On December 18, 2020 the Italian Parliament finally converted into law the so-called Immigration Decree, approved by the Italian Council of Ministers on October 5 and officially enforced as of October 22. The conversion law is slightly different form the approved decree and is effective as of December 20, 2020. Here you can find the official text of the decree and a the modifications implemented by the Italian Parliament.
We have updated the previous version of this article to include the final changes made in the conversion law ("legge di conversione" in Italian). This means that the changes you will read below are the final ones.
Keep in mind that this law is new and complex, and we will need some time to understand how it works in practice. We'll share more updates as soon as we can. Stay tuned!
Meanwhile, here's what we know.
What does the new law change?
The new regulation brings major changes related to permessi di soggiorno, citizenship, the reception system and international protection. However, the new decree only makes some changes to the "Decreti Sicurezza" – it does not abolish them completely.
Permessi di soggiorno
More permessi can be converted
More types of permessi are allowed for conversion to a work permit (if requirements are met). This is valid for the following type of permits:
Please bear in mind thatPermesso per Richiesta Asilo cannot be converted to a work permit.
Learn more about Permessi per Motivi di Lavoro and who can apply: Permesso di Soggiorno per Lavoro
Permesso per Protezione Speciale
Territorial Commissions will not issue humanitarian protection again – that type of protection is still cancelled.
However, the new decree provides that the Permesso di Soggiorno per Protezione Speciale can be now granted for a wider number of reasons. Also the permit will now last 2 years – while previously the Protezione Speciale permit lasted 1 year only.
This permesso is now convertible to a work permit (if eligibility criteria are met) and it allows you to stay in reception centers (if spots are available).
Who is now eligible for Protezione Speciale?
Basically, this type of permesso can be granted to people who may face a breach of their right to private and family life, if sent back to their home countries. This means that if you have family ties or you are well-integrated in social life in Italy, you may be eligible for this permesso.
This is not valid if the person is considered a threat to national security, public order or health.
The law is recent and we still need to understand what it means and how it will work in practice, but we'll share more updates as soon as we can.
Permesso per Calamità Naturali
Conditions to grant Permesso per Calamità Naturali slightly change to be a little bit more inclusive. This type of permesso can be now granted in case of severe natural disasters or other calamities.
The permesso per Calamità Naturali will last 6 months and is renewable as long as the severe natural disasters or other calamities in your home country persist.
This permesso is now convertible to a work permit (if eligibility criteria are met) and it now allows to stay in reception centers (if spots are available).
Permesso per Cure Mediche
Conditions to grant Permesso per Cure Mediche also slightly change to be a little bit more inclusive. It can now be granted to people who suffer from severe psycho-physical conditions or resulting from serious pathologies.
Its duration is equal to the estimated time required for therapeutic treatment. This permesso can be renewed as long as you can prove you still suffer from the psycho-physical condition or the serious pathology.
Holders of this permit will now be allowed to work in Italy.
This permesso is convertible to a work permit (if eligibility criteria are met) and it allows you to stay in reception centers (if spots are available).
We suggest you check with your lawyer if you have any questions about your personal situation.
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The right for asylum-seekers to register at the local Registry office ("Anagrafe" in Italian) is now officially restored by law. You can now register for iscrizione anagrafica at the registry office of your local municipality ("comune" in Italian) with both a receipt that proves that you filed an asylum application, as well as with the 6-month Permesso per Richiesta Asilo.
According to the new law, iscrizione anagrafica gives asylum-seekers the right to get a 3-year carta di identità (instead of a 10–year ID), that cannot be used to travel outside Italy.
Learn more: Iscrizione Anagrafica
SIPROIMI (Sistema di Protezione per i Titolari di Protezione Internazionale e per Minori Stranieri non Accompagnati) will be replaced by a new Reception and Integration system.
Reception and Integration centers will host holders of international protection (refugee status and subsidiary protection), asylum-seekers and unaccompanied children.
If spots are not available in other kinds of specialized accomodations, the holders of the following permessi will be allowed to stay in Reception and Integration centers:
- Protezione Speciale
- Calamità Naturali
- Protezione Sociale
- Violenza Domestica
- Particolare Sfruttamento Lavorativo
- Particolare Valore Civile
- Casi Speciali
- Cure Mediche
Services available for holders of international protection or having other forms of protection will be more focused on integration and inclusion, and thus slightly differ from those offered to people seeking asylum.
Services for asylum-seekers will include psychological support, healthcare, support from cultural mediators, Italian language courses, and orientation to local services available.
The maximum time to process citizenship applications by marriage and by residence will be reduced to 24 months (like prior Salvini Decree) extendable up to a maximum of 36 months – in all other cases it has been set at 48 months.
The new timing to process the application will only be valid for those who apply for Italian citizenship on or after 20 December 2020 – which is the day the conversion law became effective.
Instead, this rule will not be applicable to those who have submitted their citizenship application before 20 December 2020.
Learn more: Italian Citizenship
For those held in detention
The maximum time for being held in a center for repatriation, CPR or "Centro di permanenza per il rimpatrio" in Italian, is now halved. This means that a person can stay in a holding center for repatriation for a maximum of 90 days – while before it was up to 180 days. However, if the person is from a country that signed repatriation agreements, the detention period can be extended for another 30 days, going up to a total of 120 days.
In the decree, it is also stated that the Ministry of Interior must ensure that people have:
- Adequate sanitary and housing standards in CPRs
- Assistance, full respect for people’s dignity, and relevant information on their status
- Freedom of correspondence (even by phone) with the outside of the center
- Right to file an oral or written request or a complaint (to the national, local or regional Ombudsman for the rights of persons deprived of their liberty, "Garante per i diritti delle persone private della libertà personale" in Italian)
Are these changes final?
Yes, these changes are final. However, it's important to keep in mind that the law is new and we have yet to see how it will be applied in practice.
On December 18, 2020 the Italian Parliament officially converted the decree into law. The conversion law entered into force on December 20, after beign published in the Official Gazette.
Please keep in mind that the decree was already effective as of October 22, 2020. This means that Commissions, Questure and Courts will have to take these changes into account when making a decision on your case - apart for the exceptions concerning the citizenship procedure explained above.
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