A Grand Retirement Adventure by Alan Blake: Part 5

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A Grand Retirement Adventure by Alan Blake: Part 5
A Grand Retirement Adventure by Alan Blake: Part 12

If staying on a long-term visa, as permisso da soggiorno must be completed within eight business days of arrival. The kit is obtained from the post office. The Italian postal service offers services in addition to mail, including a place to pay bills, a place to submit some types of forms, and banking. Generally expect to stand in line to use the post office. The permisso is not overly complicated, but some parts are vague as to what should be included. You must also include evidence of income or financial resources, photocopies of your passport and visa, and proof of health insurance. There are some online sites that provide considerable guidance in English, and it is recommended that one of these be used. When presenting the completed forms, one needs to get a tax stamp (marca di bollo) to be purchased at a tabacchi. For this form, it is currently 16€.  The completed form is to be taken to the post office for submission and to pay processing and other fees. We did complete forms, got our marca di bollos and went to the post office. When we were there we submitted one form, which had to be signed in front of the clerk. During this process, she asked us to complete a receipt with the amount we needed to pay. We did not know what the amount would be, as we expected the postal personnel to know. We were told we had to go to the municipal offices and find out the amount and complete the receipt. This was not information indicated in any of the forms or in instructions on in any of the publications we referenced. Apparently the amount is different depending on your visa and how long you plan to stay in Italy. We hiked up the hill to Piazza Grande, where Palazzo Comunale / Municipio, only to find the office we needed closed (on Friday before noon) and would not reopen until Monday at 8:30 AM. The first form was already signed, and could be brought back on Saturday per the postal clerk, but would not be good after Saturday. Now we needed to get a new kit, complete it again, pay for a new marca di bollo, and again we have to figure out how to complete the receipt with the correct amount. This was very frustrating.

On a cold, windy day we again made our way back to Piazza Grande and Palazzo Comunale.  We then found that no office there knew of the fees and that we needed to call the Questura di Siena – essentially the county police station in Siena. We called, but no one spoke any English and spoke only in rapid Italian beyond our ability to understand. An Italian friend called and we got a bit of a different answer.

We went with the website guidance, bought a new marca di bollo, went to the post office, paid the fees as best we understood them, and now have an appointment in April to go to Siena to one of the offices of the Questura to be finger-printed and have the premesso di soggiorno completed. The moral of the story: be patient, and be prepared to need to take extra efforts to figure out some of the procedures when dealing with bureaucracy.

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