Permits & Visas to live in Florence

Living in Florence may be your dream, but before you can make it come true, you need to do a few things to get your paperwork in order. Here is our step-by-step guide to clear up any of your doubts.

First step: do I need a visa to enter Italy?

A visa is a regular entry document to Italy that can be issued for tourism, study or work purposes, as well as some other special cases. Many factors effect the need for a visa such as your nationality, the country in which you reside permanently, the duration of your visit, and the reason for your long stay in Florence. To enter Italy as a foreigner you may need to apply for an Entry Visa at the Embassy or Consulate of your country.

On the official website of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, in a few simple clicks you can find out if you need a visa and which documents you may have to prepare.

Are you a member of the European Community?

European Community citizens are not required to have a visa or residence permit to reside in Italy. If you are part of one of the EU countries, in the case of stays longer than 3 months, it will be sufficient to simply register yourself in the list of temporary residents of the City of Florence and make a request for domicile to the Central Registry Office (Ufficio Anagrafe Centrale) of the city.

Do you need a residence permit?

The residence permit (permesso di soggiorno) is the document that authorizes the presence of the foreign citizen on the territory of the Italian State and documents his or her regularity. Citizens of non-European countries and stateless people, i.e. those who do not have a nationality, must apply for a residence permit. As soon as you arrive in Florence, if you fall into this category, you must apply for a residence permit within 8 working days

International students

As of December 18, 2020, thanks to article 38bis of Law 173/2020 on security, students from foreign universities based in Italy who hold study visas are exempt from the residence permit procedure, which has been replaced by a simple declaration of presence valid for 150 days. If this is your case, Belonger, you will simply have to communicate your presence on Italian territory to the border authority or the Questura of Florence, within 8 days of your entry into Italy.

How to apply for the Residence Permit?

You can apply for the Residence Permit at a post office at the Sportello Amico (look for the one nearest to you here), presenting the specific kit that you will find directly at the post office, which you will have to fill in in block letters. Be careful: the form is in Italian, so we suggest you ask for help if you do not know the language yet!

You will have to bring your passport with you for identification purposes, as well as a photocopy of the page containing your personal data, and the receipt of the postal order for the payment of the amount due for the Electronic Residence Permit application. The costs vary from region to region: you can check the costs for Tuscany here. Be sure to keep all the payment receipts!

If you need help, at the Municipality of Florence and at the Patronati you will find qualified personnel who will give you information and advice to finalize the request for free.

If you are over 16 and intend to stay in Florence for more than a year, in addition to the residence permit, you will have to sign the Integration Agreement with the Local Prefecture. Find out more here.

Release & renewal

After submitting the kit, you will be notified of the date of the appointment at the Foreigners Office of the Police Headquarters (Questura) for the release of the document. Due to the high demand, sometimes it can take up to several months to issue the document. You can monitor the progress of the application on the website of the Questura, to be updated on the status of the procedure and the date of the appointment, when you will have to go to the Questura to pick up the permit and leave a copy of your fingerprints. While waiting to receive the document, be sure to note that the receipt from the post office has official value, but it does not allow you to travel out of Italy.

Once you have received the permit, pay attention to the expiration date: the renewal of the residence permit must be requested at the Questura at least 60 days before the expiry date, in order to verify the necessary conditions!

Conversion of Residence Permit for Study into Residence Permit for Work

Did you finish your education in Florence, but have decided that it is where you want to continue living? Congratulations! You will be happy to know that the residence permit for study allows you to work part time up to a maximum of 20 hours per week and 1.040 hours per year, and you can also leave Italy for up to 6 months.

However, if you wish to stay in Florence and work full time, you will have to convert your Permit to Stay for study purposes into a Permit to Stay for work purposes by applying on the website of the Ministry of the Interior. There are many ways in which you could stay and work in Florence (self-employment, employment, etc.), so it is recommended you check the appropriate section of the website of the Tuscany Region before proceeding with the application.

Once you have got the residence permit for work, find out how to create your business in Florence!

The certificate of housing eligibility: what is that?

The certificate of housing eligibility is a document that declares the suitability of a house and its compliance with all health and hygiene requirements. To apply for a residence permit, you will also have to submit a declaration of housing eligibility of your accommodation.

But you are a Belonger, and you will not have any problem! As a matter of fact, all the accommodations you find on Be.long are certified and guarantee the feasibility of the declaration.

The Taxpayer Identification Number 

Have you already heard about the Taxpayer Identification Number? In Italy there is a 16-digit alphanumeric code, called Codice Fiscale and issued by the Revenue Agency, which is used to univocally identify each person residing on the national territory. It is very important for you to obtain this code, because you will need it for various reasons during your stay in Italy: from opening a bank account to registering with the National Health Service (SSN), or simply to sign the contract for your accommodation. 

If you are waiting to receive a visa or a residence permit, you can request your tax code from the Questura, which handles the issuance and renewal of the residence permit, which in turn will forward your request to the Revenue Agency. After the appropriate verifications and approval of the request, the tax code is promptly mailed directly to the address indicated on the request form.

Citizens who are also entitled to health care by the National Health Service are issued the Italian health card (Tessera Sanitaria), which also contains the Taxpayer Identification Number. Pay attention! The only valid one is the one issued by the Revenue Agency.