How I Cried my Way to a Permanent Residence in Italy

Spoiler: It didn’t help, it’s just how I felt

Sangeeta Kalsi
Human Parts

--

Line outside of the Immigration office, Florence, Italy
This is 7:30am outside the Questura di Firenze. We’ve been here since 6:00 am. It doesn’t open until 9:00 am. (Source: Author)

Pam*, the kind girl at the copy-place, refreshed the Poste Italiane page for the fifth time that morning, then turned to me with a lot of confusion in her eyes.

“I don’t think you can get that online identification number… even with all this paperwork you brought.”

That was the second time I burst into tears in the visa-permit-of-stay-residency process.

The first I ever cried about it was when I had stood in line for six hours with my extremely supportive partner, only to have the guy at the Questura (immigration office) shoo me away. I showed him the status-update section on the Questura’s official site that said my permit was ready. The permit I had applied for nearly two years ago. That I had been following up on for nearly two years. The site said it was ready. It was irrelevant, and “Why would I ever come to their office when nobody emailed me that I should?”

Because it had been two years. In those two years I had managed to get a full-time job, rented three homes, finish a degree, contribute to taxes, play plant-mom to over 60 plants, and learn Italian. But because I didn’t have this permit, I couldn’t convert it for work, which meant even after having graduated and gotten…

--

--

Sangeeta Kalsi
Human Parts

Dubai-born Indian living in Italy. I write an art column - follow "An Artists Diary." Writing from a feminist artist & immigrant's lens.