About the Permesso di Soggiorno

What is the Permesso di Soggiorno?

  • The Permesso di Soggiorno is your permission to stay in Italy, legally.
  • It’s your official registration with the police/questura in your region.
  • It’s an identification formality & a physical ID card that you’ll need while staying/living/residing in Italy.


Terms which are  frequently used instead of “Permesso di Soggiorno”

Permission to Stay – Stay Permit – Residence Permit

Carta di Soggiorno (this is a different classification/identification.  The ‘Carta’ is for citizens versus foreigners aka ‘stranieri’)



  • Everyone is required to apply for a Permesso di Soggiorno – EU and Non-EU Citizens



  • It’s required that you submit your application for the Permesso di Soggiorno within 8 days of arriving in Italy.
    • As an EU citizen, you aren’t obligated to register with the Questura if your stay in Italy is less than 3 months/120 days.
    • Personal comment: I wouldn’t go to extremes to attempt to submit the application within 8 days if you have other necessary priorities to take care of.  If you submit it within first couple of weeks, you should be fine.   I know when I arrived, my head was spinning.  I needed to find a market for the basics, get internet connection and honestly, I didn’t know what the process was.  It was all very unclear when I arrived.  So – don’t freak out, but you do need to do this very soon after your arrival.


  • Step 1: Poste Italiane (Post Office – submitting the ‘Kit’) and
  • Step 2: Questura Appointment (formalization of application: acceptance/rejection, fingerprinting, a brief interview)
  • When you turn-in your application at the Poste Italiano (Post Office), you will receive an appointment date & time to meet with the Questura (Police Headquarters)



  • Because it is the law!
  • It is possible to get fined or extradited if you are caught in Italy without your Permesso.