What Next: How to Stay in Italy after Graduation

If you are about to graduate from your program in Italy, you might have fallen in love with the country and want to stick around a bit longer. Unfortunately, it’s been my experience that universities aren’t the best at laying out your options, so I did what I do best – got down to research and found the ways you can extend your stay. In fact, I found myself in exactly that situation, and with an expiring permesso, I jumped into all my options. That’s what kickstarted the idea for Colline alle Montagne. So, let’s get to it, here is how to stay in Italy after graduation.

But wait, where did you graduate?

Right away, I am coming at you with a downer. How to stay in Italy after graduation depends very much on where you graduated from. It needs to be an accepted degree, from an institution approved by MIUR. Here is a list of the approved programs:

  • Laurea triennale (180 credits);
  • Laurea specialistica biennale (120 credits);
  • Laurea magistrale (300 credits;
  • Diploma di specializzazione (min duration: 2 years);
  • Dottorato di ricerca universitaria (min. duration: 3 years), even if not all 3 years were completed in Italy.
  • Master universitario di I livello, post laurea triennale (min duration: 1 year);
  • Attestato o diploma di perfezionamento, post laurea specialistica o magistrale (duration: 1 year – 60 credits;
  • Master universitario di II livello, post laurea specialistica o magistrale (min duration: 1 year), even if not the whole year was in Italy.

Unfortunately, many of the American or Foreign universities in Italy, do not fall under this category, and things get a little more complicated. In this case, your best option is to enroll in another Master’s Program with an approved Italian University.

How to Stay in Italy after Graduation: Your Options with a Degree

If you have graduated in Italy with one of the above-mentioned titles, you have a few options for staying in Italy:

  • Continue your studies: in which case you will continue with a Study Permit
  • If you have a job offer you can convert to a Work Permit.
  • If you already want to start your business you can convert to a freelance permit or
  • you can apply for the Attesa di Occupazione – the “unemployed” permit

Truth be told the last option is the most popular. It is fairly easy to get and allows you one year to search for a job or decide what to do next. It also makes things easier in the long run because after you have it, you no longer need to go through the Nulla Osta process to access a work or freelance permit, you can simply renew with whichever one is best for you.

How to get the Permesso di Soggiorno Attesa di Occupazione

This type of permesso di soggiorno is the best solution for anyone who has just graduated. You’ll need to double check your degree or certificate to make sure it qualifies; It must be a MIUR-certified institution, if you aren’t sure, ask your university or contact your local Sportello Unico d’Immigrazione. However, if it came from any of the big-name universities, you’re all set! If it is not directly on MIUR’s list of universities, you will need to get a Dichiarazione di Valore, a Declaration of Value. This is done through your university by the office of the registrar.

This permesso can only be applied for once, within 1 year of graduation, and is valid for 1 year, it acts as a legal placeholder while you search for a job.

You won’t need to have official residency to get this permesso, but if you have not already, I highly recommend registering for official residency and signing up for the national healthcare system. It provides guaranteed health service, plus the years of residency add up and can eventually get you a long-term carta di soggiorno, or even citizenship down the line!

You will need a valid permesso di soggiorno in hand. You cannot apply for a new permesso while still waiting for your old one to come through.

What you will need:

  • Kit Permesso from the post office and you will need to fill out Modulo both 1 and 2;
  • A photocopy of your passport, the main page, and all pages with relevant stamps or visas;
  • Copy of your “liste di collocamento” sign up, this is all the documents that you get when you sign up with the Employment office
  • Copy of your current permesso di soggiorno;
  • Copy of your codice fiscale
  • Marca da bollo €16

While these are what they list, I always play it safe and add a few extra documents, so I would include:

  • Copy of your degree from an Italian institution
  • Copy of whatever health insurance you have, if it isn’t the Italian Tessera Sanitaria

Send that all in through the Post Office and then you’ll follow the same usual process – appointment at the questura, waiting, then pick up.

How to sign up for the Liste di Collocamento at your local Centro d’Impiego

Well first off, what does liste di collocamento mean? Essentially it is an unemployment status, that puts your info into a pool and if companies are looking for a certain profile, they can call you for a job.

The first thing you need to get signed up is to look for your closest Centro d’Impiego. If you have residency somewhere, I recommend looking for one where you are a resident, if not just the closest on the map works.

The Centro will definitely have a website or a phone number, and here you will find information about making an appointment. Some you will need to call, some you will need to email, and others post-Covid have set up ways to do the whole process online.

Make an appointment as soon as possible and get together everything you should bring.

What do you need to bring if it doesn’t say it on the website? EVERYTHING. Bring your original and a copy of your university degree, bring a copy of your CV (in Italian), bring a copy and your original permesso di soggiorno and passport, plus residency documents if you have them. This is where you might need your Dichiarazione di Valore- I have had mixed answers on this when I asked at a few Immigration offices. Call ahead and ask the Centro to check. (If you do need it, this can be organized with your University, usually, it involves translating and legalizing your degree through the Italian Legalization offices, for a small fee.)

The office will go over your material, and probably ask you a few questions about when you are available, your languages, what type of work you might be interested in, etc. Then you’ll sign a few forms, they’ll print out copies and you are good to go!

Make a few more copies, throw one in your Kit Permesso and you can send it off!

What if you didn’t Graduate with an Approved program or University?

If you graduated with the equivalent of an approved study title, but from a University not listed by MIUR, you can have the same options, however, you will need to go through the process of getting a Dichiarazione di Valore for your degree. This is also one of those many situations where “it depends” Some offices have said that that is enough, but others have said they still wouldn’t accept it in certain cases.

You can still convert your permesso to a Freelance or Work permit, however in this case you will be subject to the Decreto Flussi – the quotas of individuals eligible for a permit.

If you found this information helpful you can show your support by buying me a glass of wine 🥂. I really appreciate it and each glass inspires me to research more into life in Italy!

And if you are looking for more help on your journey of making Italy home or looking for local insight to plan the best trip, get in touch, let me help you experience authentic Italy.