Saturday, February 18, 2017
Permesso nearly in the bag! Now an enforced time out before round 2
Okay, I admit I was drunk! I can’t believe I suggested that Lucy might get her Italian citizenship quickly. I was intoxicated not with Montecarlo’s fine red wine but with hope, because the lines in the Questura had been relatively short, I could understand the clerk, and we had all the documents we needed for her permesso di soggiorno in my hands.
This morning we went to the Questura, and after a 50-minute wait in line and then a half hour for the clerk to process the paperwork, she gave us a stamped ‟receipt” marked permesso di soggiorno. Then she told us sit in the waiting room and someone would call us for Lucy’s fotosegnalamento. That was a word I didn’t know. She also said something about waiting one month. What? Now I was confused. But she clearly told us to sit and wait, and so we did.
Within 15 minutes, a side door opened and we were escorted into an office for Polizia Scientifica. A friendly middle-aged police woman asked Lucy for her height and the color of her eyes, and then she took digital photos of Lucy’s palms and fingers, the fotosegnalamento. That’s it, she said. Lucy’s permesso di soggiorno card would be ready in about a month. They had my cell phone number and will call when it’s ready.
Still, we were optimistic that we could start round 2, because we had the receipt, which clearly stated permesso di soggiorno. It had a photo of Lucy attached and official stamps from the Questura. We drove straight to the city hall of Montecarlo to start Lucy’s residence permit.
Ah, not so fast, the clerks there told us. This document is not the actual permesso di soggiorno. It is just a receipt, and we have to wait for the real card to be issued. Presumably this has something to do with Lucy’s fingerprints being checked through the system first to make sure she is not a criminal or terrorist.
‟Is there anything we can do to speed up the process?” I asked. ‟Perhaps,” one clerk said, ‟you could go to the Prefettura in Lucca and get a declaration of Nulla Osta.” This is a clearance form stating there is no legal obstacle from Lucy’s past. However, a Nulla Osta would probably take a month to get, she added.
‟It’s better just to wait,” she said. ‟There is no hurry, is there?”
Since there actually is no listed record in Guinness for fastest foreign citizenship obtained in Italy, I had to admit that we really had no good reason to ask anyone to bend the rules. ‟No, we can wait,” I said. ‟Of course. No problem.”
We have passed step 1 with flying colors. It’s just that now I have a hope hangover, a small deflation of excitement. The chase has been put on hold, but it’s not in any way off track. It’s on to other challenges, like our leaky roof, meeting new people, finding the best scenic hikes. For Lucy, making some quilts. For me, editing my book manuscript. Basically, living la dolce vita, and I guess that’s not too bad!