Guide to Obtaining Residency in Italy: Key Steps and Requirements for EU and Non-EU Citizens

Luglio 21, 2023

Article published in the magazine We Wealth of May 4, 2023

The rules for obtaining residency in Italy vary depending on your citizenship and the reason for your stay. Here are some general guidelines

EU Citizens
You can live and work in Italy without a visa if you’re an EU citizen. However, you still need to register at the Registry Office (Ufficio Anagrafe) of the municipality where you live within three months of your arrival in Italy.
To register, you’ll need to provide:

  • A valid identity document (identity card proving identity and citizenship or a valid passport)
  • Proof of having accommodation in Italy
  • Documentation showing the reason for your stay (work, study, etc.)

The “proof of having accommodation in Italy” means showing that you have a fixed and suitable place to live during your stay in Italy. This can be documented through one or more of the following documents:
Rental contract: A registered rental contract between you and the property owner showing you have the right to live in that accommodation for a specified period.
Purchase contract: If you’ve purchased a property in Italy, you can provide the property purchase contract as proof of accommodation.
Property deed: If you own a home in Italy, the property deed can serve as proof of accommodation in the country.
Hospitality letter: If you’re living with friends or relatives in Italy, a signed hospitality letter from the property owner stating that they will host you for a specified period can be used as proof of accommodation. The letter should include the owner’s details, the accommodation address, and the duration of your stay.
Employer-provided accommodation: If your employer provides accommodation as part of your employment contract, a letter from your employer confirming the accommodation details can be used as proof.

NON-EU Citizens
The process is different for non-EU citizens. If you’re a citizen of a country outside the EU, you’ll need to follow a more complex procedure to obtain residency in Italy. First, you’ll need to obtain an entry visa in your country of origin. There are different types of visas depending on the reason for your stay (work, study, family reunification, etc.). Once in Italy, you must apply for a residence permit within eight working days of your arrival.
Obtaining a residence permit in Italy involves several steps and varies depending on the reason you want to stay in the country (work, study, family, etc.). Here’s a general overview of the process:

Entry visa: First, non-EU citizens who want to stay in Italy for more than 90 days need to apply for an entry visa at the Italian embassy or consulate in their country of residence. The visa type depends on the stay’s reason (e.g., work, study, family reunification). EU citizens don’t need a visa to enter Italy.
Arrival in Italy: Once you’ve obtained the entry visa and arrived in Italy, you must apply for a residence permit within eight working days. This request is made through the “Residence Permit Kit” (a packet of forms available at authorized post offices), which must be completed and submitted at the post office.
Postal receipt: After submitting the residence permit application, you’ll receive a postal receipt (proof of shipping) as temporary proof of your residence permit. This receipt allows you to stay legally in Italy until you receive your residence permit.
Appointment at the Questura: The residence permit application will be forwarded to the Questura (State Police Office) responsible for your area. You will receive a summons to go to the Questura, where you must present the additional required documents (e.g., passport, photos, health insurance, etc.) and provide your fingerprints.
Issuance of the residence permit: Once the process is completed, you will receive a notification from Questura when your residence permit is ready to be picked up. The residence permit duration depends on the reason for your stay and your specific personal circumstances.

To obtain residency, you will need to:

  • Have a valid residence permit
  • Register at the Registry Office (Ufficio Anagrafe) of the municipality where you reside
  • Provide a valid identity document and the residence permit
  • Show proof of having accommodation in Italy
  • Provide documentation demonstrating the reason for your stay (work, study, etc.)

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