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Education in Italy

Immigration And Visa

How your immigration status changes after graduation
EU students don’t need a work visa to continue working in Italy after graduation. But for non-EU students who want to work in Italy, a work permit is necessary. This means that non-EU students cannot work full-time in Italy on a student visa and instead need to apply to change the type of their residence permits since this is a part of Italy’s immigration process.

If you’re a non-EU student who wants to work in Italy after your studies, you will need to convert your student residence permit into a work permit by visiting the immigration office of the area you reside in.

The conditions are different for:

Studying in Italy is considerably cheaper than in other countries. On average, tuition fees at public Italian universities range from €500 to €4,000 per year. They can vary depending on the course you enrol in and, most importantly, based on your family income. You will need to submit an application to have your household income assessed in order for the university to determine your fee level. This means your fees could end up being considerably cheaper.

  • students who change their minds about their studies: If you no longer wish to continue your studies in Italy and want to continue working there instead, you may apply for Procedure Flussi which will convert your student visa into a work permit, given that you’ve found a job. This is subject to the quotas of conversion of residence permits announced by the Italian government.  
  • students who graduate and find a full-time or a part-time job in Italy: If you’ve found a job after your studies, you need to ask the police headquarters to convert your residence permit. You can then go to the post office to collect the necessary kits and fill in the documents to update your residence permit.  
  • Students who are looking for jobs upon graduation: Before the expiry date of your student visa, you can apply for “permesso di soggiorno per ricerca lavoro o imprenditorialita’deglistudenti” (residence permit for job search or entrepreneurship for students). You will have to ask for the relevant kit at the post office, fill in the application form, and submit the required documents. 
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Learn more on courses and application to Study in Italy


Types of Work Visas in Italy

If you get a job at an Italian company, your employer will need to request authorisation for hiring you from the One-Stop-Shops for Immigration. This goes for all types of work visas, except for self-employed visas. For a self-employed worker visa, you need to find out which Italian authority you need to apply to, depending on the nature of your business. For example, commercial companies need to get the authorisation of the Chamber of Commerce. After you contact the relevant authority, they will forward your application to the One-Stop-Shops for Immigration.

In Italy, the amount of work permits to be given to international workers is determined based on a quota system. The Italian government announces quotas every year. There are separate quotas for employed workers, seasonal workers, and self-employed workers. The only type of visa that is not subject to the quota system is a highly-qualified worker visa.

As a non-EU student with a university degree, you may also be eligible for EU Blue Card which is geared toward highly skilled workers looking to get a job in the EU.

Immigration processing times 

Since changing your immigration status involves going to the post office and filling in lengthy forms, it may take a long time. After you submit your application, you will receive a slip that will give you an appointment at the questura (police headquarters). You will need to go to the questura on the given date for an interview.

Can you apply for permanent residency in Italy? 

After five years of uninterrupted legal residence, you can apply for permanent residency in Italy. When you apply for long-term residency, you should also show that you have stable financial resources and health insurance.

Job opportunities in Italy

While Italy still has high youth unemployment rates, this rate is decreasing compared to previous years.

It is possible to get a job after graduation but your field and your Italian level will play a big role. Since industrial activities take place in the north of the country, such as Milan, Turin, and Bologna, jobs related to engineering, architecture, design, and business studies are more likely to be in this area. In southern Italy, agriculture and tourism are the main work areas

Patience is key when applying for jobs in Italy as an international student. Your chances will be higher if you have a good level of Italian, have an in-demand degree, or have contacts that are willing to provide referrals for you. Doing related internships and working part-time are the best ways to grow your network abroad.

Here are some websites you can use while searching for job opportunities in Italy as a graduate student:

Continue your studies in Italy

If you would like to continue studying in Italy after graduating with your three-year Bachelor’s degree (Laurea in Italian), you have several options.

  • Pursue a Master’s degree (Laurea Magistrale): You can apply for a two-year Master’s degree after you’ve completed your Bachelor’s degree. Similar to Bachelor’s, you should check application deadlines on the universities’ websites and pre-enrol at Universitaly. On MastersPortal, we have over 900 Master’s degrees taught in English. 
  • Apply for a PhD (Dottorato di Ricerca): After completing your Master’s degree, you can continue with a PhD which is the highest level of university education in Italy. Applicants need to pass a comprehensive exam and pursue original research during their studies. PhDs in Italy last at least three years. On PhdPortal, we have over 80 PhD degrees taught in English. 

Frequently asked questions

Students in Italy usually pay their university fees in three instalments spread out over the academic year. The exact timings vary from university to university.

1. Do international students need a visa to study in Italy?

How your immigration status changes after graduation

Yes, international students from outside the European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) need a visa to study in Italy. There are two types of visas, short-stay visa (type C) and long-stay visa (type D). Visit the Visa for Italy website and answer the questions to find out what type of visa you need.

2. Is studying in Italy worth it?

Italy is known for providing high-quality English programmes at affordable prices. International students also can get part-time jobs or find funding opportunities through scholarships. All these factors combined with a vibrant student life make Italy a great place to study.

3. What is the cost of studying in Italy?

Tuition fees in public universities are usually between €0 and €5,000 per year, and in private universities, between €3,000 and up to €35,000 per year. Italian universities provide a range of tuition fees on their websites. The payable amount by the student is determined based on merit, nationality, and family income.

4. How much money is required to study in Italy?

The cost of living in Italy for a student can range between €700-1,500 per month, including rent, food, transport, and leisure.

5. Can I study in Italy without IELTS?

If English is not your native language, you must show proof of English language skills. While IELTS is one of the most common language exams, TOEFL, PTE Academic, and Cambridge English Advanced are also widely accepted. If you received your secondary school education in English, you might be exempt from taking a language test. It is best to check with your university.

6. What are the requirements to study in Italy?

In Italy, Bachelor’s degrees require 12 years of pre-university education, and Master’s degrees require 15 years. If you have that, you need to apply individually to each university and submit the required documents, including transcripts, personal statements, and application forms. Once you get a letter of eligibility for enrolment from a university, you can pre-enrol at Longbridge Education and apply for a student visa.

7. What exams are required to study in Italy?

Besides language exams, universities might require a minimum GPA from your secondary school or Bachelor’s education. They might also ask for additional exams, such as SAT, ACT, or IMAT. Requirements depend on the university and the programme. For some degrees, such as Medicine, Architecture, and Engineering you might have to sit an entry test.

8. How to get a permanent residency while studying in Italy?

To get permanent residency in Italy, you need to have legally resided in Italy for five consecutive years. You also need to show authorities that you have financial resources and health insurance. This is the case for many European countries.

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