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Registration and Residency

Italy - Registration and Residency

In accordance with EU directives, EU nationals and their families who wish to stay in Italy no longer require residency documents. They are entitled to remain in the country for up to 90 days as long as they have a valid travel document with photo-identity, such as a passport. A visa is not a requirement, although they are required to report their presence to the local police headquarters (questura), where they need to fill out a form, after which they will be handed a stamped receipt. The receipt may be shown to the police if and when requested.

Citizens of EU countries who intend to stay in Italy for more than 90 days are required to register with their local population registry office (anagrafe office) and submit proof of identity and evidence of employment. If unemployed, it is necessary to show sufficient financial resources and valid health insurance.

After staying in the country for three months, EU nationals are required to register for health care with the Italian Health Service in case of the following circumstances: if they are employed or self-employed in Italy, have a family member that is employed or self-employed in Italy, are a family member of an Italian national, have acquired a permanent residence certificate after staying in Italy for five years, are registered as unemployed or are attending a vocational course.

Non-EU nationals from certain countries such as USA, Canada, New Zealand and Australia do not need visas to enter and remain in Italy for up to three months for tourist purposes. These nationals need to, however, register with the local police headquarters (questura). They must do so within eight days of their arrival in Italy and apply for a permit to stay (permesso di soggiorno).

In order to remain in Italy for more than three months, a non-tourist visa is required, which can be applied for in one’s home country. Upon arrival in Italy, the same process of registering with the local police headquarters and applying for a permit to stay must be followed. A permit to stay may be granted for various reasons including studies, residence, work and family reasons. The type of permit must correlate with the intentions of the permit holder and also with the visa, if the applicant has one.

Some of the commonly issued stay permits include:

Permesso di Soggiorno per studio: student permit

Permesso di Soggiorno per dimora: applied to foreigners who intend to reside in Italy and do not plan to work

Permesso di Soggiorno per lavore: work permit for employees

Permesso di Soggiorno per lavoro autonomo/indipendente: for self-employed persons

Permesso di Soggiorno per coesione familiare: permit for the foreign spouse and children of an Italian citizen

While applying for a stay permit, further documentation may be required such as a declaration from a current or prospective employer for employed individuals; proof of registration with an employment center for unemployed persons and details of spouses and dependents in case of those who intend to stay in Italy for family reasons.

The permesso di soggiorno is processed in about three months and is valid for five years. The permit must be renewed at least a month in advance of the date of expiry. Non-EU citizens who intend to take up permanent residence in Italy may apply for permanent residency after the permit expires.

All nationals of non-EU member states are required to have private health insurance until they are eligible to obtain a certificate of permanent residency.

Useful resources

Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministerio degli Affari Esteri)
Tel: (+39) 06.3691. 8899
Email: ministero.affariesteri@cert.esteri.it

British Consulate General
Tel: +39 06 4220 2431
Email: Info.Consulate@fco.gov.uk

American Consulate General
Tel: +39 02 290351
Email: uscitizensmilan@state.gov

Read more about this country

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