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 ASES International Desk if the destination is Bologna, otherwise contact the International Relations office on the relative campusCesena, ForlìRavennaRimini

The following activities, involving the International Desk, are carried out by International Relations offices at each Campus.

Visa processing takes a long time and you should start the procedure well in advance (at least 3 months).

Before arriving in Italy

EU citizens

If you are a citizen of one of the European Union countries or of Norway, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Switzerland and San Marino, you must:

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

Non-EU citizens

You must:

  1. receive the welcome agreement (convenzione di accoglienza), sign it and return the original to the relevant Department; 
  2. receive from the University of Bologna  the approval (nulla osta) issued by the Prefettura (for stays of more than 90 days).

After receiving the “nulla osta”, you must 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;
  • passport or 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 by the University or Department.

Make sure to contact the Embassy to apply for your visa well in advance, to find out if any additional documentation is required.

Read more information on Visa for Italy

After your arrival in Italy

EU citizens

You can register in the registry office of the Municipality where you live. Read the instructions on the website of the Municipality.

If you live in the Municipality of Bologna and your stay in Italy is temporary (you are resident abroad), check how to apply for temporary residence in the Municipality of Bologna. Alternatively, check how to apply for residence in the Municipality of Bologna.

Non-EU citizens - stays of less than 90 days

Declaration of presence

If you intend to stay in Italy for less than 90 days, you have to make the Declaration of presence.

If you are entering Italy from a country outside the Schengen Area, the uniform Schengen stamp, placed on your passport during border controls, replaces the declaration of presence.
If you are staying in a hotel, the declaration of presence is represented by the declaration you make to and sign before the hotelier.

In any other case, you must deliver the declaration of presence within 8 days after your entry into Italy to the central police station (Questura) in the Province where you live. Contact the International Desk to receive the necessary form and support to carry out the procedure.

Non-EU citizens - stays of more than 90 days 

Permesso di soggiorno (residence permit)

If you intend to 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:

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

Make sure to submit your 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 provide any missing documents after submission, the time required for issuing the permit could be several months longer.

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 taken and fingerprints filed with 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 your 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.




Information for: PhD candidates (with visa or resident permit for research); visiting PhD students; visiting researchers, fellows; visiting professors; visiting scholars


Via Filippo Re 4 - 40126 Bologna (Italy)

Tel +39 051 2082550 (Friday 10:00-12:00)
Virtual Desk
To book a virtual appointment via TEAMS, please email ases.visiting@unibo.it and specify the reason for the appointment.