Dear all,

It’s been a bumpy road, but I can finally say that I’m officially residing in Italy. Next week I’ll even be receiving my Italian ID-card – this doesn’t mean that I have Italian nationality, but it does show that I’ve been properly inscribed.

Now, if you have a job that can entirely support you, it’s fairly easy to be inscribed into your municipality, but this is – as you well know – not my case. Also if you are married to an Italian, it’s fairly easy to inscribe yourself. Even though I know that many friends and relatives would be pretty interested in an Italian wedding, we have decided to look at an alternative route of inscription and save marriage for more romantic reasons.

So if you’re in my situation (you have moved to Italy with your Italian partner, but you have no proper job yet and neither are you married) then you can do the following: after you have found a more long-term accommodation you go to the police and state that you would like to live in Italy. Now that you’ve made this known, you’ll have three months to get the inscription done. In all honesty, when you are an EU citizen they are not going to send you back to the country of origin when you don’t manage to get everything arranged (and the chances are very high that you don’t) in time. So don’t worry too much about the three-months deadline.

If you have no job, they’ll want the insurance that you have enough money on your bank account to support yourself for at least a year. This boils down to 5000 or 6000 euros. Either you or your Italian partner (who has to sign a document in which they will state that they will take care of you) can show this amount of money. Big tip here: Let your Italian partner do this! Because you’ll need an Italian bank account and funny thing here, you can only get an Italian bank account once you’ve been inscribed. Hilarious. So don’t even go into the discussion about the fact that this makes absolutely no sense or that because of new privacy laws they are actually not even allowed to see your bank statement. It’s only going to increase the time spent on this process. (We’ve made plenty of phone calls and visits to convince them that they were utterly silly and even though most agreed, it didn’t result into anything (besides that, most people working at City Hall simply have no idea about regulations and half of the time it’s a lot easier to do your own research)).

But before you even go showing all your money, you first need to get a private health insurance. Now, when you have a job, or when you’re married to an Italian, you get immediate access to public health insurance (which is basically free, but in reality of course paid for through taxes) like any Italian. But when this is not the case you can get private health insurance, which is incredibly cheap in Italy and not so difficult to arrange.

I almost forgot about the next step, but you also need a “codice fiscale”, which you can get in another office of City Hall (in the case of Citadella it’s on the other side of the city). The opening hours of any office of City Hall are incovenient. They open late in the morning and they have a break from 12.30-14.30 and then they open again until 17.00 (17.30 if you’re lucky). And they are never open on Saturdays or in the evening. This makes it really difficult to arrange anything, so you need to plan really well.

With these documents ready you make an appointment with the Anagraphic office (they are very kind there and really try to help you). Make sure that you buy a “marca da bollo” of 16 euros before you go there, because you’ll need this to do official payments at that particular office. (You can buy this at any tobacco shop). Once you’ve visited and received your first inscription document, it’s not over yet. Oh no. No, then you’ll get, over the course of three weeks, a suprise visit of a police officer who’s going to check if you’re really living where you say you’re living. They do this with any resident who’s lived abroad and moves to Italy regardless of which country you’ve come from, even if you’re an Italian who has been temporarily living abroad. This visit is very easygoing. A police officer will sit at your kitchen table and discuss another form with you that needs to be filled in. They don’t mind that your Italian is not 100% perfect, but don’t expect them to start speaking English, that’s really too much to ask.

After this visit you’ll have to go back to the Anagraphic office with yet another “Marca da bollo” of 16 euros and you get your official “you are our resident” document. This is the moment that you can start to relax, because everything that’s really necessary has been done. You can, if you like, go for the Italian ID-card (like I did), but it’s not an obligation.

What you need the most in this process is patience, and believe me it has been tested. I’ve come to the conclusion that my boyfriend has a lot more of it than I do, but he simply claims that he is used to this way of working and prepared himself mentally for the inefficiency of it all.

If you have any questions about any of this, because you’re also considering to make a similar move, or to move to Italy in general, don’t hesitate to ask. And if you’re just curious, you can ask as well of course.

From Italy with love,

Merel

p.s. this is based on my experiences in Cittadella. Regulations can, however, change when you have to inscribe yourself in another city or region.