Friday, November 27, 2009

Faith in the Universe--Moving to Italy from the USA

The Visa, Dog, Permesso, Carta d'identita, Drivers License, just to name a few of the visions dancing in my head when I really want 
to be thinking about what plants I'd like on my terrace. Before I go on, I'd like to say that I know our biggest audience so far are 
Brits...and you folks, believe me, have it easier when it comes to The Process. What follows would only translate perfectly for 
Americans, and I fear, for Americans from Oregon who are retiring with a pension
or are independently wealthy enough not to have to work while living in Italy.

Now why do I say that?  Well, for one thing I have read what others have needed to get their Visa for an Elective Residence from the Italian Consulate.  It appears that some consulates are easier to deal with than others.  We are assigned the one in San Francisco.  Apparently they are known for being helpful and friendly.
In addition, we can apply from Portland at our vice-counsel's office rather than having to make a trip to
the Golden Gate. So here is what we know about the first step in the process of moving to Italy permanently as a pensioners:

1) You need a Visa to enter, but that's just to enter. You do the rest in Italy. However you DO need the Visa for an Elective Residence.  
Here is the website where you begin your fun: 
List of Italian Consulates in US This is our list of documents we have included in our package.  
Be aware that they ask for more than they list on the Visa Application:
Finished but unsigned (you sign it at the consulate) Visa Application. Married? Still two applications (and fees).
Self-addressed pre-paid envelope from USPS Express Mail to return your passport with the Visa stamped therein. Cashier's Check for the FEE (103.50 right now--it changes with the value of the Euro so you have to check on the consulate web-page.)
Detailed financial statement letter from your bank or financial institution explaining your solvency and complete lack of need of work while in Italy.
An equally confident letter stating where you will live. We have the purchase papers for our Italian home as proof.
You could also include a letter from a friend or landlord stating that you have a home with them.  There is a special form for that.
An FBI background check. You get fingerprints forms at the local police station and send them to the FBI. They are good about getting back when you need it.  I have to edit this--we used the old background check to renew the visa because if we didn't have a record for 50 years, it seems unlikely we will become criminals in our old age---BUT we did reapply for the background check in case it's not acceptable and it seems to be taking the full 10 weeks regardless of our request for much for kindness and efficiency.
An official Itinerary for plane tickets showing when you are planning to enter--(what you get off of the website when you pay for tickets).
I also have copies of our health insurance cards and copies of our codice fiscale (but I have never been clear that we really need these).

We did manage to get a visa a year ago with this information. Unfortunately, it expired and you can't extend them. They must be redone 
AFTER they expire.

I don't like posts without photos--so the only photos that seem appropriate for this post are our passports photos:

I know this information will be of value for someone out there.  It took us an ungodly amount of time to compile for us.  Our appointment is December 16 so I can't tell you anymore until it happens (trusting in the Universe that it will). Update: the Visas arrived on January 12, 2010 to our great happiness and relief.


  1. Great Blog! Good to see and sort of experience what your going thru (somewhat). This has to be exciting! I'll be following.
    Best of Luck,
    Rick Ragan

  2. Thanks Rick. I see you found the comment place!

  3. Hi Diana and Guido !

    Nice to meet you ! I found you through your link to my blog. Thanks for that. I will come and visit your blog to see the progress.
    I hope you have a heater for winter time...
    So long
    Suzie from Palazzo Pizzo

    PS: I love Oregon !!!!

  4. Yes, we have a heater, but it's a funny one! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Mike here...

    Nice photos, guys.

    Tell me...what is it like to be Mirandized?


  6. Hey, Mike,

    Sorry no happy faces on this site. They are banned. Thanks for stopping by.

  7. Hey,
    Thanks and thanks for the happy face---jeez

  8. I am very happy to find your blog. My husband and I are talking of spending some retirement time in Italy. Your information will help validate what I have been reading on the web.

  9. Elaine,
    Good luck on your quest. It will be worth it.



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