Guide for international students
This guide aims to give suggestions and to give details regarding the necessary minimum requirements for foreign students to comply with the Italian regulations during their stay and studies in Italy.
Glossary and Acronyms
- (Azienda) USL => Local Health Authority: in Pisa it is called USL Toscana Nord Ovest, in Florence USL Toscana Centro.
- CF - Codice Fiscale => Italian tax identification number; besides the certificate of attribution, you can visualize it on your Tessera Sanitaria.
- CIE - Carta d'Identità Elettronica => Electronic Identity Card delivered by the local Municipal Authority only after registering your Residence at Municipal Anagrafe Office. Having a chip, it can also be used to log in and access your personal account of Public Authorities WebPortals (you need a reader hw tool).
- DIS-COLL => is a 6 months max. cash benefit awarded on-demand by the Italian National Social Security Institute to unemployed PhD students applying for it after the end of their study cycle.
- Domicilio vs residenza => The place you are living at in Italy, your address. For the “residenza” you need to officially register at the city council and it is compulsory for EU citizens living in a different member State for more than 90 days.
- DSU - (Azienda per il) Diritto allo Studio Universitario => Public body providing student services at a local and/or Regional level. Regional tax to be paid once a year.
- EHIC - European Health Insurance Card => usually it’s on the rear face of a european national health card (in Italy is named TEAM - Tessera Europea di Assicurazione Malattia).
- Green Pass – EU Digital COVID Certificate => is a digital proof that a person has either been vaccinated or received a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19 (base GP) or is only one of the first two (vaccinated or recovered) for the reinforced GP AKA super GP
- INPS - Istituto Nazionale Previdenza Sociale => NSSI National Social Security Institute.
- PdS - Permesso di Soggiorno => Residence Permit.
- SSN (or SSR or SST) - Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (or Regionale or Toscano) => NHS (Italian) National Health Service - free access to public medical treatment.
- SPID - Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale => Public Digital Identity System to access online services of the Public Administration.
- TEAM - Italian Tessera Europea di Assicurazione Malattia => Italian version (name) of the EHIC - European Healt Insurance Card.
- TS - Tessera Sanitaria => (Italian) Health Card; it contains also the Italian tax identification number.
ALL INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS
Codice fiscale CF
Is your Italian tax code which is most often asked in Italy for any bureaucratic procedures.
The closest offices of Agenzia delle Entrate where you can get the codice fiscale are located in:
You will need:
- Id document: Id card for EU citizens or passport with VISA or PdS (or the request receipt)
- Letter stating your position at the SNS (issued by the Students Offices)
In the office, after filling out a form and waiting for your number in the electronic queue, you will receive a doc (attribution certificate) containing your Codice Fiscale
Very important for non EU Students: you can also receive your codice fiscale at the Italian Embassy/Consulate in your country when getting your Visa avoiding the process in Italy.
In full compliance with the Covid-19 anti-contagion safety regulations, until further notice, applications for the Codice Fiscale can be submitted by email to the following addresses: firstname.lastname@example.org - email@example.com.
In the message, please attach the following:
- the AA4/8 form (filled in and signed), available with the relevant instructions at the SNS Tax code, Insurance coverage - Health care Guide
- copy of your document/passport + Visa or PdS request (if any);
- copy of the letter stating your position at the SNS (issued by the Student Office)
The PDF certificate of your Codice Fiscale will be sent to you by email.
Italian mobile phone number
It is highly recommended that you buy an Italian phone card choosing among the main phone service providers (you will need your Codice Fiscale in order to proceed):
This will be very helpful, since:
- frequently you will be required to mention your phone number in different forms
- some Italian authorities prefer contacting you through phone calls or SMSs
- N.B. Extra-EU citizens might need an Italian phone number for communications regarding the issue of their residence permit
Please do not forget to update your telephone number in all SNS records (Ser.Se. etc.)
PhD grants are subject to social security contributions. Contributions paid by the Scuola are not automatically connected to your profile, so it is important for you to register at INPS (Istituto Nazionale per la Previdenza Sociale, the National Social Security Institute) under the category Gestione separata.
This is a very important requirement which should be dealt with as soon as possible so that the contributions will be useful for your future retirement allowance (even if you are not in Italy anymore).
During the INPS registration process you will receive two parts of a PIN code: one via SMS and the other one via post. You will have to use them together for the final online registration.
Registering at INPS: in-person Procedure
To access the INPS offices (currently) you must book an appointment by calling the INPS Contact Centre (find the number below) or using the INPS Mobile App (recommended).
After having installed the latter, please proceed as follows:
- Select - Prenota un contatto con gli sportelli di sede
- Select - Avanti
- Select - Ricerca Sede
- Select - Toscana in Regione and select your Provincia and Comune
- Select - Accedi alla sede
- Select - Prenota
- Select - Avanti
- Select - Servizi Veloci and senza autenticazione
- Enter your Codice Fiscale and book your appointment
Going to the INPS office (currently only with an appointment):
You will need:
- valid Id document (Id card or passport)
- codice fiscale
- extra-EU nationals: valid residence permit or post-office receipt for its issue or renewal
Upon receiving your PIN, ask the INPS employee to help you with your Iscrizione alla Gestione Separata as parasubordinato (PhD student with a scholarship).
INPS Contact Centre help line: 803164 toll-free number for landline calls - 06-164164 only mobile phones, telephone charges applied by your service provider
The INPS Contact Centre provides information in various languages including English, French, German, Spanish and Arabic.
INPS’ DIS-COLL: Unemployment cash benefit for ex PhD Students
You can apply for DIS-COLL within 68 days after the end of your scholarship (only if you remain in Italy and have no other income!):
- Online from the INPS website (having registered to Gestione separata) here
- By contacting the call center (see above)
- Through a “patronato”: click for a list of these in Pisa or Florence
Within 15 days from applying, you must go to the local Unemployment Centre (Centro per l'impiego) and stipulate an agreement concerning your unemployment status called Patto di servizio personalizzato (or Patto per il lavoro).
The DIS-COLL contribution amounts to about 75% of the scholarship and it can be paid for a maximum of 6 months after the end of the last month of scholarship.
Please read the general information from the EU website and the INPS site (in English); detailed information is available only in Italian on the INPS site.
As a general rule, extra-EU nationals owning a valid residence permit, or once they have applied for it, are entitled to register at the Italian National Health Service (Servizio Sanitario Nazionale - SSN) and have the same treatment as Italian citizens. Extra-EU students can apply for “Voluntary registration” (Iscrizione volontaria) at the SSN.
EU students can also apply for SSN “voluntary registration” ONLY if they are not covered by their EU country of origin health service anymore.
The “voluntary registration” refers to each calendar year (1 January – 31 December), it cannot be split up and it is not retroactive.
Please note that your health coverage will start from the registration date and expire at the end of the calendar year. New students will have to register for the year of their arrival and for the following one. For example:
1 November 2021 – 31 December 2021 = 1 year registration
1 January 2022 - 31 December 2022 = 1 year registration
Health Insurance Payment has to be done at the Post office when applying for a Residence permit (Permesso di soggiorno): yearly amount € 149,77 + 1,50 (shipping costs). Payment form is available at the SNS Tax code, Insurance coverage - Health care Guide.
The voluntary registration at the SSN can be done by sending an email to these addresses:
and attaching copies of the following documents:
- the receipt of the SSR payment
- a letter stating your position as SNS student
- Pisa: the 2 filled out and signed forms Modello 1 and Modello 6
- Florence: the filled out and signed form Modello Iscrizione, scelta medico e scheda statistica ministeriale
- for non EU Students only: the post office shipping receipt showing that your application for the issue or renewal of your residence permit has been sent
When registering, you will be asked to choose a general practitioner ("medico di famiglia" in Italian), but you might not be able to check the list of the available ones yet.
You are advised to contact our offices or some friends for a temporary choice.
Once you have received the SSN health card, you will be able to change your choice:
- online, after getting your SPID (Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale/ Public Digital Identity System), at the section Cambio medico in the OPEN-Toscana/Servizi web portal
- with the app Toscana Salute: you’ll need to have your SPID or your Tessera Sanitaria activated
- at any PuntoSI spot: you’ll need to have your Tessera Sanitaria activated
All the non Italian PhD enrolled students have to pay a regional tax to the DSU and submit the receipt to the secretariat by January 31st of each year to get refunded. Please find here the direct link to the payment: choose ARDSU Toscana (1st line) and then (08) Tassa regionale DSU
SPID: Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale
With the SPID (Public Digital Identity System), you can access the online services of the public administration with your unique personal credentials (username and password).
You can use SPID from any device: computers, tablets and smartphones, whenever, on a site or app of services, you find the button [Enter with SPID].
You can obtain your SPID only with a valid Italian Document (identity card, residence permit), your Italian Tessera Sanitaria (Health Card); once obtained it is free.
Start applying for your SPID from the How to activate SPID page and follow the instructions for the chosen Identity Provider or Public Administration authorized to release SPID.
Covid-19 Provisions info
From September 1st 2021, access to SNS buildings (as well as to public offices, means of transportation, restaurants, museums, sports and cultural events, and so on) is only allowed to people with a valid EU Digital COVID Certificate, the so-called Green Pass (GP). The latter is a digital proof that a person has either been vaccinated or obtained a negative test result or recovered from COVID-19.
For further and updated information on this matter, please visit the dedicated EU Digital COVID Certificate page which also contains an updated list and related interactive map of all the EU and non EU countries whose vaccination certificate's QR code is readable from the national dedicated Apps.
In Italy, the VerificaC19 freely downloadable app is used to check valid green pass owners. It acts as a green (or red) traffic light stating if your GP is valid (or not valid) in Italy only or in all EU nations and returning only your name and birth date. If you have doubts about the validity of your GP you can download the app and check it yourself.
If your extra EU Country doesn't belong (yet) to the list of the ones whose COVID certificates are recognised under the same conditions as the EU Digital COVID Certificate (currently 18 as you can read in the above linked EU page), you could have in any case received one of the vaccines valid in Italy:If this is the case, you can ask for the conversion of your vaccination certificate into a Green Pass:
- in Pisa you can fill out this form online of USL Toscana NordOvest uploading at least your passport and your vaccination certificate
- In Florence you can apply to the nearest USL Toscana Centro Office: Presidio di Santa Rosa, Casa della Salute Morgagni, Presidio D'Annunzio
If you were vaccinated with a vaccine not valid in Italy you can get here a vaccination at the following conditions:
- if you received your second dose from at least 28 and within 180 days, you can get a third dose obtainig an integrated valid vaccination
- if you received your second dose more than 180 days ago, or got only one or none, you can get a full vaccination cycle in Italy
Usuful Covid-19 links:
- booking vaccination page in Tuscany, related tutorial with English subtitles and vaccination consent form in English
- multi-language info page of Tuscany Region
- multi language EU info page on EU Digital COVID Certificate with the interactive map of the EU and not EU Countries who joined it and related national sites links
EXTRA EU STUDENTS
Permesso di Soggiorno (Residence Permit)
This important document certifies your regular position in Italy and allows you to travel within the Schengen area: remember to always have it with you (also in copy)!
Please note that it is not a residency certificate.
How do I get a residence permit? First ask for a postal kit either at the central post office in Pisa or Florence or at the SNS (Internationalisation Office in Pisa or Servizio Eventi e Gestione del Polo in Florence) and then:
- fill out the application form (mod. 209 modello 1: see the example guide for detailed instructions) and gather all the necessary documents
- take the envelope with the documents and the application form to the Post Office in order to send it to the Immigration Office at the Questura of Pisa or Florence
The post office will give you a shipping receipt. Please store it carefully, since this document shows that you are waiting for your new residence permit. The issuing of the residence permit could take many months and, meanwhile, the receipt is your only valid residence document in Italy and proves that you have applied and paid for the residence permit.
1. Postal kit
The postal kit must be sent within 8 working days after your arrival to Italy. When going to the post office, please remember to take with you:
- filled out application form (mod. 1); for detailed instructions, see the sample filled out form with instructions published in the Visa and Residence Permit SNS Guide
- a letter stating your position at the SNS (issued by the SNS Students Office in Pisa or Florence)
- your passport + a copy of all its written pages (also pages containig stamps, visas, etc. – empty pages are not required)
- filled out payment form for tax and electronic badge costs (it is included in the postal kit)
- If you are applying for renewal, bring your old residence permit + a copy of it (both sides)
- filled out payment form for your yearly health coverage (you can find it at this link Insurance coverage - Health care or directly at the post office)
- a 16€ marca da bollo - stamp/coupon, you can buy it at any Tobacconist
At the Post Office you have to wait in the digital queue and then go to the Sportello Amico (a desk reserved for immigration procedures).
When it’s your turn, just make the following payments:
- € 70,46 (amount due for tax and cost for electronic badge)
- € 30,00 shipping costs (the so-called Assicurata)
- If you still have not paid it, please also pay the yearly amount due to SSN (Health National Service) for your health coverage, that must be paid before you send the Assicurata: € 149,77
After submitting your application, you will get the shipping receipt where you will find the date of your appointment at the Immigration Office.
If you don’t have an appointment date on the shipping receipt, the authorities will send you a letter or an SMS notifying you of the time and date.
The SNS refunds application costs so you may now apply by filling out the form available at this link: Immigration cost refund form.
The form must be delivered or sent by post to SNS Protocollo together with a full copy of your original application receipts of payment.
2. First appointment at the Questura
As mentioned earlier, you will be informed of the date of your appointment at the Questura - Ufficio Immigrazione (Police Head Station - Immigration Office) - directly at the post office when submitting the kit (in the receipt) or otherwise via SMS in case of temporary unavailability of free slots.
If you miss your first appointment, you will receive a letter with a second one at the address mentioned in the application form.
Be careful not to miss your second appointment, otherwise your application will be rejected and there won’t be anything the SNS offices will be able to do to let you stay in Italy!
This appointment is the so-called fotosegnalamento: the main purpose of it is to check your documents and to take your index finger scans. You need to bring with you:
- appointment confirmation (application receipt issued by the post office or SMS or letter from Questura)
- your passport
- a letter stating your position at the SNS (issued by SNS Student Office in Pisa or Florence)
- 2 passport size photos
- health insurance (receipt of payment)
- Codice Fiscale: certificate of attribution or your Tessera Sanitaria
2.1 Biometrics (only for the first request)
At the end of your first appointment you will be scheduled to provide biometric data (height, full finger/palm scan, eye colour).
This appointment can be either on the same day as the fotosegnalamento in the afternoon or within a month.
You have to wait in a different queue; for queries relating to queueing you can always approach the policemen at the front door
3. Permesso, finally!
After your visits to post office and Questura you will only need to wait for an SMS informing you that your residence permit is ready. The SMS will also include information about how to retrieve it. Just remember that, until the document is ready, the post office application receipt will be your temporary residence document.
If you want to check the progress of your residence permit application, feel free to connect to this link at Polizia di Stato and enter the 12 digit number code you will find under the barcode of your Assicurata receipt
The permit validity dates are usually the starting and ending dates of the academic year. In Italy the academic year goes from November 1st to October 31st.
4. Permesso renewal
To renew the permesso you need to be sure you have been admitted to the following year of your course at the SNS.
If you want to be sure and get the SNS letter in time, it is better to submit your yearly report within the June-July deadline.
As soon as you have both the letter from the SNS student office stating your updated enrollment and your current residence permit, you can get a postal kit and start the application process again.
N.B. Officially, you can apply for the renewal only from September (no earlier than two months before the expiry date of your current permit).
Applications in July-August are also usually accepted. If you manage to speed things up, you might get your appointment earlier.
Mobility within the EU
Students holding a valid student PdS or a visa issued by Italy are able to travel within the EU for mobility programmes (such as Erasmus) or under exchange mobility agreements (such as international student exchanges) without obtaining any additional visas. The period of their stay in a different EU country can be up to 360 days or until the expiry date of the Italian PdS/visa if earlier.
If you do not meet the conditions previously mentioned you will have to apply for a residence permit after a period of six consecutive months.
For more details please connect to this link: EU Immigration Portal, select your destination country and your migration profile (Student) and find information: conditions, procedures, rights, ...
Last but not least: please, don’t forget your bank account!
Non-EU citizens couldn't be able to open an Italian bank account until they receive their Permesso di Soggiorno and the entire process could take many months.
That’s why it is crucial for them to arrive in Italy with a valid and easily reachable foreign bank account to receive their scholarships.
According to Italian law, SNS cannot pay cash!
Temporary Residence in Italy
As EU citizen, you can move freely to another member state for up to 90 days. If you are going to spend more than 90 days in Italy, it is compulsory for you to register at the City Council Anagrafe as a temporary resident.
Please register as soon as you can in the following offices:
- In Pisa you should get an appointment with Ufficio Anagrafe (by phone 050-910513 | 050-910534);
- in Florence, should get an appointment with Sportello Immigrazione of the Municipality: (by phone 055-2767078 | 055-2767079 or skype immigr.comunefirenze)
In order to get the registration you must show your EHIC card or proof of medical coverage in Italy, and a document stating your financial means of support (for SNS students, this document is issued by the Servizio Studenti in Pisa or Servizio Didattica e Supporto alla Ricerca del Polo in Florence).
Tax Code, INPS, Insurance Coverage, Health Care
Relevant information for those staying in Italy for study purposes, to obtain tax code/national insurance number (codice fiscale), insurance and health coverage and registration with INPS