All visitors to Italy are required to declare their presence within 8 days of arrival. There are 3 ways this can be accomplished:

  1. If you fly direct from the United States to Italy, then the border control officer will place a stamp inside your passport which indicates the date you entered the country. If they try to wave you through without stamping your passport, you can ask for the stamp.
  2. If for some reason you will not be traveling direct to Italy but rather first landing in another Schengen Zone country before entering Italy, then your passport will lack a necessary entry stamp called a “timbro”. If you check into a hotel (B&B, agriturismo), they will ask for your passport. As required by law, they use your passport and registration information to report your presence. Be certain to obtain a copy of your hotel registration as this will serve as your declaration of presence.
  3. In the absence of either of the above, you must go to the Questura, located in the provincial capitol (Police Station) of your chosen comune within eight days of entry into Italy to file a Declaration of Presence within the country, known as a “Dichiarazione di Presenza”. The officer at the Questura will want to know why you are there and why you feel you need to make a Dichiarazione di Presenza, so you will need to bring all your paperwork with you to show him/her that you are in Italy to apply for Italian citizenship and will need the Dichiarazione di Presenza to obtain residency status at your selected comune. You will also need to bring a 3×4 photo of yourself and proof that you are staying somewhere in Italy. This can be your lease agreement, hotel registration, or a letter of hospitality issued by your host.

Further details: How to report entering Italy

Next Section: Applying, Step 2 – Establishing Residency

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