Aleksandra Broom was interviewed by the Local Italy on applications for visas and for Italian citizenship. The article considers how the system is frustratingly in deadlock with very long waiting times for an appointment. The situation is dire at the moment, in particular at the Italian Consulate in London which is overwhelmed from applications from British citizens post-Brexit.
The promise made by the UK government to British citizens resident in the EU, that their residence rights would be protected post-Brexit is still a work in progress.
A recent review by the British Embassy revealed that only one-third of British citizens resident in Italy has applied for the electronic “carta di soggiorno” from the Questura. This document is optional and not mandatory, however it is strongly recommended. Due to widespread misunderstanding by the Italian authorities about our new unique status as third country nationals, albeit protected by the UK-EU Withdrawal agreement, this document is without doubt the most effective means of demonstrating permission to reside in Italy.
Permesso di soggiorno
British citizens who were resident in Italy pre-Brexit are frequently and incorrectly asked by Italian authorities to produce a permesso di soggiorno. The computer systems of the Comune and other government authorities require this to be entered automatically when the given nationality is non-EU. British citizens are not required to hold a permesso di soggiorno unless they are applying for residence in Italy after 31st December 2021.
If a British citizen is required to hold a permesso di soggiorno, this implies that they will have entered Italy post-Brexit with a visa issued by the Italian Consulate in their country of residence, for one of the categories of entry visa set out in Law no. 286/1998 as amended (testo unico immigrazione), such as the elective residence visa or a work permit.
We were contacted recently by a British client, resident in Italy for more than 10 years, who was shocked when his accountant notified him that his residence had been cancelled by the Comune. His name and those of other British nationals had been included in a list of non-EU nationals who had failed to declare the renewal of their address (“dimora abituale“), after the renewal of their permesso di soggiorno. The British Consulate intervened in this case. Eventually the error was accepted and his residence reinstated.
We have made representations to the British Embassy in Italy that the application process for entry visas made in the Italian Consulate in the UK is unfairly slow. We have also noticed a substantial rise in the number of refusals of the elective residence visa, often simply due to a misunderstanding by the Consulate of the financial information provided to prove the passive income requirement. This is affecting British citizens who have property in Italy and are applying for residence in order to spend longer than the permitted 90 days at one time in their Italian home.
Any British citizen who does not hold a carta di soggiorno is advised to show the Attestazione di Iscrizione Anagrafica issued by the Comune. In case of an enquiry they can refer to the Vademecum published by the Ministero dell’Interno.
Applications for Italian citizenship, made by non-Italian residents, on the grounds of descent (ius sanguinis) pre-1948 from a female relative, will no longer be decided by the Civil Court of Rome.
As of 22nd June 2022, applications need to be lodged in the civil court of the Comune where the last Italian ancestor was born, as of 22nd June 2022. (See Law of 26 November 2021, n. 206)
Article 1, paragraph 37 of Law n. 206 states the following:
‘When the plaintiff resides abroad, disputes regarding the ascertainment of the status of Italian Citizenship are assigned having regard to the municipality of birth of the father, mother or ancestor of Italian citizens’.
As of 22nd June 2022 only pre-1948 cases deriving from Italian ancestors born in Rome will be processed via the Rome Civil Court. This will allow the local Italian Courts to process all the remaining applications, which should hopefully in turn result in quicker hearing listings and quicker service of decisions.
Please be advised that the new law has no effect on applications already submitted or that will be submitted before 22nd June 2022, which will be processed accordingly at the Rome court.
For further information about applications based on pre-1948 maternal line cases, and how previous Italian law relating to the transmission of citizenship was declared to be discriminatory and unconstitutional, click the link below to read our 2019 article:
Il permesso di soggiorno per residenza elettiva consente l’ingresso in Italia, ai fini del soggiorno, allo straniero che intenda stabilirsi nel nostro Paese e che dimostri di possedere risorse sufficienti a mantenersi autonomamente senza esercitare alcuna attività lavorativa
Requisiti per la domanda di permesso per residenza elettiva:
- disponibilità di un’abitazione da eleggere a residenza (proprietà immobiliare o contratto di locazione di oltre 12 mesi)
- possesso di ampie risorse economiche autonome, stabili e regolari, di cui si possa supporre la continuità nel futuro. Tali risorse economiche possono provenire da: rendite (pensioni, vitalizi); possesso di proprietà immobiliari; titolarità di stabili attività economico/commerciali; altre fonti diverse dal lavoro subordinato.
La domanda di visto viene presentata nel Consolato o nell’Ambasciata nel proprio paese d’origine che valuterà la sussistenza dei requisiti.
Una volta ottenuto il visto, che di solito ha la validità di un anno, si potrà fare ingresso in Italia e presentare nel territorio italiano, presso l’ufficio postale del paese in cui si vuole risiedere, il KIT per la richiesta del permesso di soggiorno, che verrà inviato alla Questura competente.
Inviato il KIT verrà dato un appuntamento presso la Questura competente per visionare la documentazione e rilasciare il permesso di soggiorno.
Dopo cinque anni di regolare soggiorno, in presenza dei requisiti necessari, il titolare di un permesso di soggiorno per residenza elettiva può chiedere il rilascio del Permesso di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo
La procedura per il rilascio del permesso di soggiorno per residenza elettiva è abbastanza semplice, perché basta richiedere il visto al Consolato di appartenenza, ed in possesso del Visto fare ingresso nel territorio italiano, ed entro 8 giorni lavorativi inviare il cd. KIT allo Sportello amico presso le Poste Italiane per la richiesta del permesso di soggiorno alla Questura competente.
La cosa più complicata per gli stranieri è individuare le condizioni per riuscire ad avere il visto e reperire la giusta documentazione sia per presentare la domanda in Consolato, sia per inviare il KIT una volta arrivati in Italia e da presentare in Questura durante l’appuntamento.
Lo studio Oliver & Partners è in grado di seguire tutto il processo insieme al cliente, cominciando dalla consulenza e la raccolta della documentazione necessaria, previa corrispondenza con il Consolato di interesse, nonché per l’assistenza alla compilazione del KIT e per l’appuntamento presso la Questura.
Since January 2021 a residence permit in a plastic card format (“carta di soggiorno“) has been available to British nationals and their family members who were resident in Italy pre-Brexit, ie on or before 31st December 2020. By “resident in Italy” we mean that a person’s name and address is registered with the Anagrafe office of the Comune in which they live.
The carta di soggiorno, which is issued by the local police headquarters (“Questura”) was specifically designed following the Agreement on the Withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the European Union (Accordo di recesso UK-EU”). The carta di soggiorno should not be confused with the “permesso di soggiorno” which is issued to other non -EU nationals who have permission to live or work in Italy and whose stay in the country is regulated by immigration law.
The distinction between these two types of residence permit is not commonly understood, and most British nationals, faced with an authority who questions their status in Italy as a non-EU citizen will ask for the permesso di soggiorno, but the carta di soggiorno is the document which must be recognised as indisputable evidence of a person’s right of lawful continuous residence in Italy. The carta di soggiorno is not obligatory, as a person’s right of residence post-Brexit can also be proved by showing the document which is supplied by the Comune called the “attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica ai sensi dell’art. 17.4 dell’accordo di recesso“.
When travelling out of Italy and out of the EU a British national should make sure to carry at least one of these documents proving they are resident, although so far the immigration controls seem fairly relaxed and in some cases are known to accept even simply the “carta di identità” which is not in itself proof of residence status.
The UK has left the EU and as of January 2021, the immigration rules to enter and remain in the UK have been changing. It is crucial now for EU citizens to secure their pre-settled or settled status in order for them to be able to continue working and residing in the UK without the requirement of a visa to do so. The following groups of people who are currently in the UK or arrived in the UK by 31st December 2020 can apply under the EU Settlement Scheme:
- EU citizens
- Citizens of Norway, Lichtenstein, Iceland (non-EU EEA citizens)
- Swiss citizens
If you have been living in the UK for less than 5 years you will be granted pre-settled status. After completing a further 5 years you can then apply for settled status.
If you have been living in the UK for more than 5 years you will be granted settled status, also referred to as indefinite leave to remain and can apply for British citizenship 1 year later.
Are you currently outside of the UK?
If you are currently outside of the UK and you have already qualified for pre-settled or settled status you may still be eligible to apply. As long as you are able to provide evidence of previously being in the UK and exercising EU treaty rights, you will be able to apply and will be granted status based on the number of years that you were resident in the UK. Evidence of residence can include: P45s, P60s, bank statements or council tax bills.
Under the Withdrawal Agreement agreed between the EU and the UK, those who are granted settled status can live outside the UK for five years without losing their status. EU, EEA or Swiss citizens who have previously lived in the UK for five continuous years but do not live in the UK at the moment, may also be eligible to be granted settled status as long as they have not been absent from the UK for more than five years since they stopped living in the UK.
If you have not completed your five-year continuous residence currently, you need to make sure that you do not spend more than six months outside the UK in any 12 month period to ensure that you do not break your continuous residence period that you need to qualify for settled status (unless you are spending up to 12 months outside the UK in a single period for important reasons e.g. work, pregnancy, medical care).
The deadline for applications to be submitted to the Home Office is 30th June 2021. For information and assistance with an application please contact Aleksandra Broom (firstname.lastname@example.org).
The application does not incur a fee.
We have had a number of enquiries from our clients in relation to the new residence document (carta di soggiorno) that is now available for those British Citizens who were legally resident or who had commenced the process of registering their residence in Italy before the end of the transition period i.e. 31st December 2020.
This is not an obligatory document, but we believe it will be very useful to have it when travelling in and out of Italy. British citizens who do not apply for a carta di soggiorno can equally use the “attestazione di iscrizione anagrafica” (issued under art 18.4 Withdrawal agreement) to demonstrate their right of residence in Italy going forward. However the new carta di soggiorno is a plastic card with photograph which is likely to be more durable.
Now the Brexit transition period has ended many British citizens living in Italy are facing requests from employers, banks, schools, Comune to produce a permesso di soggiorno. If you were resident in Italy before the end of 2020 you will never legally be required to possess a permesso di soggiorno, although British citizens who enter Italy and seek residence from 2021 onwards will need to apply for one as they are now non-EU citizens. If you are being asked to produce a permesso di soggiorno this is therefore incorrect and unlawful.
All information about the carta di soggiorno has been provided by the Ministero dell’Interno by way of a Vademecum in English and Italian which is published on the website of the Questura.
Most Questure now have an appointment booking system in place to obtain this carta di soggiorno residence document, and at the same time your fingerprints will be taken. Please check the Questura website for your province of residence.
For our clients in Rome, if you wish to apply for the new carta di soggiorno you need to send a certified email (PEC) to the Questura at this address: email@example.com. You will receive a reply with a letter confirming an appointment with a list of documents required.
On 11th November 2020, the UK government’s Immigration and Social Security Co-Ordination (EU Withdrawal Bill) more commonly referred to as the ‘Immigration Bill’ received Royal Assent turning the bill into an official act of parliament. This bill does what Priti Patel was boasting about all year, i.e. that it officially ends the free movement of people between the EU and the UK and will be effective as of the end of 2020.
Background to Free Movement:
Free movement is a fundamental element of the EU ensuring that citizens are able to live, work and travel to any other EU country. This visaless way of movement presents a myriad of opportunities for EU citizens allowing a level of flexibility and freedom unparalleled throughout the world. However, some in the UK argued that by accepting free movement this forced the UK into accepting too many migrants from across from the EU. This argument ultimately became a core element of the Brexit campaign with those in favour arguing that post-Brexit the UK could gain back control of her borders and stop migrants from freely entering. Therefore, it is pretty unsurprising that when Johnson did in his words ‘get Brexit done’ one of the top priorities was passing legislation that changed how the UK immigration system operates and that is where the Immigration Bill comes in. Johnson said on 11th November 2020 in the House of Commons that ‘the landmark Immigration Bill receives Royal Assent thanks to this House fulfilling of our manifesto commitment to end free movement and have a new fair points-based immigration system’.
Contents of the new Immigration Bill and what it changes:
The first thing this bill does is officially change free movement between the EU and the UK, now requiring Europeans hoping to live and work in the UK to be subject to UK immigration controls. Europeans already living in the UK have had the opportunity to remain through the EU Settlement Scheme but Europeans hoping to live and work in the UK in the future will be subject to the new system. These changes do not apply to Irish citizens. This is because the government says that UK and Irish citizens have enjoyed a unique status in each other’s state since 1920 (before the EU was even founded) and therefore both sides should continue reciprocal access even after Brexit. This means that even after the UK leaves the EU at the end of the year, Irish citizens will not require permission to enter or remain in the UK.
With regards to the controls that Europeans hoping to live and work in the UK in the future will be subject to, unfortunately, even though the Immigration Bill has been passed, these immigration controls have not been finalised yet and they are not part of this Immigration Bill. The government wants to introduce a new “points-based system” but in the government’s own words the Immigration Bill does not set out the details of the future immigration system with the government’s own website simply referring us to the policy statement that they published in February 2020. Please enter the link below to access the policy statement:
Ultimately not much progress has been made and the end of the transition period is nearly upon us. The policy statement covers the government’s plans for a points-based system. Considering that in November 2020, the government is still referring us back to this old document, this means that not much has changed since its publication in February 2020 besides the fact that the government has slashed the minimum salary requirements in order for applicants to settle in the UK. In October it was found that these plans had changed reducing the minimum salary requirement to £20,480. It is worth noting that the previous figure of £35,800 was introduced by Teresa May in 2011 when she was Home Secretary in an attempt to limit migration. So, this new system actually reduces the minimum salary potentially in reaction to demonstrate the country’s need for lower paid migrants in Britain post-Brexit. The UK’s points-based system is expected to be rolled out at the beginning of December 2020 but crucially it is not included in this legislation. However, that did not stop Priti Patel in the government’s announcement video of the Immigration bill, stating ‘our British points-based system will bring in firm controls, fair controls, but most importantly will mean that we have taken back control of our immigration policy’. A points-based system that one month before the end of the transition period we are still not privy to!
Free movement in Europe:
However, Europe’s free movement does not end. The other 30 member states will continue to have free movement. They have only lost access to one country. Whereas Brits have lost access to all 30! Some will argue that this will allow Britain to take back control but for others it represents a major loss of freedom and opportunity in Europe. Brits looking for continued access to Europe could always apply for a visa and will still have the right to travel to Europe for holidays. The new visa system for travel and holidays is set to make trips pretty easy after Brexit but actually trying to live and work in Europe post-Brexit is said to be substantially harder than it currently is. This could potentially make European employers less likely to offer employment to Brits.
Some see this as a major loss, a stolen opportunity to live and work outside of the UK. Others see it as Britain taking greater control of her borders, which to them is a price worth paying. Britain did already have more control over her borders pre-Brexit than many seem to believe. That is because under the 2006 Free Movement Directive, Britain had the power to control the entry of EU migrants. The directive states: ‘where admission is permitted, an EU citizen may remain in the UK for up to 3 months from the date of entry, provided that they do not become a burden on the social assistance system of the UK. If an EU citizen does not meet one of the requirements for residence set out in the directive, then they will not have the right to reside in the UK and may be removed’. Britain now has more powers than it did before, but it is worth noting that the UK was not previously completely powerless. The EU directive is used by countries like Belgium and Italy to send thousands of EU migrants back to their country of origin.
Economic analysis from the government’s own Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) suggests that tightening the grip on migration may not actually be the best idea. MAC has stated that immigrants contribute more to the public purse on average than native born Brits do. Newer migrants in fact are the most lucrative for the British economy. The average migrant from the EU contributed £2,370 more to the Treasury than a native-born Brit. Even if you do support Britain getting more control over migration, no one can deny that completely cutting or limiting migration is in the country’s best interest.
Is this a positive step and an example of the Conservatives fulfilling their manifesto promises or is it a sad day representing the rights of Brits being stripped away?
The following article is written in both an Italian and English language version.
Decreto flussi 2020, pubblicato in Gazzetta ufficiale (G.U. Serie generale, n.252, del 12 ottobre 2020)
Dalle ore 9 del 13 ottore 2020, è disponibile l’applicativo per la precompilazione dei moduli di domanda per i premessi di soggiorno in Italia. C’è quindi la possibilità di fare entrare in maniera regolare per attività lavorativa tutti gli stranieri che abbiano a che fare con l’attività dell’autotrasporto merci, dell’edilizia e turistico-alberghiero.
Di seguito le quote:
Sono riservati 6.000 ingressi per motivi di lavoro subordinato non stagionale nei settori dell’autotrasporto merci per conto terzi, dell’edilizia e turistico-alberghiero di cittadini di Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Corea (Repubblica di Corea), Costa d’Avorio, Egitto, El Salvador, Etiopia, Filippine, Gambia, Ghana, Giappone, India, Kosovo, Mali, Marocco, Mauritius, Moldova, Montenegro, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Repubblica di Macedonia del Nord, Senegal, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Ucraina.
Sono riservati 18.000 quote per lavoro subordinato stagionale nei settori stagionale agricolo e turistico- alberghiero per cittadini non comunitari di Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Corea (Repubblica di Corea), Costa d’Avorio, Egitto, El Salvador, Etiopia, Filippine, Gambia, Ghana, Giappone, India, Kosovo, Mali, Marocco, Mauritius, Moldova, Montenegro, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Repubblica di Macedonia del Nord, Senegal, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Ucraina.
Le quote rimanenti sono ripartite tra ingressi di cittadini non comunitari che abbiano completato programmi di formazione ed istruzione nei Paesi di origine, ingressi di lavoratori di origine italiana residenti in Venezuela e ingressi di cittadini non comunitari per lavoro autonomo. Nonché conversioni dei permessi di soggiorno già detenuti ad altro titolo in permessi di soggiorno per conversioni in lavoro subordinato e per lavoro autonomo.
Decreto flussi 2020, published in Gazzetta ufficiale (G.U. Serie generale, n.252, dated 12th October 2020)
As of 9am on 13th October 2020, application forms for residence permits in Italy are available. There is therefore the possibility for foreigners to enter Italy legally to carry out work in the fields of transportation of goods, construction and tourism (hotels).
The quotes are as follows:
6,000 places are reserved for non-seasonal subordinate work in the sectors of freight transport for third parties, construction and tourism (hotels) for citizens of Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Korea (Republic of Korea), Ivory Coast, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, the Philippines, Gambia, Ghana, Japan, India, Kosovo, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Moldova, Montenegro, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of North Macedonia, Senegal, Serbia, Sri Lanka , Sudan, Tunisia and Ukraine.
18,000 places are reserved for seasonal subordinate work in the seasonal agricultural and tourism (hotel) sectors for non-EU citizens of Albania, Algeria, Bangladesh, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Korea (Republic of Korea), Ivory Coast, Egypt, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Philippines, Gambia, Ghana, Japan, India, Kosovo, Mali, Morocco, Mauritius, Moldova, Montenegro, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, Republic of North Macedonia, Senegal, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Tunisia, Ukraine.
The remaining places available are divided between non-EU citizens who have completed training and educational programs in their countries of origin, workers of Italian origin residing in Venezuela and non-EU citizens applying for self-employment. As well as conversions of residence permits already held for other reasons they can also be converted into subordinate work and self-employment permits.
The following article has been posted in Italian with an English translation below:
ARTICOLO 103 DEL DECRETO – LEGGE 19 MAGGIO 2020, N.34 – EMERSIONE RAPPORTO DI LAVORO 2020
E’ stata prorogata fino al 15 Agosto 2020 la SANATORIA 2020.
La legge ha previsto la possibilità di far emergere i rapporti di lavoro irregolare in essere con cittadini stranieri, nonché di rilasciare permessi di soggiorno temporanei ai cittadini stranieri che ne erano già in possesso, scaduti dal 31 ottobre 2019 non rinnovati né convertiti in altro titolo di soggiorno.
In particolare la norma:
►al comma 1, stabilisce la possibilità per il datore di lavoro italiano o straniero di sottoscrivere un nuovo rapporto di lavoro subordinato o di dichiararne uno irregolarmente instaurato con cittadini italiani o stranieri presenti sul territorio nazionale prima dell’8 marzo 2020;
► al comma 2 prevede per gli stranieri con permesso di soggiorno scaduto dal 31 ottobre 2019 di chiedere un permesso di soggiorno della durata di sei mesi. (attesa occupazione)
Le istanze possono essere presentate dal 1° giugno 2020 al 15 agosto 2020.
IL LAVORATORE DEVE RISULTARE PRESENTE IN ITALIA ALLA DATA dell’8 marzo
2020 I LAVORATORI POSSONO ESSERE ASSUNTI SOLO NEI SEGUENTI SETTORI DI ATTIVITA’
►agricoltura, allevamento e zootecnia, pesca e acquacoltura e altre attività connesse;
►assistenza alle persone affette da patologie o handicap che limitano l’autosufficienza;
►lavoro domestico di sostegno al bisogno familiare.
La domanda deve essere presentata esclusivamente con modalità informatica attraverso l’applicativo accessibile all’indirizzo: https://nullaostalavoro.dlci.interno.it
Regularisation of Existing Illegal Employment – Sanatoria 2020 (Article 103 of Decree n. 34 dated 19th May 2020).
The Sanatoria 2020 has been extended until 15th August 2020.
An amnesty or ‘sanatoria’ in Italian is an extraordinary measure that aims to regularise the status of people without a valid permesso di soggiorno who are employed in undeclared work in Italy. If you are undocumented and you report yourself to the relevant authorities with the support of your employer, you may get a valid permesso per motivi di lavoro in Italy.
As Sanatoria 2020 has been approved and further extended until 15th August 2020 you will only have to prove that you meet its requirements.
The recent law has provided for the possibility of regularising the immigration status of those engaging in illegal employment as well extending the validity of temporary residence permits which expired on 31st October 2019 to those foreign citizens who had them, which have not been renewed nor converted into another title of legal stay.
The law states as follows:
- Paragraph 1 establishes the possibility for the Italian or foreign employer to sign a new subordinate employment contract or to declare one illegally established with Italian or foreign citizens who were present in Italy before 8 March 2020.
- Paragraph 2 provides for foreigners with a residence permit, which expired on 31 October 2019 to request a six-month residence permit (awaiting employment).
Applications can be submitted from 1st June 2020 to 15th August 2020.
The worker must have been present in Italy on 8th March 2020. Workers can only be recruited in the following business sectors:
- agriculture, livestock and animal husbandry, fishing, aquaculture and other related activities
- assisting people who are handicapped and have limited levels of self-sufficiency
- domestic work to support family needs
The application can only be submitted electronically via the following Ministero dell’Interno address: https://nullaostalavoro.dlci.interno.it
Please contact Aleksandra Broom for further information about this application.