I was born in Rome, but spent the majority of life abroad, including Chicago where I met my husband. We recently moved to Rome, and the first few months were quite a learning experience.
In this short series of posts I will cover some of the practical things we learned along the way, which I think will be helpful. Of course, each situation is unique, and things might work a little differently depending on your personal situation.
In any case, I hope you’ll enjoy living in Italy and all that it has to offer.
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Besides your Italian passport, the most important thing you will need is your codice fiscale. The codice fiscale is a 16-digit alphanumeric code generated using your personal information, including your date of birth, full name, place of birth, and a control number.
This is essentially the Italian equivalent of a Social Security number. You will need this in order to sign a rental agreement, open a bank account, set up your utilities (including home internet and phone), and even obtain a SIM card for your cell phone. Your employer will also need your codice fiscale for tax purposes.
If you are born in Italy, a codice fiscale is assigned at birth, whereas for foreigners it is often assigned upon the issuance of a permesso di soggiorno, or permit of stay. In my case, since I was born in Italy I already had one assigned to me.
If you obtained Italian citizenship by jure sanguinis (by descent) or jure matrimonii (through marriage), you will want to contact the consulate in your jurisdiction to verify whether a codice fiscale has already been assigned to you, or what steps you’ll need to take in order to obtain one.
Personally, I’d strongly recommend planning your move for after you’ve obtained Italian dual citizenship. I would also recommend obtaining your codice fiscale before arriving (if possible). If anyone is moving with you to Italy (e.g. spouse, child) who is not an Italian citizen, they will need to request a permit of stay within 8 working days of arrival in Italy. As such, you will want to determine if they are eligible for a permit of stay and what documents you will need to obtain the permit.