Residence permit


Country Report: Residence permit Last updated: 30/11/20


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 but thanks to the legal defence the refusal has been cancelled. 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]

On the other hand, special protection (protezione speciale) permits have a one-year duration and allow access to the labour market but, contrary to permits for humanitarian protection, they cannot be converted into a labour residence permit. They can be renewed, subject to a favourable opinion by the Territorial Commission.[7]

The 2018 reform has 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 receive a residence permit for “special cases” granted for two years and convertible into a labour residence permit.[8] Upon expiry, if not converted into work permits, the “special cases” permits are not renewed. The only option for the holders of such permit is then to obtain a “special protection” permit if they meet the conditions. However, as mentioned above, the latter is only valid for one year and cannot be converted into a work permit. 


[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]Article 32(3) Procedure Decree, as amended by Article 1(2)(a) Decree Law 113/2018 and L 132/2018.

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


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