It is a real headache when you need to get all the legal documents done in a foreign country without speaking the local language. It could be frustrating not knowing where and how to start with the procedures. As part of a continuous service offered by International Students Office, we support you to make a priority of your documents for both living and studying in Italy and to give hints about how to make the process easier and faster.

My name is Xixi Fan and I am part of the International Students Office alongside my colleague Sara, who spoke about things to organise before you arrive in Italy in the last post. I hope that all of the information we’ve provided you with so far has been useful.

In this video, I’d like to remind you of all the documentation you’ll need to prepare once you arrive in Italy.

  • Residence permit and tax code
  • Health insurance (part 2)
  • Public transport
  • Bank account

Residence permit and tax code.
These are the two compulsory documents that students from non-EU countries must obtain once they arrive in Italy. The documents are also necessary for you to complete the enrolment process with the university.

As a general rule, all non-EU students must apply for an Italian residence permit within eight working days of their arrival.

Once a residence permit has been obtained, this will replace the Italian visa as the legal document proving that you are permitted to live in Italy. It can be renewed for the duration of your studies. While you are studying, the residence permit means you can accept a part-time work contract and visit other Schengen area countries for tourism purposes for a maximum of 90 days in a six-month period.

The personal alphanumeric code called the tax code is a compulsory document for anyone living in Italy, students included, whether they come from EU countries or not. Obtaining a tax code is simple and easy. You will need to fill out and submit an application form at the Agenzia delle Entrate (Taxation Office), presenting your passport and residency documents at the same time. So why do you need a tax code? It is essential for several matters: enrolling at Politecnico, signing contracts, and for health insurance and banking matters.

Once you have your tax code and a receipt showing that you have applied for a residence permit, you will be able to sign up to Italy’s national health service and open a bank account. For students who don’t come from EU countries, registering for the health service costs around €150 per year and entitles you to the same care available to Italian citizens. EU students are covered by their EHIC, which can be obtained from their own health authorities.

Public transport in Milan.
If there’s one thing Milan can be proud of, it’s the city’s public transport network! Simple and cheap to use, it is made up of several underground lines and many bus and tram routes. There is also an underground train line linking Milan with other towns on the outskirts of the city. We recommend that you sign up for a season ticket – this enables you to make as many journeys around the city as you want to and means you can get around much more easily.

Bank account.

Banking may be very important for you. We advise against travellers cheques as they can be expensive to cash. Credit cards are widely accepted for most transactions, including at supermarkets and restaurants. You may need to open a bank account in Italy, for which you will need a tax code, your passport, your address in Italy, a letter of admission to MIP and your residence permit or a receipt from the post office showing that you have applied for one. You will then be able to choose a prepaid card, which will also allow you to perform most banking operations.

That’s it! Once you’ve finalised your enrolment and obtained all the documentation you need to keep your stay in Milan free from logistical or legal problems, there’ll be nothing left for you to do except start enjoying student life in Italy!