A student visa is a document that enables a student of one country to study in another country for a given period of time. American students who hope to study in Italy must have a visa. When applying for a student visa, allow plenty of time because the process can take awhile. Determine whether you meet the qualifications, obtain the proper documentation, get a letter documenting your finances from your bank, write a letter to the consulate regarding your financial circumstances and bring this information to the Italian consulate.

Determine whether you meet the qualifications. You must have a place to stay, enough money to support yourself and a way of returning to the U.S. when you complete your studies and be able to receive medical attention in Italy.

Obtain the proper documentation. You need a current passport, a photograph the same size as the passport photo and a letter of acceptance from the Italian university. This letter must state where you plan to study, the dates of your stay and course information.

Obtain a letter of your finances from your bank. This should document your financial status, the number of your account, the balance in your account and your flight reservations. You must have a bank official sign this statement.

Write a letter to the Italian consulate regarding your financial circumstances. State whether you will pay for your studies independently or receive financial aid.

Take this information to the consulate, where you will complete an application form. Hand in that form with the rest of your papers.