Article written by Mariam Devadze

In my previous article I talked about/referred to the terrifying Italian bureaucracy and how all fellow non-EU students like myself have to get a visa and a permit of stay to be able to study and live in Italy.

Here, I will briefly describe how to apply for the permit of stay and some tips, coming form a personal experience.

Steps in applying for the permit of stay in Italy
What you need to do is:

1.Go to the post office located in your city, and press letter “F” on the ticket machine, wait until your “F” number is called, and ask for the “Kit di Permesso di Soggiorno”. They will give you a large envelope.

2.Fill out the paperworkin the envelope with basic information about yourself. Leave the pages that refer to working or bringing your family abroad blank. I would also advise you to still Google how to fill in the forms, there are many useful videos and articles on how to do it, as you might be confused what to fill and what to not.

3. Buy a “Marca da Bollo” (stamp) from any Tobacco Shop, they are all around the city. They cost around 16 euros. Stick it onthe first page of “Modulo 1” inside your Permesso Kit. (There’s a rectangular outline at the top of the page)

4.Next time at the post office, bring your passport, money for the application (it was approximately 60 euros when I did it), and the unsealed,completed kitback to the post office with the following additional documents inside (possibly both originals and photocopies):

  • A photocopyof the visa page and photo page of your passport.
  • A photocopyof proof of financial security. This can be the same proof you used when you applied for your visa.
  • A photocopyof the official enrollment letter from your school or university with the stamp from the Italian consulate
  • A photocopyof proof of medical insurance, the receipt you got from applying for the insurance can be used.

5. Upon verifying all documents in your completed Kit, the post office will give you apiece of paper with the date and time of yourappointment at the Police headquarters, where you will receive your official Permit of Stay card. The appointment is usually for at least one month after your date of application or even later, depends how busy your police headquarters are.

Photocopy both papers and keep them safe all the time:you will need photocopies on many occasions!

Appointment at the Italian Police headquarters
During the appointment, make sure to bring 4 passport size pictures and, of course, the receipt you received before with the document where the date of the appointment is written. You should also bring any other documentation you used for your visa. I brought with me everything I had with their multiple photocopies.

1.Try to get to the appointment earlier.,

2.Once you enter, provide the staff the paper that you brought for the appointment, and be prepared to wait for a very long time!

3.Listen carefully they might call your name, and be organized with your documents, keep them in the order.

4.You will receive a message when your Permesso is ready or can also track it online.

5.Then just go to the same police headquarters with your ID and get the long awaited permesso. Make sure you check the working time of the place, or otherwise you will end up going there many times because you missed the first appointment (not talking from a personal experience at all).

At the end, when you get your card, you realize that this all was worth it and actually it was not as difficult as it might have sounded in the beginning and that this one card gives you an opportunity to travel around Europe!