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[HowTo] 2: Permesso di Soggiorno

Updated: Apr 19, 2021

How to apply for a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno) in Italy?


Bear in mind that in order to apply for a permesso di soggiorno, you should already have obtained your codice fiscale (we explained here how to get one).

No matter what visa you have, you must apply for a Permesso di Soggiorno.

The "residence permit" mechanism in Italy is a little bit complicated and a little bit slow but it works. From the first step to the last, there are only two authorities which are involved. These are the Ufficio Postale (en. post office) and as you may guess, the Questura (en. police station). The first step of your application will be carried out by the post office. Post offices are authorized to receive your application and set you an appointment at the police station. Due to a large number of applications, these appointments might be 2 to 3 months ahead of the day in which you present your application to the post office. At the police station, they will check your documents further, get your fingerprints and you're almost there. You will need to attend an SMS from the police station, which will give you another appointment to pick up your residence permit.

So step by step this is how it goes:

1) Go to the post office and ask for a "Kit for Permesso di Soggiorno".

2) Fill the form with required info and add necessary documents.

3) Go back to the post office & apply. Post office will fix you an appointment and give you a receipt with the date/time and the address of the police station where your appointment will take place.

4) Go to that police station on the stated date and time. Bring the receipt too.

5) Wait for your SMS.

6) Go back to the police station to pick up your card.

Let's get into details.

Post Office

First thing you need to do is to go to a post office (it. ufficio postale) and request a "kit". The kit is sometimes difficult to find, therefore it is better if you go to post offices close to the center (i.e. Cordusio). The "kit" consists of 2 booklets that require the applicant to indicate all their personal information and reasons for staying in Italy (academic, work, family etc.).You will fill one of them, depending the type of residence permit for which you'll be applying for.

Once you fill the form, you will need to add documents next to it. For example, if you're a student, you will need to add an official student certificate given to you by your academic institution. Apart from this, add a photocopy of every page of your passport which has a stamp or visa on it. Lastly, you will need to go to a "Tabaccheria" (en. tobacco shop) and get a stamp called "Marca da Bollo". There are different types of marca da bollo, ask for the €16 one. Now that you have everything, you can go back to the post office. Bear in mind that you need to have the original documents with you although you don't have to put them into your kit.

When you're at the post office you will need to pay the required fees:

1.) The fee you are going to pay to start the procedure may vary from €40 to €100 depending of the length of the residence permit you are applying for. 40-€100 for the permesso kit processing. It is €40 for residence permits for more than 3 months, up to one year; €50 for residence permits of more than one year, up to two years; €100 for long-term EU residence permits and for those reserved for specialized workers and executives. (this payment will be directed to the State itself.)

2.) €30 for the Assicurata Postale (this payment will be directed to the Immigration Office)

3.) €30.46 for electronic permesso di soggiorno (this payment is for the card itself)

We suggest you to bring cash or a debit card to pay as some post offices do not accept foreign credit cards.

Now that you have everything, the postal worker will review your kit, along with your passport and all your information, and proceed with setting up your appointment at the Questura (police station).

At the end of this procedure, you will receive a couple of receipts usually attached to each other, which will contain a barcode on it with the details of the appointment at the Questura to be finger-printed. Do not lose any of these as you will need them at the questura.

As stated above, usually this appointment is being given to dates which are 2/3 months ahead. In case your visa expires while you're waiting for your appointment, you can travel to your country and come back by showing these papers at the border. Unfortunately in this period, if you don't have any other visa, you cannot travel within the EU member states.


To the police station, you need to bring the originals of the documents you have submitted in the kit (see above), the receipts you received from the post office, a bank transcript to your name with a minimum of €6000 of funds, and a health insurance paper which will cover the period which you are applying for.

Foreigner banks and foreigner insurance companies are accepted, as long as the documents are clearly stating the requested information and in English or Italian.

Now wait for the SMS you will receive to the phone number you wrote in the kit. You will be given a new appointment to receive your card.

Let us know if you have any further questions.


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