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Study visa and residence permit

3 July 2019

Case: Rajesh is an Indian student who has recently graduated from a University in New Delhi, India, by obtaining a Bachelor Degree in Chemical Engineering. Rajesh is interested in completing his education by attending a Master Degree Program offered by a prestigious Italian University and, possibly, have the opportunity to work during his stay in Italy.

Question: what are the options for Rajesh to obtain a visa and a residence permit for Italy that would allow him to temporary move to and study (and possibly work) in Italy?

Solution: Considering that Rajesh has already obtained a Bachelor Degree by attending a University program in his home country and is willing to attend a Master Degree Program at an Italian University, he may find particularly interesting and appealing for his case the study visa and residence permit.

The study visa and residence permit is provided for by Italian immigration law by means of article 39, paragraph 4, of Legislative Decree 286/98 and article 46, paragraph 2, of D.P.R. 394/1999, and it can be applied for by those third-country nationals who want to come to Italy to attend an higher education course of studies and who meet the following requirements:

  • they are enrolled – or are intentioned to enroll – in a course of studies offered by an Italian University and aimed at the obtainment of a Bachelor or Master degree (or single courses);
  • they can offer proof of the fact that they have sufficient economic and financial resources to support themselves while in Italy;
  • they have the availability of a suitable accommodation in the Italian territory.

The procedure is initially carried out in front of the Italian Embassy or Consulate in the country in which the applicant is residing. Rajesh shall therefore submit his study visa application at the Italian Embassy in New Delhi and provide them with the supporting documents that can demonstrate the satisfaction of the requirements set forth above.

Once the Italian Embassy in New Delhi has approved Rajesh’s visa application, he will be entitled to enter Italy with the study visa on his passport and, within the 8 days following his entrance in Italy, to apply for the residence permit for study reasons.

The duration of this residence permit will be strictly linked to the duration of the Master Degree Program that he is going to attend and shall be renewed as long as the program is still ongoing and he can prove that he has approved a minimum number of exams each year.

During his stay in Italy under a study visa and residence permit, Rajesh will be entitled to carry out work activities, part-time though, with a maximum number of 20 working hours per week and 1040 in total per year, and if his Master Degree Program provides for one, to attend a curricular internship program working as an intern for an Italian company.

After the succesfull completion of his Master Degree Program, provided that such program had a duration of at least 1 year and assigned to the attendees a minimum of at least 60 credits (according to the Italian University education system), he will also be entitled to convert his study residence permit into a work permit for subordinate work, in the case in which he receives a job offer from an Italian company, or in a work permit for autonomous work to carry out self-employment activities.

After the successful completion of the conversion procedure he will hold a subordinate/autonomous work permit that will allow him to continue to live in Italy and work with no restrictions in terms of weekly working hours (i.e. full time).

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