Girl in Florence

A Tuscan Texan immersed in Florentine life

How to survive your next permesso di soggiorno renewal in Florence



[Disclaimer- These pigeons did not need a permesso di soggiorno to enjoy this view of Florence]

This is you – a dreamer who wanted to leave corporate America, UK, Australia [insert said country here] for a simple life in Italy. A life of picking fresh veggies at the market, leisurely chatting over a cappuccino to the friendly barista that calls you ‘ciccio’, traveling on the weekends and just generally enjoying life. Sounds great right?

Lesson #1, Life in Italy isn’t simple

That was until you realized you needed something titled the ‘permesso di soggiorno’ in order to study, work or live in Italy [and yes I know it sucks in other countries as well].

Even Chuck Norris should be afraid, very very afraid.

[This is where you will be picking up your permesso, bring anti-bacterial soap]

Unless you happen to hail from one of the EU member states or happen to have a great-grandmother nonna who could pass Italian citizenship up to you, this will be your new reality. I have previously written about the process of obtaining a permesso di soggiorno in Italy before and I am very hesitant to give advice to those who want to do something like ‘change their student visa for a work visa’ since this really varies on a case-by-case basis. Here you can read the requirements for a permesso di soggiorno (in Italian). 

To be honest, I don’t want to give anyone false hope and/or suggest they leave their well-paying job for an uncertain work situation in Italy. I would like to note that it’s not impossible to change over your visa but just know that the process is very difficult and you want to make sure that living and working in Italy is really what you want before going though the hassle.

Today, let’s chat about renewals. Survival is what we are aiming for here, and like the Hunger Games, it is unsure who will come out alive at the end of this process. These are my personal tips on how to survive the permesso di soggiorno renewal process, come out a winner [hopefully] and yes, you can buy me a drink later ;).

1. Don’t delay the inevitable

What do I mean by this? I tend to be a little dramatic about the visa renewal process since I have had some traumatizing experiences, namely everyone telling me I couldn’t do it. My best advice is, don’t wait until the last-minute to begin the renewal process. It really should be started minimum two months aka 60 days before the expiry date on the permesso itself and I would do it even before, especially if you plan to travel.

Get the kit from the sportello amico at any post office, fill it out, make copies of everything, return kit to the post office with your passport and marca di bollo [now 16 euros instead of 14.62] and prepare to pay a lot of money. This will then get you the appointment for when to show up at the Questura di Firenze immigration office, which the post office will print out for you. Don’t lose that piece of paper.

2. Arm yourself wisely 

Plan to bring the documents that the initial application called for. To give you an example, I have a permesso di soggiorno lavoro autonomo (self-emploment visa) which is a whole mess of fun that requires that I show proof that I have signed up for the camera di commercio, provided a bilancio attuale (you must reach a minimum of 500€ net per month), 4 photos (that you can do by the shady photo-booths in the central train station), photocopy of every page in your passport and original permesso di soggiorno. And just include anything else you have available. Ps. This document is a must-read for those seeking a permesso di soggiorno lavoro autonomo.

Ps. Need a smart english-speaking commercialista in Florence? This guy saved me [really] and happens to be really nice as well, Dr. Tommaso Francalanci, for those with a partita iva, you need a guy like him.

If you are missing any documents, the ‘friendly’ workers at the immigration windows at the questura will print out a paper stating what documents you need to bring and you have about 15 days to collect them and come back to the questura anytime between M-F (before 9am).

They will send you a sms when it’s ready for pick-up which you then show to the police at the questura in order to get your famous number on a piece of paper to wait yet again to pick up your treasured prize. Usually in Florence this wait can be anywhere from one month to four, use your receipt and old permesso as proof of visa in the meantime. Also don’t forget to award yourself with a shot of lemoncello directly after.

3. Don’t be scared to ask for help

Feel scared or stressed? This is normal and welcome to the club! But really, don’t be scared – there does actually exist offices and help desks that can help you fill out your permesso di soggiorno renewal kit. Here’s the info below or via the website. 

Sportello immagrazione: Address: Via Baracca 150p (Villa Pallini) – Firenze

Bus : dalla Stazione 29-30-35; da Careggi e Le Piagge 56; da Soffiano 5 – Fermata: CALVANE

Help desk: Information via phone, e-mail e skype

Phone: 055 2767078
e-mail: [email protected]
skype: immigr.comunefirenze
Hours & days of operation

Monday and Friday 9.00 – 12.15
Wednesday 9.00 – 11.45
Tuesday and Thursday 9.00 – 11.45 and 14.00 – 17.00
Number distribution: From 8.00 until 14.00

Also if you aren’t confident with your Italian, bring a friend who you trust that doesn’t mind giving up an afternoon or two to help you. Reward this person with a great dinner or copious amounts of booze.

Also when it comes to how LONG they will renew your permesso, there is no straight answer, I trust no one and will only believe it till I see it when it comes to this famous EC Long -Term Residence Permit which is a permit allowing the holder to stay for an indefinite period after being a legal residence for five years. I am crossing my fingers to have my own permesso renewed longer than a year, which yes really sucks when you think you have to be back at the post office, questura di firenze in about 9 months or so to start the ‘fun’ again.

Remember, nothing worth anything in life is easy. When you see all of the beautiful photos of Tuscany someone like me posts quite often, realize that I too had to go to hell and back to legally stay and work in Italy. Is it worth it yes, though there are days that I have my doubts.

All over? Reward yourself with one of these [moscow mule], or maybe three – I’ll be right there with you!

Ps. Want to share your own permesso di soggiorno story? Tell me by commenting on this post! I may not have the answer to every question but we expats in Italy should stick together, a community that shares is the best kind of community. 

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67 Responses

    1. GREAT tip Catherine, I also used CGIL to help me with taxes (though they did make somewhat of a mess, at least they tried!)..

      1. They are great with the meanders of the packet. I ended up going through other channels and got my Carta di Soggiorno as I am the mother of an Italian, but they also helped me figure all that out and what to do.

        1. Ah the Carta di Soggiorno, I keep getting told I am going to get it but alas, it seems to never happen (though I do keep hoping..), I have noticed in Florence especially, these offices are pretty helpful even if finding the information for where to go can be hard to find (for a non-Italian speaker)

  1. UGGGGG….Can I tell you that I feel your pain? But in reverse? I am one of those lucky people you probably hate because my father is from Italy and I got my Italian citizenship and passport years before I ever even stepped foot in Italy.

    My husband on the other hand??? US Immigration???? NIGHTMARE! and EXPENSIVE! We paid thousands of dollars ALL IN FEES! No attorneys….I did it all by myself.

    Anyway…eventually he DID become a citizen….in your hometown no less! It was a wonderful day that we STILL talk about.

    So….yes: “nothing worth anything in life is easy.” You are so correct!

    Just hang in there….errrrr…are ya sure you don’t have some great, great, great grandfather of Italian decent in your family? Maybe at this point doing genealogical research would be less time consuming than dealing with the commune? 🙂

    1. Diana! thank you so much for sharing this! US immigration is also a nightmare – my father is actually an immigration officer and I have fond memories of going to the naturalization ceremonies and seeing all of the new Americans cry and be given tiny American flags, a truly emotional moment for us all!

      I wish I had an Italian relative, this is year seven of living in Italy and this renewal process is grating to the soul – believe me I chekd! But now that I think about it, I wish I could get adopted by a nonna, I wonder if that’s even possible?

      1. Gosh! Your father is an immigration officer!? I guess he has seen it all! What sweet memories for you going to naturalization ceremonies….it was SUCH a special day for us. Hubby even wore a suit and tie.

        Once again, hang in there….you know….just getting my Italian DL was a nightmare….so….the thought of Italian immigration? ick…no thanks. Big party when it is finally all done! 🙂

        1. I am especially sensitive to immigration issues because of that very reason. I think the problem in Italy is that the information just isn’t very clear and laws change so frequently. I have printed out laws to get public workers to process my paperwork. It’s pretty crazy. I actually helped a friend of mine with her Italian dual citizenship and that was absolutely no cakewalk, mamma mia!

  2. When I still had to do mine (a million years ago, even though the UK was in the Euoropean Union – yep go figure) I used to turn up with pens, sellotape, scissors and even a stapler, as one more than on occasion they couldn’t process my request due to lack of said items. When I eventually got it back, it was usually AFTER the new expired date (3 years at the time) so I had to repeat the process immediately. The only time I EVER handed the doc in upon leaving Italy at border control (as stated on the document) they had no idea what it was ………….

    1. Wow that is incredible.. my how times have changed! thank you for sharing your experience, I am always curious how things were in the past, the fact that pens etc. were in short supply is pretty incredible

    2. This comment makes me laugh a lot! Lack of pens and tape holding up the process! This is a CRAZY place to live sometimes!

      1. It doesn’t surprise me, when I go into the questura di Firenze now, I can see everyone’s paper kits stacked in the bookcases behind the workers. Who needs technology? 😉

  3. Times have changed indeed, and they are checking a lot now. I flew to the US through Germany and the guy got snarky that I didn’t have my CdS with me. I had a photocopy, but he said, nope, want the original. This time I’ll let you through. Lucky I was traveling with my daughter who had both her US and Italian passport with her!

    1. You have a point, I always arm myself with a million documents and I am praying that I get my permesso hard copy before my upcoming trip to the USA later this month (I pass through Amsterdam, wish me luck!)

      1. Just FYI to anyone, the latest Italian law (2009) states if your permesso isn’t ready, you can technically only exit and re-enter through the Italian border. No transit in other Schengen countries without the hard copy. I remember when this wasn’t the rule. sigh. I got lucky twice exiting via Germany (permesso was expired only two weeks, had paperwork stating other was in process) and the police officers kind of ‘joke-scolded’ me….but, in reality, I could have had problems. major problems. :-/

      2. Btw, in yet other “sometimes the rule is…sometimes not’ a women I know passed through Belgium back into Italy without issue with only her passport and copy of permesso receipt. So, there’s that….. lol

  4. I SO appreciate this article! I will begin my first renewal soon- my Permesso expires in June. I’m in Italy as a retiree, so will see what surprises they have in store for me. My renewal is complicated by my plans to be in Brazil for World Cup (early June to mid-July), that should make for some interesting logistics. Wish me luck..

    1. Ciao Linda, thanks! I say the earlier is better so ho armed with anything you even imagine they could ask for and stay strong!!!! Are you renewing from Florence?

  5. Here’s the claim I wrote when I finally got a kind of permesso by the Questura (Dichiarazione di presenza) for a friend of mine, after 7 “trips” to the office. Obviously they didn’t answer… You wanna stay, I wanna leeeeeeeave!!!

    Il presente reclamo è per esporre i fatti che sono accaduti negli ultimi giorni nei quali la studentessa americana Sarah XXX ha tentato senza successo di ottenere la Dichiarazione di Presenza presso gli uffici della Questura di Via della Fortezza 17 in Firenze.
    Il sottoscritto Riccardo XXX che la ospita presso il proprio appartamento con regolare affitto per quasi 2 mesi, ha tentato per quanto possibile di esserle di supporto, ma ha incontrato grandi difficoltà.
    Non è stato possibile in anticipo raccogliere informazioni senza recarsi in loco (telefono o internet) sui documenti necessari per ottenere la Dichiarazione di Presenza per tale studentessa americana. Recandomi di persona una prima volta e chiedendo ad uno sportello mi sono state date delle indicazioni in tal senso (passaporto con sé, modello da compilare, foto-tessere) che non sono poi risultate corrette.
    Date queste informazioni alla richiedente, essa si è recata allo sportello 3 una seconda volta ed ha consegnato il modello compilato, la fotocopia del passaporto (che per fortuna aveva con sé già pronta) ma le foto-tessere non sono servite; la pratica non era completa e le è stato riferito qualcosa, ma per problemi di comprensione dell’italiano, ha compreso solo la parola Francoforte ed ha quindi pensato che dovesse portare il biglietto aereo di andata o di ritorno, per dimostrare che la sua era comunque una visita temporanea. Lo sportellista non le ha appuntato niente al riguardo, in modo da poterle permettere di far leggere l’appunto a qualcuno che parlasse italiano ed inglese.
    Alla terza volta le è stato detto di nuovo che non andava bene, che i biglietti non servivano ma la ragazza non è riuscita a capire ancora cosa le venisse chiesto. Anche questa volta non le è stato dato neanche un appunto con scritto cosa mancasse.
    Alla quarta volta ho accompagnato la ragazza e abbiamo così compreso che serviva un’ulteriore fotocopia del passaporto nella pagina timbrata all’ingresso nella Comunità Europea, timbro appunto effettuato all’aeroporto di Francoforte. Non ci è stata fatta una fotocopia presso l’ufficio e siamo dovuti uscire, trovare una copisteria, fare la fotocopia, tornare per consegnarla, ma a quel punto non è stato possibile ottenere il documento in quanto, ci ha riferito lo sportellista, occorreva la firma del dirigente.
    Alla quinta volta, in data di ieri, la ragazza si è recata allo stesso sportello per ritirare la Dichiarazione di Presenza, ma la stessa persona ha detto che occorreva mostrare il passaporto; la ragazza era in possesso dell’ID (ossia la carta d’identità, comunque valida per il riconoscimento della persona), ma vi è stato un netto rifiuto.
    Oggi, il sottoscritto, munito di delega scritta (che si allega) con fotocopia del passaporto e originale del passaporto in mano ha richiesto (alla sesta visita) al medesimo sportellista di ritirare il documento pronto, ma mi è stato riferito che occorreva l’interessato in persona munito di passaporto.
    Alla mia richiesta di parlare con un responsabile od un dirigente per evitare un settimo viaggio mi è stato risposto che dovevo inviare un fax e non era possibile avere un interlocutore a cui esprimere le proprie perplessità; anche la mia richiesta del nome o del numero identificativo della persona allo sportello mi è stata negata, cosa incredibile, scandalosa in uno stato di diritto e secondo la mia opinione, illegale.
    Domani, la ragazza verrà per la settima visita e vedremo se sarà possibile ritirare questo benedetto documento. Nel frattempo, a quanto mi risulta, è passibile di una sanzione da 5000 a 10000 euro se viene fermata nel territorio italiano senza essere in possesso dello stesso, tutto per una non corretta comunicazione di un ufficio pubblico che non mette in grado le persone che non parlano l’italiano di ottenere ciò che spetta loro, magari facendosi aiutare da qualche interprete, quando basterebbe fare una fotocopia o scrivere un appunto per risolvere tutte le incomprensioni e le lungaggini burocratiche.
    Si prega di prendere nota dei suggerimenti dati con la presente e di rispondere per quanto possibile.
    Firmato da un altro dipendente pubblico, deluso e scioccato del paese in cui vivo.
    Riccardo XXX

  6. I thought I had it bad! My husband is military so I apply on base. After reading your post, I realize they really do make it a lot easier for us. No more complaining out of me!

  7. Just blogged about this very topic today so I enjoyed reading your post and the comments. I got Permesso di Soggiorno once before, in the ’80’s, in Rome. I remember it took several hours over 2 separate days to get it, and I thought it was such a palaver then… since it was never ever looked at again I wondered why I’d even bothered. Now I recon I probably got it quite easily, since I had my uncle (a Bishop at the Vatican) with me in attendance. I’m going to bookmark your tips (& put aside a bottle of Grappa) for the next time I have to go and do it.

    1. My god, a bishop in attendence with you? How lucky is that! I think the grappa is a great idea and sort of a ‘must’ when it comes to these things. Do keep me posted on how it goes for you and I wish you LUCK!

  8. Ciao! Am currently trying to get to the permesso di soggiorno stage… Have found an Italian company to hire me, but alas, we can’t apply for a visa at this time because of something to do with the decreto flussi being closed, etc. This leads me to wonder if I should try for the visto di lavoro autonomo…. Georgette, in all of this, did you found a company first in the US then in Italy, or just one in the US or how did it work??? I’m grateful for any other info!

    1. First of all ‘too tall to be tuscan’ is a phrase I can 100% identify with ;-). I might try and go for the visa for lavoro autonomo (like I did) which will require you to open up a partitva iva (go for the regime dei minime which is the one for workers making less than 30,000 euros a year and under 35). Its a process but its not impossible. For me personally, I work for companies both based in the USA and Italy and I did have to prove I was making income, had a contract in Italy when applying for the permesso. I wish you all the best of luck!

  9. Quite detailed post. Thanks for sharing it. I have an Italian workpermit – lavoro subordinato valid till november 2014 and I am planning to renew it as I have some business ideas for Italy. I was wondering if its possible that I register for a company licence and than apply for soggiorno renewal by using it. It will be great If I could receive some regarding this. Also I am currently out of Italy so i clearly need to know how soon I should start my company registration. Thanks again

    1. Hello vijay, are you looking to change your ‘type’ of permesso using this company registration? For example to ‘autonomo’ like mine? If so, you may need to pick up the permesso packet from the post office to see what documents you need as it can be tricky!

  10. Ciao Georgette, hope you are having nice summer time in Italy!

    A very well written article, thank you for the information! Indeed sorting out work permit in Italy (rather more or less in any country i suppose) is not so easy, I have had my piece of share, initially came on business visa, then had permesso di soggiorno tirocinante and now lavoro subordinato,

    Now I have reached point of renewal and as you have mentioned planning to start well before even 60 days! But have quite a few queries, I am already looking to get more information, but would be great to have your views as well 🙂

    My current permesso di soggiorno lavoro subordinato was taken while I was living in Forlì but now I have changed my company and so have started living in Torino. Now that I have to renew my permesso I was told that I have to do that from Forlì itself, as my domicilio is from there! Can you put some light on it!?!

    Unlike my previous company my new company has asked me to carry out the whole process by myself, which is fine by me, but to make most of it and of course thanks to your article here, even I am thinking of getting my permesso changed into autonomo, again from where to get it done is a question, but yeah, moreover please correct me if I am wrong, even if I take permesso for lavoro autonomo, I can continue with my permanent job right? (Of course I am going to take up freelancing asap and thus this change in permesso, but till I feel certain or till i get good freelancing opportunity would like to continue with my permanent job contract in the same company)

    After you get this permesso, is it compulsory that you work for only Italian companies? Or as long as you get enough income in your Italian bank account it wouldn’t be a problem?

    Look forward to hearing from you.

    1. Hello and I hope you are having a great summer yourself. From what I gather, you have to do your permesso where you have residence (which ideally should be where you actually live). I changed permesso types from subordinato to autonomo and you have to present a lot of documents when you are committing the chance, it’s all listed in the permesso kit and I would even take it to your local ‘sportello immagrazione’ in your local town to fill it out. I am not sure about your other questions and don’t want to steer you wrong. The problem is when it comes to this type of permesso, it seems like every questura is different on what they require. Once advice though, if they ask you to sign up for the camera di commercio, DONT as this is only required for companies and not a freelance professional (they asked me too and I did not knowing that this would haunt me later). Get a commercialista to write you a signed and stamped note that you don’t have to present this.

  11. Ciao!
    I have a slightly different situation because in 2 weeks I will be moving to Italy to study in Milan 😀 unfortunately my visa/permesso situation is in a bit of limbo, I’ll tell you why. The Italian consulate of NY says you have to buy your plane ticket before you can apply for the visa. I bought my plane ticket in April for August 11th thinking that gives me 2 weeks to visit all my old friends from my exchange (Fano, Marche) and 1 week to move into the Bocconi residence (Milano, Lombardia) before school starts. At the consulate they didn’t ask me anything about the plane ticket and approved my application. Now my visa has arrived and I see that the start date is August 27th -______-‘ Kind of crossing my fingers that it’s not a big deal for me to arrive 2 weeks before my visa starts since none of the consulates of the embassy in DC wants to answer their phones or give me a straight response. To make matters worse I know you have to go to questura in your place of residence (Milan) within 8 days of your arrival but I will be in (Fano) :'( What is your take on it? Should I go to the questura in Fano? Do questuras have a phone number I could call to ask about this? I feel like a really simple situation just got complicated by the italian immigration system… as if getting a visa wasn’t enough of a nightmare, i’m in for a ‘fun’ next 3 years of Italian bureaucracy!

    1. Hello Tia, first of all congrats to you for attending Bocconi, one of the best schools in Italy! Secondly, I wouldn’t really worry about arriving two weeks before because as a US citizen, you are allowed to stay three months in Italy without any visa so essentially you shall be fine. Looks like you already got everything else done so at this point just sit back and have a great trip, I think you will be fine!

      ps. about your residency question, I would email your school and ask specifically about that one. You normally have to go the questura where you reside. Smaller ones can be even faster than the big ones so you might be better off in Fano. I wouldn’t try to call, they are not famous for picking up the phone and or giving actual good advice. I trust no-one till I am in front of a real – true official!

  12. Ciaooo!
    I’ve renewed my permesso di soggiorno without a problem because I go to school in Florence. Now I’m looking to renew again but I’m going to be enrolling into another school in Florence. Do you know if the questura allows you to renew your permesso di soggiorno even though the university is different from the original university in which the permesso was granted?? do they really check back and look into that? I’m asking because I read/skimmed over another blog (not paying attention to the date of the post) that this wasn’t allowed?

    I’m hoping that it doesn’t matter and I can continue to study in Florence legally…

    1. In the same boat as Shannon. I’m from the states and will be graduating with my masters from FDA in December and my current permesso expires on Dec 15, but I plan on enrolling in a new school to extend my italian language skills for the spring semester (Michelangelo Institute). The italian consulate in Chicago says I can just apply to renew my permesso at the questura here, but i’m a bit nervous since it’s seems to be touch-and-go with the workers there. I’d hate to pay the enrollment fee at the new school, as well as the permesso fee at the post office and be denied. I’ll be obtaining Irish citizenship and an EU passport within the next year, so I’m just trying to pull some strings to stay in Italy until it arrives. Do you have any experience with this situation, Georgette?

  13. Hi. I have a question I hope you can answer. My soggiorno will be expired by June of 2015. Can I apply as early as January 2015? Because I need to go back to my country in the Philippines to continue my studies.

    1. Hello Gerald, I would probably go in at least three months before the expiration date just to be sure. In any case this should be clearly stated on the ‘permesso’ packet that they give you at the post office. I wish you luck!

  14. Oh okay. But I do hope I can apply as early as January so it will be just 1 processing because my mom will apply for a carta di soggiorno but I won’t be given a carta di soggiorno because I am already 19.

    I’m sorry, I did not understand, what should be clearly stated in the permesso packet?

  15. Hi. Good Evening,

    I have a question I hope you can answer. My soggiorno will be expired by February of 2015. I will be ready apply for renew as early as End January 2015.
    Pls advise, Can you help me.
    I am planning also to renew it as I have a small business ideas for Italy. I was wondering if its possible that I register for a company licence and than apply for soggiorno renewal by using it. It will be great If I could receive some regarding this. Also I am currently out of Italy and i will back Italy 15 January 2015.So i clearly need to know how soon I should start my company registration. Thanks again

    Best regards,

  16. Hi! I hope you can help. We are two Americans renewing our autonomous lavoro permesso di soggiorno. My question is about the requirement to register and notify the sportello Unico “before” the start of our business activity at the one-stop shop. We have an ecommerce business and we were told we could do this online, how do we do this? Did you do this? If so, can you share the steps you went through? The website is confusing. We need to submit proof with our permesso. Struggling to figure this one out. Thanks for any help you can provide. Much appreciated!

    1. Hello Sonya, I actually submitted everything via the kit, renewing should be fairly straightforward. They will ask for a ‘bilancio’ of your last year’s earnings which your commercialista can provide among some other documents (taxes paid etc). Where in Italy are you located? You can certainly visit the ‘sportello immigrazione’ and ask for advice, if you tell me what town you’re in, I can look it up for you.

  17. Hi! Thanks for your fast response! I’ve got it! This will be a two step process.for me. I actually have to obtain a Smart card from the chamber of commerce then go online to register my business with sportello unico (one-stop) and them submit the documentation (proof) along with the permesso kit. I thought this was routine for business owners in Italy, so i thought you may have knowledge since you have an autonomous work visa. There is limited knowledge about autonomous work visas on the web. Thanks again for your speedy response and willingness to help further!! Great blog. I wish there was one for business owners to exchange knowledge & experience. Thx again!!

    1. Hello Sonya, what kind of business owner are you? I work for myself but am considered a ‘professional’ in digital media, you want to be really sure if you need that smart card because it caused me some issues to be registered with the chamber of commerce later when doing taxes. I would consult a commercialista before you do that and ask if you really need to sign up with them which means you will be liable for gestione seperata inps which isn’t the case if you have a regime minimi partita iva.

    2. Hii…. I have applied for renewal for my permesso di soggiorno… But due to some urgency i need to travel back to my homeland india…. I m really confused if i can travel on postale reciept n expired soggiorno… As my appointment date in questura is 18 of may… I have domestic contract… I hve all the documents ready… Bt they say CUD telematico they need…. I hve been to CAF they made modello 730… Bt reciept telematico will be sent in. June … So i m confused will they will take my fingerprints….i dont knw tht without fingerprints i can travel or not


    Thanks for your post.

    Please can you have a look on my situation written by my wife in Itlian and tell me what you think? We sent the message below to the Questore. For privacy, I cut the message header and introduction. Just for precision, I left the my studies in the UK to apply for the permesso di soggiorno, the situation is as below described. Please you can reply in English as my Italian is not yet good.

    Infatti sono trascorsi 4 mesi dal momento in cui abbiamo richiesto il suo primo permesso di
    soggiorno per motivi famigliari (dal 09 Ottobre 2014). Dopo aver presentato tutta la
    documentazione della richiesta del permesso di sogiorno e avendo messo gli impronti digitali,
    l’Ufficiale ci disse che un mese e mezzo dopo al massimo il permesso sarebbe pronto.
    In fine Novembre 2014, il mio coniuge è stato convocato a partecipare al corso d’educazione
    civica e d’integrazione in data 15 Dicembre 2014, cosa che fece.

    In data 09 Gennaio 2015, chiamò il centrale al numero 055/49.771 per esporre la situazione.
    La Segretaria mi chiese d’inviare un fax al numero 055/49.77.062 spiegando la situazione,
    cosa fata. Non avendo ricevuto nessuna risposta la settimana seguente, mi rese alla questura
    con il mio coniuge il giono 16 Gennaio 2015. Dopo aver controllato la pratica, l’Ufficiale mi
    disse che tutto andava bene ma che ci fu un errore da parte loro per questo non avevamo
    ricevuto il messaggio di convocazione per ritirare il permesso di soggiorno in tempo.
    Cosi ci confermò che entro 10 -15 giorni avremo sicuramentericevuto il messaggio di convocazione.

    Ma purtroppo, dopo 3 settimane non avendo ricevuto il messaggio, ci siamo recati il 05
    Febbraio 2015 per la ennesima volta alla questura sperando di avere una risposta
    soddisfacente. Sfortunatamente, un’altro Ufficiale ci ha detto che la pratica è bloccata ma che
    non fosse in grado di dirci il perché, ma che potremmo ripassare la settimana prossima.
    Visto la situazione, vengo da lei per chiedere una risposta piacevole
    In attesa della vostra risposta, vi pongo i miei cordiali saluti.

  19. Hi everyone.. how can i renew my permesso di soggiorno before it expires? My problem is my soggiorno is for family reunification. Now I caught my wife cheating. And we broke up now. I am really depressed now however I would like to start my life in italy anew.. is it possible to renew my soggiorno even if me and my wife are already separated?

  20. Hey Georgette and everyone

    My question may sound a bit stupid but since its my first renewal I am a bit confused.
    My visa expired end of march but permesso is valid until end of june and I am currently in my home country.
    Do I need to apply for a new visa or can I enter using my existing permesso and then apply for the renewal there?


  21. Hey i just wanted to know if i travel to my home country or usa while holding a permesso di soggiorno and my permsso di soggiorno expires while im away and is it possible for me to extend permesso di soggiorno in italain consuate or embassy of that specific country or i must have to come back in italy in order to to renew my permesso di soggiorno i look forward to hear from you thanks

  22. Great info! Do you have a link for the permesso di sogiorno lavoro autonomo or list of requirements? Thank you!

  23. Hi,
    I m applying for permesso di lavoro subordinato. I have signed the contratto di soggiorno and sent the kit via poste and have my next appointment in questura tramite in 2 weeks. My question is I have got another more interesting offer and will tell my current company that I leave. Will my permesso application get blocked after the appointment of questura?

    Thank ou

  24. Hi there, I know this is a Florence help site, but for those folks in Rome a good heads up is that you will often find that NO Poste locations will have the kit that you need to get started with the epic journey that is the permesso di soggiorno renewal. After trying at 6 locations around Rome, I finally hit on the Poste near the Vatican (via di Porta Angelica 23). I’ve never had a problem with them having the kit (this is my third annual renewal), so if you go to a big Poste and they say “Boh?” when you ask when they will again have the kit in stock, head directly to this Poste.

    However, with that said, once you go to have Poste process your kit, be prepared for them to say they can’t because “the computers are down” (they aren’t), or “this desk closes in 5 minutes” (even when the hours say it’s open for at least another 90 minutes). The best Poste that I have found for accepting my kit and processing it with a minimum of fuss is the Poste in Monteverde Vecchio (via Maurizio Quadrio). The proximity to the American university means they’re used to dealing with permesso renewals. The line is often long, but it’s worth it.

    I hope this is helpful to someone. Have a great day!

  25. lost my permesso di soggiorno and going home for Christmas now the Swedish custom says produce in 10 days or ill be band from travel. How can I get a copy?

  26. Ciao,
    I a niyas a student os polimi.I wil be going to my country India on july and planing to come back in the middle of october but my permisso will end on sept 20 2016.Can i apply for a temperory permisso ?because even if i apply 3 months befor sept 20 il get it aftr i leave italy only..please help

  27. It is such a long hectic procedure! I wish I could speak fluent Italian though in order to communicate with people at the post office! I have a question though, can I travel in Europe before having my permisso soggiorno card? I tried asking but the communication was zero hahah.

    1. You can but just bring your receipt with you and identity card. I would avoid leaving the shenanigan zone (going to England etc).

  28. Hi Georgette. Congrats on the wedding; I enjoyed reading your posts about it and your honeymoon. I am due to renew my permesso this summer and know that there are new procedures. Do you happen to have a resource that outlines those procedures, as well as renewal costs (including the current cost of the marca di bollo)? I just read an article that said renewals cost less that the initial permesso, but the last time I renewed they charged me the full fee. Also, the new “digitizing” process has apparently caused the some issues. I just spoke to a gentleman who arrived at the Questura at 9:00 to get a number but they didn’t get to him at all that day. They recommended that people show up a 7:00 to get a number, then return at 9:00 when the doors open. I’ve been attempting to find current information but I haven’t yet found it! Thanks in advance.

    1. Hello Jacqueline, did you ever figure this out? I am trying to renew my as well, which expires in 3 weeks! I just got a new job with a contract so I haven’t been able to renew it until the very last min. If you got some useful information, will you post it here? Or Georgette, you as well, if you don’t mind.


      1. Hi Anne.

        I just talked to a friend who confirmed that one should arrive at 7:00 to get a number. She arrived at 7:30 and the line was already several blocks long. That is the only update I’ve been given other than it is taking up to 5 months to be issued a renewed permesso.


  29. I was just fingerprinted yesterday to complete my Permesso di Sigourno process. We are moving to Bologna for a year. The best advice we received from an Italian who worked at the Italian Immigration office was to go to a Patronato for assistance. It cost 15 euros, she filled out the form on the computer, as we spoke no Italian, she reviewed our required documents to assure we had everything, and she then gave us our completed packet to take to the local Post Office for submission. The Post Office man gave us our fingerprinting appointment times and that was it. It was the best 15 Euros spent for the Patronato.

  30. I’m an American citizen married to an Italian citizen and I’ve been living in Italy legally for almost six years. My problem, which I really can’t seem to get a handle on, is that in Sicily, they refuse to give and to even let me apply for the permesso di soggiorno CE (now UE) per lungo periodo. Both in Ragusa province and now in Messina province where I’m living, the questuras steadfastly refuse to do anything other than renew my current diploma-sized 5-year permesso per motivi familiare.

    Everything I read suggests that the normal thing is to be given one of these convenient cards. The EU permessos are supposed to be valid forms of ID even in other countries whereas the diploma-sized Italian ones are not. One is based in EU law, the other in Italian law. The EU permits are supposed to also entitle you to live and even work in other Schengen countries for certain limited periods, whereas the Italian one only entitles you to travel to a country in the company of your spouse.

    Anyway, these questuras are really incredible. We insisted that we be allowed to apply for the permesso CE/UE, and despite three hours of arguing, she basically submitted the application for a renewal of the visa I already have. The other day we were summoned to the questura here for our ‘rejection’ letter which doesn’t even reject the application for the CE/UE visa. Instead it says I fail to meet the requirement for the lavoro visa (one year continuous) work but that I am entitled to renew my current visa when the time comes and even get a 200-euro refund (no details given on how that is done).

    It seems clear they really just don’t want to process the application for these things. Even though I have every single criterion met from floor plans of apartment approved to income tax returns to you-name-it, they just don’t want to give it. The laugh is we moved here from Ragusa because they were so intransigent. Now I don’t know what to do.

  31. Hello, thank you for your post! I laughed at your PdS and Questura stories! I’m on a student visa in Turin which expires on 6 August 2016. My PdS expires on 11 August 2016., but I have an internship at another university for 3 months starting in September 2016 as a result of my studies! I’ve written to the Italian embassy in Australia, where I am from and they say I cannot extend my student visa from Italy and must return to Australia to apply for a new visa. But my friend here got advice that she can apply to review the PdS here in Italy, and remain in Italy on that – beyond the expiry of her student visa.
    So my question is: 1. can you renew your Permesso di Soggiorno to a period over which your visa is expired; and 2. can you remain in Italy on only the PdS but no Visa?

    So confused!
    Thank you so much.

  32. Hello, Jo. If I may interject a comment, this is what two students with whom I am acquainted were told by the Questura. The only way for students to extend their current visa while in Italy, and be able to renew their permesso di soggirono, is if they will be attending the same educational institution as the one for which the original visa was issued. In order to do that, the student must submit transcripts of the previous semester’s work indicating successful completion of their coursework and a copy of the new enrollment forms indicating that they have been accepted to attend that same university for the following semester, as well as evidence of the other various requirements (housing, insurance, finances, etc.). Otherwise, students must return to their home country and apply for a new visa for the new situation, even if they want to continue to study but at a different school. You can always go to the Questura in Turin and see if they can help you out; you never know!

    1. Jo, I meant to say in my first sentence that the Questura I made reference to is in Florence. Since you are in Turin, I suggest you talk to the Questura there.

  33. Hi Georgette,
    Thanks for all the helpful info you provide! I can’t tell you how often I visit your blog whenever I have a question about anything Florentine.
    You mentioned wanting to start a freelance contract. Did you ever end up obtaining a permesso for that? I’m asking because I started with a student visa, converted it to a work visa, and now I would like to switch jobs. I have been hired by a company, and was lucky enough for them to offer two options: one free-lance based, and another with set hours in the office. I am unsure if I am allowed to switch jobs without starting the process all over again!
    Thanks again for all your help throughout the years 🙂

    1. You are very welcome Ally, I appreciate you taking the time to say hello. I did get a permesso for that in the end for “lavoro autonomo” which is great. Now I am on a different visa (family-related since I got married to a EU citizen). I would inquire at the sportello informazione (you might need to look up the 2017 address) because Iìm not sure. You should be able to keep you permesso and change only if you are going from lavoro subordinate to lavoro autonomo, the autonomo requires a certain amount per year though so just make sure you are within the threshold. Hope that makes sense Ally!

Georgette Jupe

Welcome to my personal blog by a curious American girl living and working between Zug, Switzerland and Florence, Italy with my husband Nico, our newborn Annabelle and Ginger the beagle. This space is primarily to share about my love for Italy (currently on a 13 year romance) with a fair amount of real talk, practical advice, travel suggestions and adjusting to a new culture (Switzerland). Find me on IG @girlinflorence @girlinzug

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