If you come to Italy by sea and apply for asylum, you will likely be fingerprinted twice.

At the hotspot

If you entered Italy by sea, you will probably be transferred to a center called a “hotspot,” where you will stay for a short while.

Learn more about what happens at the hotspot here:

Arrival to Italy by sea

In order to identify you, and if it is your first time in Italy, authorities at the hotspot center will take your fingerprints.

Once your fingerprints are taken, they will be uploaded to a European database. All EU member states have access to this database.

You must give your fingerprints when asked. If you refuse, the authorities will detain you until you give your fingerprints.

When you are fingerprinted, you should also get some information on your rights, duties and what being fingerprinted in Italy means.

If you come to Italy and enter irregularly, your fingerprints will be kept in a European database for 18 months.  

When you apply for asylum

If you apply for asylum, you will be fingerprinted again before you are given a temporary asylum request permit, in Italian called a “permesso per richiesta asilo”.

Learn more:

Applying for asylum

Your fingerprints will be sent to a European database of asylum-seekers. This is to check if you have been registered in other EU member states as asylum-seeker before coming to Italy.

If you apply for asylum in Italy, your fingerprints will be kept in this database for 10 years. 

If you applied for asylum in another EU country before coming to Italy, you will receive a permit as “Dublin determination.” With this permit, your case will be reviewed by a different set of authorities, who work under the dublin unit.

With this permit, the authorities will examine your asylum request and decide which country is responsible for your asylum request.

If you have not applied for asylum in another EU country before coming to Italy, you will receive a permesso per richiesta asilo.


Once an EU member state takes your fingerprints, all other EU states can see it.

That means that if you leave Italy and apply for asylum in a different EU member state, you will be entered into what’s called a “Dublin procedure.”

This means different authorities will review your case, which may take longer.

In case your request is entered into a Dublin procedure, you will get basic reception in the country you are in.

Once the authorities in that country have reviewed your case, you will most likely be sent back to Italy, unless Italy denies your entry.

You may not be sent back to Italy, but only if the country where you have applied for asylum:

  • Decides to examine your case, or if you have strong family links to that country 
  • Grants you humanitarian protection of some kind 
  • Finds that you are particularly vulnerable 

You may challenge the decision to be sent back to Italy, but this will take time, and while your challenge is being reviewed, you will be transferred to Italy.