not count when applying for residence permit renewal.

How many times can I renew my residence permit?

Residence permits cannot be renewed for more than three beyond the standard duration of degree programme.

This limit applies to all degree programmes: first and second cycle degree programmes and single cycle degree programmes. Don’t waste time, study and keep up with your exams, or you may not be able to obtain your final degree.

Attention: in addition to the laws and requirements regarding student residence permit renewal, you also must consider the requirements set by the University of Bologna in order to avoid the loss of student status.

What to do if...

When I submitted my application I did not include all the documents required.

Note: incomplete applications cause major delays in permit issuing procedures. You may try to take the documents when you go to your photographic registration appointment. Otherwise, you must send them via PEC (certified email) to the Police Station (Questura).

For applications sent to the Bologna Police Station: additional documents can only be sent via PEC to i.
In order to send a PEC e-mail, you must open a PEC e-mail account (messages sent from standard email accounts, like the @studio.unibo.it ones, might not be correctly delivered).

I missed my photographic registration appointment.

Note: if you miss your appointments, you may not be able to obtain a residence permit. If you missed your first appointment, you will receive an invitation to a new appointment through the www.portaleimmigrazione.it website, via SMS or via post. Make sure your name and surname are clearly visible on the doorbell/letter box at the address indicated on the application form. If, after a few weeks, you still have not received an invitation to a new appointment, contact the International Desk.

If you miss both appointments, the Police Station (Questura) will archive your request for a residence permit. Contact the International Desk immediately.

I have moved.

You must notify the Police Station (Questura) of your new address and update your contact information on StudentiOnline.

To notify the Police of your new address, send a PEC email to and cc the International Desk ().
Make sure that your name and surname are clearly visible on the doorbell/letter box at your new address.

I have been notified of motivations for which my residence permit may be denied (10 Bis).

You must submit a response and any additional information via PEC (certified e-mail), usually within 10 days.

For applications sent to the Bologna Police Station: you must send your documents via PEC to . In order to send a PEC e-mail, you must open a PEC e-mail account (messages sent from standard email accounts, like the @studio.unibo.it ones, might not be correctly delivered). Some immigration support services (patronati) make their PEC account available. If you have applied for a permit with an immigration support service ask if it is possible to use it.

If you require assistance, contact the International Desk. The staff will assess the issue and help you write your response. Be sure to keep a copy of all correspondence and documents sent to the Police Station.

Note: receiving a ‘10 Bis’ will cause major delays in permit issuing procedures.

It has been 5 months since I applied for a residence permit but I haven’t received it yet.

There may be a number of reasons for this. The most frequent are:

  • you did not show up to your photographic registration appointment;
  • the documentation you submitted was incomplete;
  • you are not entitled to a permit/permit renewal (for example, you have not passed the number of exams required).


Don’t wait any longer!
Contact the International Desk immediately.
Our Staff will enquire about your permit.

My residence permit has expired and I would like to go back to my home country.

If you are waiting for your residence permit to be renewed, you can return to your home country, without stopping in a country within the Schengen Area, by showing your passport and the receipt that proves you have duly applied to renew your residence permit.

Contact the airline in writing beforehand to make sure you can fly with your passport, the expired permit and the renewal application receipt.

Always check the applicable minimum stay limits in Italy to qualify for a residence permit.

I haven’t got my permit yet and I would like to travel in Europe.

If you are waiting for your permit or a permit renewal, you can travel in the countries within the Schengen area for up to three months, for as long as your entry visa is valid.

After that, you will need to have your Italian residence permit to travel.
Before travelling make sure no temporary suspensions of the Schengen agreement are in place.

Always check the applicable Italian maximum stay limits to qualify for a residence permit.

I have to go abroad for a study mobility programme (Erasmus+, Overseas, internship, dissertation preparation...).

Italian laws are very strict. If you interrupt the sequence of your consecutive student residence permits, you may be blocked from re-entering the country.


If you wish to return to Italy to complete your studies after your study abroad period, we recommend renewing your Italian residence permit before you leave. Contact the International Desk for information regarding your specific case.

To gain entry to the country you will be visiting for your mobility study programme, contact the embassy of the country in question. In some cases, the office that manages the specific study mobility programme will provide information and support.

After obtaining my degree I would like to stay in Italy and look for a job.

If, once you have obtained your first or second cycle degree, you wish to stay in Italy and look for a job, you can apply to convert your student residence permit into a “Ricerca Lavoro” (Job Search) permit for a period of 12 months maximum.

Note: the Ricerca Lavoro permit cannot be re-converted into a student residence permit. If you decide to return to university, you will have to re-enter the country with a new study visa.

For more details about the Ricerca Lavoro permit, contact the International Desk.

After obtaining my degree, I would like to stay in Italy to start a new degree programme.

If, after obtaining a degree, you wish to continue to study and start another degree programme (for example, if you have completed a first cycle degree and you wish to start a second cycle degree, or after a second cycle degree you wish to study for a PhD), you can enrol for the new degree programme as a non-EU student with an equivalent status to a EU citizen before your current student residence permit expires.

If your residence permit expires before your new matriculation and you have already registered to take the selection tests, you may be granted a renewal of your residence permit to allow you take the tests and matriculate.

In all other cases, you will have to re-enter Italy with a new study visa.

My studies are interrupted because I don’t have a residence permit. For example, when I try to book an exam or print a self-certification, I get the following message: “Student 00000000 does not have a valid residence permit”.

If you have applied for a permit but have not obtained one, there may be a number of reasons why. The most frequent are:

  • you are not entitled to a permit/permit renewal (for example, you have not passed the number of exams required).

I am currently enrolled in single learning activities and I would like to enrol in a degree programme.

If you are enrolled in single learning activities and have passed the exams, and the following year you want to enrol in a ‘pertinent or subsequent’ degree programme, you may apply to renew your residence permit. Please note: the Questura makes all decisions as to residence permit renewals.

Contact the Student Administration Office to request the ‘pertinent or subsequent’ certification that you will need to attach to the residence permit renewal application.

As alternative, you can go back to your home country, pre-enrol at the Italian Embassy and apply for a new study visa.

I lost my residence permit or it was stolen.

If you have lost your residence permit, or it was stolen, you must report it to the Police or the Carabinieri and request a duplicate permit at a qualified post office (one with a ‘Sportello Amico’). If the lost or stolen permit was about to expire (within more or less 2 months), you may request a renewal by presenting the necessary documentation.

You may report your permit as lost or stolen via an online form sent to the Police or the Carabinieri.

I have a student residence permit and I would like to work.

If you have a student residence permit you can work (as an employee) up to a maximum of 20 hours per week, for no more than 1040 hours a year.