Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Immigration update

It's been a while since I've updated everyone on how our immigration process is going. The last time I posted I think we were still waiting for Josh's work visa to come through. That was processed in April (yay!) and since then I have applied for a permisso di soggiorno (permit to stay). Since I'm here because of my marital status (and not for a job), I have to wait until Josh's documents are complete before I can submit my paperwork. Today, I was finally able to go in for my permit to stay!! This has been a long time coming...

Originally I started the process for my permit of stay back in mid-May. Without this paperwork, I would have had to go back to the US when my tourist visa expired (after three months). Since submitting the original paperwork in May, I've been waiting until recently to finish it. Last week I had an appointment at the local police station to do finger prints and finalize everything.... Well, as it turned out, I couldn't finalize everything at that time because Josh hadn't picked up his permisso di soggiorno yet. Apparently he had to have his activated before I can finalize my paperwork. So... after a morning at the police station we had to make another appointment for today.

Josh picked up his permisso di soggiorno yesterday, so today I was able to go in and finalize all of my stuff. Usually we have someone from the relocation agency there to help translate at these appointments, but today no one was there with me. There was a miscommunication somewhere down the line, so I was on my own. Between my horrible Italian, and the few words the police officer knew of English, we were able to power through. He remembered me and knew my situation (thankfully!), so it was very easy. This guy was so nice! He wanted me to point out where MN was on the map to know where I was from, and was very helpful. During the appointment I had to do fingerprints, and hand prints. Once we were done with this, he told me "Ok, time for feet!" I just looked at him like "are you serious??" and tried to figure out how I would get my foot on the fingerprinting machine that was on top of the desk. It took me a second to realize he was joking. He just started laughing. He got me good!!

The permisso di soggiorno is important for a few reasons. It means that we are able to stay in Italy and can stay longer than the typical tourist visa of 3 months. It also means that we can apply for residency (finally!!) and get on the Italian healthcare system. It also means that I can work full time!! So as you can imagine, this is a big step for us that we have been looking forward to for a long time. It's only been about a year since we started the whole process... yikes. But we should be able to apply for residency in late October, and finally become "official" residents of Italy :)

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