Visiting PhD students from abroad

Visiting PhD students are foreign or Italian doctoral students enrolled at foreign universities invited to UniBo departments to carry out a mobility period, outside international cooperation agreements or projects the University of Bologna takes part in. The following information does not apply to PhD students enrolled at the University of Bologna or to mobility students under cotutelle agreements or within international agreements or projects (i.e. Erasmus+).

If your destination is Bologna, contact the International Desk for help with incoming procedures. For other destinations, contact the International Relations Office of the relative campusCesenaForlìRavennaRimini.

Visa issuing procedures take 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 check if you need a visa on the Visa for Italy website by selecting “Study – Exchange and mobility programme” as the reason for your stay.

If you need a visa, you have to:

  • pre-enrol online via the Universitaly portal (step 6). In the application you must indicate:
    - “Specify the reason for the visa application”: I want to spend a mobility period for study/traineeship (e.g. Erasmus);
    - “Course information”: Institution: Università degli Studi di Bologna, Course type: Corso/i singolo/i – Single course(s), Course name: in the text field you must describe your position at the University of Bologna, e.g.: Visiting PhD (and your contact professor at Unibo).
  • apply for a visa. Contact the relevant Italian Embassy well in advance to check the specific documents required for a visa for study purposes. Usually you need to submit:
    - passport or valid travel document expiring at least three months following the requested visa;
    - a letter of invitation from the department at the University of Bologna hosting you;
    - the summary of your Universitaly pre-enrolment application validated by the University of Bologna;
    - a document demonstrating suitable means of financial support;
    - demonstration of accommodation (hotel booking, declaration of hosting signed by an EU citizen or non-EU citizen with an Italian residence permit);
    - if you are not entitled to health care in Italy by virtue of agreements in force with your home country, a health insurance policy for medical care and hospital treatment. Read more on Medical Assistance for Foreign Students.

Visitors with a D-type study visa may apply for a residence permit. While your residence permit for study purposes is valid, you may work for up to 20 hours a week. These hours are cumulative over fifty-two weeks, with a maximum limit of 1,040 hours (for more information, see art 14 comma 4, DPR n. 394/1999).

After your arrival in Italy


Upon arrival, you will need to check-in at your hosting department. Bring an ID with you: your passport or, only if you are a EU citizen, your Identity Card. Check on the Department website or ask your contact professor for the contact of the competent administrative staff. Your registration will be done through a “Visiting” application.

In order to check-in, your mobility period must already be registered by your academic contact and approved by the Department Director.

At check-in you will get a username and a password to access the online services of the University of Bologna and your Arrival Statement, which you will then use to apply for your residence permit (see below).


If you need a badge, after check-in please inform the Department staff or your contact professor; they will request it following the procedure specified on the intranet.

You will need to provide them with a passport size photo, with a .jpg extension and max size of 300KB; the photo must comply with the same rules that apply to valid ID photos.

Once the request has been approved, you will receive an e-mail with a QR CODE and the instructions to follow to collect your badge at one of the self-service machines.

Accident insurance

As an exchange student, after check-in, you are insured against accidents that may occur on the university premises or any other place in which studies and research activities authorized by the University are performed.

For more information read about the insurance service of the University of Bologna.

Residing 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 at the Municipality of Bologna. Alternatively, check how to apply for residency at the Municipality of Bologna.

Residing in Italy: non-EU Citizens

Declaration of presence

If you intend to stay in Italy for less than 90 days, you do not need to apply for a residence permit, but you must go to the Questura within 8 days for the Declaration of presence (if not exempted). Read the general information on how to make the Declaration of presence for exchange students. Attention: in contrast to what is stated, as a visiting PhD student you check-in at the hosting Department.

Residence permit

If you have a D-type visa for study purposes and intend to stay in Italy for more than 90 days, you must apply for a residence permit within 8 working days of your arrival in Italy. Read the information about how to apply for a residence permit for exchange students.

Attention: in contrast to what is stated, as a visiting PhD student you will check-in at your hosting department instead of at the International Relations Office.

For information and to book a free appointment with an immigration support service, you can write to The staff of the immigration support service will provide you with an application kit (including the envelope, required forms and payment slip), and will assist you free of charge in filling out the application for the issue or renewal of the residence permit.

At the end of the mobility period


Before leaving, don’t forget to check out at the same office where you checked in. You will get a Certificate of Departure, confirming the start and end dates of your mobility period at the University of Bologna. Detailed certifications for the activities carried out may be issued by your contact professor.



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 and specify the reason for the appointment.