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The Next Step in My Quest for Italian Residency

If you've been following my saga, which started with a very unfriendly Italian consulate employee in Los Angeles, followed by a last-minute trip to Milan to apply for my permesso di soggiorno (oops, I didn't even blog about that), here's the next step.

Because I applied in Milan for my permesso, which is the identity card I need to be a resident and get free healthcare, I had an appointment there at the questura, or police station. I was needlessly nervous about what it would entail.

Your Passport, Bank Statements, Firstborn...

My expat friends and I joke about all the papers Italian agencies want from you. One friend has gone to the bank numerous times to open an account, and every time, they ask for something else. Possibly even a blood sample. I don't know.

So when my lawyer gave me a long list of things to bring to the questura appointment, I complied. I rushed around town, picking up a hostel reservation and other docs from my lawyer. The police officer barely glanced at most of it.

He passed me along to another young carabinieri. He asked me to stand and pulled a plastic glove out of his drawer. Me, being the funny girl I am, said in Italian, "Oh! I'm afraid!"

"Of me?" he asked. I pointed at the glove with a raised eyebrow. I told him my lawyer hadn't told me about this part of the interview.

Fortunately, the glove wasn't to give me a body search but to guide my fingers over the digital fingerprint machine. What a relief!

We laughed. He flirted a little. I let him. Anything to get my damn card and be official!

That's a Load Off My Shoulders

The hard work is done. Unless the background check nets a nefarious past on my part, I should receive my card in about a month.

Relieved after the appointment, I had a leisurely breakfast as I waited for shops to open. Then I spent the day wandering around Milan shopping!

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