Posted by on Apr 17, 2020 in IMMIGRATION AND NATIONALITY LAW UPDATE

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The suspension of ongoing administrative procedures, and the extension of deadlines or expiry dates, was formalised by decree dated 17th March 2020, n.70 (more commonly referred to as ‘Decreto Legge Cura Italia’) in response to the COVID-19 epidemic.

LINK TO DECRETO:

https://www.gazzettaufficiale.it/eli/id/2020/03/17/20G00034/sg

By administrative procedures we are referring to applications made to  “public authorities” in Italy. This article does not cover administrative proceedings (ie legal proceedings challenging decisions of the public authorities before the administrative courts at the TAR or Consiglio di Stato).

Article 103 paragraph 1 of the ‘D.L. Cura Italia’ states that any administrative procedures pending from 23rd February 2020 are suspended until 15th April 2020 (Sospensione dei termini nei procedimenti amministrativi). This means that any time falling in that period this period is not taken into account in relation to any deadlines.

Article 103 paragraph 2 of ‘D.L. Cura Italia’ states that all certificates, permits and concessions, expiring between 31st January 2020 and 15th April 2020 have an extended validity until 15th June 2020 (Atti amministrativi in scadenza).

We are expecting guidelines shortly to confirm whether the date of  April 15th 2020 is being extended further as the country is still in lockdown as at the time of posting this article.

The Ministero dell’Intero (Dipartimento per le Libertà Civili e l’Immigrazione) has issued Circolare n. 3351 dated 24th March 2020 (here on in referred to as ‘the Circular’), which clarifies precisely which immigration and citizenship procedures are affected by these provisions.

If you wish to read the Circular in Italian you can do so by clicking on the link below:

https://www.interno.gov.it/sites/default/files/allegati/circolare_sospensione_termini_procedimenti_amministrativi_prot.3511.pdf

The Circular makes the following clarifications:

Citizenship:

For citizenship matters (applications for Italian citizenship on the grounds of residence or marriage) there has been a suspension of administrative procedures for the dates between 23rd February 2020 and 15th April 2020. This will for example extend deadlines for the production of supplementary documentation or for the interviews at the Prefettura (convocazioni) of foreign nationals. It will also extend the time period of 4 years which the Ministero dell’Interno has to consider applications.

Further the Circular clarifies the position for a minor who was born in Italy and was continually resident in Italy until their 18th birthday. If the 18th birthday fell in the period from 23rd February to 15th April, there will be an extension to the 12 months deadline as to when they can submit their application to the Comune for the recognition of Italian citizenship.

Any certifications from Italy and from the country of origin, obtained for the purpose of an application for Italian citizenship, expiring between 31th January 2020 and 15th April 2020, have an extended validity until 15th June 2020 as per Article 103 paragraph 2. Please note that certificates which have been legalised with an “Apostille” fixed abroad are considered to expire 6 months from the date of the Apostille itself. 

The Circular also states that when the emergency provisions are over there will need to be new measures put in place to deal with matters affected by the suspension which need priority, suggesting that it will consider applications giving reasons for urgent consideration.

Immigration (Sportello Unico)

Residence permits for non-EU citizens “Permessi di soggiorno” expiring between 31st January 2020 and 15th April 2020 have an extended validity until 15th June 2020 giving the holders of these permits the possibility of applying for a renewal at any point up to that date.

The suspension of deadlines in administrative procedures also concerns the following forms of immigration status:

  • Issuing “no impediment” to seasonal work (nulla osta al lavoro stagionale)
  • Issuing work permits for special cases e.g. research, Blue Card or intra-corporate transfers (nulla osta al lavoro per casi particolari)
  • Conversion of residence permits from study to subordinate work and from seasonal work to non-seasonal subordinate work
  • Issuing no impediment to family reunification
  • EU residence permits for long-terms residents *
  • Statelessness certificates

*There has also been a suspension of deadlines with regards to sitting Italian language exams for those applicants applying for EU residence permits for long-term residents.

If you have any concerns about the validity of your current immigration status, a pending application or a future application that you wanted to submit please contact Aleksandra Broom. (a.broom@oliverpartners.it)

 

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