If you are an American planning to stay in Italy for an extended period of time, you are going to have to make it official. One of the ways to do this is to get either a permesso di soggiorno or a carta di soggiorno. Both of these documents allow you to move freely within Italy without having to worry about your tourist or other visa expiring. The only difference (that I have found) is that the permesso di soggiorno typically lasts one year before it has to be renewed, making it the typical choice for those who are in Italy for work reasons. The carta di soggiorno lasts five years, making it the better option for American citizens who are married to an Italian.
As you will know if you have read some of the other posts on this blog or the Facebook or Instagram pages that go with it, I married an Italian citizen. So, in order to stay in the country, I needed to get a "Carta Di Soggiorno Per I Familiari Del Cittadino Comunitario," which is a carta di soggiorno for a family member of an Italian citizen.
So, since I knew what I needed, it was easy to find out how to get it, right? Wrong. Just like with the atto notorio I had to get before we could get our marriage license, there were seemingly thousands of articles on the internet that all said different things and listed different requirements. This resulted in weeks of confusion, until finally, at long last, I got it all figured out.
I want to save you all that searching and wasted time, so I am going to get right to it without any further introduction. It should be noted that these are the requirements in Milan, so you may want to double check the website for the questura (police station) of the town you reside in to make sure they are the same.
Documents Required for Carta di Soggiorno for a Family Member of an Italian Citizen (translated)
- Previous/expiring permesso di soggiorno or carta di soggiorno (if you have one, otherwise you don't need it)
- Passport (make sure it's not expired)
- Copy of the photo/signature page of that passport
- 4 photographs in ID card format - These are photos of a specific size, which you can get by visiting a photographer, or by stopping in at a phototessera machine. You can usually find the latter in grocery stores or at train stations. My photos cost me five euros at an Esselunga store.
- Modulo 210 (completed)
- Marca da bollo amministrativa - These are 16€ a piece at the local tabaccheria.
- Official documentation that proves your relationship to your Italian family member - If you're married to them, this would consist of your marriage certificate. This should also have already been registered at the Comune (city hall) where you live so they can look it up.
- Copy of the ID card or passport of the Italian citizen you are related to.
- Certificate of residency of your spouse or family member - This is a document that proves that your spouse/relative lives in the zone you are in and provides a record of who lives with them, etc. They will have to get this at the Comune beforehand.
- Documentation attesting to the availability of funds - This should be a document proving your spouse's employment, along with a photocopy of a past paycheck. My husband also provided a copy of the deed to our apartment. It can also consist of proof of funds in your bank account, etc.
- Certificate of residency (your own) or Declaration of Hospitality (which says that your spouse is "hosting" you) - You get this at the Comune as well.
- Proof of the date of your entry into Italy - IMPORTANT: If you entered the Schengen Area in Italy directly and got a stamp on your passport in an Italian airport, you should be good to go. If you entered the European Union at a different location with a connecting flight and got a stamp there instead of Italy, you have to go to the questura within 8 days of your arrival and make a "declaration of presence." (I got into a bit of trouble for this, because I had a connecting flight to Milan from France and didn't know I had to go to the questura when I arrived in Italy. So, as always, my mistakes are your lessons!)
Once you have all of these things, you can make an appointment for the carta di soggiorno, but be warned that you may have to wait months to go to said appointment. But, as long as you have a receipt that says you made an appointment, you are safe to stay in the country as long as you keep it with you.
If you live in Milan, you can make an appointment for the carta di soggiorno via this online portal. No matter what city you are living in, you will have to go to the questura for the appointment, and to pick up the completed document if you have to come back for it at a later date (I did because the printer was broken on the day of my appointment).
Do you have a carta di soggiorno? What was your experience like at the questura? Let us know in the comments section! (If you want to read about my personal experience, you can do so here.)
Edit: It was recently brought to my attention that I forgot to add something very important to this post! After you have applied for the carta di soggiorno, an officer may come to your residence to make sure that you live there. The policemen we spoke with didn't seem to think this was a huge deal when I did it and no one ever came around to check if I was at my apartment, but it is a strong possibility!