GUEST AUTHOR: Eylul Deniz Basok,
Spotahome Student Ambassador

Get ready!! This is going to be a long process!

If this is the first time that you are applying for a Permesso di Soggiorno (Residence Permit), you have to do it within the 8 days of your entry to Italy. If you are applying for a renewal, the whole process will take at least 2 months.

Photo Source: Istockphoto

So if you want to keep travelling across Europe, I recommend you apply 2 months before the expiry date of the previous one. Otherwise, you will only have the chance to visit your home country with the receipt (ricevuta) that they will give you. You CANNOT travel with this receipt in Europe (in theory). On the other hand, if you don’t have any upcoming travel plans, you can even apply for the new permesso on the last date of the old one.


1. Go to the post office (Poste Italiane) and ask for "Permesso di Soggiorno kit".

Photo Source: Istockphoto

You will get a white envelope. Inside there will be two forms (Modulo 1 and 2). You need to fill out Modulo 1.

See below the sections you need to fill in:

Guidelines for filling the pages for Modulo 1

2. After filling out the Modulo 1, you also need to fill in the receipt that you will find inside the envelope as shown in the photo.

Guidelines for filling the receipt

3. Next, you will need to get health insurance. There are two choices:

  • The first one is INA which costs 98 Euro. This is only for emergency situations.
  • The other one is Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (SSN). This one entitles you to the same treatment as Italian citizens. You will have a general practitioner who you can visit free of charge and who will refer you to the specialists if needed. You can go to public hospitals free of charge and accessreducedfees for tests (blood tests, X-Rays etc.). It costs 150 Euro.

Here the important point is that SSN is only valid from 1st of January till the 31st of December. It doesn’t matter if you take it outin September, it will expire at the end of December, whereas INA is valid for 1 year, starting from the date you paid for it. If you did it in September, it will be valid until September of the next year.

For health insurance, you need to fill out the form that you will find at the Post Office. Here you will also need to pay for it.

4. After completing the forms, you need to go to any Tabacchi shop. They are sign-posted with a ‘T’ and you can find them very easily everywhere. Here you need to buy a Marcha da Bollo (duty stamp) with a 16 Euro value. You will hand this over with the envelope at the Post Office.

5. Additionally you need to include a copy of your passport (ID and visa pages), a copy of the health insurance receipt that you have filled in, your existing or expired Permesso di Soggiorno (if you are applying for a renewal) and a printed version of your student certificate, which you can download from your university’s website.

Photo Source: Istockphoto

After completing all the steps, you need to put everything into the envelope that you got in the first step from the post office. However, DO NOT close it. They have to check your documents and they will close the envelope themselves. Then you need to go back to the Post Office and hand in the envelope. Here you need to pay 30 Euro for the kit and 70.46 Euro for the electronic card and administrative tax. So at the end the total cost will be 116.46 Euro (16+30+70.46) for a one-year residence permit, plus the health insurance.

But be patient, you’re not finished yet…...

6. Once you have completed all of these steps, they will give you a receipt (ricevuta) that indicates your appointment with the police (la Questura). DO NOT lose it. The date and address will be written on the paper. With this paper, you can travel to your home country if you wish.

When the appointment date comes, you need to go to the police with the original documents that you put inside the envelope (passport, health insurance receipt, old permesso di soggiorno, student certificate), 4 photos and a bank statement indicating that you have around 5,800 Euros (or equivalent) in YOUR bank account.

After your appointment with the police, you will need to keep waiting. When your card is ready, you will get an SMS and you will need to go to the police to pick it up. You will be allowed to work for a maximum of 20 hours per week with this residence permit and in order to be able to renew your permit for the next year, you will need to pass at least 1-2 exams.

Well, this sure is a bit of a hard process but finding an apartment doesn’t need to be - visit Spotahome

Photo Source: Unsplash

Good luck and enjoy being in Italy!!

If you have not left yet and are thinking where to study this post can help you: Where to go: Studying in Italy