Friday, December 23, 2011

Permesso di Soggiorno Italy

Cari Amici (Dear Friends),
I am in Italy now and this post is not about art. It is about politics or at least government. And if you want to stay in Italy (or in most parts of Europe) for longer than 90 days, you must obtain a visa (probably from the Italian Consulate in your home country, as I had to do in America) and within eight days of arriving in Italia, you must apply for the “Permesso di Soggiorno” (permission to stay). Over the many years that I have been doing this, the process has become easier – a bit.
For many years it has been possible to go to the postale (post office) instead of directly to the Questura (immigration police). That is wonderful because the Questura is only open in the early morning for this part of the process and if you wait in line for hours, but arrive too late to the door, you get to repeat the experience. The post office has much better hours!

The color for the Postale is yellow. You will see a yellow banner in the signs announcing a post office and the bicycles of the mail carriers are yellow. When you enter the post office, you must take a ticket from a yellow machine and wait for your ticket number to be posted on the board with the number window for you to approach. Which ticket you choose depends on the service you want. For my task this week, I took an “F” ticket. This ticket is for the “Sportello Amico” (Friendly Window) and it is there that I picked up my application packet for the Permesso di Soggiorno.

As with English, legal language is not always clear and I had a friend help me through the forms. I do not understand government much at all. For example, one must buy a Marca da Bollo. That is a special stamp that currently costs 14.62 euros, but you cannot buy it at the Postale. You must go to a tobacco shop to buy one. The only purpose I can see for this is to share the wealth with the little guy. [Tobacco shops are everywhere. Besides tobacco, you may also buy cell phone minutes with most carriers, as well as lottery tickets. They have a decent-sized “T” sticking out from the wall so you may fine them.]

Anyway, the next day, I returned to Firenze, got my F ticket from the machine, verified a question that I had about my application (I had understood the word, but not the question on the form. It simply said: “Frontiera” or “border,” which I took to mean that they wanted to know which city I had flown into in Italia. In truth, I did not get the impression the postwoman knew the answer either but she nodded as if my guess was as good as hers), bought my health insurance for one year, and paid the application fee. [I had already attached the purchased Marca da Bollo stamp to the correct position on the application.]
I now am legally here, as long as I bring my original documents with my application receipts to the Questura on my appointment date in February. Whew…

This last image was taken during my reward: a stroll around the Duomo (Cathedral) in central Florence, Italy. So happy to be home! [That is probably a bit premature – ha!]

Happy Birthday, Momma!


Pier Luigi said...

How much did the health insurance for one year cost?
Pier Luigi.

Kelly Borsheim said...

Ah, I knew there was something I forgot to post!
14.62 euros for the Marca da Bollo
58.60 euros for the application fee
98.00 euros for the Ina Assitalia (health insurance for one year)

getting to stay in Italia for more than 90 days - priceless! ;-)

And considering that had I stayed on my former husband's health insurance policy with Blue Cross Blue Shield - one year with a $10K deductible - at a cost of $1400, it was a "no-brainer" to give it up. My experience has been that insurance never pays out, even when they pre-approve something. So, I am guessing that Italia's coverage cannot be much worse and I am grateful to be so healthy.

Insurance is like gambling, and the house usually wins.

Buon Natale a tutti!

Pier Luigi said...

Only 98.00 euros for Health Insurance?! I have to write to the Italian government and let them know that FOREIGNERS are the cause of Italy's budget deficit. In the US, $120 dollars wouldn't buy an office visit.
Still, I wouldn't have bought it. In italy they'll take care of you no matter what. Surely you won't get a single room with TV though.
Pier Luigi.

Kelly Borsheim said...

funny comment. However, years ago when I did have my own health insurance for overseas, the Italian government did not recognize it and made me spend the 100 bucks. At the time, I did not understand what it was, just thought it was part of the application fee spread out (like the Marca di Bolla seems to me).

In any event, the Ina Assitalia is required (and when I had the flu for over a month back in April 2008, I still had to pay for the ER, despite many people telling me that I should not have) and since I have yet to receive much of anything from insurance, I am happy to pay the least amount required by law. I just hope that my health continues.... the flu happened because I had only money for rice and was malnourished (so many people told me) and caught it while taking care of a friend who had the flu. Ironically, I had been bringing her food. Bright of me, eh?

Kelly Borsheim said...

BTW, I do spend enough money here in Italia that I am not convinced that I am a burden to this country...

Pier Luigi said...

Now I understand the whole thing better. These are all new rules (Italian style of course).
What pains me is to imagine you eating just rice in Florence. It must have been tough. How are you doing now? And if I may ask, where do you live? I hope not under Ponte Vecchio.
Pier Luigi.

Kelly Borsheim said...

grazie ... sto bene. la mia padrona a firenze ha cancellata il contratto per la mia camera dopo la ragazza che abita ora li' ha fatto una decisione rimaniere. Allora, abito fuori Scandicci in casa del un amico. non lo so per quanto tempo - dependente su quando lui voule tornare qui e anche se io trovo una altra soluzione. Boh!