Interview with JJOC in Milan
Date of Interview: August 29, 2007
Area of Italy you live in?
Let us know a little about yourself?
Married to an Italian citizen after arriving in Italy 20 years ago on a 3-year work assignment.
Why did you decide to move to Italy?
After returning to the US at the completion of my assignment, my not-then wife came to the US where we got married. Within two years I changed companies so we could return to Italy and have been here on and off (depending on work) ever since. Now I am retired.
What type of process did you go through to be able to move here?
Initially a work visa being sponsored by my former company to work at its Italian subsidiary. Later, after marrying my wife, we came back and I applied for the PdiS for motivi di famiglia.
What problems did you run into during the initial process and how were you able to fix them ?
First time I was fortunate to have the company lawyers handle everything -- I needed only to appear and sign when necessary. The second time, roughly four years later, I did it on my own. It was a trying experience (getting legal translations of birth certificate and wedding certificate, followed by the usual waiting at the Questura) but with much patience I managed to get through it. Since then I've renewed the PdiS a couple of times, no problems, and only recently completed the paperwork to convert to the Carta di Soggiorno, using the yellow kit at the post office. My fingers are crossed on that one.
How long have you been here?
First arrived in Italy in 1988 on company assignment, left in 1991 at completion, then came back in 1992 on my own, actually working in Munich and commuting each week from our home in Milan.
What type of adjustment problems have you had?
I imagine just the usual cultural shock for an American who was used to a more orderly way of life -- differences in driving habits, store/office hours, actually waiting in line for something -- many little things that are usually more than compensated by the good things.
What do you wish someone had told you before you made the leap?
If you're ever having an operation and will need serious pain medication afterwards, consider having it done in the US where pain management is considered more than something only for terminally ill patients.
What inside secret could you pass on to others looking to move over?
Don't ever pay to have your personal car brought over with your household goods. The hassle to get it registered (l'immatricolazione) is simply not worth it, especially if it is an American model that is not sold in Italy. It took about 15 months and this was with the help of an agency that dealt with the bureaucratic nonsense for me -- legal translations and apostille for the title and NJ registration. A nightmare!
Do you have any disappointments, things you thought would happen but haven't for whatever reasons ?
I thought I might be living in the country by now, but am still in the city and not sure that will change as my wife is from Milan and loves it here.
What has changed about you since you have been here ?
Probably everything. Even after my initial three years on assignment, my American family and colleagues commented how much I was Italianized (not always meant as a compliment however).
Do you think that you will stay forever?
Can you think of any other questions that should be added to this questionnaire?
Not at the moment, seems quite comprehensive for the purpose.
Can you think of anything that you would like seen added to this site?
Honestly, I've just arrived and haven't had much of an opportunity to explore.
Obviously I don't have a personal need for guidance on "getting legal" in Italy, but I'd be happy to help others whenever I can. I know it can be hard. However I do have a specific and imminent need as regards my 26-year-old son who is not an Italian resident and, after coming to visit me, now would like to live with us. He's obviously too old to qualify for family reasons and I need help on getting him a PdiS for work reasons, probably autonomous.