23 Jun

Establishing residency in Italy - Timing

In the past, JS applicants in Italy were often able to request residency in a given comune and submit their JS application right after submitting the residency request, speeding up the process as there was no waiting time between the 2 applications.
However, with the heightened scrutiny that began in recent years as a consequence of investigations that led to several citizenship scandals and passports being revoked (and such heightened scrutiny started before, and is not caused by, COVID-19), most comune moved away from this model and started doing things by the letter, which means the JS application can only be submitted after residency is verified.
In fact, officially, at the moment of presenting the request of residency to the comune, residency is “provisional”. In order to go from “provisional” to “finalized”, the police needs to perform a house visit to verify that the applicants actually live there. This is called “verifying residency”, and by law, it can take up to 45 days. 
In practical terms, what this translates into is that if you’re doing this DIY, by the time you find a suitable tenancy where the owner is willing to let you establish residency and rent to you as an extra-eu person without the legal right to work in Italy, you negotiate the lease and subsequently receive a copy of the lease after registration, you could be in Italy for 2 months or more before you can submit your documents – that is if you find a tenancy fairly quickly.
There is only one way of speeding this up which is finalising a tenancy before you arrive in Italy, and that can only be done through someone who is already there, be it friends, family or a reputable service provider. 
It is worth reminding once again that it is compulsory to remain a resident of Italy throughout the whole duration of the process. Therefore, like previously stated, the only reasonable timing expectation when it comes to applying in Italy is staying a minimum of 3-4 months, while remaining flexible and knowing that it could take longer, or much longer with COVID-19 consequences, lockdowns, consulates closing etc.
Once you know all of this, you will see why we tell everyone to be very wary of service providers promising a 15 days turnaround!

Silvia Simioni

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