by Melinda Gallo

Permesso di soggiorno scaduto

Before I left for the US last month, I went to the Posta (post office) to ask at the Infopoint Migranti about my permesso di soggiorno (permit to stay) because it expired on October 31st. I told them that I was going to be filing for cittadinanza italiana (Italian citizenship) a little less than a week after the expiration date. The woman told me not to worry too much because they will let me renew my permesso di soggiorno even two months after the expiration date.

I was rather excited about my trip, so I couldn't help but tell the woman that I was planning on getting married in the US. She told me that it'd be easier if I got married in Italy and not in the US. I tried to explain to her that I had already organized everything, but she told me that we should get married in Italy and then have a celebration in the US. I argued that it was too late because we were going to do it in the US. She shrugged her shoulders and said, "In bocca al lupo. (Good luck.)" "Crepi," I responded and left her office, not feeling satisfied with her advice.

Yesterday, after I finished my appointment at the Prefettura (Prefecture) to file for my cittadinanza italiana, I immediately rode my bici (bike) to the Posta to find out what I could do about my permesso di soggiorno scaduto (expired permit to stay).

I waited only a few minutes in the office before it was my turn. I sat down in front of the woman and said, "Ecco il mio permesso di soggiorno scaduto. (Here's my expired permit to stay." I then proceeded to pull out the letter the man at the Prefettura gave me after I filed for cittadinanza italiana, and my licenza e certificato di matrimonio (marriage license and certificate). "Il modo di stare in Italia c'è... (There's a way to stay in Italy...)" I said to the woman with a smile on my face.

"Non ti preoccupare...non ti butterano fuori. Sei sposata con un italiano e anche senza permesso non avrai nessun problema. (Don't worry...they won't kick you out. You are married to an Italian and even without a permit, you won't have any problems."

She told me to wait until I get my certificato di matrimonio, which is going to be sent to the Italian Consulate as soon as we receive the official copy. My sister in Los Angeles is going to get the Apostille on it and then drop it off at the Italian Consulate in L.A. with the modulo (form) that we already filled out along with a photocopy of Alessandro's passport.

After I get my certificato di matrimonio and it has been trascritto (transcribed) at the comune (town hall), I just have to go to the Questura in via della Fortezza with my permesso di soggiorno, four photos, a photocopy of Alessandro's carta d'identità, and a marca da bollo (official stamp) for 14.62 euros to request a carta di soggiorno. They didn't tell me how long it will last, but I think that it is valid for 5 years.

"La solita marca da bollo, (The same official stamp)" I said jokingly because I've bought about five in the last few months for the paperwork I had to do for my cittadinanza italiana. The woman at the other desk chimed in, "Prima era gratis. Ora ti fanno pagare! (Before it was free. Now they make you pay!)"

Before I left they assured me again that I don't have to worry about my permesso di soggiorno scaduto. I just like to be in regola (legal by having my papers in order), but they said that I am because I still have until the end of the year to renew my permesso di soggiorno. If, by chance, my certificato di matrimonio doesn't come in on time, it still won't be a problem, the woman told me. It all sounds easy enough and I am looking forward to getting a carta di soggiorno so I don't have to worry any more about renewing my permesso di soggiorno every year.

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