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Residency permits For Members

Is it worth paying for legal help to get your Italian residency permit?

Clare Speak
Clare Speak - [email protected]
Is it worth paying for legal help to get your Italian residency permit?
Photo by Thomas Lefebvre on Unsplash

As Italy's international residents face increasingly long waits to renew their residency permits, is it worth contacting a lawyer and would they be able to speed up the process?

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Question: "Has anyone affected by the residency permit renewal delays had success using an immigration attorney to help reschedule an earlier date at the Questura?"

This is one query many of The Local's readers affected by long delays to the residency permit application and renewal process have at the moment.

Some readers have reported being told they cannot travel abroad until their permesso di soggiorno is renewed, while others have found themselves in the bizarre situation of having to wait so long for their permit renewal that the new document has already expired by the time they receive it.

READ ALSO: How Italy's residency permit renewal process has become a 'nightmare'

The resulting stress and inconvenience leads applicants to wonder if it's worth paying for legal help to move things along.

When applying for or renewing your Italian residency permit, there are a lot of things a lawyer may be able to give advice and assistance on.

The Italian law firms advertising their services in this area online say they can help with figuring out which type of permit you need, and then compiling the application, as well as putting together applications for renewals or conversions to a different permit type.

READ ALSO: Where to look for a good lawyer in Italy

Having a legal expert on side provides much-needed reassurance for many readers, particularly those who are going through the complex process of moving to Italy from outside the EU.

"A good lawyer is not very expensive and will help in all aspects and make you feel more comfortable," notes reader Rick Mofsen.

And, of course, if your permit is refused or revoked a lawyer will be able to help you appeal that decision.

Some legal firms also specify on their websites that they can assist with "speeding up the process if the residency permit is not issued within the period defined by law".

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This refers to the law stating authorities should issue the new permit within 60 days of the appointment at the Questura (police headquarters).

However, the main problem Italy's international residents are having is not with waiting times for the permit to be issued: most report that it arrives within the 60-day timeframe or shortly afterwards.

READ ALSO: Do you need a lawyer for an Italian visa or residency permit application?

The difficulty instead is with getting the appointment in the first place, and there doesn't seem to be a legal limit on the waiting time for that. Some readers are now reporting waits of 11 months or longer.

"I have friends waiting until August of 2024 for their Questura appointment. The attorney who helped them get their visas cannot do anything to hurry the appointments at the Questura," reader Nancy Hampton in Umbria told us.

It may still be worth discussing your case with a specialist lawyer for advice and reassurance, but this seems to be one particular bureaucratic issue that legal experts won't be able to smooth over.

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There is however some hope for those awaiting information about the status of their application, as a recently-introduced law requires the Questura to respond to enquiries sent via Posta Elettronica Certificata (PEC), or Electronic Certified Mail), within 30 days.

To benefit from this, you'll need to email any queries to the Questura using a PEC email account. Emails sent from a regular non-PEC address are not covered by the rule.

Do you have any advice for other readers on navigating the process of obtaining or renewing their permesso? Please get in touch by email or respond to our short survey.

Please note that The Local is unable to advise on individual cases. For more information on how the Italian immigration rules may apply in your situation, consult your local Questura or your country's consulate in Italy. See further details on the Italian State Police website.

 

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Comments (1)

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R Hagerman 2024/01/16 19:09
For renewal, we submitted our applications at the post office in Oct 2022 and had our appointments in March 2023. The Immigration website shows our renewal was approved June 2023. Still no new permessi. Our current permessi expired almost 13 months ago. The Questura tells us only to ‘wait’. For all I know the renewals were for one year and we’re illegal.

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