Consulate General of Italy
83/86 Farringdon Street
Telephone: VFS Helpline 0871 376 0023 (Monday-Friday 08:30-17:30)
Online: Embassy website
Do I need a visa to visit Italy?
Some countries have special relationships with other countries which enables their residents to travel freely between the two without a visa. Check if you definitely need a visa to travel by checking the Embassy website.
How can I apply?
You must apply through the VFS centre which is located at:
Italy Visa Application Centre
13a Cathedral Road
Cardiff CF11 9HA
To make an appointment you must apply through the VFS Website.
Please note: It may take you several weeks to get an appointment at an Embassy, especially before the Christmas, Easter and summer vacations. Therefore, you should be making your application at least 8-12 weeks before you intend to travel.
What documents do I need?
For a full list of documentation required, you should check VFS website as requirements may change:
As a guideline you should expect to provide:
- Completed application form. Available here to download. You will be able to download and complete the application form online when booking your appointment.
- Your passport or travel document which must be valid and in date. This must contain your student visa (which must be valid for at least 3 longer than the validity of the Schengen visa applied for) your passport must have a blank page to affix the Schengen visa sticker.
- 1 x colour passport photo: check the VFS website for specifications.
- Schengen letter available from your faculty.
- Health insurance to cover the duration of the visit. Insurance is available from the Post Office, large supermarkets or various providers online. The insurance company will provide you with a letter of certificate to include with your application.
- Proof of travel plans: this will be the flight / ferry / train booking for your trip. This country insists that you must pre-book your travel before application.
- Proof of accommodation: this will be the booking for the hotel or other accommodation you will be staying at. It is easy to find hotels that make bookings either with a small deposit or no fee at all, so book with one of these. See our tips in our travel pages.
- Letter of invitation. If you are visiting friends or family, they will need to write you a letter inviting you to come and visit. This should either be in English or in the language of the country you are visiting. If they are providing you with food and / or accommodation, the letter should state this as well.
- Proof of financial means. You should have approx. £40 per day available to you for the duration of your visit. You should provide bank statements covering the last 3 months or travellers cheques for the relevant amount to prove this.
- Schengen visa fee. This varies from country to country so check the website for charges and method of payment. There will also be a service charge fee.
- Self addressed special delivery envelope. This is so that the Embassy can post your passport and / or documents back to you when a decision has been made and is available from all post offices.
- Copies of all documents provided. Generally, you will be expected to take both originals and copies of all your documents to your appointment with you.
How do I get to the VFS Centre?
How long will it take?
The visa processing time is a minimum of 5 – 10 working days, depending on the nationality of the applicant, and provided that a complete visa application is submitted.
For applications accepted in Cardiff and Manchester, please allow an additional 2 – 3 days minimum for the processing of your application.
When you have had your documents checked at your appointment, the Embassy official will retain your passport (and the copies of your documents) for a decision to be made. Your passport will then be posted back to you. Most embassies aim to return your passport within a few days. This Embassy advises that you do not apply any later than 2 weeks before you intend to travel. To find out more, check the FAQs page.
How can the Immigration & International Student Advice team help me with my Schengen visa?
IISA does not offer a service whereby they make your Schengen visa application or appointment for you. This is because generally travelling outside of the UK during your studies is for your personal pleasure. They can however check through your documents before sending/your appointment.
If you would like an adviser to check your documents for you, you should email email@example.com stating which country you are applying to and the date of your appointment. Please note that this service is not guaranteed and is subject to staff availability and IISA commitments.
You should start making your Schengen visa application at least 8-12 weeks before your proposed travel date.