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Useful documents in Italy

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Throughout your life in Italy you will come across several types of documents and you will follow many different procedures to get them. We know Italian bureaucracy can be very confusing, so we decided to write this to help you navigate the Italian system.

You can use this article to learn more about:

  • Must have documents
  • Housing-related documents
  • Family-related documents

Must have documents

Permesso di soggiorno

The 'permesso di soggiorno' (permit of stay in English) is the document that proves your right to stay in Italy. There are many different types of permessi di soggiorno, each one corresponding to a different set of rights and obligations.

Permesso di soggiorno is also called residence permit. Please, be careful not to confuse it with certificato di residenza, which is a document certifying the city where you have your usual home in Italy.

Learn more about:

Pemessi di soggiorno

Carta d’identità

The 'carta d'identità' is the Italian document of identification (ID). It shows your identity, but it does not grant you the right to stay in Italy.

Please bear in mind that even if your carta d’identità lasts for 3 or 10 years, it does not mean you have the right to stay for such a long time in the country. You have the right to stay in Italy only as long as you have a valid permesso di soggiorno.

Your carta d'identità is issued by the Registry Office (‘Anagrafe’ in Italian) of the municipality ('Comune' in Italian) where you live or where your center is. You can request it once you are registered with the Registry Office of your municipality (‘iscrizione anagrafica’ in Italian).

Learn more about:

Carta d'Identità

Codice Fiscale

The 'codice fiscale' is a tax code that identifies people living in Italy. Anyone who applies for asylum, or any other type of permit of stay in Italy, can get a codice fiscale. Generally, your codice fiscale should appear on your tessera sanitaria and your permesso di soggiorno.

To learn more about:

Codice Fiscale

Tessera Sanitaria

The 'tessera sanitaria' is your Italian health card. It gives you access to health care services and all other public services in Italy.

You’ll get a tessera sanitaria automatically when you register with the Italian national health care system, the ‘Sistema Sanitario Nazionale (SSN)’ in Italian - something that everyone with the right to stay in Italy can do.

Learn more about: Tessera Sanitaria

Housing-related documents

Residenza and Iscrizione Anagrafica

'Residenza' is the place where a person has their usual home. You can register your residenza at the Registry Office (‘Anagrafe’ in Italian) of the municipality where you live. This administrative procedure is called 'iscrizione anagrafica', and is a right for all people regularly staying in Italy, including asylum-seekers.

It is very important that you choose a place as your residenza and that you proceed with the iscrizione anagrafica as this will give you access to many public services (such as a family doctor, social benefits, and rights).

Also, bear in mind that if you wish to become an Italian citizen you should not have periods of time without having a residenza in an Italian Comune.

Your residenza may be the same as your domicilio.

Learn more about:

Iscrizione anagrafica

Certificato di residenza

The 'certificato di residenza' (residence certificate in English) is a document certifying your current residence. You can ask for it at the Anagrafe of your municipality. The residence certificate is valid for 6 months.

Residenza certificate is different from a residence permit. Generally with the term residence permit people mean a permit of stay.

Certificato storico di residenza

The 'certificato storico di residenza' (historical residence certificate in English) is a document that reports all the places where you have lived in Italy and when.

If you want to apply for Italian citizenship, you will be asked to provide this certificate to prove that you have uninterruptedly and regularly lived in Italy for the requested amount of time.

Domicilio

'Domicilio' is the place where the person establishes the main place of business and interests.

For example, if your family resides in Bari and you temporarily live in Rome to study at the university, you can choose Rome as your domicilio, while keeping your residenza in Bari.

There is not a specific procedure to choose a place as your domicilio, and you do not need to register at the Comune.

Having a domicilio is not compulsory. If you do not have one, the address of your domicilio will be the same as your address of residenza.

Dichiarazione di ospitalità

The 'dichiarazione di ospitalità' is a mandatory written communication that every landlord or host must produce to inform the Italian authorities that they are hosting a foreign citizen in their house.

Dichiarazione di ospitalità is important because it proves to the Italian authorities that you have a place to stay in the country. To apply for or renew your permesso, you can present a dichiarazione di ospitalità if you do not have a house contract.

We’ve heard that many landlords request to pay a fee to produce a dichiarazione di ospitalità – which is not a legal thing to do.

Learn more about:

Dichiarazione di ospitalita

Certificato di idoneità alloggiativa

The 'certificato di idoneità alloggiativa' (housing suitability certificate in English) is a document that proves that your house is suitable to live in.

This document is required to apply for family reunification or the EU long-term permit (in both cases if you are not an international protection holder), the family permit, or to sign the contratto di soggiorno with your employer, including for sanatoria.

You must request the idoneità alloggiativa at your Comune. You will need to bring some documents such as:

  • Your valid permit of stay
  • Your identity document
  • Declaration and identity document of the landlord
  • Layout of the house
  • House contract
  • Other documents, depending on your case.

Family-related documents

Certificato di nascita

The 'certificato di nascita' (birth certificate in English) attests the birth of a person born in Italy and specifies the following information: name, surname, date and place of birth, and birth act number.

You can request the certificato di nascita to the Anagrafe of the municipality where the birth act was registered.

If you were not born in Italy and you need a birth certificate (for instance, to apply for Italian citizenship), you have to ask for it at the Embassy of your home country.

If you hold the refugee status you can substitute the birth certificate with an affidavit ('atto notorio', in Italian), to be requested and drawn up by the Cancelleria of the competent Court or Tribunal for your place of residence.

Learn more about:

Documents for newborn babies

Stato di famiglia

The 'stato di famiglia' is a certificate to prove the composition of your family. You may need it to access some bonuses and social benefits - if you meet the requirements.

You can request the stato di famiglia at the Anagrafe of your municipality of residence. In some cases, you may also make a self-declaration depending on the reasons you need it for.

To self-certify your stato di famiglia, you can fill in the required fields and download the document here.

Nulla osta

A 'nulla osta' is a document granted by a public authority to certify that there are no obstacles to do something (e.g.: get a visa, get married).

There are different kinds of nulla osta depending on what you need to prove. Every kind of nulla osta is granted by a specific public authority.

Nulla osta for marriage

If you want to get married in Italy, the nulla osta al matrimonio is a fundamental document you will be in need of. It certifies that there are no legal obstacles to your marriage under the laws of your country of origin.

You can ask for this document to the Embassy or Consulate of your country of origin, and it must be translated into Italian and legalized.

If you are a refugee, you do not have to ask for the nulla osta. You will need to write a self-declaration instead. If you hold another form of protection and you fear from contacting your Embassy, or you are an asylum-seeker, you may substitute the nulla osta with an affidavit (‘atto notorio’ in Italian) issued by a tribunal, or a self-declaration (‘dichiarazione sostitutiva dell’atto di notorietà’ in Italian) issued within the past 6 months by the local municipality.

Learn more about:

Getting married in Italy

Nulla osta for family reunification

The nulla osta for family reunification is an authorization you must receive from the Sportello Unico per l’Immigrazione in order to bring eligible family members to Italy. You can request the nulla osta online on the Ministry of the Interior portal.

Learn more about:

Family reunification to Italy

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