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Sojorners Permit

the Permesso di Soggiorno

One of the first tasks the newly-arrived military dependent or civilian employee must carry out is the obtaining of a Sojourner permit, the Permesso di Soggiorno. The process can be a bit confusing since it all happens during the blur of your first week in Italy. So the following information is offered to help you both before and after you obtain your Sojourner Permit.

What is a Sojourner permit?
A Sojourner Permit is an Italian government document that certifies that a NATO force military dependent, or member of the civilian component, is legally residing, temporarily, in Italy. It is different form a Visa, which is merely an entry approval.

Who must obtain a Sojourner permit?
Italian law requires all foreign personnel entering Italy, other than active duty member under military orders, to obtain a Sojourner Permit. Application must be made within eight days of arrival in Italy. Sojourner Permits are required for all military dependents, all members of the civilian component (DoD civilians, NAP employees, technical representatives, Red Cross, USO and employees of other organizations providing services to and enjoying a special status with the U.S.O. Military) and their dependents.

How do I obtain a Sojourner Permit?
As part of the Indoc orientation process, the Region Naval Legal Service Office, NAS II assists in the preparation of sojourner applications and oversees the acquisition of the Sojourner Permit for all personnel attached to U.S. Navy commands in Italy. When you come you will need:

  • Valid Official or No-fee passport with Visa (type D, missione)
  • Four passport photographs
  • A copy of your orders

Please be advised that all applicants over 14 years of age must apply in person. You may not submit a family member’s application for them, as each person’s signature is required at the time of application.

What about fingerprints?
The Italian law, the Bossi-Fini Immigration Law of 30 July 2002 requires fingerprints to be taken when a Sojourner Permit is applied for or renewed on applicant 18 years or older. For new arrivals, the Italian officials will take fingerprints during indoctrination, in the FFSC Conference room, across from the Housing Office. Normally on Mondays beginning at 0800. After applying, you will need to provide a photocopy of your passport and one of your photographs to the Italian officials for fingerprinting. Understand that the Italian personnel come here to do the fingerprinting as opposed to each applicant going into Catania. It is a service they provide us as a courtesy. Otherwise each family would have to drive to Catania to apply.

How do I renew my expired Sojourner permit?
You will need to come to the Navy Region Legal Support Office on NAS II with the documents listed below. The following items are needed to renew your Sojourner permit:

  • Letter stating your rotation date from Italy
  • Valid Official or No-fee passport
  • Four passport photographs
  • Your old Sojourner permit.
  • Fingerprints (if not previously taken)

When can I come to NLSO to apply for my Sojourner’s Permit?
NRLSO collect applications and photos at the same time as the finger printing is completed. During INDOC; time and location will be announced. INDOC is conducted by base education in the FFSC. FFSC has a Courtesy Room with a printer/FAX; to make copies during your tour here. About a week later you may pick up a copy of the application first page, at the Region Legal Support Office on NAS II to keep with your passport. Only certain NLSO staff members are authorized to accept Sojourner signatures on behalf of the Italian Questura. Ask for them when you are at the Region Legal Assistance Office (RLAO), 624-5258. Processing by the Italian authorities can take two weeks or longer, so please be patient. You will receive word from the RLAO when your Sojourner Permit is ready to be picked up. You may pick up a copy of the application to carry in your passport. Traveling outside Italy is not a problem; it is when you are returning that you may be asked for it, as you go through Customs.

What do I do with my Sojourner permit?
Make a copy of your Sojourner Permit and carry it with you at all times. Keep your ordinal Sojourner permit in a secure location, along with your passport. Immediately report the loss or theft of a Sojourner Permit to Italian Carabineer and to NLSO. Make sure your original Sojourner permit accompanies you whenever your travel outside Italy.

What do I do with my Sojourner Permit upon PSC out of Italy?
You are required to check-out at NLSO before departing Italy on Permanent Change of Station orders. At the check-out you must surrender your Sojourner Permits for your family.

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