For members


When and how should I renew my Italian residence permit?

Renewing your residence permit in Italy can feel like a headache, but preparing in advance will take the sting out of it. Here's a guide to what you need to do and when you should start the process.

People queue outside a post office in Rome. Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP
People queue outside a post office in Rome. Alberto PIZZOLI / AFP

When should I renew my Italian residence permit?

You should apply to renew your permesso di soggiorno/residency permit “at least 60 days” in advance of its expiry date, according to Italy’s Interior Ministry and the government’s migrant integration portal.

The websites for Italy’s carabinieri police force and immigration portal, by contrast, say that when you apply for renewal should depend on your permit’s duration:

  • 90 days in advance of the expiry date for residence permits of up to two years
  • 60 days for residence permits of up to one year
  • 30 days for residence permits of up to six months

It’s worth bearing in mind that these are all strong recommendations rather than legal requirements.

The migrant integration portal notes that there are no sanctions for failing to adhere to its recommended timeframe, because of this next point:

What if I accidentally overstay my residency without renewing my permit?

After your permit expires, you have a 60-day grace period in which you can apply for renewal before you get into hot water. After those 60 days, you will be in Italy illegally and can be expelled from the territory. Bear in mind that it can easily take several months to receive your new permesso after you have applied, so it’s not something you want to leave to the last minute.

There’s a chance that you might not be expelled from the country if you apply for the renewal of your expired permit after the 60 day grace period, if you can demonstrate to the relevant official’s satisfaction that you had a valid justification for letting it slide. But we don’t recommend testing this.

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What type of visa will you need to move to Italy?


Where should I go and what should I do?

In most cases, you need to start by going to the Sportello Amico window at your local post office, and requesting a ‘yellow stripe’ form kit, or kit a banda gialla (so called because the form has a yellow stripe running down its left-hand side), which you should be given for free. For some types of permit you will need to go directly to the immigration office of your local police headquarters, or questura, to obtain the form. Those cases are listed here.

You will then need to bring to the post office:

  • A completed copy of the ‘yellow stripe’ application form
  • A photocopy of your current permesso di soggiorno
  • A photocopy of your passport
  • A photocopy of an official document containing your codice fiscale, or tax code
  • A €16 marca da bollo tax stamp, which you can buy from any tobacconist’s

You will also need to bring the originals of your passport and your current permesso di soggiorno to show the post office worker, as well certain additional supporting documents that vary depending on the type of permit you are applying for, which are detailed here.

You will need to pay:

  • €30 in postal charges
  • €30.46 flat rate for the issuance of the new card
  • €70.46 if you are applying for a permit that lasts for between 3 months and a year.
  • €80.46 if you are applying for a permit that lasts between one and two years.
  • €100.46 if you are applying for a permanent EC long-term residence permit (formerly a carta di soggiorno).

READ ALSO: Italian residency: Who needs it and how do you get it?


What happens next?

At the post office, you will be given a slip showing a date and time for a fingerprinting appointment at the questura. This could be anywhere from a few weeks to a few months from the date of your initial application, depending on the size of your town or city.

You will also be given a postal receipt, or cedolino/ricevuta, with a tracking number to check the status of your application, as well as receipts for the payment of the respective fees.

These are all very important documents to hold on to. The cedolino acts as your temporary permit and makes your presence in Italy legal even if your new permesso doesn’t come through until after your old one expires.

When you go to your appointment at the questura, you will need to bring four passport photographs; photocopies and the originals of all the supporting documents you submitted in your application as well as a copy of the application itself; and all the receipts you received at the post office.

After the appointment, you’ll be able to check on the status of your application by visiting the questura website and typing in your tracking number.

When the permit is ready, you’ll receive a text telling you to go to the questura to pick it up.

Italy’s latest law on the matter says that the authorities have 60 days to issue a new permit after the appointment, so if you haven’t received anything by this point, it’s worth checking in.

READ ALSO: How to become Italian: A guide to getting citizenship

What if I need to travel abroad while my permit is in the process of being renewed?

You can travel anywhere within Italy and directly to your home country and back with the cedolino given to you at the post office, which remember acts as your temporary permesso while your old one is in the process of being renewed.

If you want to travel anywhere else (including within the Schengen area), or even if your flight involves transiting through another country, you will need to go to the questura and file an application for a permesso di soggiorno provvisorio.

Andreas SOLARO / AFP

I have a long-term EC permit/carta di soggiorno – when do I need to renew this?

Good news for you – while most permessi di soggiorno are issued for a maximum of two years and then need to be actively renewed in order to remain valid, the EC (European Commission) Long Term Residence Permit – known in Italian as the permesso di soggiorno per soggiornanti di lungo periodo or the permesso di soggiorno illimitata (formerly the carta di soggiorno) – confers a permanent right of residency on the holder and does not expire.

However, if you want to use this card as an identity document, which is something you’re technically required to have on your person at all times in Italy, you will need to renew it every five years. The document itself should be updated every ten years, but failure to do so does not invalidate the holder’s permanent rights of residency.

Individuals who have lived in Italy for a continuous five-year period are among the groups that qualify for an EC Long Term Residence Permit.

Note that the (optional but recommended) permit issued to British citizens who applied for residency in Italy before December 31, 2020 (confusingly named a carta di soggiorno elettronica) is not a permanent stay permit, and will need to be renewed after five years. 

READ ALSO: EXPLAINED: What are the different documents Italy’s British residents need after Brexit?

Please note that The Local is unable to advise on specific cases. For more information about visa applications, see the Italian Foreign Ministry’s visa website, or contact your embassy or local questura in Italy.

Member comments

  1. I have applied for PdS, have been fingerprinted, so now the wait is on…… However, in discussion with another applicant they mentioned needing some kind of “residence permit”. IS the PdS not a residence permit, what next?

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For members


Why do Milan residents get a day off on December 7th?

If you live in Milan, you may get an extra day off work on December 7th. Here's what the city is celebrating and how.

Why do Milan residents get a day off on December 7th?

December 7th is a public holiday in Milan as residents commemorate their beloved patron saint, St Ambrose. 

The annual Festa di Sant’Ambrogio, which happens to fall on a Wednesday this year, is one of the city’s most anticipated recurrences, giving residents an opportunity to catch up with family and friends and unofficially marking the start of the festive season in the northern metropolis.

READ ALSO: The Italian holiday calendar for 2023

As in the case of other local public holidays across the country (Saints Peter and Paul in Rome, St Mark in Venice, St Orontius in Lecce, etc.), children will be home from school and most employees will be given the day off – by law, those who are asked to work on the day must be paid above their regular hourly rate. 

So why do locals celebrate Saint Ambrose, who lived and died in the northern city in the second half of the 4th century AD?

Ambrose served as Bishop of Milan from 374 AD to 397 AD, but it could be argued that his influence on the city went far beyond that of an ordinary clergyman. 

Chritsmas tree in MIlan's Piazza Duomo

Milan’s traditional Christmas light displays will be switched on on December 7th. Photo by Marco BERTORELLO / AFP

Ambrose was known for the eloquence of his public speeches, his exceptional diplomacy when handling political matters and, above all, his efforts to promote social justice in the city as he regularly urged Milan’s richest citizens to care and provide for the poor. 

Ambrose’s commitment to the betterment of Milanese society is ultimately why he is cherished by thousands of residents to this day, with local commemorations peaking, of course, on December 7th.

So, how do locals celebrate the day?

Well, the most faithful residents head to the Basilica of St Ambrose, the church named after the saint, for morning mass, with the service being usually held by Milan’s Bishop himself.

After mass, families get together to celebrate in the best way known to Italians: with a big lunch, featuring local delicacies including Milanese-style risotto, mondeghili (meatballs) and rostin negàa (veal cutlets).

The meal usually ends with people enjoying their first seasonal taste of panettone (many more sampling sessions generally follow in the weeks after) or eating some home-made ambrosiani, traditional shortbread biscuits made precisely to celebrate Milan’s patron saint.

After the meal. people tend to go out ad enjoy some of the many things to do in the city on the day. 

Firstly, locals will have a chance to visit the Oh Bej! Oh Bej! Market, a fair thought to date back to the early 1500s.

READ ALSO: Seven of Italy’s most enchanting Christmas markets in 2022

The market’s stalls, which are meant to open to the public exactly on December 7th, will be set up in front of Milan’s iconic Sforza Castle, selling anything from hand-crafted Christmas decorations and gadgets to local delicacies.

Christmas market in Milan

One of the best things to do in Milan on December 7th is to visit one of the city’s traditional Christmas markets. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Those who are not so fond of traditional markets might instead head to Piazza Duomo in central Milan to attend the Christmas lights switch-on event.

This year, the traditional light displays will be turned on at 5pm and will be followed by a party organised by cosmetics company VeraLab.

Finally, the premiere of the famous La Scala opera house will also take place on December 7th. While tickets to the event are no longer available, the musical performance – ‘Boris Godunov’ played by an orchestra under director Riccardo Chailly – will be aired live in several locations across the city.

A valuable reminder: Thursday, December 8th, the day following the Festa di Sant’Ambrogio, is a national public holiday, so you shouldn’t be too worried about staying up till late on Wednesday. 

READ ALSO: Why is Italy’s Feast of the Immaculate Conception a public holiday?