Carta di Soggiorno

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The Carta di Soggiorno is also a residency permit, similar to the Permesso di Soggiorno, but with a couple of important differences. It is more like the US "green card" in that it is a permanent document. Whereas the Permesso di Soggiorno is usually given for two years and then has to be renewed, the Carta di Soggiorno does not expire, and needs to be renewed periodically only if you want to use it as a form of identification.

The requirements for obtaining a Carta di Soggiorno are slightly different for EU and non-EU citizens. First let's take a look at the EU citizens ?who incidentally, can apply for the Carta di Soggiorno immediately after their arrival in italy, in contrast to non-EU citizens that have to make several rounds of Permesso di Soggiorno before they have accumulated enough time as a resident in Italy to apply for the Carta.

Carta di Soggiorno - E.U. Citizens

In case you're interested, the issuance of the carta di soggiorno for cicizens of EU countries is regulated by the articles 3 and 5 of the D.P.R. 12/1/02 which was published in the official gazette dated 9.April.2002 n. 83
Couple of comments:

EU citizens that intend to establish themselves in Italy for work or study have the right to request the carta di soggiorno. As with the permesso di soggiorno, the request needs to be presented at the questura of the city or province where the person intends to establish him or herself. There is a specific form that needs to be completed (unfortunately it varies from Questura to Questura).

The form generally includes the following information:

  • Complete biographical data of the requesting person
  • Details of the passport or equivalent document, which must be valid
  • The reason for the stay in Italy
  • The date of entry into Italy, the reason and length of stay
  • Address within Italy

If applicable, information about family members or other persons in the requester's care that would have the right to request a residence permit

In case the request for a carta di soggiorno is made in order to work in Italy, the requester needs to include:

  • Copy of the valid passport or other recognized identification
  • For independent workers, the authorization to carry out work as an independent worker
  • For employees, proof of work or the declaration from the employer stating that the person has been hired
  • For seasonal workers, a copy of their seasonal work contract.
  • Four photographs

If the request for a carta di soggirono is made with the intention of pursuing studies in Italy, then it must be accompanied by:

  • Copy of the valid passport or other recognized identification
  • Certificate or proof of registration in a course of study for professional development or a university course of study, as well as certification of how long the studies will last.
  • Proof of the registration at the ASL (Italian Publich Health Insurance) or of private medical insurance for sickness, accident, and maternity.
  • Proof of sufficient financial means for the period of the studies
  • Four photographs

The request can also be made for the spouse (as long as they are not legally separated), minor children, and descendants or ancestors (both of the requester or his/her spouse) that are in their charge. It can also be made for any other member of the family that in their country of origin lives with or is in the charge of the spouse, the ancestors of the requester or of his/her spouse. In that case, in addition to the above information for each additional person that for which the request is made, it is imperative that documents proving the family relationship also be presented.

The carta di soggiorno is valid for five years, or the length of time related to the reason of residence. A renewal can be made at the request of the interested person, and is for an unlimited amount of time in the cases where it was issued for five years. For carta di soggiorno that was issued for the purpose of study in Italy, a renewal for each year beyond the initially foreseen period of study it will be necessary to demonstrate the participation and positive results within the course of study. In the case of a carta di soggiorno that was issued for work in the border region, it will be renewed for five years at a time.

The carta di soggiorno is a valid personal identity document for no more than five years after its issue or from its renewal. The renewal for this purpose can be made at the request of the interested person, with updated information about the place of residence and with recent photographs.

Carta di Soggiorno - Non E.U.

If you are an "extracommunitario" then the carta di Soggiorno is for you only under the following circumstances:

The request for the carta di soggiorno for non-EU citizens must be presented personally at the Questura, where the interested person will be assisted by the police personnel in compiling the corresponding form. At least in theory. If you want to accelerate things, I would suggest stopping by once just to pick up the forms, and then coming a second time with the forms already filled out. The carta di soggiorno does not specify the activity in Italy of the requester, but can be issued only under the following conditions:

  • The requester has been legally residing in Italy for at least six years
  • The requester possesses a valid permesso di soggiorno which allows for a non specified number of renewals (for any of the different reasons discussed in the section on permesso di soggiorno)
  • Has sufficient income for the sustenance of him or herself as well as dependent family members that live with him or her
  • Has not been charged with a grave crime.

In addition to the form, the requester needs to include:

  • Copy of a valid passport or equivalent document
  • Copy of the tax return from the previous year
  • Certificate stating that he or she is not charged with any crime (casellario giudiziale)
  • Four photographs

The request can also be made in favor of the spouse and minor children of the reqister. In such case, the following will also be required:

  • documentation proving the family relationship. Foreign documents must be authenticated by an Italian diplomatic or consular representative in the country of origin
  • Proof of the availability of adeguate housing

The carta di soggiorno does not have an expiration, but must be reconfirmed within 10 years of its issue. It is valid as an identification document for five years after its issue, after which it needs to be renewed (only for identification purposes) with the latest data on residence of the holder, as well as updated photographs.


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