25 May 2006

Permesso di Soggiorno

Saturday we started the process of obtaining our “permesso di soggiorno” (PdiS) or “resident permit”. This document is issued by the Italian immigration office and is what allows us to stay in Italy. With a US passport you can be in Italy for 90 days during a 180 day period, longer than the 90 days requires a PdiS. To get the PdiS you need to obtain a visa from the Italian consulate in your home country (for us the US).

Fortunately our friends from Rome were with us as we went to the immigration office and police station to start this process and they were able to communicate for us with the local officials. Once we started this process we realized what a blessing it was to have our friends with us as our Italian language skills would not allow us to communicate with these officials at the level we would need. There is not a large non-Italian speaking contingent of foreigners in the Anzio area as there are in the more popular tourist areas in Italy.

The office gave us a list of 4 items for each of us that we needed to obtain the PdiS: 5 passport photos, 2 copies of our passport, 2 copies of our visa, 16,49 in Euro stamps and a copy of our registration document. The registration document is a form that we obtained at an office supply store and our friends had to fill out as we were staying at their home. We then went back and be submitted this form to the police to the police. Unfortunately by the time we did that the immigration office was closed for the day.

On Monday we went back to the immigration office with all of the requested documents and we were waiting in line before the office opened at 9:00AM with about 10 other people of various nationalities. The doors opened promptly at 9:00 and everyone piled in and formed lines at their appropriate window as there were windows for the PdiS, renewing a PdiS and for Italians to obtain a passport. The same immigration officer that we talked to on Saturday was at the PdiS window and within 15 minutes it was our turn at the window and he took our paperwork and signaled for us to wait. We waited for over an hour before we were called into his office.

Once at the officer’s desk he asked us a couple questions (city of birth weight, height, local phone number) and printed out the appropriate forms on his computer and had us review and sign the PdiS applications. He then attached our photos to the application, signed and stamped it and gave us the bottom ¼ as our temporary PdiS.

We were then taken into another room where they did fingerprints of both hands as well as full hand prints, noted our eye and hair color and any other identifying marks. After 2 ½ hours we were finished and had our temporary 1 year PdiS in hand. The officer advised it would be 2-3 months before we received our PdiS cards.

Now we are here in Italia for a year.


Jane said...

Bryan and Valerie, this is so exciting. What a great feeling it must be to be there and experience the result of faith. Wish we were in your shoes right now but it will be soon--2 more months. Can't wait to hear more.

Anonymous said...

Ahh..you are finally home. It must be a great feeling. Now for the fun stuff!