Obtain a Visa

You must obtain a visa to participate in Cornell in Rome. A visa is obtained through an Italian consulate and is stamped directly into your passport. As a Cornell student, you can submit your visa application to the Consulate General of Italy in New York City or you can go to the Italian consulate that services your home address, domestic or international.

If you are a European Union–passport holder, you are not required to obtain a visa.

In the event that you do not go to the Consulate General of Italy in New York City, you need to verify visa requirements at the consulate where you will be submitting your application. Not every consulate requires the same materials. All Italian consulates require appointments. Make your visa appointment as soon as you can, since openings fill up quickly. There are some restrictions on appointments. You cannot attend the visa appointment until 90 days before your arrival date, and you cannot make an appointment more than 10 weeks in advance at most Italian consulates.

If you have any questions about how you should obtain your visa or what materials fulfill a requirement, contact Andrew Meis.

Visa Appointments

Each Italian consulate has a jurisdiction that limits who can apply at a given location. As a student applying for a study visa, you are eligible to apply for a visa at the consulate that services either your home or school address. To search, use the links below:

You have to submit your visa application in person and at the appropriate consulate within the specified timeframe. There are no exceptions. The consulate will keep your passport while processing your application, so be sure to plan any travel that requires a passport accordingly.

Consulates outside the U.S. sometimes do not use the online reservation system. For more information, consult the website of the consulate where you are applying or contact the consulate directly.

How to make a visa appointment (for consulates that use the online reservation system):

  1. Identify the consulate where you are eligible to submit your application.
  2. Register for an account at this consulate. Be sure that you are registering at the correct consulate. Sometimes it can be difficult to change locations after you register!
  3. Verify your account and log into the reservation system.
  4. Each system has slightly different options: look for a "Make Your Reservation" link on the left side of the page. Then select "Study Visa."
  5. Complete the steps to make a reservation by selecting a day and time.
  6. Set up a reminder on your phone or calendar to log in and confirm your appointment one week beforehand. Do not skip this step. Italian consulates will cancel appointments the day before if they remain unconfirmed, and it will be difficult to find another appointment.

Dates of Validity for Your Visa

Be sure to check the dates for which your visa is valid and adjust travel plans as necessary. You may not be able to enter Italy before the start of your visa, and you may be required to leave by the last date of your visa. If you are planning to travel within Europe before or after the program, be aware of possible tourist visa requirements. U.S. citizens who enter Italy with their U.S. passport have a 90-day tourist visa that requires no application if you wish to arrive earlier or leave later than the program dates for personal travel. This may be true for non-U.S. citizens (please check with the consulate where you obtain your visa for restrictions).

Permesso di Soggiorno

The permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay) is an Italian identification card that you will begin the process of obtaining upon your arrival in Rome. It is mandatory for visa holders to obtain this. The permesso di soggiorno requires an appointment at a post office within eight days of your arrival in Rome, and a later appointment at a questura (police station). The administrative office in Rome will arrange these appointments for you, so it is essential that you arrive within the designated arrival dates.

Two additional passport photos are required for the permesso di soggiorno. Plan on giving these to AAP Admissions and Academic Services before the end of the semester prior to your departure for Rome.

When the consulate returns your passport with your visa, they will include a packet of papers stamped by the consulate. These papers are required for the permesso di soggiorno. It is essential that you bring them with you to Rome and present them to the office in Rome upon your arrival.

Visa and Permesso di Soggiorno Process

  1. Make an appointment at the consulate.
  2. Collect documents according to the requirements of the consulate where you are applying for your visa.
  3. Submit your documents to the consulate during your appointment.
  4. Receive your passport and the copies of the document, stamped by the consulate, in the mail.
  5. Bring the documents returned by the consulate with you to Rome. These are essential for your permesso di soggiorno appointment.
  6. Report for your permesso di soggiorno appointment (as assigned by the administrative staff in Rome) within eight days of your arrival in Rome. Do not travel outside the city during this period! This step is organized by the program administrators in Rome and they will inform you of the date of your appointment.

Visa Tips

These tips are based on the student visa requirements for the Consulate General of Italy in New York City. The requirements may vary at other consulates — be sure to carefully read the website of the consulate where you are applying.

Visa application

Please obtain the form from the consulate where you intend to apply for your visa. The following are recommendations for certain questions:

Recommended visa question answers.
Question  Recommendation
8 Please indicate what appears on your passport.
10 You are not a minor unless you are under 18 years old.
11 If you are an American citizen, your Social Security Number is your national identity number.
12 You most likely have an ordinary passport. If you have any questions, please contact Andrew Meis.
18 If you are an international student, you are considered a resident in the U.S. For this question, select "Yes" and then enter your SEVIS ID number found on your I-20 form.
19 Enter full-time university student as your occupation.
20 Enter Cornell University, 235 Sibley Dome, Ithaca, NY 14853.
24 Select Multipli.
28 Leave blank.
31 Leave blank.
32 Enter Cornell University, Piazza Benedetto Cairoli 6, 00186 Rome, Italy for the address; enter +39 06 689 7070 and +39 06 30194092 for the phone and fax numbers; enter Annalisa Maione, same as #32; am2747@cornell.edu for the contact person.
34 Leave blank.

The form must be signed in front of a notary public.

Enrollment letters

Cornell University will provide three letters on your behalf: an enrollment letter in English, an enrollment letter in Italian, and a letter verifying Schengen health insurance for emergency evacuation and repatriation.

Bank letter

The letter must come from a U.S. banking institution, printed on the official letterhead of the bank, and addressed to the Italian Consulate. Many consulates will not accept a joint account with your parents, so take steps to open an individual account, if necessary. This step can take some time, so start determining early how you are going to certify these funds. It is also important that this letter be as recent as possible when you go to your appointment. Ideally, it should be dated in the same month or the month before your appointment. If you anticipate experiencing a financial burden in order to fulfill this requirement, please contact Andrew Meis.

Credit card

It is suggested that you have a credit card for international travel. There are a couple of ways of going about this. You can sign up for your own personal credit card. Alternatively, the New York City consulate has said they will accept joint credit cards. For example, if your parent/guardian already has a credit card, they can add you as an authorized user on their account. Make sure the printed statement shows only your name. If you submit a credit card statement at the Consulate in New York City, it must come from a U.S. banking institution. For other consulates, verify the requirements for this piece by contacting them directly.

Financial aid

If you have financial aid in any amount, contact the Office of Financial Aid to get a letter that specifies both the amount and date of disbursement. It is additional material that you must submit if you receive financial aid. This will not take the place of the required bank letter so plan ahead. In order to obtain this letter, email the Office of Financial Aid four to six weeks before your visa appointment, and request a letter specifying the amount and date of disbursement for your financial aid award.

Cornell students can find more information on the financial aid website.

Miscellaneous requirements

  • A copy of your most recent transcripts is sometimes requested to verify your student status, so take one copy with you for your appointment.
  • A confirmed flight itinerary is often requested and in many cases required. Make sure it shows both your arrival and departure dates and is in English.
  • Verify acceptable payment methods with the consulate where you are applying. Some accept cash, but others will only accept United States Postal Service money orders. If you are paying with cash, double check the amount the day before your appointment and bring exact change.