Residence permit


Country Report: Residence permit Last updated: 03/06/21


International protection permits for both refugee status and subsidiary protection are granted for a period of 5 years.[1]

The application is submitted to the territorially competent Questura of the place where the person has a registered domicile.

The main problem for the issuance of these permits is, often, the lack of a domicile (registered address) which must be provided to the police. Domicile has to be attached to the application submitted to the Questura, but some beneficiaries of international protection do not have a fixed address to provide. Even if it is possible to have a registered address at an organisation’s address – a legal, not an actual domicile – not all Questuras accept an organization’s address as domicile and also the organisations not always allow beneficiaries of protection to use their address.

The renewal of the residence permit for asylum is done by filling out the appropriate form and sending it through the post office. After the application for renewal has been submitted, people have to wait a long time up to several months to know the outcome of the request and to obtain the new permit.

According to the law, the residence permit for subsidiary protection can be renewed after verification that the conditions imposed in Article 14 of the Qualification Decree are still satisfied.[2] The application is sent back to the administrative Territorial Commission that decided on the original asylum application and the Commission uses information provided by the police station, about any crimes committed during the person’s stay in Italy, to deal with the case. In practice, these permits are usually renewed and the main reason why renewal may not happen is the commission of serious crimes.

Another frequent reason why these permits are not renewed is evidence that the refugee has had contacts with his or her embassy or has returned to the country of origin, even for a short period. Sometimes, on this basis, the non-renewal procedure has been initiated even for subsidiary protection beneficiaries. To this regard it has to be underlined that L. 132/2018 which amended Decree Law 113/2018, introduced Article 15 (2 – ter) to the Qualification Decree, according to which, for the purpose of terminating the needs of subsidiary protection, “any return to the country of origin is relevant, if not justified by serious and proven reasons”. Following legal action initiated by ASGI the refusal in these cases has been cancelled. The provision is still in place, however.

On 27 February 2019, the Civil Court of Naples accepted the appeal lodged by a Nigerian citizen to whom the Questura of Naples refused to issue the subsidiary protection status permit because she did not have a passport from her country of origin.[3]

 Following the abolition of the humanitarian protection status upon entry into force of Decree Law 113/2018 on 5 October 2018 (see Regular Procedure), two-year residence permits for humanitarian protection reasons can no longer be renewed to those who had previously obtained such permit. The government justified the abolition of humanitarian protection with the need to delimit the issuance of this residence permit, claiming to circumscribe the humanitarian reasons to certain hypotheses and introducing, for this purpose, some new residence permits that can be released directly by the Questuras in “special cases” (casi speciali): the permit for medical treatment,[4] the permit for particular civil value,[5] the permit for natural calamity.[6]

However Decree Law 130/2020 and L 173/2020 reintroduced the need to consider, in rejecting permits to stay, the existence of constitutional and international obligations, and changed the substance of the special protection (protezione speciale) permits which can be granted when the hypothesis of non-expulsion or refoulement rises.[7] Decree Law 130/2020 specified that the refoulement or expulsion of a person not admitted when there are good reasons to believe that the removal from the national territory involves a violation of the right to respect for his private and family life, unless that it is necessary for national security reasons, public order and safety as well as health protection. It also stated that the nature and effectiveness of the family ties of the person concerned, his effective social insertion in Italy, the duration of his stay on the national territory as well as the existence of family, cultural or social ties with his or her country of origin, has to be taken into account.[8]

These permits are granted for duration of two years and are renewable, subject to a favourable opinion by the Territorial Commission, [9] and changeable in labour residence permits, with the exception of cases in which such protection is recognized but conditions were found to exclude or deny international protection.[10]

The 2018 reform had provided for a transitional regime only for those who have been waiting for the issuance of the first residence permit for humanitarian protection or those to whom the Territorial Commissions had already granted, although not yet communicated, humanitarian protection before 5 October 2018. These persons received a residence permit for “special cases” granted for two years and convertible into a labour residence permit.[11] Upon expiry, if not converted into work permits, those “special cases” permits cannot be renewed. The only option for the holders of such permit is then to obtain a “special protection” permit if they meet the conditions.  Decree Law 130/2020 introduces another transitional regime stating that the new provisions on special protection permits apply to all pending cases before the Territorial Commissions, the Questore, and the specialised sections of Civil Courts.[12]



[1] Article 23(1) and (2) Qualification Decree.

[2] Article 23(2) Qualification Decree.

[3] Civil Court of Naples, Decision 35170/2018, 27 February 2019.

[4]  Article 19(2)(d-bis) TUI, inserted by Article 1(1)(g) Decree Law 113/2018 and L 132/2018.

[5]  Article 42-bis TUI, inserted by Article 1(1)(q) Decree Law 113/2018 and L 132/2018.

[6] Article 20-bis TUI, inserted by Article 1(1)(h) Decree Law 113/2018 and L 132/2018. It is issued when the country to which the foreigner should return has a situation of contingent and exceptional calamity that does not allow the return and the stay in safe conditions. The permit is valid for 6 months, only in national territory, and allow to work but it is not convertible into a work permit.

[7]  Articles 19(1) as amended by Decree Law 130/2020 and L. 173/2020.

[8] Article 32 (3 ) Procedure Decree and  Article 19 (1.1) TUI as amended by Decree Law 130/2020 and L 173/2020.

[9] Article 32(3) Procedure Decree, as amended by Decree Law 113/2018 and L 132/2018 and later by Decree Law 130/2020 and L 173/2020.

[10]  Hypotheses ruled by Articles 10(2), 12 (1) (b) and (c) and 16 of the Qualification Decree.

[11] Article 1(9) Decree Law 113/2018 and L 132/2018.

[12]  Article 15 (1) Decree Law 130/2020.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation