Italian Residence Permit/Types and Requirements

Italian residence permit - The Italian law on immigration requires that non-EU citizens planning to stay in Italy for more than 3 months have to apply for a residence permit within 8 working days from their arrival in Italy. People with dual nationality (Italian or EU/ExtraEU) do not need to apply for a residence permit.

Italian Residence Permit/Types and Requirements

Any non-EU national who wants to stay in Italy for longer than three months must apply for an Italian long-stay visa and an Italian Residence Permit (Permesso di Soggiorno). You must apply for a residence permit for Italy regardless of the reason you want to live there, like work or study.
Therefore, an Italian residence permit is a document that allows foreigners to live in the country for three months and above, either for work, study, business, etc.

Italy is one of the Schengen Agreement countries, comprising 26 European countries. Its member states can freely travel among them without a visa, specifically! When you intend to reside in the country for more than three months or permanently, you must get an Italy residence permit, which is our primary concern in this article.

What is Residence Permit?

A residence permit (less commonly a residency permit) is a document or card required in some regions, allowing a foreign national to reside in a country for a fixed or indefinite time.

These may be permits for temporary residency or permanent residency. The exact rules vary between regions. Sometimes, a temporary residence permit is required to extend a stay past some threshold and can be an intermediate step to applying for permanent residency.

Residency status may be granted for several reasons, and the criteria for acceptance as a resident may change over time. In New Zealand, the current range of conditions includes being a skilled migrant, a retired parent of a Foreign National, an investor, and several others.
However, the rules change for any stay in Italy that exceeds 90 days.

What then is Italy Residence Permit?

This is a legal document that you must have if you intend on staying in the country of Italy for more than 3 months. As per Italian immigration law, there are two residence permits- Temporary and Permanent. Each of them comes with a series of benefits.

The Eligibility for Residence Permit

Technically, anyone who fulfills the entry requirements into Italy can apply for Italian residency.

If you are a non-EU national, you need to apply for an Italy long-stay visa in your home country, allowing you to enter Italy.


It would help if you had a long-stay visa because the Italian residence permit can only be applied for when you are already in Italy.

However, if you are already in Italy for tourist purposes (with an Italy short-stay visa or without a visa if you are exempt), you cannot apply for Italian residency. You can only use it for a permesso di soggiorno if you have received an Italy long-stay visa beforehand.

The Requirements for a Residence permit:

When applying for an Italy Visa, you must have a set of supporting documents required for an Italian residence application. The additional requirements for an Italy residence include:

  • Copy of your signed work contract. (if you are applying for a permit to work)
  • The original and a copy of your Nulla Osta.
  • Completed Italian Long-Stay residence permit Application form.
  • Passport with at least two blank pages, valid for at least three months after the duration of your documents.
  • Proof of accommodation in Italy.
  • Proof of sufficient financial means to sustain you during your stay in the country.
  • Proof of paid visa fee.
  • Diplomas/other certificates.

Types of residence permits.

There are two significant types of residence permits that can be obtained in Italy: the temporary residence permit and the permanent residence permit. It must be noted that to obtain permanent residency in Italy; a temporary residence permit must first be obtained.

Temporary Residence Permits

Italian government sources indicate that all non-European Union (EU) nationals who plan to stay in Italy for more than three months must apply for a residence or sojourn permit (permesso di soggiorno) within eight days of their entry into Italy. Holders of residence permits are entitled to the same benefits as nationals, including "access to schooling, medical and social assistance," for as long as the permit is valid. Temporary Residence permits allow individuals, unless specific limitations are imposed, to travel to several European countries without restraint for a period not to exceed 90 days in any 6 months (Italy.

The temporary residency permit must be obtained by non-EU citizens when first arriving in Italy. EU citizens must only register with the police department in the city they live in without being required to apply for a temporary residence permit. However, both categories of individuals must live for a minimum of 5 years before applying for permanent residence in Italy.

The residence permit can also be acquired by:

  1. The spouse of the applicant;
  2. The parents of the applicant;
  3. The minor children of the applicant;
  4. Children above the age of 18 if they can support themselves.

In other words, the applicant is entitled to bring family members when relocating to Italy. However, the applicant must prove they have sufficient financial means to support themselves and their dependents, as well as submit proof of their relationship with the dependents. Only permanent residence permits can lead to Italian citizenship.

The main ways of obtaining permanent residency in Italy.

There are several conditions imposed on both EU and non-EU citizens interested in obtaining permanent residency in Italy. Apart from living for 5 years in this country, they must also prove they earn sufficient money to support themselves and that they speak Italian fluently and know the national customs. They must also have clean criminal records.

There are several ways in which the Italian permanent residency can be obtained:

  •  Based on a work permit that entitles the applicant to live and work in Italy prior to applying for permanent residency;
    based on a residence permit for entrepreneurs which allows foreign citizens to start their own businesses here;
  •  Based on an investment in a specific domain of interest acknowledged by the Italian government;
  • Based on a self-employment visa which allows the foreigner to act as a sole trader in Italy.

Italian permanent residence for EU citizens:

It is straightforward for EU citizens to apply for a permanent residence permit in Italy, as they only need their valid IDs or passports when entering the country. In their case, a simple declaration of presence with the police station of the city they live in is sufficient. This declaration must be filed within 8 days from entering Italy.

EU citizens can apply for permanent residence permits after living for more than 3 months in Italy. It should also be noted that it may take up to 3 months to obtain Italian permanent residence.

In addition to the various types of temporary residence permits, Italian government sources identified the European Commission (EC) residence permit for long-term residents in Italy, formerly known as the Carta di soggiorno (permanent residence card). Like the Carta di soggiorno it replaced, the EC residence permit is permanent. It entitles those with one to government social welfare, health care, and employment benefits.


Validity of Italian Residence Permits:

Italian residence permits can be issued with a validity date of six months, one year, or two years, depending on the type of permit you are applying for. For example:

The Italian residence permit for seasonal work is valid for six months.
The Italian residence permit for seasonal work in specific sectors is valid for nine months.
The Italian residence permit for studying is valid for one year.
The Italian residence permit for family reunification, employment, or self-employment is valid for two years.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long does a residence permit take in Italy?

For you to apply for the EU long-term residence permit, you'll have to collect the so-called “yellow kit” from the local post office. Once you've filled in the “yellow kit”, you're expected to file it at the post office. Your EU long-term residence permit application will be processed within four to six weeks.

What is the difference between a residence card and a residence permit?

A residence permit is a general term for permission to reside in a particular country. It could refer to any status under national or EU rules in a category other than as a visitor. A residence card is a particular term used for a residence permit for a dependant of an EU national.

Is it easy to get a residence permit in Italy?

Obtaining a permanent residence permit in Italy is not difficult.

Can I travel to Canada with an Italian residence permit?

To enter Canada as a tourist, Italian citizens do not require a visa. All you need is a valid passport and sufficient funds to support yourself and your dependents during your stay in Canada. Travelers to Canada do not require machine-readable passports.

How long is a residence permit valid?

Biometric Residence Permits (BRPs) are usually valid for 10 years, but if you have been granted Indefinite Leave to Remain at some point within the past few years, then you may have been given a biometric residence permit that expires on the 31st. of August 2022.

How do I renew my residence permit?

If you have ILR and your BRP card has or is about to expire
complete the renewed Biometric Residence Permit form – BRP(RC) pay the application Biometric Residence Permit renewal fee.

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Italian Residence Permit/Types and Requirements is an article that brings out the details on how a foreigner can live in the country of Italy freely without disturbance from the government authority.

The article further explains the meaning of this residence permit, the requirements, the eligibility to apply for the permit, and the types.

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