Any foreign citizen can enter Italy if he is able to document the reason and conditions of the stay, as well as the availability of means, both to support himself during the stay and to return to the country of origin, except in cases of entry for work reasons.
Those who do not meet these requirements, or are considered a threat to national security or to one of the countries with which Italy has signed agreements for the free movement of persons between internal borders, are not admitted into Italy. The reference legislation on immigration and the condition of the foreigner are the Consolidated Law on immigration.
Staying in Italy: the required documents
To enter Italy, you need a passport or other travel document and an entry visa (for visits and/or tourism, for work, for study and/or research, for family, etc.), which must be requested from all the Italian embassy or consulates in the country of origin or permanent residence of the non-EU foreign citizen.
Entry into Italy is permitted with visas for short-term stays, valid for up to 3 months, and for long-term stays that involve the granting of a (long-term) residence permit for the same reason as that of the visa. For stays of less than three months, visas issued by diplomatic authorities of other states with which Italy has ratified agreements, or on the basis of EU regulations, are considered valid.
Illegal Immigration and Expulsion
Failure to comply with these procedures, or a stay of more than 3 months or the shorter term indicated in the visa, places the foreigner in the condition of illegal immigration, and leads to expulsion, except in cases of force majeure provided for by law.
Foreign citizens expelled cannot return to Italy, unless they have special authorization or the entry ban has ended. Foreigners reported for serious reasons of public order and national security, and for the protection of international relations, are not admitted to Italy.
In practice, it is considered irregular: the non-EU citizen who enters Italy without documents (passport or identity document and visa); the non-EU citizen who, having entered Italy legally, has lost the necessary requisites for the stay. The foreigner who reaches Italy irregularly is rejected at the border or, if he has already entered the national territory, is expelled, unless he must be detained in one of the immigration centers to ascertain his identity and / or nationality. The expulsion measure is adopted by the competent prefecture and executed by the police headquarters.
Entry for business purposes
Entry into Italy for subordinate work, including seasonal work, and self-employment, must take place within the scope of the entry quotas (article 21 TU) established in the periodic decrees (usually annual), the so-called ‘flow-decrees’ , issued by the President of the Council of Ministers on the basis of the criteria indicated in the three-year planning document on immigration policies (article 3).
Flow decrees normally provide for a reserve of quotas for citizens from countries with which the State has concluded agreements for regulating entry flows and readmission procedures.
Visa and residence permit
The visa is issued by the Italian embassy or by the Italian consular offices of the country of residence of the foreign citizen; the residence permit (article 5 of the Consolidated Immigration Law) is issued in Italy by the competent police headquarters according to the province in which the foreigner is located.
The residence permit must be requested within 8 working days (excluding Sundays and holidays). Foreign citizens over the age of 16 who enter Italy for the first time sign the integration agreement with the State at the same time as applying for a residence permit.
Types of visas
- Study Visa or for training reasons: it has the same validity as the course you intend to follow in Italy.
- Visa for family reunification: it is valid for one year from its issue; it is issued to family members to be reunited following the issue of an authorization for the reunification requested.
- Subordinate Work Visa (indefinite, fixed-term, seasonal): it can be obtained only after ‘nulla osta’ for work by the one-stop shop for immigration (SUI). To establish a subordinate employment relationship with a non-EU citizen residing abroad, in fact, the employer – Italian or foreigner legally residing in Italy – must submit a nominative request for work authorization to the SUI competent for the province in which it will take place. work activity.
- Visa for self-employment reasons: it can be requested to carry out non-occasional self-employment activities of an industrial, professional, craft or commercial nature in Italy to set up a corporation or partnership; to access corporate offices. To obtain it, Italian citizens must possess the professional and moral requisites required by the law of the State for the exercise of the same type of activity.
Duration of the residence permit
The duration of the residence permit is that foreseen by the entry visa and cannot in any case exceed:
- three months, for visits, business and tourism;
- nine months, for seasonal work;
- one year, for the attendance of a certified study or professional training course; annual renewal is envisaged for multi-year courses; ù
- two years, for self-employment, for permanent subordinate work and for family reunification;
- duration linked to specifically documented needs and in the others provided for by the Consolidated Immigration Law.
Renewal of the residence permit
The renewal of the residence permit must be requested from the police headquarters responsible for the province of residence at least 60 days before the expiry date, in order to verify the conditions provided.
Conversion of the residence permit
To convert the type of residence permit you already have, you need to ask for the nulla osta at the one-stop shop for immigration of the prefecture responsible for the territory of residence of the foreigner and then ask for the conversion to the police headquarters. A condition for the conversion is that there are entry quotas provided for by the flow decree and that the residence permit held is valid.
The residence permit for study / training reasons can be converted into a residence permit for subordinate or self-employment activities if the requirements for this type are met. The residence permit for seasonal work can be converted into a residence permit for subordinate work for an indefinite period or with a contract of at least one year when:
- the foreigner has entered Italy for seasonal work for the second consecutive year and is in possession of a valid residence permit;
- the foreigner has entered Italy for seasonal work and, at the end of the first period of seasonal work granted, is in possession of a valid residence permit.
This information is courtesy of the Ministry of Immigration of Italy https://www.interno.gov.it/it/temi/immigrazione-e-asilo