Editor’s Note: Recently, I received a lot of inquiries from Philippine readers asking about how I was able to obtain a student visa in Italy. It’s been 4 years since I went to Italy to study and upon checking, the Italian Embassy in the Philippines changed the rules last March 2013. I browsed the new application process and unfortunately, I am not familiar with it. Luckily, just last month, my cousin (Inna Santiago) got accepted to study abroad in Italy. Here’s how you can get a student visa in Italy if you are a Philippine passport holder.
P.S. I will also have notes in between to give you an idea of the difference of the application process when I did it in 2011.
Student Visa In Italy
Based on the Schengen agreement, your student visa in Italy also entitles you to enter 26 European countries:
- Czech republic
Although you can enter these countries with your Schengen visa, your point of entry/exit should be the country that granted you the visa. For example, if the Italian Embassy granted you the student visa, your flights from and to the Philippines should be in Italy. From there, you can freely enter the 26 countries, whether it’s a tourist activity or visiting friends.
You should also know that there are no stamps in Europe. Once you have the Schengen visa, you can come in and out of all of these countries as long as you want. Here’s Inna’s story:
To be able to have a chance to study abroad whether it is a short course or a long course, self-enrolled or a scholarship is a wonderful blessing. This will be my first time to get out of Asia, my first time to travel in my dream continent – Europe that is. I remember years ago, I’ve had several chances to go there but unfortunately it doesn’t always push through. I told myself, ‘I’ll be there in the right time for a special purpose.’ And voila! This is it. This is that special purpose I’ve been waiting for.
When is the best time to apply for a student visa?
The minimum is three months before your intended arrival in Italy. However, before applying, make sure that your enrolment has been finalised already. Tuition fees should be paid beforehand so that the school can send you a proof of enrolment. Although there is no guarantee that the school will help you apply for the visa, your proof of enrolment will suffice. The Italian Embassy in the Philippines will confirm your enrolment by contacting the school in Italy before processing your visa.
- Current passport (passport must be valid at least six months) and old passports
- A photocopy of your current passport (front page with all your details, back page and every page with stamps)
- A photocopy of all your old passports (front page with all your details, back page and every page with stamps)
- NSO Authenticate Birth Certificate (original and a photocopy)
- 2pcs passport size pictures with white background (if unsure, you can tell the photographer that it is for a Schengen visa)
- A copy of flight reservations (Round-trip)
- A copy of hotel confirmation
- Proof of financial means
- A photocopy of your credit card – front and back
- Bank statements for the last 6 months – your own bank statements and your parents’
- Affidavit of Support from your parents
- A letter from your home university verifying your enrollment at home country
- A letter from overseas institution verifying enrollment in Italy (2 original copies)
- Verification of travel insurance (validity must be from the day of departure until your flight back + 10 days extension)
- A photocopy of your parents’ passport (front and back; if only one parent will support you, then submit one photocopy only)
- Letter of Introduction addressed to the Consul of the embassy (Introduce yourself, tell your story about your studies, countries you’ve been to, family background and why you want to study in Italy. Please don’t write a 4-5 page letter, make it short as possible, but not too short to the point of leaving out important details)
- Filled out form of Schengen Visa Application
- You may also show supporting documents like diploma, transcript of records, university/college certificates
Booking for an appointment
After gathering all the documents stated above, you may make an appointment through VFS Global through telephone. You may also visit them on the 3rd floor, Ecoplaza Building, Don Chino Roces Ave. Ext., Makati City. Once your appointment is booked, be early as possible as you would have to get a number for the queue, as there are lots of applicants inside. After they organized your documents in order, they will ask you to take biometrics as well and get your fingerprints, then after that you would only have to pay and then you are done!
Editor’s Note: I believe you can also book your appointments through VIA.
How much is the student visa fee?
Please prepare about Php5,000 – Php6,000 for the processing fee as I don’t remember the exact amount we have paid.
Editor’s Note: In my experience, the student visa in Italy was for free. I did not pay for anything.
How long will I wait for my visa?
The visa processing takes about 10-15 days and will be delivered to your home. However, if they asked you for more supporting documents, they will give everything back to you and you would have to book another appointment by the guard and make sure to complete everything by then especially if you are in a hurry.
Don’t be nervous, stay positive and always smile! Smile because you will go to Europe, and smile because you are blessed.
Disclaimer: This post is written based on experience. Information and requirements about different student visa types may vary. For more information, visit the Italian Embassy in Manila: 3rd floor, Ecoplaza Building, Don Chino Roces Ave. Ext., Makati City.
4 years ago, I made a fashion column in one of the magazines in the Philippines about my experiences in studying in Italy. Next month, Inna will be having her own column on this blog so keep it here! I can’t wait to see the difference and I am really excited for my cousin! 🙂