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How to Get or Renew a Residence Permit in Italy – Permesso di Soggiorno

Living in Italy

Congratulations, you have made the decision to move to Italy!  One of the things you will have to become accustomed to in Italy is the red tape. Getting a residency card, Permesso di Soggiorno is one of the first things you will need.

Things to know about submitting your residence permit, Permesso di Soggiorno, application:

All non-EU citizens need to apply for a residence permit, Permesso di Soggiorno.

EU citizens do not need a residence permit, Permesso di Soggiorno. Eu citizens can get a residency card at the police station.

Applications for residence permits, Permesso di Soggiorno, cannot be made online. All applications and documents must be presented in person and reviewed by an officer of the post office or police. At the present, there is no online application service. However, after you have applied, you may  check the status of your case online.

To apply for residency, you must have a residence; a rent or buyers’ contract or a friend or family member who declares you are living with them. Hotels and temporary, self-catering apartments do not qualify. You do not need a resident card to rent an apartment.

The residence permit, Permesso di Soggiorno process is as follows:

Easy Milano tips for residence in Italy application:

In our opinion, it is best to go to the post office. Ask for the  yellow residence kit, (kit gialla per la residenza) which has a list of necessary documents and forms.  You can apply at the police station or with an authorized organization, but they will send you to the post office anyway to make the payments for the fees.

Filling out the paperwork: Use a black pen and WRITE IN BLOCK LETTERS or download the forms and fill out on your computer
MOD. 209 – Modulo 1 e Modulo 2

Do not seal the envelope when submitting the request, an officer will have to see and review all documents.

Make copies and double copies of everything.

See more Easy Milano tips and articles in our Expat Guide section.

For Non-EU Citizens

All non- EU citizens require a residence permit, Permesso di Soggiorno. After January 1, 2021 this also applies to U.K. citizens. U.K.  citizens who were already living in Italy before the EU withdrawal agreement have been recommended to get the new Electronic Residence Permit, Permesso di soggiorno electronico.

For EU Citizens

Rules for entry and stay for citizens of the European Union and their family members (legislative decree 6 February 2007, no. 30): EU citizens no longer require a residence card issued by the Police Headquarters (la Questura) for stays of less than three months. If you are staying longer than three months, registration with the Municipality is sufficient.

EU citizens who have submitted the application for a residency card before April 11, can register with the receipt issued by the Police Headquarters or the Italian Post Office and with self-certification of the requisites required by the new legislation.

Rules for relatives do not change. Any non-EU family members of an  EU citizen, will have to apply for the residency card.

Acceptable reasons for Residency in Italy

If you come from a country outside the European Union, go to a post office, municipality office and authorized offices to request the issue and renewal of the residence permit for the following reasons:

For each situation, you will be required to provide specific documentation. For example, for “Elective residence” you must demonstrate you can economically support yourself (proof of income or pension), for employment you will need to present a copy of your work contract. See list and requirements here. Authorities will also want to see that your visa request and residency request are the same.

For all other situations, contact the Police Headquarters (la Questura). If you have the authorization and ask for a residence permit for work or family to be issued, contact the Immigration Office.
If you are a foreign family member of an Italian citizen or a citizen of the European Union and you are applying for a residence card for a family member of an EU citizen (Carta di soggiorno per familiare di cittadino UE), you can choose to submit the application through the Post Office or directly at the Police Headquarters. 

If you are a citizen of the European Union, in line with the rules referring to entry and residence for citizens of the European Union and their family members (decreto legislativo 6 febbraio 2007, nr. 30), you no longer need a residence card issued by the Police Headquarters: for stays of less than three months, while for stays longer than three months, registration with the Municipality is sufficient, as is for an Italian citizen.

Apply at The Post Office

If you come from a country outside the European Union, use the free yellow kit (ask for the “kit gialla per la residenza”) that you find in all post offices and fill it in carefully following the instructions enclosed inside. The kit contains a list of documents you will need along with payment information for the application fees and required docuemtents:

Submit all required documents and payment receipts to a Postal officer, after the application has been submitted and your identity has been verified you will be issued a letter containing the date, time and place regarding the appointment to be handled at the Police Headquarters.

Sportello Amico (citizen and resident services)

The kit must be delivered in an open envelope to post office at Sportello Amico, the citizen and resident service counter at most post offices. If you are requesting a renewal, you must also provide a copy of the expired residence permit and you must show your passport. To find the post office nearest to you, insert your address to the search bar on the website.

Apply at the Municipality City Hall Or Other Authorized Organization

If you go to the Municipality city hall (il commune) or other authorized organization (such as ITAL UIL, ACLI, CAF, SIAS, ENAPA, INCA), you do not need the kit provided by the post office: qualified personnel will help you with procedures.  Assistance is free to complete the application, but payment for the application fees and stamp are made through the Post office.

Fees and Costs

All residence permit cards are now electronic.
The costs for the Electronic Residence Permit is:

Keep All Receipts and Copies

You will need to keep all receipts and the hologram code that is issued to you by the post office operator. For residence permit renewals, it must be attached to the expired permit.

Upon submission, the officer or assistant will issue an affidavit (lettera di convocazione) containing the information regarding your appointment at Police Headquarters (la Questura): the date, time and for further id and fingerprinting.

Check the Status

To check the status of your application, consult the website . Once  your electronic residence permit  is ready, you will receive the information necessary for collection from the Police Headquarters.

To find an office and make an appointment to collect your residence permit, go to 

Useful Numbers and Links

Tel. 803.160
To find post offices with Sportello Amico
The toll-free number is free, from landlines and mobile phones, and is active from Monday to Saturday from 8.00 to 20.00.

Tel. 800.200.309
Contact Center for information on the progress of your practice
The toll-free number is free, from landlines and mobile phones, and is active from Monday to Saturday from 8.00 to 20.00
Find a Post Office and FAQs about the application process
General information and requirements for immigration to Italy
Find a Police headquarters (Questura) closest to you, or check status of your (you will need case number)
Minister of Foreign Affairs provides general information about immigration and visas for Italy

Written by Anthony Ryan and Celia Abernethy for Easy Milano

Easy Milano makes an effort to provide accurate and updated information. Please refer to the correct agencies and offices for exact procedures and requirements, all links are provide in the article.
This article last updated: March 2, 2021.

For British citizens already living in Italy, you may be interested in reading:

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