Friday, December 3, 2010

Cirella Dreams on Permesso Renewal Day

Our November day trip to the Cirella Ruins--the part we didn't see the last time
Oh, what a beautiful Indian Summer November day it was!  I can still feel the sun on my face.  Yesterday, however, I spent the entire day organizing our documents for the Renewal of our Permesso di Soggiorno (Green Card).  It just lasts a year the first time, so we have to renew it 60 days before it expires in February. Of course, it wasn't issued in February, but that's a story from 
the past (which see). 

I promised to record these details because I remember how difficult it was for me to understand what to expect my first time at bat with the Italian bureaucracy (it's the Yankees of bureaucracy, believe, me--or since I was a public servant, I should say the Mets or the Cubs--suffice to say it's not good public service).  I tried Googling everything I could think of to get some information and the best info came from blogs, not governments.  I vowed when I started this blog that I would record what I can with the caveat that it only applies to Americans and other non-European Union immigrants who are retiring in Italy and not expecting to work. To refresh your memory, our permesso is called Elective Residence.  There is a slight difference in the application procedure for a renewal--but first you need the application.  The Scalea Post Office was out of the application packets and said they'd get some by Wednesday--this was in early November.  We now understand the Italian need not to disappoint (right away anyhow) so we knew better than to come back on Wednesday.  Sure enough, they still don't have any application packets in Scalea.  We traveled up North near Maratea (Lauria) to locate them.  It was fortunate that Doug came with me since they at first refused to give me two packets until I pointed to the "marito" sitting waiting for me.

It's time to distract you with more photos from our trip to the ruins in Cirella--since I didn't think you'd appreciate the inside of the Post Office in Scalea..


I filled out the applications yesterday.  The only differences when you are renewing your Permesso are that you mark "Rinnovo" for Renewal and you don't have to fill out the Visa section.  No more Visa.  You still need a valid Passport but your Visa gets you into the country and once you are in, you're in--as long as you keep getting permission to stay (Yes, you can leave the country as long as you have a valid Permesso, it's your ticket back in). There are also differences in what documents to include with a renewal.  Once you get your first Permesso, you apply for residency with the Comune or town hall.  You get a carta d'identica or identity card from the Comune and you request the certificates of residency and the "state" of the family (how many people are living with you) when you are ready to renew the Permesso. Your residency is only as good as your Permesso.  If your Permesso expires, you are dead (as far as residency is concerned, that is).
Here are the documents I included in the application:

  1. COPY of the PERMESSO about to EXPIRE
  8. TRANSLATIONS Explaining
  • Finances (letter from your financial planner or institution)
  • Health Care situation (letter stating your coverage)
  • Marriage Certificate 
We did not include our FBI report again as Italy in now in charge of our conduct.
I have never been certain that we need the health coverage info but it can't hurt  since it further shows financial independence which is the basis for this type of permesso. We just got our Italian health card here but that's a whole other procedure...Okay back to Cirella:

We brought the applications to the Post Office where the clerk who helped us last year was amazed at how short a time his work lasted.  I explained that this renewal should last two years.  We paid about 120 Euro total for the experience.
Our appointment in Cosenza is January 3 when they will fingerprint us again and hopefully not lose my file once more. Meanwhile, we will remember what it's all for and head for the beach, mountains or museums nearby.


  1. Hi guys; great photos, I particularly like the view from the antico villagio. Glad to see the sun; can hardly remember what un on bare skin is like since we are currently living with 0 and minus temperatures. Today the sun shone in a blue skies and despite the low temps I took my neighbours Labrador for a 5km walk which was absolutely brilliant. Dogs are such good company, although Dexter just would not let me have the ball at all - only twice allowed me to pick it up and throw it. Looking forward to heat in Jan/Feb, maybe Egypt. Have a great Xmas if we don't speak beforehand.


  2. Thanks, Helena. Good to hear from you and that you are going to the dogs.
    ha. We are off to Egypt in May. Merry Christmas.

  3. I went to get fingerprinted for my renewal and they wouldn't do it cause they said there was some problem and that they had to do a control. now i am freaking out!

  4. Not to worry. The system is seriously flawed and there are always problems. I have been twice this week to Paola to get the new permesso, Today, the card was there, but the chip in the back was not being read by the scanner, so they have to re-make it. Another month!!! Always get them to commit to a date you should return. Best, Doug



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