What is a Soggiorno?Posted: 02/28/2011
As you in-process, you must apply for a Soggiorno. What is this Soggiorno? Why is it important?
Permesso di Soggiorno is the actual title of the Soggiorno. This translates as permit to stay. The Italian government requires anyone who stays longer than 3 months and is not a citizen of a European Union country to apply for a permit. DOD Civilians and adult military dependents must have this permit. An adult’s permit includes his or her children under the age of 14, so it is not necessary for young children to have one.
If you don’t have a Soggiorno and stay longer than ninety days, the Italian government can send you packing back to the United States.
According to the USAG Vicenza website, you will need the following documentation to apply for a Soggiorno:
- Your passport (which can not expire within the next 6 months and must have the Italian Visa page)
- 4 Passport-type photos of each family member, even the children
- Copy of orders (just like everyone else on post!)
- A registered copy of your lease or memo if living in government quarters
- ID Cards
- Birth Certificates for children
A couple of things caused us to delay completing our Soggiorno applications.
The first was easy to correct. Our ID cards had the same expiration date our cards from the U.S. We had to go back to the ID Card Center, get new ID cards that expired on our DEROS date (the date we leave Italy). We would not have had to get new ID cards, but if we hadn’t we’d have had to get a new Soggiorno when they expired. Who needed the hassle!
The second thing we had trouble with was getting our landlord to register the lease. He does not live in our town and never got around to registering the lease. It took a bit of time to get the lease with the official stamp from him.
Once we turned in all the paperwork, we waited for the Soggiorno office to contact us for fingerprinting. It took a couple of weeks, but the fingerprinting appointment was easy, if a bit messy! No digital fingerprint scanners here, just the old-fashioned ink pad and roller!
The people at the office warned that it could take up to 90 days to receive our actual Soggiorno, so we needed to have the receipt for proof that we’d been approved.
In what I’m pretty sure was the fastest turn-around time ever, I was fingerprinted on a Thursday afternoon and received a call on Monday morning to pick up my Soggiorno. Oddly enough, it took about 2 more weeks for my husband to receive his Soggiorno, although he was actually ahead of me in line. One never knows the mystery of the Italian bureaucracy!
DISCLAIMER: I am definitely not a legal expert and you definitely should consult one if you have questions!