Friday, May 29, 2009

The Dread Permesso di Soggiorno

I'll add my permesso di soggiorno story (as it is so far) to the stockpile.

You need this to stay in Italy longer than eight days. That's a joke, though, because it takes about a year to actually get. First you obtain a packet from the post office -- one of the post offices that knows what you're talking about -- and then you send the application and various other materials to Rome and pay about 90 euros to do so. Then you receive a letter telling you when, 6 months from now, you are to report to the questura (police station) for fingerprinting. You go to the questura as early in the morning as possible, because the appointment time listed on your letter is meaningless. When I went, I was about the 230th person to arrive that day...at 7:50am (the employees start working around 8:15). I waited for about 2 hours, and, when my number was called, I received another number (the real number). Then I waited another 6 hours, during which time they closed for lunch for an hour. Then, when my number was called again, for a reason no one can explain, I was given another number. About an hour later, I was told that I would have to return the following morning, but that I could go directly to a certain window without a number (like they were doing me a favor by making me wait all day and then interfering with my life further by making me come back the next day). So I returned, waited for about an hour, and the guy who appeared at the window asked me why they hadn't dealt with me the previous day. The Italians I've dealt with always assume it's your fault. It took less than 10 minutes once he started helping me, and then he gave me a letter that he didn't sign containing a date to return, three months later, to receive the actual permesso di soggiorno. I'm not optimistic about the upcoming experience. I should also mention that they processed about 2 people an hour in the morning, and about 6 in the afternoon, with fewer employees.

1 comment:

linda said...

What a delightful story! Like very dry wine.