Bologna has been decided. So what now? This blog is going to follow my Journey from innocent San Francisco denizen to harried and exhausted Bolognese. Here are the tasks that are awaiting me and I will take you through my trials a tribulations”
- Italian Language classes (refresher since my last Italian class was over 30 years ago).
- Italian Elective Residency Visa
- Preparations for the move
- Moving to Italy
- Permessio di Soggiorno in Bologna
So of these 5 seemingly simple tasks I have already embarked on 2 of them. Next week I will start with an Italian Tutor (I had been using Babbel and found it very ineffective). Late September I will take an Italian course from the Italian Cultural Institute. The tutor was found by calling the Italian Cultural Institute. The institute is a organization of the Italian consulate.
The Italian Elective Residency Visa is the visa for retirees. It prohibits work and requires that you can prove you can financially survive in Italy on your own by showing you have a sustainably income of (as of this date) about USD 35,000. You are also asked for a bewildering variety of documents and you are not assured by the instructions that those are all the documents that will be required. In other words they can ask for an arbitrary amount of the documents. Whether this is true or not we shall see. Nevertheless, since each local consulate can make their own rules, by looking at several consulate rules I can make a master list of documents. By September 2, I am required to contact the Italian Consulate and inform them of my intentions to move 6 months later to Bologna. They will schedule an appointment by which time I must already have an apartment rented. I cannot purchase an apartment until I move and sell my current one. But that is not a limitation for me, it gives me a good amount of time to look for my dream house as well as my dream neighborhood of Bologna or its immediate environs.
So the preparations for the Visa are first and foremost, and the most challenging. As an application is not a guarantee of a visa as this Elective Residency visa if the most restrictive and closely scrutinzed. And given the heavy workload of the Consulate, being well organized and prepared will be of the most import.