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I.1 - Your Permit to stay can be converted into another type of Permit to stay if you comply with all the requirements to get the new Permit.

You can apply for the conversion at the Immigration office of the local Police Headquarter (E.g. in Rome circumscription, "Questura di Roma - Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione" in Via Teofilo Patini n. 23, where an officer will give you a form to fill in and will tell you which documents are required for the application) or at the Post Office (pick up the “kit” - form and instructions - and submit your permit application).

When filling out the application form (or postal kit), the Questura/Poste-Italiane representative will schedule an appointment for you to go to the competent Prefettura for the document check-up and, if applicable, to do your fingerprints scan. The Questura/Poste-Italiane representative will inform you the address of the competent Prefettura where to go.

Remember to keep your application-receipt because it allows you to legally stay in Italy until the end of the process.

The police office or the Prefettura will let you know the expected processing time as well, as when and where to go to pick up the Permesso di Soggiorno card as soon as it is ready.

Exceptions might apply depending on your type of visa, local policies, regulation updates, etc.


I.2 - Generally, for any kind of conversion the following is required:

  •  tax-stamp of € 16,00 (“marca da bollo”);

  • original and a copy of a valid passport (all pages);

  • original and a copy of a valid ID card (if you hold it)

  • original and a copy of the Permit to stay to be converted;

  • original and a copy of your fiscal code (if you hold it);

  • certificato di idoneità alloggiativa” (a Certificate, issued by the local Prefettura, that shows that the place where you live is in good conditions as regards urban requirements);

  • copy of your lease or any other accommodation arrangement (for example, declaration of hospitality by the landlord, a relative or a friend – "Dichiarazione di ospitalità", Dichiarazione di occupazione” or “Cessione di fabbricato”);

  • ID photos x4 of the applicant and eventually children under 14 to be included in the temporary permit.


The following are the general requirements for the main types of conversion


Conversion of a student-permit into a work-permit.

A) If you are employed, in addition to the documentation mentioned above in paragraph I.2, the following is required:

  • Copy of your employer's ID card;

  • Copy of the contract between you and your employer (it must be signed only by him);

  • Copy of the employer’s proposal (this must indicate: the kind of contract you're going to sign; the hours; the location; and all other work conditions);

  • Copy of the employer's tax declaration.

B) If you are self-employed, in addition to the documentation mentioned above in paragraph I.2, the following is required:

  • 3 year-Bachelor’s degree (180 Credits/CFU);

  • 2 year-Specialized degree;

  • Specialization Diploma (course of 2 years minimum);

  • PHD (3 years minimum);

  • University Master level I (1 year minimum);

  • University Master level II (1 year minimum);

  • Magistrate’s or postgraduate specialization certificate or diploma (1 year).



1) Pursuant to art. 22 of the Italian Immigration law, “the Italian employer or the foreign employer legally residing in Italy that intends to establish in Italy a fixed-term or open-ended subordinate job relationship with an alien resident abroad must submit to the cognizant employment centre, upon verification of the availability of a worker present on the national territory, all which follows properly documented, at the One Stop Shop for immigration of the province of residence or of that where the business has its registered office, or where the job will be carried out:

a) individual request by name for no impediment document to work (a.k.a. “nullaosta lavoro”);

b) proper documentation concerning the modalities for lodging the foreign worker;

c) proposal of residence contract specifying relevant conditions, including the employer’s commitment to pay the expenses for the return of the alien to the Country of origin;

d) statement concerning the commitment to communicate any variation concerning the job relationship".

The request shall be presented online on the following site of the “Ministero dell’Interno”:  

2) The issue of work permits both autonomous and subordinate is always subject to the existence of quotas provided for by the Flow Decree ("Decreto flussi") issued each year by the Italian Governmnt.

Therefore visa applications must be presented as soon as possibile, immediately after the publication of the Decree.

The possibility of obtaining a visa outside the quotas is subjected to the possession of the requisites provided for by Article 27 of the TUI (Italian Immigration Law - Legislative Decree n 286/1998): eg. managers  or  highly  specialized  personnel  of  companies  with  registered 
office  or  branches  in  Italy; 
university lecturers within exchange programmes or of mother-tongue; university professors appointed to carry out an academic charge in Italy; translators and interpreters; artistic and technical personnel for lyric, theatrical, concert or ballet shows; dancers, artists and musicians to employ at entertainment places; etc.


Conversion of a Study Permit into a Permit for pending employment

(“Permesso in attesa di lavoro”).

Immediately after graduation (3 year-Bachelor’s degree or Specialized degree, or PhD or Master’s), you must enroll at the employment office (“centro per l’impiego”), next, before the expiration date of the study permit, you must apply for the conversion.

In addition to the documentation mentioned above in paragraph I.2 the following is required:

  • receipt of enrollment at the “centro per l'impiego”;

  • your "codice fiscale"

  • certificate of the degree granted to you by the University;

  • receipt of the payment of the residence permit contribution.

Note that:

1) If you already hold a “work permit” and you have lost your job, you must apply for a “pending employment permit” within 40 days from the end of your previous work relationship.

2) the permit for pending employment has a duration of 12 months, and it’s not renewable unless:

  • you have applied for the conversion of your work permit and you receive mobility allowance;

  • you are member of a family already legally registered in Italy and you can prove that one of the family members has an income not inferior to the annual amount of the social cheque (around € 6.000)


Conversion of any kind of Permit into a Family Permit (known as “coesione familiare”).

In addition to the documentation mentioned above in paragraph I.2 the following documents are required:

  • copy of a valid passport of the family member you want to join who legally resides in Italy;

  • document (translated and apostilled if issued by a foreign Country) that proves that you are a relative of the subject who legally resides in Italy;

  • a health insurance or other eligible title, so as to guarantee the covering of all risks on the national territory in favour of the ascendant over sixty-five years of age or his registration in the National health service;

  • a minimum annual income deriving from legal sources not inferior to the annual amount of the social cheque increased by half of the amount of the social cheque for each family member to be joined. For the joining of one or more children under fourteen years of age it is required to have, in any case, an income not inferior to the double of the annual amount of the social cheque. In order to establish the income, also the total annual income of the family members living with the applicant is taken into account. This requirement can be proved by producing a copy of the tax declaration of the family member you want to join or, in such cases where the Italian law does not require the tax return, by producing other “objective documentation”;

  • a lodging compliant with hygiene-health requirements, as well as lodging eligibility, ascertained by the cognizant municipal offices (if a child is under fourteen years of age following one of the parents, it is sufficient to have the consent of the owner of the lodging where the minor will actually live).

Who is eligible to apply for the conversion of a Permit to stay into a Family Permit?

1) foreigners legally resident with other title for at least one year, married in the State’s territory with  an Italian citizen or in a member State of the European Union, or with a foreign citizen legally resident;

2) foreign family members legally resident, in possession of the requisites for joining the foreign citizen legally resident in Italy: A) spouse or partner not legally separated and not under eighteen years of age; B) minor children, even of the spouse or born out of wedlock, not married, upon the condition that the other parent, if existing, has given consent; C) dependent children of age, if for objective reasons they cannot take care of their own indispensable needs of life due to their health that entails total invalidity; D) dependent parents, should they not have other children in the Country of origin or provenance, or parents over sixty-five years of age, should it be impossible for their other children to support them for documented, serious health reasons; E) to the foreign parent, also natural, of Italian minor resident in Italy (in this case, the residence permit for family reasons is issued also regardless of the possession of a valid residence title, upon the condition that the applying parent has not been deprived of parental authority according to the Italian law).

3) foreign family members legally resident, in possession of the requisites for joining the Italian citizen or a member State of the European Union resident in Italy: spouse or partner; minor children; dependent children of age; dependent parents; parents of minor resident in Italy; dependent brothers or sisters of Italian citizens.

Clarifications regarding the residence permit for family reasons:

1) The conversion can be applied for within one year from the expiry date of the residence title originally possessed by the family member (should said citizen be a refugee, the family member’s  possession of a valid residence permit is disregarded);

2) the residence permit for family reasons has the same duration of the residence permit of the foreign family member in possession of the requisites for the joining pursuant to article 29 and it is renewable together with the latter.

3) The residence permit for family reasons allows you to carry out work activities until the expiration date of the permit. It specifically allows the following:

  • enrollment on study courses or professional training;

  • registration in unemployment lists;

  • carrying out subordinate work (withstanding the minimum requisites of age, after inclusion in the registry list or, if the employment relationship is in progress, after the employer's notice to the Provincial Labor Office);

  • carrying out subordinate work (withstanding the minimum requisites of age, after acquisition of professional titles legally recognized in Italy that qualify for carrying out the profession).

4) Generally, the permit for family reasons cannot be converted into permit for work reasons, but in case of death of the family member in possession of the requisites for the family joining and in case of legal separation or undoing of the marriage or, for the child that cannot obtain the residence paper, upon turning eighteen years old, the residence permit can be converted into permit for subordinate work, autonomous work or for study, withstanding the minimum requisites of age for carrying out work activities.

5) While waiting for the issuing of the permit to stay, the foreign worker can legally reside in the State’s territory and work temporarily until receiving a possible communication from the public security Authority, to notify also to the employer, indicating the reasons hindering the issuing or renewal of the residence permit. In order to carry out the work activity the cognizant office must have issued the receipt certifying the submission of the application for the issuing or renewal of the permit.

6) Documents issued by a foreign Authority must be translated and apostilled, unless otherwise established by international agreements signed between Italy and the country of origin.

7) For the request for a residence permit for family reasons involving a foreigner who has been recognized as a political refugee and for the request for family cohesion with an Italian citizen or a citizen of a member state of the EU, it is sufficient to produce documentation certifying the relationship.

Gerardo D'Antuono Attorney at Law 


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