The Road to Italian Citizenship is Long
It is long even when you have Italian grandparents, and when you don’t have that, or EU citizenship, the road is ten-years long. I’m 5 months into my ten-year process and here’s how it it’s stacking up:
I received my coveted permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay) in June about a month after I applied. Unfortunately, on June 9, a week before my permit was ready, the Italian government introduced new filing fees, which meant I had to pay 40 Euro extra ($47) in order to pick up my permit.
I tried to shrug off the shock of the extra fee by telling myself, Oh well, I have already thrown so much money into my move to Italy and into the visa & residency process, I may as well throw more at it.
So, was I done with the process after finally getting the coveted permesso?
Nope. But the next step was breezy compared to the Italian Consulate and Questura steps.
Within 20 days of receiving the permesso, you must go to the local Anagrafe office (Vital Statistics Bureau) of the town you’re in, to apply for residency. This is a certificate of residency which is different from permanent residency.
I had heard that I might be asked to show a utilities bill to prove my address. This I do not have since they’re all in my landlords’ names. So I asked my landlady to go with me. We drove to Lucca, parked outside the walls, walked through the walls and into the Anagrafe office.
I did not have an appointment. We randomly asked a woman in a hallway and she walked us past all the African immigrants to an office where we sat down, and I presented my rental contract, my codice fiscale, passport, and permesso. I brought proof of my international health insurance but she didn’t look at it.
She typed up a document that attested that I had presented myself and that I had asked to be entered in the vital statistics of the population. She told me that an official of the police might come to my address to verify that I indeed resided there. Of course my landlady was next to me assuring that I did live there.
Three weeks have passed and no handsome policeman has come to my door yet.
The document states: “the office will ensure that the requirements are met within 45 days, and if no communication has been received within 45 days, the application shall be deemed admissible and the proceedings definitively concluded.”
I suppose this means that after 45 days, I will receive a residency certificate. I don’t know if it will come by mail or if I’ll need to go back to the Anagrafe office to ask about it.
Luckily this step did not cost any money!
Things to note:
Be sure you take care of this step within 20 days of receiving your permesso.
Be sure your residency address is the same as the one tied to your permesso. If you change addresses you must update the Anagrafe office.
For a permanent residence card, you can apply for it only if you have been a legal resident in Italy for five years.
You must renew this certificate of residency annually just like you must renew the permesso.
To learn about earlier steps in the process go here
To learn about the Integration Agreement go here