Permesso di Soggiorno – Working Holiday visas

This post is to help any New Zealander, Australian, or Candian who comes to Italy on a Working Holiday visa, because when I arrived in Italy it was impossible to find any information on the internet regarding our kind of visa and Permesso di Soggiorno requirements. I hope it helps!

When we got our visas (we applied while we were still in New Zealand), we were told to go to the Questura (local Police station) within 7 days from our arrival to apply for a Permesso di Soggiorno. This has changed and we should have been told to go to the main Post Office to collect a Permesso application pack. Allow at least an hour to get this pack (waiting in queues is normal at the Poste Italiane).

The pack of forms you get are mostly irrelevant, so don’t be afraid when you see them all. Just fill in the ones relating to your visa (and any extra requirements of your visa – e.g. proof of funds, proof of travel insurance). We had to go to a Tobacconists to buy a Marca da Bollo (tax stamp) for €14.62 and with our application we had to pay another €57.50 for admin costs. NB – a photocopy of your passport means every single page including the front and back covers. Also the Post Office would only accept cash, so make sure you have enough as you don’t want to have to leave your place in the queue.

Upon completing the application and payment at the Post Office, we got a date to go to the official Questura di Immigrazione (ours was over 3 months after we arrived!). Don’t expect to get your Permesso on that day and don’t make any appointments until much later that day (we had a 10.30 appointment and didn’t leave until 2pm – not to mention the travel time back to the city).  This is just to give your fingerprints and to make sure you have all your documents in order for the application – they should let you know if you’re missing anything. You have to take a photocopy of everything you used to apply for the Permesso in the first place, as well as the receipts from the Post Office.

At the Questura di Immigrazione make sure you tell them your current address when you give your fingerprints as they’ll send your Permesso to the Questura closest to your house, within three months! Our Questura put a list up every month with the codes of the Permessos that had arrived, make sure you check it as ours only took 2 months. Then you need to go to the Questura during open hours (fortunately ours was open on Saturday mornings), with your passport and receipts and they will finally give you your Permesso di Soggiorno.

Although it was a daunting and sometimes frustrating task, in the end, all the officers were very helpful and actually very excited to see our vacanze-lavoro visa as they’re pretty rare here. All up the process took us about 20 hours over six months. That’s right, half the duration of our visa, we didn’t even have our Permesso. We have found the Permesso useful though – as residents of Rome we have been able to visit the Colosseum and other museums for free (on specific dates to encourage residents to enjoy their city), jumping the year-long queues of tourists. Not to mention the peace of mind of not having to carry our passports with us every time we leave the house and travel within Italy.

28 thoughts on “Permesso di Soggiorno – Working Holiday visas

  1. I have been through all of this 3 times now. When you don’t know what to do it is very difficult and the rules change all the time in Italy. I also have a Carta di Identita, which I need to buy a car. I wasn’t aware of the free entry into museums – thanks for that. I have written posts about the process as well – and getting and Italian driving licence -what fun.

  2. Very useful information as I’m leaving NZ for a working holiday in Italy in a couple of weeks.

    It really sounds like I should be prepared for quite an experience obtaining my Permesso di Soggiorno. Especially as I don’t really plan on being in any one place fore more than a month or two, I’m really keen to explore the whole country.

    Are you able to tell me from when you can start working? Do you have to wait until you obtain your Permesso di Soggiorno? Do you need to hold any other documents in addition to the working holiday visa in your passport?

    Any help would be much appreciated.


    • Hi Garrick, I’m glad glad you found this information useful and sorry for the delayed reply but I’ve been travelling without internet access 🙂

      We didn’t need our Permesso to start work fortunately. We did need a tax number though, which was really easy to get. It’s called a Codice Fiscale and you need to go to your local Agenzia dell’Entrate to apply for it. We just took a photocopy of our passport info page and visa (plus the passport itself) and the receipt to say we had applied for our Permesso to the tax office, filled in a form and got our number then and there. It was the easiest bureaucratic experience in our time in Italy! Just check the office opening hours before you go because I think they change every day.

      We also needed a bank account which is another mission, but again you just need photocopies of your passport info page, visa, Permesso receipt and tax number. And patience.

      I hope you have a great time in Italy and enjoy your working holiday there!

      P.S. If you’re writing a blog of your travels, please leave your link here as I’d love to read it and see your experiences 🙂

      • Ciao Tali

        How is it going over the other side of the Alps in Germany? I’ve been in Verona for three weeks now and am loving it. Such a great city. I’m slowly making my way through the permesso process, and have a codice fiscale. Now the challenge is opening a bank account.

        Can I ask what bank went with? I have just tried opening an account with Unicredit but without success. They said I ended to either be studying or working.

        I’m not really doing a blog, but I have got a photo site, where I am writing a bit about my experiences.


      • Hi Garrick,

        I loved your Verona photos, it looks like quite an amazing city. I never made it there but would love to go there now.

        I got an account with UniCredit Banca di Roma. It was a Genius One account and there were a lot of restrictions (I could only view my balance online, not transfer money or anything else), but I did get a VPay card (kind of like EFTPOS). I did have a job at the time and needed a letter from my employer to say that I was working very close to that bank. Maybe try a different branch and see if that helps!

        Good luck, I hope you manage to sort it out!

  3. you are wonderful Tali just experienced the whole queuing up in the post office after initially going to the police station info definately needs to be updated!
    Grazie mille 🙂

    I am off to geta phone next think I will leave the whole tax number thing to a later date 😉

    ciao for now


    • Prego! Thanks for dropping by Jem and I hope you’ve managed to get things sorted! It can be frustrating at times but it’s worth it so you can live la Bella Vita!

  4. Hi Tali,
    Just came across your blog when doing some research on the permesso…
    I am from NZ and just arrived in Verona on Sunday. I have my permesso kit, but i am confused as to what code to use for the working holiday visa?? It doesn’t appear as an option!
    Can you remember what you used?
    Thanks in advance 🙂

    • Hi Monique,
      I’m sorry but I don’t remember what code we used (it was a year and a half ago now). I seem to remember we may have left that part blank as we weren’t applying for any of the Permesso options stated. When we went back to the Post office the guy we handed gave it to went through it all with us to make sure we had filled in everything we needed and included all the relevant documents so hopefully the same will happen for you in Verona. Let me know if you do find out and I hope you enjoy your time in Italy 🙂

      • Hi Tali,
        Thanks for the response!
        I went to the post office with the girl who I am staying with who is Italian so she could ask the staff there, and they didn’t seem to know. They said to go to some kind of office to ask them, but we went there and they were closed and would only be open for what I needed to ask on Tuesday afternoons. I did some more research on the internet and found on the Italian embassy of Adelaide’s website some more information (information which is not on the NZ website!). It says if you have a working holiday visa you need to go to the Questura and fill in a special form to be filed in by the person I am staying with.. So this morning I went and actually had a really nice lady that gave me a form and told me I need to go back either tomorrow or Thursday morning to see someone. I need to have this sorted by Wednesday as this will be the 8th business day in Italy so hopefully its all ok. there was a lot of people there today so hopefully I don’t have to wait in a big queue as I have school every morning!
        Fingers crossed its all ok!

      • Oh wow, that all sounds so confusing! I hope you were able to sort everything out in time. Everyone I speak to has a different story of what was required, but I never had to fill in anything at the Questura! Good luck with your studies 🙂

  5. Thank you so much for this! I have been looking for information like crazy but I wasn’t able to find anything. I’ve been to 7 post offices and they don’t even have the application kit…

    • Glad to help 🙂 I hope you end up finding the kit, we had to go to the main Post office. If you’re in Rome that would be the one by Piazza della Repubblica (heading towards Termini station). Good luck!

  6. Hi Tali,
    I know this is an old post – but I have found it very helpful – the forms can be a bit intimidating and we have found we have been sent between the police and post office too! I know this question is a long shot but on the form – there is no code for a vacanze lavoro – there is work or tourism which doesn’t quite fit the situation. Do you remember which type you selected?
    All the best.

    • Hi Kimberly,
      I can’t remember if we just left it blank or if we selected ‘Student.’ When we went back to the main post office in Rome, there was one guy who spoke English and was responsible for all the permesso applications, he helped us and answered those questions. I’d leave it blank if you can’t find the answer (the photocopy of your visa shows you’re on a working holiday anyway) because at our fingerprint appointment they sorted out any information we were missing and they were really excited to meet people on a working holiday – we’re a rare bread in Italy!
      Good luck!

  7. Hi there,

    I’m trying to figure my way through the permesso stuff for working holiday visa (i’m canadian). Just wondering which post office you went to- i was told i could visit any of them that did sportello amico but the first 2 were out of permesso kits! Also- every single page of the passport? Any advice would be super helpful!

    • Hello!
      I went to the post office in Piazza della Repubblica, near Roma Termini. It is a really big post office and they were used to the Permesso applications so were really helpful with our questions.
      We definitely had to photocopy every SINGLE page of our passport, including the front and back covers. I know the rules and process change every once in a while, and I did mine in 2010, so my only other advice is take a book – you’ll surely be waiting in a few queues to get this card.
      Good luck!

      • That was the first place I tried ha ha. I’m on post office visit number 7 plus a bonus trip to the questura on the first day. Fingers crossed they have kits here!

  8. This is great! Im so disappointed that I read this after going through the process. After speaking to no joke 8 or more different Italians getting sent all over siena I got my form sent out. I went to a patronato which to my understanding was ment to be a translator. She spoke very little English and then halfway through filling out online said because I didn’t have an employer and she couldn’t proceed. She sent me to someone, who sent me to someone else, who told me to go to the questura, who then sent me back to the post office. Almost EVERYONE thought my visa was ment for study none of them seemed to have any idea what a working holiday visa is.

    My italian is horrible and even though I hadn’t filled out the forms completely didn’t even manage to write my address in module 1 and I didn’t have a photocopy of all of my passport she still sent it away.

    Can anyone give me advice of what other paperwork I should have provided with the modules. I’m so worried it will be rejected.

    • It was 4 years ago so I don’t remember perfectly and things may have changed, but I think all we handed in was a photocopy of our passport, the marca da bollo tax and the application fee. As long as you were given an appointment time with the Questura you can probably sort the rest out then, just take photocopies of everything. Good luck!

  9. Thanks for the great info! I have a quick question. For the working holiday visa, did you put ‘lavoro’ or ‘turismo’ on your codice tipo di motivi?? I’m confused as there is no option for ‘vacanze lavoro’ on the application form. Thanks in advance!

    • I don’t remember what code we used but I seem to remember we may have left that part blank as we weren’t applying for any of the Permesso options stated. When we went back to the main post office in Rome, there was one guy who spoke English and was responsible for all the permesso applications, he helped us and answered those questions. I’d leave it blank if you can’t find the answer (the photocopy of your visa shows you’re on a working holiday anyway) because at our fingerprint appointment they sorted out any information we were missing. Good luck!!

      • Hi Kate, I left mine blank as well (I applied about two years ago). Didn’t even fill it in at the post office. No one seemed to care.

  10. sorry, i know this post is old but is it compulsory to get this if i have a working holiday visa? (I’m from NZ) thanks, Belinda

    • Hi Belinda,
      In 2010 it was compulsory to get it and I imagine it still would be. If you contact the Italian Embassy in Wellington (I guess that’s where you got your visa from?), they should be able to confirm for you. Or they may be able to tell you which type of police to ask for more information. I hope that helps!

  11. This was a great help, Tali. Thanks! The Italian consulate in Canada’s website also says to just go to the Questura for the PdS. Really needs to be updated!
    I just applied at the Poste Italiane today and I too left the code blank and it didn’t seem to be a problem. Also, the bollo price now is 16€.
    It seems the only difference I’ve had was not experiencing lines at the Poste Italiane! When I went to get the kit I had to wait maybe two minutes for my number to be called and when I went today literally as soon as I pressed the button on the machine to get my ticket I heard the sound, looked at the screen and it was my number! I went to the one at Termini and they seemed to have plenty of kits as well in case anyone is looking.

  12. Hi Tali, thanks for this! I am planning to move around a lot and I don’t think I’ll actually be in the one place for more than a month. Do they check up on the address that you put on your form? If I list a hostel that I am staying at when I apply, but that I don’t expect to be in for much longer, is this going to be an issue?

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