Adventures in getting a permit of stay in Italy

Before you know it, 5 years has already passed since I migrated in Rome. It doesn’t feel that long ago though.

Comparing myself from 5 years ago, a lot has changed and I guess that I’m settling down well – although there are a lot of things that I planned but didn’t materialise. On the other hand, there are a lot of things that  wasn’t in my original life goal but I managed to reach anyway.

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One thing about living in Rome is that you’d need a ‘Permesso di Soggiorno’. This is a permit of stay which lasts for 5 years after which you will be eligible for the ‘Carta Di Soggiorno’ which lasts indefinitely. So Cart and I went to the ‘Questura’ or the Police Headquarters to get my new Carta late last year. Unfortunately, due to their misunderstanding with my passport, I had to go to the Singapore consulate to have them declare that my first name and last name is so and so.

Apparently, in the Italian system, they have a code where their passport will be printed as Lastname<Firstname. Mine was printed in inverse as Firstname<Lastname.

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At first I thought that it was a universal code and I was indignant that my passport was printed wrongly. But it was only later that every country prints them differently. Especially with a lot of different people having different naming systems.

Armed with all the documents needed ready at hand – the bollo, the ID pictures, the lo stato di famiglia (which we had to do in the municipio in another location), we went back to the Questura…

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where we found out that because of the mess with the passport, I’d have to get another 5 year Permesso di Soggiorno anyway and only get my permanent card in 2020!

It’s not a big deal, because it’ll not affect me in my Italian residency, it’s just that it’s such a hassle going to the questura which is a distance from where we live, and it’s a depressing place – crowded, full of crying, screaming children and many times there’s tension in the air with people arguing with the clerks behind the counter.

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I don’t know if I could mentally handle it by myself if Cart wasn’t with me. I felt kind of bad for the people who had to go through all these, and I think that there should be an easier and clearer way for all these bureaucracy.

And after waiting for hours, I had my hand and finger prints and was done and have to come back again in a week’s time to collect my new Permesso.

I kept telling Cart that I think it’ll be much easier for him if he married an Italian lady and thanked him for taking the days off to accompany me, saying that he’s been really kind.

Cart : No, I’m actually being selfish

Me : Selfish? Why?

Cart : I want you to stay here, so I’m doing all what I can to keep you here

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Aww! Cart may not be a poet, but that was sort of romantic.

5 thoughts on “Adventures in getting a permit of stay in Italy”

  1. Lucky Marina! It is very heart warming to hear those words coming from yr husband.
    I share the same feeling as u whenever i was at the Questura. Anyway the 5 yr permesso is no different from the carta. Stay strong when u hv to return in 2020!

  2. I had a passport problem too with my name when I was in the US! The immigration called me back to say I had written my first and last names in the wrong boxes and then asked me to get my passport details changed before I made another trip to the States. Of course I never did that because back then I didn’t understand what the problem was. Now we know this name thing could bring a lot of inconveniences. I wonder if ICA here is aware of this problem. I recently studied some passports of my colleagues (Singaporeans and expats) and their names and particulars on the codes are in the correct order. Even the Chinese colleagues have them in the correct order! But not for the Malays. Hmmmm! This makes me wonder!! Anyway, thanks for sharing this. I think when I find the time, I will join the long queue at ICA and hopefully they will hear my problem and make things right.

    1. We had to go to the consulate in Rome to have them confirm my first name and last name with an official chop. Even then the Italian bureaucrats here say that it’s not enough and we have to go to an ITALIAN firm to have it officially stamped … I’m loss for words.

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