Worst Parts of Living in Italy as a Foreigner

Italy is a wonderful country with its history, geographic location, culture, food, and many other things. These are the primary reasons that make the country attractable. However, when you decide to live in Italy, you face with thousands of difficulties after your first arrival. Italy is the country of procedures, and the ones who want to spend half of their time with these procedures keep living in Italy. The others are being messed with unreasonable difficulties and decide to leave the country. Let me give you some examples from our daily life here in Milan.

  • As an international student, you need to renew your permit of stay each year, even you are a Ph.D. student. There is not any agreement or integration between university and government which facilitates your stay. You need to get your documents from university each year and then follow the requirements for applying for a stay permit. If you are lucky, you can get an appointment date to 4-5 months later, and it takes 40 days to get your card after attending the appointment. I am not kidding, it takes almost 6-7 months to renew your yearly permit of stay. In other words, you spend half of the year to get access to stay on the following mid-year. Since you don’t have a valid stay permit for 6 months, you are forbidden to visit any European country because with the appointment paper, you can only go to your home country. You should have the card, not the paper to visit France for example.
  • Even you have an appointment date for stay permit, the officers may not work on that day, because they can give decisions on their own. In my case, my wife was having an appointment on Saturday, we went to the Police station with our official appointment paper, but they told us that their colleagues decided not to work on that day, and we should come by Monday.
  • Most of the government organizations do not support their online valid operations. You need to go to the offices as a person and wait for hours to get the hard-copy of documents.
  • For each document, Italy government requests a timber costing 16 euro. In many cases, you need 2 timbers, which cost 32 euro in total. You buy your timber from the shops located in the streets, and you collide your timber into any document to make it official. In some cases, the machine which generates the timber doesn’t work, because it is connected to the government computers. In a single year, I bought 40+ timbers and I paid more than 650 euro for the timbers. (I am not including the application fees for each process)
  • If you are a student and want to work in a company, you should change the stay permit from student to employee. This process nearly takes 3 months. You are very lucky if you haven’t heard the words of Nulla Osta so far.
  • When you are ready to work in a company, you should prove that your house is convenient to live. In fact, your house is already recognized by the municipality, but it doesn’t matter. You should find and call a certified engineer to validate your living conditions in the house and pay him 100 euro. But before that, you should have the certificates, plans of the house, and if you don’t have, you should pay 600 euro and spend days to get those documents. Each year, the validity of approval expires, so you should find and call a certified engineer and pay 100 euro.
  • Most of the employees working in local authorities (municipality, police office, etc) do not know English. So you should use your body language capabilities.
  • If you make a money transfer from a bank account to another, it needs to pass a day. Only in very few examples, such as internal bank transfers between Intesa San Paolo accounts, you can transfer money on the same day. In 99% of cases, you need to wait, and also pay 1 euro for each transfer.
  • If there is a cargo or a document sent to your address with Italy Postal Office service and you are not at home, you need to take it from the central Postal Office. When you go there, you should wait at least 2-3 hours other people, and after all of that time, you may not have your package since it is lost.
  • After being graduated, it takes 4 months to get your diplome. In that time, your stay permit maybe overdue, so return to your home country, and apply for a tourist visa to come back and get your document. If you plan to stay in Italy and apply for a job, you cannot make that application without your diplome.

There are many different stories which make our life messy here. In my calculation, I spent nearly 720+ hours of dedicated time for my official things in a single year. My house is full of documents. And the most interesting thing is, Italians are okay with this. There is no need to make any progress to make life easier.

In my following post, I will explain the best parts of living Italy.

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