Sunday, May 11, 2008

Il Soggiorno, Il Lavoro, e Il Nullaosta, part 2

3. December 21st: The company requested a nullaosta to hire me.
A week or so before Christmas, the company started the paperwork that would hopefully result in permission being granted to hire me. This kind of request is called a nullaosta and by itself is a complicated process, so adding my unique situation laid the foundation for a bureaucratic casino (a mess). My situation was this: I'm here under a student visa which would allow me to receive a permesso di soggiorno da studio (permit to study), which in turn would allow me to work a maximum of 20 hours per week throughout its validity. I need that converted from a permesso da studio (permit to study) to a permesso da lavoro (permit to work) in order to take the full time position. Oh yeah, and I need that conversion done based on a permit that will never be realized because its issuance won't even be considered until 3 months after I will have had to leave Italy.

4. I waited.
After some research by the administrative worker at the company, he was led to believe by the labor department that this could be done. He was encouraged and thus so was I. We submitted the paperwork and waited. And waited. After the occasional email correspondence with the company and no news from the police, I resolved to suck it up and go to the Questura (police station). If you are unaware of what a trip to the Questura is like, read Erin's post about hers or thumb through Melinda Gallo's many. It was March by now, so I had waited a little over 2 months before running out of patience. After about 4 hours in line (a relatively short time for the Questura), I learned that I would have to go to the Prefettura (prefect's office) to get news about the processing of my nullaosta. Two days later I went to the Prefettura, which directed me to a different office. I went to that office where I was told that I couldn't be there unless I had been summoned, and if I wanted information I had to request it by phone. The offices to which the number rang were open Monday-Thursday from 10am to 2pm (this is a classic example of Italian bureaucracy and reminds me of this video). After calling for two days with no answer, I retired to checking the notices on the website which never seemed to change.

5. May 7th: I received an official denial.
On May 7th I received my official rejection letter from the Sportello Unico per l'Immigrazione (main immigration office). They provided a reason for the rejection which shouldn't have surprised me. It read that according to the labor department:

"Il richiedente, da quanto dichiarato in domanda, non risulta in possesso del permesso di soggiorno per studio."

As all things bureaucratic, the language is quite removed and archaic. Basically it says that the person asking cannot be granted the conversion because he does not actually have the permit to be converted. Sounds logical enough right? I'd say so. Perfectly reasonable, except for the part where the same department said that one didn't have to have the permit in order to convert it! Probably about an hour after I read the notice I received a phone call from the Prefettura, saying that they had a document for me regarding my request and I needed to come and pick it up. I told him that I had just received a document from the post office and that it sounded like the same one. He said that wasn't possible, so I hopped on my bike with a vain hope giving my legs an uncommon strength. I arrived only to receive the same document, to which the man sincerely apologized. He said that I could go to the labor department and ask about the rejection, and it was possible that they could help me.

I thanked him and left his office, and on my way out I had a nice chat with a couple of the workers about my situation. It's fairly common in my experience for an Italian to be interested in an American, especially one that can speak Italian. They weren't sure that I was American until they point blank asked, to which they responded:

Un Americano!? Che vuole lavorare in Italia!? Come mai!?
An American!? That wants to work in Italy!? Why in the world!? (literally "How ever")

This is a normal reaction I get, usually when I say I came to study Italian but it ups it a notch when I say I'm trying to get a job here. Talking to them was a nice break from the processes, and a nicer break from English.

That's enough for this post. One more coming and that should be enough on this topic.

1 comment:

Squirt said...

sono americana e sto studiando a Padova. Ho appena cominciato a cercare lavoro per poter rimanere qua ma ho capito che sarĂ  un bel casino. ho letto il tuo blog. come sta andando il processo per te?