Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Renewing the Permesso di Soggiorno

The following is a continuation of these two posts.

Last week I went to the Patronato, an Italian government organization that is supposed to be able to answer people's questions about permessi di soggiorno. When I got there, I told the man at the entrance that I had some questions, and he told me to go to the 5th floor and talk to "Flo" (not her real name). When I got to Flo's office, she asked if I had an appointment. I said no, and she told me to wait. I waited for about 40 mins -- I had learned by this time to bring a book in anticipation of things like this -- until some other people, presumably with an appointment, came in. Then Flo said that maybe I should make an appointment, to which I agreed. She said to come back at 11 on Monday. So I went back at 11 on Monday, and the same man at the entrance said Flo wasn't there, and that she was supposed to be in around 1. So I went back at 1, and several people who were leaving for lunch said the office closed at 1. The entrance man said I should go wait on the 5th floor for Flo. When I got there, the man with whom Flo shares an office thought it would be better if I made a new appointment, so I left my name and number, and he said she would call me that afternoon. Then I decided to try the post office. The woman there was able to answer all my questions. Not surprisingly, Flo did not call me that afternoon.

Today I applied to renew my permesso di soggiorno. Under a new system, the post office gives you your first questura appointment date when you give them your application package, instead of having to wait for the questura to mail you a letter. So far it appears they have shaved eight months off the process. If the second questura appointment date isn't significantly longer than three months after the first, this will be a pretty big improvement.

I should also note that the woman at the post office, and definitely not the man who was doing her job in the morning shift, was one of the nicest people I've encountered at an Italian government organization or store (assuming she wasn't giving me bad information). The only other person I can think of who deserves credit is the guy at the Intesa Sanpaolo bank on via della villa Demidoff, who spent a long time trying to help me, and then I didn't end up getting an account there because accounts for foreigners were way too expensive.

2 comments:

Arista said...

I like that "Flo" was not her real name. Are you changing names to protect her identity in case she was determined to be Italy's Slowest Bureaucrat? (Possibly also a superlative in Italy.) :)

Kristen said...

Haha, now THAT would be a competition.