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Guidelines for Residency in Italy

How to obtain a Permit to Stay
How to obtain a Permit to Stay

Moving to Italy: Guidelines for Residency in Italy


Before moving to Italy it's important to have residency guidelines well clear in mind


Note: If you  like to discuss Moving to Italy please use the forum at or our Facebook page.


The following are guidelines ONLY, not legal advice. We are not lawyers. All information on this site is believed to be accurate, and we strive to correct errors and keep information current. Please notify us if you believe any information to be incorrect or out-of-date. However, we disclaim liability for any errors or omissions, and we will not be held responsible for any direct, indirect, or consequential damages resulting from anyone's reliance on or use of the information on this web site.



Italian law requires all civilians who enter Italy, except European Union citizens, to obtain visas prior to their entry into Italy. This law does not require active duty service members to have visas. Civilians who are visiting Italy for less than 90 days as tourists do not need one of these types of visas. Italian government officials will send those without proper documentation required by Italian Law back to their country of origin at their own expense.


What type of Visa do I need?

Members of the U.S. civilian component and U.S. contract workers who are pending orders to Italy must obtain visas for work purposes ("visto per motivo di lavoro") prior to coming to Italy. Family members of the U.S. military or civilian component and dependents of U.S. contract workers must obtain visas for family purposes ("visto per motivi di famiglia") prior to coming to Italy.


Obtaining your Visa

For a listing of the Italian Consulate Offices, try their web site at .

Sojourner's Permit - Permit to Stay ( Permesso di soggiorno) / Residency:

Procedure for obtaining residency in Italy for non EU Citizens:


1. From the consulate/or Italian Embassy, ask for residency visa (un visto per dimora) before coming to Italy. You will need : copy of acquisition or rental contract - proof of financial security in Italy (example: a bank statement with at least 5000 Euros) - copy of your passport. 

2. You will need to acquire a 'permesso di soggiorno' (permission to stay)  from the Italian police headquarters: copy of acquisition (rental) deed - copy of passport - proof of financial security in Italy (example a bank statement with at least 5000 Euros).

3. Go to the town hall (comune) and ask for a residency permit (permesso di residenza) You will need: 'permesso di soggiorno' (permission to stay from step 2) - copy of passport - original birth certificate (translated and legalized by an Italian consulate or Embassy). 


You can reside in Italy if:

1) you have a passport or an equivalent document;

2) you have an entry visa;

3) you entered the country legally through a border crossing;

4) you have a permit of stay or a residency card (these are the two documents that prove legal residency in Italy) issued by the relevant Italian authority, or a permit of stay or equivalent issued and authorised by a member State of the European Union.

Important: in general, while in Italy, one should always be able to demonstrate, with valid documents, the following three things:

1) the reasons for and conditions relevant to residency;

2) the means of financial support;

3) that such financial means are sufficient for the length of your stay and for the return in one's home country.

For this reason, it is appropriate that you carry with you at all times your passport and your permit of stay or card, so that you can furnish them should you be asked to do so by the Police or any other public authority.

Furthermore, if you have a permit of stay and reside in Italy, you can enrol in the General Registry Office and obtain an identity card that is valid for the length of the permit of stay. You can also obtain your tax identification number (Codice Fiscale). This tax identification number is alphanumeric, that is, it contains alphabetical letters and numbers, with which the Ministry of Finance identifies you. Everyone has his/her own tax identification number.

After obtaining your permit of stay you must apply for your tax identification number at any local office of the Ministry of Finance - Internal Revenue Office.

With your tax number, you can:

- enroll in the National Health Service;
- be hired for dependent work;
- begin your own self-employed activity;
- sign any type of contract (e.g. house rental, sale etc.);
- open up a bank account;
- and much more.


The different kinds of permit of stay:

You may request a permit of stay for the following reasons: tourism, medical treatment, reuniting a family, contracted work, seasonal work, theatrical or artist work, free-lance work, political refugees, business, missions, vocational studies, religious and social protection.

More on the Permit to Stay.

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