This post is to help any New Zealander, Australian, or Candian who comes to Italy on a Working Holiday visa, because when I arrived in Italy it was impossible to find any information on the internet regarding our kind of visa and Permesso di Soggiorno requirements. I hope it helps!
When we got our visas (we applied while we were still in New Zealand), we were told to go to the Questura (local Police station) within 7 days from our arrival to apply for a Permesso di Soggiorno. This has changed and we should have been told to go to the main Post Office to collect a Permesso application pack. Allow at least an hour to get this pack (waiting in queues is normal at the Poste Italiane).
The pack of forms you get are mostly irrelevant, so don’t be afraid when you see them all. Just fill in the ones relating to your visa (and any extra requirements of your visa – e.g. proof of funds, proof of travel insurance). We had to go to a Tobacconists to buy a Marca da Bollo (tax stamp) for €14.62 and with our application we had to pay another €57.50 for admin costs. NB – a photocopy of your passport means every single page including the front and back covers. Also the Post Office would only accept cash, so make sure you have enough as you don’t want to have to leave your place in the queue.
Upon completing the application and payment at the Post Office, we got a date to go to the official Questura di Immigrazione (ours was over 3 months after we arrived!). Don’t expect to get your Permesso on that day and don’t make any appointments until much later that day (we had a 10.30 appointment and didn’t leave until 2pm – not to mention the travel time back to the city). This is just to give your fingerprints and to make sure you have all your documents in order for the application – they should let you know if you’re missing anything. You have to take a photocopy of everything you used to apply for the Permesso in the first place, as well as the receipts from the Post Office.
At the Questura di Immigrazione make sure you tell them your current address when you give your fingerprints as they’ll send your Permesso to the Questura closest to your house, within three months! Our Questura put a list up every month with the codes of the Permessos that had arrived, make sure you check it as ours only took 2 months. Then you need to go to the Questura during open hours (fortunately ours was open on Saturday mornings), with your passport and receipts and they will finally give you your Permesso di Soggiorno.
Although it was a daunting and sometimes frustrating task, in the end, all the officers were very helpful and actually very excited to see our vacanze-lavoro visa as they’re pretty rare here. All up the process took us about 20 hours over six months. That’s right, half the duration of our visa, we didn’t even have our Permesso. We have found the Permesso useful though – as residents of Rome we have been able to visit the Colosseum and other museums for free (on specific dates to encourage residents to enjoy their city), jumping the year-long queues of tourists. Not to mention the peace of mind of not having to carry our passports with us every time we leave the house and travel within Italy.