Welcome Services

Non-EU Citizens

Visa Application for study reasons

If you are a non-EU citizen, as soon as you receive the invitation letter from IMT, IMT will fax the same letter directly to the Embassy/Consulate in your country, or in the country in which you have taken residence. You will need to make an appointment with the relevant Embassy/Consulate apply for a Study Visa Type D (= "long duration", i.e. valid for more than 90 days).

If possible, ask for a multi-entry Visa (rather than a single- entry visa), valid for the Schengen Area. If you happen to receive a C Visa (= "short duration", i.e. valid for no more than 90 days), try to ensure that it is issued for study reasons (not for tourism, as in this case you will have to return to your country after 90 days and reapply for a study visa, since it is not possible to convert a tourist visa into a study visa). Please check the list of the Italian Embassies and Consulates on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs website: http://www.esteri.it/MAE/EN/Ministero/LaReteDiplomatica/Ambasciate/default.htm?LANG=EN Following Embassy or Consulate instructions, you will have to obtain private health insurance before applying for a Study Visa. This health insurance has to meet the following requirements:

  • it must cover expenses in the event of emergency treatments and/or urgent hospitalization (admission via the hospital casualty ward);
  • it must cover the entire duration of your stay in Italy;
  • it must be valid for the territory of all member states to the Schengen Agreement;
  • it must guarantee the policyholder's return to his/her own country in case of serious illness;
  • it must be translated into Italian and legalized by the Italian Embassy/Consulate.

For further information about health insurance, please see the section "Health Care and Insurance". Before departing, and in order to fulfill the documentation for the stay permit, please remember to bring:

  • declaration that you have sufficient economic means of support (if you are not a scholarship recipient) = 417.30 euros per month (and make sure your passport is valid for the entire period of your stay in Lucca).

In order to prove that you have sufficient means of support, you should show up a statement from your current bank account issued by your bank containing your details (name, surname, etc.) and the details of the bank. If the current account is not on your name but in the name of your parents, for example, then the account holder must attach a declaration stating that they consent to your use of their current account (affidavit). The bank statement must be in the original. Please contact the Facilities Office after your arrival in Lucca in order to fix an appointment and to complete the necessary administrative procedures.

Stay Permit for study reasons

The stay permit is a document issued by the Police Headquarters in the town in which you reside in Italy, which entitles you to temporarily live in the country. If you are a non-EU citizen you must apply for a stay permit ("Permesso di soggiorno") within 8 working days after your arrival in Italy. All applications must be made through authorized Post Offices. The Post Office provides a pack (an envelope with a yellow band) that includes two forms and a list of instructions (you only have to fill in form n. 1 as form nr. 2 is to apply for a stay permit for work). Unfortunately, all the information in the pack is in Italian, but a summary of the documents students need for the application follows. In order to apply for a stay permit you will need:

  • Form 1 ("Modulo 1"), provided with the pack, with a duty stamp ("marca da bollo") in the amount of 16.00 euros;
  • copy of all pages of your passport (also the blank ones);
  • copy of the invitation letter or other document stamped by the Italian Embassy/Consulate in your country, declaring the purpose your visit according to which your visa was issued or copy of your enrolment certificate from IMT;
  • copy of the health insurance policy (or receipt proving that you have purchased such insurance), valid in Italy for the entire duration of the stay permit;
  • receipt of the postal bulletin of euros 30.46.

You must personally hand in the open envelope containing the above-mentioned documents at one of the Post Offices providing the "Sportello Amico" service, and show an identity document; you must then pay a post charge of 30 euros so that your pack can be sent to the Police Headquarters (Questura). You will receive a receipt from the Post Office that you must keep and always show together with your passport. This receipt will allow you to keep track of the status of your application through the user id and password are indicated on the receipt by consulting the Immigration Website at http://www.portaleimmigrazione.it or the official website of the Polizia di Stato (Italian National Police) at http://www.poliziadistato.it/articolo/10619-English. The Post Office will also give you a letter indicating date and time of the appointment at the Immigration Office of Police Headquarters (Questura) in Lucca where you will complete the procedure (if this is your first time in Italy, you will be fingerprinted too). On the appointed day you will need to bring:

  • the letter stating your appointment with the Questura;
  • the original version of all documents sent to the Questura;
  • 4 passport-sized photographs with light colored background.

You will then need to go a second time to the Immigration Office of Police Headquarters in order to pick up your electronic stay permit. Below you will find the address of the Questura. If possible the Facilities Office will assist you during the application at the Post Office and during your first appointment at the Questura. 

Questura di Lucca 
Viale Cavour, 120 
55100 Lucca (LU) 
Phone: +39 0583 45511

Scientific Visa for Researchers

Starting from February 21, 2008, the Decree-Law n. 17 of January 9, 2009 - enacting the European Directive 2005/71/CE "concerning a specific procedure of admittance for non EU citizens for research reasons" - has come into force. Article 27-ter of "Testo Unico per l'Immigrazione" (Decree-Law on Immigration) allows non EU citizen to enter Italy and stay there for more than 3 months in case they have a degree that allows to access a Ph.D. program in their country. The selection of the researcher is up to the university/research institute where the activity has to be carried out. The research program can be carried out only at universities/research institutions that - as IMT - have already registered in the appropriate list of the Ministry of University and Research.

Welcome agreement

The research institution has to stipulate with each researcher an agreement indicating:

  • the research project approved by the institution, subject to the prior evaluation of research subject and qualifications of the researcher;
  • the commitment of the researcher to carry out the approved project and the commitment of the institution to host the researcher, to assure the juridical relation and the work conditions agreed upon, to correspond the economic resources monthly (the amount must be at least twice as much as the social cheque), to bear the expenses for the voyage back of the researcher, to stipulate a health insurance for the researcher and his/her relatives and to provide for their registration to the National Health Service. The relation with the researcher can be that of subordinate work, autonomous work or scholarship for research training.

Request for the scientific visa and Stay Permit

The research institution submits the request for the entry clearance to the "Sportello Unico per l'Immigrazione" (prefecture immigration office) at the relevant prefecture through the appropriate online procedure. The office issues the entry clearance as soon as the Police Headquarters gives positive assessment on the non-existence of reasons preventing the entry in Italy and the completeness of the documentation. The welcome agreement automatically decays in case the entry clearance is not issued. IMT informs the researcher as soon as he/she can go to the Italian Embassy/Consulate in their country to collect the visa. Once the visa is issued, the researcher has to go to the prefecture immigration office to collect the "modello 209" (request for the stay permit) within 8 days from their arrival in Italy. The researcher will hand in the form - duly filled out - to the Post Office in order to start the procedure to get the stay permit which will cover the whole duration of the activity. Start of the research activity and teaching activity Research activities can be carried out even while waiting for the stay permit. As soon as the permit is issued, the researcher is allowed to teach, provided that the teaching activity is related to the research project indicated in the agreement and in compliance with IMT Statute and Regulations.

Family Re-Union

The researcher can request an entry clearance for family re-union, regardless of the duration of his stay permit. The relatives will have a stay permit of the same duration of that of the researcher.

Researcher admitted to another EU country

If a researcher has been admitted to another EU Country, he/she can enter Italy - in order to work on his/her research - without visa:

  • for stays up to 3 months: the entry clearance will be substituted by a communication -submitted through the appropriate online form - to the prefecture immigration office that will convene the researcher to get a copy of agreement, health insurance and declaration issued by the Italian host institution;
  • for more than 3 months: the researcher needs an entry clearance subordinated to the stipulation of the welcome agreement with the Italian university/research institution.

Standard Procedure for Teaching Staff

Visa Application

Non EU citizens are required to possess a Work Visa, which represents the authorization to enter and to work in Italy. Visa should be requested personally at the Italian Diplomatic Offices (Italian Embassy or Consulate) in your home country or in the country of your permanent residence (requests may vary depending on the country and on the Consulate: please check the Italian Foreign Affairs Ministry web site for further information about Visa in Italy athttp://www.esteri.it/visti/index_eng.asp. Work Visa is the Long Stay or National Visa (VN), which is issued only for periods exceeding 90 days (Type D). We suggest you to ask for a multi-entry Visa. Prior to Visa application you have to obtain the following documents from the School: Prior to Visa application you have to obtain the following documents from the School:

  • a certification issued by the competent Provincial Labour Office (Direzione Provinciale del Lavoro) stating that the work contract does not constitute subordinate employment;
  • an authorization to enter Italy for work reasons (Nulla osta) issued by the competent Police Headquarters (Questura);
  • a declaration of the School testifying the availability of suitable lodging.

Once you receive all these documents, you can apply for your Work Visa: for the procedures please visit the Embassy or Consulate closest to your residence, as listed on the website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (http://www.esteri.it/MAE/EN/Ministero/LaReteDiplomatica/Ambasciate/default.htm). Work Visa, in general and according to Embassy or Consulate instructions, requires you to have:

  • a private health insurance before applying for a Work Visa. This health insurance must cover expenses in the event of emergency treatments and/or urgent hospitalization (admission via the hospital casualty ward); it must cover the entire duration of your stay in Italy; it must be valid for the territory of all member states applying the Schengen Agreement in its entirety; it must guarantee the policy holder's return to his/her own country in case of serious illness; it must be translated into Italian and legalized by the Italian Embassy/Consulate;
  • travel arrangements;
  • financial means.

Stay Permit for work reasons

If you are a non EU citizen you must apply for a stay permit ("Permesso di soggiorno") within 8 working days from your arrival in Italy. All applications must be made through the authorized Post Offices. The Post Office provides a kit (envelope with a yellow band) which includes two forms and a list of instructions (you have to fill in both forms nr. 1 and nr.2). Unfortunately, all information is in Italian, so the summary of the documents you need for the application follows. In order to apply for a stay permit you need:

  • Form 1 ("Modulo 1"), provided with the kit, with a duty stamp (marca da bollo)of 16.00 euros;
  • Form 2 ("Modulo 2"), provided with the kit;
  • copy of all pages of your passport (also the blank ones);
  • copy of documentation stamped by the Italian Embassy/Consulate in your country, declaring your visit purpose and according to which your visa was issued;
  • receipt of the postal bulletin of euros 30.46.

You must personally hand in the open envelope containing the abovementioned documents at one of the Post Offices providing the "Sportello Amico" service, showing an identity document; you must then pay a post charge of 30,00 euros so that your kit can be sent to the Police Headquarters (Questura). You will receive a receipt from the Post Office that you must keep in order to show it together with your passport. This receipt will allow you to keep track of the status of your procedure through the user id and password, indicated on it, by consulting the Immigration website at http://www.portaleimmigrazione.it or the official website of the Polizia di Stato - Italian National Police - at http://www.poliziadistato.it/articolo/10619-English The Post Office will also give you a letter indicating date and time of the appointment at the Immigration Office of Police Headquarters (Questura) in Lucca where you will complete the procedure (if this is your first time in Italy, you will be fingerprinted too). On that day you have to bring:

  • the letter relating to your appointment with the Questura;
  • the original version of all documents sent to the Questura;
  • 4 passport-sized photographs with light background.

You will then go a second time to the Immigration Office of Police Headquarters in order to pick up your electronic stay permit. Below you will find the address of the Questura. If possible the Facilities Office will assist you during the application at the Post Office and during your first appointment at the Questura. 

Questura di Lucca 
Viale Cavour, 120 
55100 Lucca (LU) 
Phone: +39 0583 45511

Renewal of your stay permit

We would remind you that it is your responsibility to check the expiry date of your stay permit, and to contact the Facilities Office at least 3 months before the expiry date. We would like to emphasize that the consequences of an expired permit are very serious (you will be immediately compelled to return to your country with no possibility of re-entering Italy). The procedure for the renewal of your stay permit is the same as described in the section "Stay permit for study reason" (if you are a Student) or Standard Procedure for Teaching Staff - Stay permit for work reason" (if you are a researcher or a professor). Documents to be put into the envelope for the request of renewal are as follows:

  • Form 1 with a duty stamp of 16.00 euros;
  • Form 2 (for researchers or professors only);
  • copy of the permit to be renewed;
  • copy of all pages of your passport (also the blank ones);
  • copy of the enrollment certificate from IMT declaring that you have passed at least one exam for the first renewal and at least 2 exams for further renewals (for students only);
  • proof that you have sufficient economic means for the entire duration of the stay permit if not a scholarship recipient (for students only);
  • copy of the current contract with IMT (for researchers or professors only);
  • copy of your latest "CUD" and copies of your paycheck from the year in progress (for researchers or professors only);
  • copy of your health insurance or payment receipt, valid in Italy for the entire duration of the stay permit (for students only);
  • copy of your rental contract or declaration of accommodation provided by the School;
  • receipt of the postal bulletin of euros 30.46.

Please note: since anomalies are frequent, we suggest you constantly check the status of the procedure of your stay permit application on the Immigration Website and inform the Facilities Office should you notice any change or irregularity, so that we can check them with the Questura.

Health care and Insurance

If you are a non-EU citizen you are required to subscribe to private health insurance (e.g. INA Assitalia) for the entire duration of your stay in Italy in order to apply for the stay permit. If you choose the INA Assitalia insurance policy, you will need to make a payment to the company postal current account (c/c nr. 71270003, made out to "Assitalia Agenzia Generale, Roma Conto 20", for "Polizza sanitaria studenti stranieri") at any Post Office in Italy. The price is 49euro for up to 6 months and 98 euro for 1 year. This insurance only covers urgent medical assistance (surgery and accidents) in the Emergency Room (Pronto Soccorso).

Note that private non-Italian insurance will not be accepted at the Questura unless you have an official paper an Italian Embassy or Consulate stating the validity of such insurance.

If you wish to register fully with the National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SNN)), you must be resident in Lucca and pay a yearly subscription of 149.77 euros. Please note that the registration expires on December 31st of each year. In order to obtain health and medical assistance, you must enroll directly at the Azienda Sanitaria Locale ((ASL)Local Health Offices) in your area of residence.

Registration to INPS

What is "INPS"?

INPS is the primary social security institution in Italy, with which all employees of public and private institutions, and the majority of self-employed workers, must be registered and insured. Doctoral students with scholarships (both Italian and foreign) are no exception; the specific sector with which they must be registered is referred to as "Gestione Separata". The employer is responsible for 2/3 of the amount of INPS social security contributions to be paid, while the employee, or in this case student, is responsible for 1/3, which is automatically deducted from your scholarship payment.

How do you register yourself with INPS and the "Gestione Separata"?

Before registering, foreign students must obtain a "codice fiscale" (tax identification number) from the "Agenzia delle Entrate" (Italian Revenue Agency) by presenting a valid identity document. You must register online according to the procedure either for foreign or Italian students as outlined below.

  1. Go to the "Agenzia delle Entrate" to receive your "codice fiscale"
  2. Go to the local INPS office in Lucca (Piazza Martiri delle Libertà, 65), along with your "codice fiscale" and ID card, and fill out the attached form entitled "Richiesta per Assegnazione PIN al cittadino" (PIN request form)
  3. After having received your PIN, follow either one of the procedures described below:

Online registration:

Go to the INPS website http://www.inps.it Go to the online services section Go to the section entitled "Lavoratori parasubordinati iscrizione" and start the procedure, which will also require your "codice fiscale", at the following link: https://www.inps.it/portale/default.aspx?iMenu=2&iNodo=2&iiDServizio=123&sURL=http%3a%2f%2fservizi2.inps.it%2fservizi%2fWADips%2fpage%2fAccesso_Cittadino.aspx%3fS%3dS

Telephone registration:

Call the toll free number 803.164 to speak to an INPS operator Give the operator your PIN number along with the following information: 
EMPLOYER: IMT Alti Studi Lucca, Piazza San Ponziano 6 - 55100 Lucca 
Fiscal Code and VAT number: 
REGISTRATION with the "gestione separata" as: "Dottorando di ricerca/Collaboratore cc" (Doctoral student/collaborator cc") 
Start date of course

Non-EU students interested in staying in Italy after they complete their Ph.D.

In accordance with Italian law all non-EU citizens,who have completed a Ph.D. in Italy, can legally remain in Italy for the purposes of employment. There are two options:

  1. "Permesso di soggiorno" for job seeking - When the "Permesso di Soggiorno" for study reasons expires, foreigners who have obtained a Ph.D. in Italy can sign up on the "lista di collocamento" (employment lists) at the nearest "Centro per l'impiego" (employment office) and meanwhile fill out an application (obtained from the Post Office) for a new P.S. while waiting to find employment. This will allow you to stay in Italy for an additional 12 months. However, if after the 12 months you have been unable to find work, you must return to your country of permanent residence. NOTE: This type of P.S. cannot be renewed.
  2. Conversion of valid "Permesso di soggiorno" for study into a "permesso di soggiorno" for employment - If you have already found employment, you may apply by submitting your application to the "Sportello Unico per l'immigrazione" at the Prefecture in your city of residence through the Interior Ministry's online procedure at https://nullaostalavoro.interno.it. You must fill out the V2 form (for employment) or the Z2 form (for self-employment).
  3. Once the form has been submitted, you will receive a letter from the "Sportello Unico" requesting the necessary additional documents to complete the procedure. These documents must be sent within 10 days or the procedure will be closed. Once the documents have been received, verified and deemed complete, the "Sportello Unico" will request the applicant to finalize the procedure, and at which time the documentation needed to apply for a P.S. for employment will be given. After this, the applicant can apply for a P.S. by filling out a pack at the Post Office.

EU Citizens

Registration at the municipal "Ufficio Anagrafe"

If you are an EU citizen, as of April 11, 2007, you are allowed to move without restrictions int Italy without applying for a stay permit. During the first 3 months of your stay, you have no requirements to meet if you have a valid identity document. After 90 days of uninterrupted stay in Italy, you have to register with the Municipal Offices of the city where you have your housing (Comune di Lucca - "Ufficio Anagrafe"). This will automatically imply the change of your residence from your home country to Italy and the necessary fiscal consequences. If you already have a valid stay permit, you can wait until it expires before registering yourself at the Municipality.

Health Care and Insurance

If you are an EU citizen, as of April 11, 2007, you are allowed to move without restrictions int Italy without applying for a stay permit. During the first 3 months of your stay, you have no requirements to meet if you have a valid identity document. After 90 days of uninterrupted stay in Italy, you have to register with the Municipal Offices of the city where you have your housing (Comune di Lucca - "Ufficio Anagrafe"). This will automatically imply the change of your residence from your home country to Italy and the necessary fiscal consequences. If you already have a valid stay permit, you can wait until it expires before registering yourself at the Municipality.

Registration to INPS

What is "INPS"?

INPS is the primary social security institution in Italy, with which all employees of public and private institutions, and the majority of self-employed workers, must be registered and insured. Doctoral students with scholarships (both Italian and foreign) are no exception; the specific sector with which they must be registered is referred to as "Gestione Separata". The employer is responsible for 2/3 of the amount of INPS social security contributions to be paid, while the employee, or in this case student, is responsible for 1/3, which is automatically deducted from your scholarship payment.

How do you register yourself with INPS and the "Gestione Separata"?

Before registering, foreign students must obtain a "codice fiscale" (tax identification number) from the "Agenzia delle Entrate" (Italian Revenue Agency) by presenting a valid identity document (as indicated in the Welcome Book). You must register online according to the procedure either for foreign or Italian students as outlined below. Go to the "Agenzia delle Entrate" to receive your "codice fiscale" Go to the local INPS office in Lucca (Piazza Martiri delle Libertà, 65), along with your "codice fiscale" and ID card, and fill out the attached form entitled "Richiesta per Assegnazione PIN al cittadino" (PIN request form) After having received your PIN, follow either one of the procedures described below: 

a) Online registration:

b) Telephone registration:

  • Call the toll free number 803.164 to speak to an INPS operator
  • Give the operator your PIN number along with the following information: 
    EMPLOYER: IMT Alti Studi Lucca, Piazza San Ponziano 6 - 55100 Lucca 
    Fiscal Code and VAT number: 
    REGISTRATION with the "gestione separata" as: "Dottorando di ricerca/Collaboratore cc" (Doctoral student/collaborator cc") 
    Start date of course

Other Information

Tax Payer Code (Codice Fiscale)

A Tax Identification Number is needed for the payment of the grant, and is also needed when opening a bank account or enrolling with the National Health Service. The number is issued by the Fiscal Office ("Agenzia delle Entrate") on presentation of an identity document. Please let us know if you happen to have one already from a previous stay in Italy. This Tax Identification Number issued by the Fiscal Office is the only one that is legal in Italy and the only one which enables you to receive payment. For this reason, always keep the official certification issued by the Fiscal Office. In Lucca, Tax Identification Number can be requested at: 

Agenzia Delle Entrate 
Via di Sottomonte, 3 - Guamo - 55060 Lucca (LU)
Tel. +39 0583 31791 
Fax +39 0583 3179277 Email: ul.lucca@agenziaentrate.it

Italian Bank Account

Italian banks offer checking and savings accounts, and joint accounts for couples (conto corrente cointestato). Moreover, some banks offer special conditions or accounts for children, young people, pensioners and students. In general, no fees are charged when you withdraw cash from your own bank's ATM as well as when paying with a bank card in shops within the country. Before you decide to open a bank account, get all the information you may need! In fact, banks can offer different solutions (e.g. fees for account management, withdrawal of money, etc...).

How can you open a bank account?

Bank accounts can be opened in Italy by both residents and non-residents above 18 years of age. Foreigners working in Italy may open an account in order to receive their salary and have a credit or debit card. What documents do you need to open a bank account? In order to open a bank account, you will be asked to provide one or more of the following papers:

  • passport
  • tax identification number (Codice Fiscale)
  • recent utility bill (as proof of address)
  • residence card or proof of employment in Italy (work contract or payroll)

In order to be sure about what papers to submit, we suggest you check with the bank of your choice.

How much does a bank account cost in Italy?

Unfortunately, having a bank account in Italy costs a bit more than in other countries in Europe. Please, remember also that the fees depend on the type of account you have opened. For further information, please ask the Facilities Office as there might be some special conditions that we can point out to you.

Bank Opening hours

Bank opening hours vary according to the bank and the town. Banks are usually open from 8/8:30 am until 1/1:30 pm and in the afternoons from 2:30/3 pm until 4/4:30 pm. What about a Post Office bank account? Post offices also offer banking services and savings and checking accounts. Any resident over the age of 18 may open a postal account. If you want to open a postal account you must provide the following documents:

  • passport
  • tax identification number (Codice Fiscale)
  • recent utility bill
  • permit of stay.

Additional Accident Insurance

IMT subscribes to an additional insurance for all Ph.D. students, researchers and professors. It provides coverage against accidents and injuries incurred by students, in Lucca or abroad, while performing academic activities.

Tax incentives for foreign research and teaching staff

For foreign research and teaching staff, according to the Italian law, we usually issue a contract called "Contratto di Collaborazione" or fixed-term contract (ex lege 230/2005) The Italian income tax regulation allows foreign citizens to benefit from some main tax concession measures such as:

a. International agreements against the double taxation

For those (included Research Fellow positions) who:

The due compensation will be taxed exclusively in the country of residence of the appointee.

b. Tax reduction eligibility ex art. 44 L. n. 122/2010 (Incentivi per il rientro in Italia di ricercatori residenti all'estero)

Are eligible for tax reduction those researchers who:

  • have a University Degree;
  • have resided permanently and not occasionally abroad;
  • have carried out documented research activity abroad within universities or research centres, both public and private, as well as within companies or institutions with dedicated research departments, for at least 2 uninterrupted years;
  • decide to carry out their professional activity in Italy and, consequently, re-enter Italy and become subject of the Italian tax law;
  • earn incomes from dependant or autonomous work, or other incomes considered as dependant work, such as incomes from coordinated and continuous collaboration for the carrying out of research activity;
  • carry out research activity in Italy for a period of time no less than 183 days in the fiscal year taken into consideration (e.g. contract starting in September 2010: tax deduction applied in the fiscal years 2011, 2012 and 2013, the first four months of the contract will be subject to normal taxation).

Important: Through such tax concession measure, only 10% of total income will be taxed for up to four fiscal years and total income will not concur for the constitution of the regional tax on production activities. In order to benefit from this tax reduction, at his/her arrival, the researcher will have to take up his/her fiscal residence in Italy at Comune di Lucca - "Ufficio Anagrafe". This tax reduction will end within seven years from the coming into force of art. 44 L. n. 44/2010 (by May 31st, 2017)