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What Type of Visa Can I Use to Teach English in Italy?

Teaching English in Italy can be an exciting and rewarding experience. However, before embarking on this journey, it's crucial to understand the visa requirements and options available to you.

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Interested in teaching English in Italy? You're in the right place! Visas are an important part of planning your adventure overseas, so you want to make sure you're familiar with the process before you head abroad. This guide aims to provide a concise overview of the various visa types you can use to teach English in Italy, ensuring you are well informed and prepared for your teaching adventure.

So, let's delve into the world of visas and discover which one best suits your aspirations of teaching English in Italy.

**Please note that visa laws and requirements are constantly changing so make sure to check with your local Italian consulate for the most up-to-date information.

What Visa Can I Get to Teach English in Italy?

The type of visa you'll need in Italy (and how you get that visa) will depend on your nationality, teaching job and perhaps other factors like whether you get your job in advance of your arrival, or if you get hired locally in Italy. Some common visa types that individuals use to teach English in Italy include:

  1. Working holiday visa
  2. Work visa
  3. Freelance visa
  4. Student visa
  5. Tourist visa

Read more: What are the requirements to teach English in Italy?

Be sure to speak to an International TEFL Academy Advisor by calling 773-634-9900 to discuss your specific questions and concerns about your visa for teaching English in Italy.

Teach English in Italy TEFL Visa

1. Working Holiday Visa

If you are a citizen of a country that has a bilateral agreement with Italy, you may be eligible for a working holiday visa. This visa allows you to work and travel in Italy for a specific period, usually between 6 months to 1 year. However, not all countries have such agreements with Italy, so you'll need to check if your country is eligible.

Note: Americans aren't eligible for a working holiday visa with Italy.

Read more: Working Holiday Visa & Teaching English Abroad

2. Work Visa

If you have a job offer from an Italian employer or an Italian school, they can sponsor you for a work visa. The employer would need to provide documentation demonstrating the need for your skills and expertise in teaching English. This visa allows you to work in Italy for the duration specified on the visa.

Note: American English teachers are in high demand in Italy, but will almost never be provided with the legal right to work in Italy (a work visa)

Read more: Living in Italy Info from the US Embassy

3. Freelance Visa

If you plan to work as a freelance English teacher in Italy, you may be able to apply for a freelance visa, also known as a self-employment visa or visa for "lavoro autonomo." This type of visa requires you to demonstrate that you have the necessary qualifications, experience, and a business plan to support yourself financially.

4. Student Visa

Enrolling in a qualified educational program in Italy and getting a student visa is the most common way for Americans to legally teach English in Italy. If you enroll in an accredited Italian language school or university program to study Italian or pursue a teaching certification, you can apply for a student visa. With a student visa, you may be allowed to work part-time as an English teacher, typically for up to 20 hours per week (this is actually considered almost "full-time" for English teachers).

The cost of the Student Visa can vary. Please check with your regional consulate for the most up-to-date fee for this visa. 

A Student Visa will require a completed Student Visa application form, a recent passport-sized photograph, a valid passport with at least two blank pages to affix your visa to (along with a photocopy of your passport information page), an original copy of the official letter of acceptance from an accredited academic institution in Italy, proof of financial means or an affidavit of support, and proof of health insurance coverage abroad.

A Student Visa can run from 4-12 months, depending on your program. 

How to Obtain a Student Visa for Teaching English in Italy

This type of visa is obtained if you are participating in classes at a school or organization that can sponsor you to stay for the length of the program. These visas can run from 4-12 months, depending on the program. It gives teachers the legal right to work in Italy for up to 20 hours a week. Application documents typically include the following items:

  • Completed Student Visa application form
  • Recent passport-size photograph
  • Valid passport with at least two blank pages to affix the visa, and a photocopy of your passport information page.
  • Original and copy of the official letter of acceptance from an accredited academic institution in Italy.
  • Proof of financial means for the duration of your stay in Italy OR an affidavit of support if the applicant doesn’t have own funds. parents come with the applicant to the interview, or notarized by a Notary Public;
  • Proof of health insurance coverage abroad.

Students should plan to submit their application for a student visa in person at the consulate that serves their region at least 90 days before their program starts.

For more information, please check out this list of Italian Consulates in the United States.

Read more: How to Apply for a Student Visa to Legally Teach English in Italy

5. Tourist Visa

Teaching English in Italy "under the table" on simply a tourist visa is not legal and is no longer commonly allowed or recommended. Five to ten years ago, many American English teachers worked "under the table" on a tourist visa and were paid in cash in order to live as an English teacher in Italy… Sometimes for years at a time! However, authorities have cracked down and this is no longer common practice. 

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