Saturday, August 16, 2008 at 3:17AM
a wonderful thing happened to me - i > fell in love with an Italian and he will fetch me to > go and live with him in Rome in October! > Everything has happened so suddenly and i must admit > i am still quite overwhelmed by it all, but have > realised that i better find out a bit more about the > country, its ways, etc. and this is where u come > into the picture, because Sue told me u know it > all. I have googled the country a bit, but i need > to know more about the nitty gritty aspects. > I would literally need to know everything, from > applying for a VISA (i believe it is a shengen visa) > to possible cultural aspects to look out for. In > this man's eyes nothing is a problem (language > barrier of note still exists, but should be better > once we communicate face to face - this is an > internet connection!) and as he said "if visa > problem we marry!" I know that a holiday visa would > limit me to a period whereby i would have to return > and re-apply and at my age (i'm 49 - by the time i > go i will be 50) a work permit would not be an > option, so i need to know if u are aware of any > other ways and means. > I am literally trying to obtain as much possible > information and am concerned that i might miss > important issues because of the excitement > involved! This is your proverbial "leap of faith", > so u can imagine. > Hope u can enlighten me. Shirley I don't know what to say to you without putting a big pin into your party balloon, other than a big "Be careful", that is Italian men are very romantic, I know. I can sense your excitement. But as a person who as advised many people on relocations and expat matters, I have to warn you it will be virtually impossible for you to get residence unless you're seriously rich, which I'm assuming you're not. Even EU citizens can go through years of hell to get a permesso. (Permission to stay) A shengen visa is simply something a person from a non-shengen country like yours needs to visit the European countries on holiday. If you want my unfiltered advice, and I take it you do, as you wrote to me, I'll say this; without a job you can't even apply for the permesso. If there was a definite intention to marry, which he will have to prove with the authorites and sign guarantees on your behalf, you could enter Italy again on a new visa, after the holiday, with all this in place. If this man's intentions are more than just a fling, and I hope they are, He must marry you. I say must because in Italy as a foreigner without EU rights, you cannot stay. Without a husband, if you were able to get a get a job without a permesso, which is unlikely and illegal, it will be too menial to pay the rent. If found overstaying your holiday visa, you will be deported, never to return. Whatever you have read, this is a very catholic country, marriage is everything. Has this man been married before? Have you checked if he is still married? You won't be the first foreign women who has arrived in Italy with stars in her eyes, and then after the fling, to find out he has already walked down the isle with his lifetime moglie (wife). Separation is not akin to divorce in Italy. It takes 5 -7 years to get properly divorced and is crazy expensive. So very few men chose to go that route. So beware. My suggestion is this, Suggest to him that you visit for a holiday, to check things out, then set the wheels in motion in your own country for a marriage there, before you give up your job and life. If you are still convinced after the holiday, your local consulate will apply to Italy for a nulla osta for him- which means a certificate, stating he is free to marry. When, and if, you have that, he can come out to you for a holiday, meet your family, and then if you are still "in love" with this man, you can marry there. I strongly advise you not to consider being his live-in-lover in Italy, you will have uphill struggle in every way. Something you probably don't need as you enter your fifties. It's so much easier for him in Italy. He has nationality, his family, he can get a job, pension, medical care, everything, without a struggle. You in Italy, as a non-wife, will have an impossible time, and what's worse he will not understand this because its not like this for him. The language problem is a challenge, but the cultural one far greater. You can't find a job without fluent Italian. The English teaching jobs that there are, are snapped up by the EU foreigners with a permesso who followed a partner. Whatever your profession is, you probably can't practice it here because of language and registration. Even those who were lawyers, doctors, and dentists in the home countries, do odd jobs trying to translate a document here and there. Don't believe the romantic stories of women who come here to Tuscany to buy a villa and live in bliss with an Italian stud. They are rich and keep ties with America. For every one of these, there's a hundred who return home broke and bitter. Do you need to work to survive ? If the answer is yes and you decide to spend your life with him, then you must marry this man before you come, and can therefore enter Italy as a wife of an Italian citizen, a very different story. If you are not sure about this man who says" if visa trouble we marry". You could be putting your life into real difficulty. This man obviously hasn't done much research into what must be done for you to come. So I have my doubts. Read the permesso posts here Italy And the excellent Europe site here PS. Think hard, read this, and other "real life" Italy sites with all the links that you need, not just the Under the Tuscan Sun and the "eat pray love" approach to Rome. Wisequeen. 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