It’s that time again. Time for permesso di soggiorno renewal! Guys, I can’t tell you how many times I have been to the questura in my life. I’ve stopped counting. Last month I think I completed my permesso di soggiorno kit renewal in record time. Less than 24 hours and I had that sucker sent off at the post office. PRO!
If you have no idea what I’m talking about because you’ve never applied for a permesso di soggiorno, then you don’t what you’re missing! You can learn more about this permesso thingy here and here and here.
So yes, it’s been one year since I’ve had my ‘permesso di soggiorno per lavoro’ (permit of stay card for work) and I’m pretty darn proud of it. It took me nearly two and half years to convert my study permit card into one for work. Now it’s time to renew my permesso di soggiorno work card and as always, I’ll be documenting my experience here because, my friends, in this chaotic, confusing and disorganized world called Italy, we can all learn from each other.
From what I understand you have to renew your permesso di soggiorno once after the first year, then you can wait two years before renewing again, and then three years. After that you can apply for a ‘carta di soggiorno’ which lasts for 5 years, and THEN you get the big whammy prize – cittadinanza italiana – Italian citizenship. 8) :thumbsup:
But don’t let me get ahead of myself. I’m only on my first year renewal. Doh!
So far, the renewal process has gone like this…
How to Renew a Permesso di Soggiorno (and Survive the Questura of Genoa)
1. Picked up my permesso di soggiorno kit (a series of forms) from the Sportello Amico at my local post office.
2. Completed all forms, purchased a Marca di Bollo for 16 euro (the price has increased from 14 to 16, despite what the application says), and gathered work contract forms.
double quadruple photo copies of all documents, including passport, permesso di soggiorno card and work contract forms. Became best buddies with the guy at Buffetti who fell in love with the beauty of my American passport for reasons unknown to me. It’s just a bunch of paper???
4. Returned to the post office, only to face the cheeriest woman in all of Genoa who clearly was counting down the minutes to her ‘ferragosto’ vacation. Shelled out 150 euros (cash only accpeted, had to withdraw money from the post office ATM and pay a bank fee) to renew my card and send my application.
5. Post Office Lady gave me my receipt and appointment time at the questura (set for more than one month later). Then she barely even mustered up enough energy to mutter an ‘arrivederci’ as I skipped my way out of the door desperate for fresh air and happy to have got THAT part done with.
6. Enjoyed one blissful month of vacation and not thinking about anything related to my permesso! Yippee!
7. September 22nd 10:23 – Stumbled my way out to search for the Questura of Genoa, which apparently is located under a very dark, filth and mold covered parking garage and the infamous ‘sopraelevata’ (an overpass highway that while cuts the traffic time in half, also creates a massive blot on the Ligurian landscape).
8. Showed the hottest carabineri (police) guy I HAVE EVER SEEN that I had an appointment at 10:58. Hot Carabineri told to wait in the room down the hall.
9. Sat waiting in a blue plastic chair under fluorescent lighting in what seemed like an old classroom, minus the glass cubicle offices where disgruntled government workers sit stamping papers and typing data into machines like robots.
10. After 45 minutes, my name is finally called “DOV-LING, SAD-AH”. I jump up and to say HERE! IT’S ME! THAT’S ME! only to be told to sit back down again and wait until she calls me again. Sigh.
11. Finally, the disgruntled questura woman calls me from her cubicle “VENGA!” (COME!).
12. Disgruntled Questura Woman (DQW) takes my papers and starts typing. Click click click. I try to make some small talk by asking her about the African masks she has decorated on her wall. “Sono i tuoi?” (Are they yours?), I ask. “Si. Li ho preso in vacanza” (Yes I got them on vacation), she responded with not even the hint of a smile. Damn this woman was hard to crack.
13. DQW asks me for my old passport, which I don’t have with me because it’s not even valid anymore and the study visa inside is not even relavant to the permesso I have now which is for work. I ask her if I can call my boyfriend to ask for the informaiton, but she just shirks and asks me whichs city I flew into.
14. Next DQW asks why my passport says I was born in “GEORGIA, U.S.A.” and my permesso says “ATLANTA, U.S.A.”. I try to explain to her that Georgia is a state, and that I was born in the city of Atlanta which is in Georgia. She doesn’t seemed satisfied because they don’t match. I tell her that I had to renew my passport in Italy so maybe someone at the USA Embassy in Florence got confused. She starts typing again.
15. DQW looks at my 4 small passport sized photos required for the permesso renewal and asks me if I have other photos. I say no because, hey isn’t 4 enough? She just shakes her head saying, “Ma no….questi non vanno bene…sono chiarissimi” (these won’t do, they’re too light). When I tell her that I had them done in the passport photo machine in Italy and that, well, I’m a very pale person, she gives a tiny chuckle before it fades away as she focuses again on the finishing my application and getting rid of me.
16. Before she lets me go, she takes my fingerprints and gives me a half piece of paper with the information on how to check if my permesso is ready, warning me to bring my old passport with me the next time. Then she looks up and calls the next name.
And that my friends, is what has happened so far regarding the infamous permesso di soggiorno. I still have to wait until the card is ready to go pick it up, at which point I will be fully free of my questura visits for the next two years. I’ll be updating this page if there are any changes or wacko things I feel you should know about.
Until then, godspeed to the rest of you permesso di soggiorno seekers and holders. May the FORZA be with you!