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For people who want to live in another EU country: Ex carta di soggiorno

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If you have been living in Italy with a valid permesso for the past five years, you may consider applying for a Permesso di Soggiorno UE per Soggiornanti di Lungo Periodo.

Also known as "ex carta di soggiorno", or “EU long-term permit” in English, this permit prevents you from being expelled from Italy, unless for severe security reasons, and enables you to participate in some forms of local public life (for example: referendum at the municipal level).

The EU long-term permit also allows you to work or study in another EU country (with the exception of Denmark and Ireland) regularly. To do so, you will have to request a different permit to the authorities of the EU country you would like to move to. By doing that, you will not lose your Italian EU long-term permit.

Each EU country has its own rules to give permits to holders of a EU long-term permit released by another EU member State. This is why we suggest that you contact the relevant Consulate to understand how the procedure works.

You can learn more about working and studying in other EU countries here.

You can use this article to learn more about:

10 years validity

Who can apply

You can apply for the EU long-term permit if you hold a valid permit of stay (for example subsidiary protection, refugee status, work or family permit) and you meet the requirements listed below.

If you have a motivi umanitari or casi speciali permesso, you are not eligible for the ex carta di soggiorno. However, if you convert your 2-year permit to a Permesso per Motivi di Lavoro Subordinato or Autonomo, you may become eligible in the future.

Learn more about: PERMESSO PER MOTIVI DI LAVORO

Requirements

As a general rule, you need to meet both the stay and the income criteria listed below to apply for the ex carta di soggiorno. You also need to provide your criminal record.

If you hold any other eligible type of permesso – except refugee status or subsidiary protection – you will also need to meet some additional requirements. To avoid any confusion we summed up the requirements in the table below:

Permesso per soggiornante di lungo periodo_Requirements_Refugee.Info

STAY: At least 5 years in Italy with a valid permesso

You need to have lived in Italy for at least 5 consecutive years holding a valid Italian permesso di soggiorno.

Your stay in Italy is considered uninterrupted if you did not stay outside the country for more than 6 months at once – overall no more than 10 months over the 5 years. This holds true if you respect the traveling rules.

By law you don't need the residenza to apply for this permesso. However, in practice many questura ask for it when you apply for the ex carta di soggiorno. CILD lawyers say that in theory this is an illegitimate practice and that you could potentially appeal.

From when do I start calculating my 5 years in Italy?

If you have subsidiary protection or refugee status, you can start calculating your 5 years from the moment you filed your asylum request, submitting your C3 form.

If you have a humanitarian or casi speciali permit and you want to apply for ex carta di soggiorno, you need first to convert it to a work permit. After receiving your work permit, you can apply for the ex carta di soggiorno 5 years after receiving your first permesso per motivi umanitari or 2-year casi speciali.

Note: for humanitarians or casi speciali permits the practice varies from Questura to Questura. Certain Questure could start calculating the 5 years earlier, for example from when you received your Permesso per Richiesta Asilo. Please consult a lawyer for advice on your specific case.

If you received directly a work or family permit, you can start counting from when you received your first permesso.

INCOME: Minimum yearly income

To apply for the ex carta di soggiorno, you need to have a minimum yearly income equal to or higher than Italy’s yearly social insurance income. In 2021, it was set at €5.983,64. That number goes up by 50% for each additional family member you have. For example, if you have 2 children, you need to earn twice the yearly social insurance income.

The government will calculate your income by reviewing your dichiarazione dei redditi (declaration of income). Once you do this, you will receive a certificazione unica (CU), which you can include in the kit you submit to apply for the permesso.

You can get help with completing your declaration of income, doing your taxes, and getting a certificazione unica at a CAF or union office. The most common ones are called the INCA CGIL, ANOLF, INAS or ACLI.

For help with finding the closest one to you, you can message us on Facebook.

CLEAN CRIMINAL RECORD

You also need to prove you have a clean criminal record. However, if you have been convicted of a crime, you may still be able to get the permit. It just means that your application will get a special, additional evaluation.

Additional requirements for people who do not have refugee status or subsidiary protection

If you apply as a holder of a work permit, or another kind of eligible permesso, you will need to meet other requirements.

In addition to 5 years of continuous regular stay in Italy, a minimum yearly income, and a clean criminal record, you need the following:

  1. A certificate proving your A2 level of Italian, which you can demonstrate by taking a test. You can register for it here. You can also show a CPIA or an equivalency diploma.
  2. A “certificato di idoneità alloggiativa”, or certificate of housing suitability. You have to show that your housing is suitable for the number of people living there. After you apply for your ex carta di soggiorno, someone from the comune will visit you. If your housing meets their standards, your comune will give this certificate.

NOTE: By law, international protection holders (refugee status and subsidiary protection holder) only need to provide a valid address. However, we’ve heard of refugees who were asked to provide this certificate.

How to apply

If you fulfill the requirements listed above and are ready to apply, you’ll need to go to your local post office and bring:

  • Photocopy of your valid passport, carta di identità, or other valid identification document

  • Photocopy of your valid permesso di soggiorno

  • "Certificato del casellario giudiziale" and "Certificato dei carichi pendenti" to demonstrate you have a clean criminal record, and no pending criminal cases. More info on how and where to get them: Certificato del casellario giudiziale and Certificato dei carichi pendenti.

  • Photocopy of your codice fiscale

  • Photocopy of proof of income, like a certificazione unica (tax summary) or dichiarazione dei redditi (income declaration), and pay slips for the current year.

  • Photocopy of residenza, dichiarazione di ospitalità, or contract of rent/purchase of your own home, if you have one.

  • Certificato di idoneità alloggiativa, and self-certification for family status (if you apply for you family too).

If you hold refugee status or subsidiary protection, whether you’re applying with your family or not, you don't need this certificate. You only need to provide a valid residenza and the self-certification for family status.

At the post office, you will also need to pay: €30.46 for printing of the document itself, €16 marca da bollo, €100 for government costs associated with this kind of permesso di soggiorno. You have to pay an additional € 30,00 to the post office for processing the procedure.

Keep the receipt from the post office as you’ll need it to check when your permit is ready – you can do this by clicking here.

At the Questura

It normally takes 3 months to process your request. The Questura will contact you when your permit is ready.

At the questura you will need to bring:

  • 4 photos, passport size
  • Receipts for the payments made at the post office
  • Permesso di soggiorno
  • Original documentation submitted at the post office
  • Italian language certificate

How long it's valid

This permesso is valid for an undetermined period of time – this is also why some people call it ‘unlimited’ or ‘00’ permit.

If you have an old EU long-term permit you know that this has “illimitato” written on the front, and that you need to update (“aggiornamento” in Italian) the basic information on your permesso every 5 years.

However, based on a recent inter-ministerial decree adopted in January 2021, things have slightly changed.

New electronic EU long-term permits will no longer have “illimitato” written on the front but will indicate a validity of 10 years instead. This only means that you will have to update your personal data (such as your photo and address) every 10 years for it to remain valid as an ID document.

Please mind that your status of permanent resident in Italy will not be affected by this new provision. Basically, the expiration date only regards your physical permesso, not your status in Italy.

Please, do also keep in mind that the shift to these new electronic permits will be a gradual process. For example, if you hold a EU long-term permit issued before January 20, 2021, you do not have to change your current permit now. Next time you will update your permesso, the local Questura will issue a new EU long-term permit without “illimitato” written on it.

Updating procedure

You can apply for aggiornamento, or updating procedure in English, of your ex carta di soggiorno by filling out the Modulo 1 and presenting it to the post office.

You can find more information (in Italian) on the documents to prepare before going to the Portale Immigrazione by clicking here and on the step-by-step procedure on the CINFORMI website here.

Is ex carta di soggiorno really permanent?

Although the status ("soggiornante di lungo periodo") you will get with this permit is permanent, the Italian authorities may revoke your permit if you stay outside the European Union for more than 12 months, or outside Italy for more than 6 years, or if you get a EU long-term permit from a different country However, if you are eligible, the Italian authorities may issue another permesso, and you could obtain again the EU long-term permit after 3 years in Italy – unless you got an expulsion order.

Authorities can also revoke this permit if you get an expulsion order or if they consider you as a danger to public order and security of the State.

What if I hold international protection and I travel back home?

If you are a refugee or you hold subsidiary protection, you will not lose your international protection status when you obtain the EU long-term permit. Indeed, the physical permit will indicate “annotazione: protezione internazionale”. This means that the same prerogatives of international protection holders still apply for you. At the same time, it also means that if you travel back to your home country, you may risk losing your status.

According to Italian law, if you lose your subsidiary protection or refugee status, you can keep your ex carta di soggiorno only if you meet the requirements for another permit (for example: work or family permit). It’s a good idea to speak with a legal expert, who can advise on your case, before deciding to travel back to your country.

Got any questions? Feel free to drop us a private message on Facebook.

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