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BUREAUCRACY

EXPLAINED: How Italy just made it easier to access essential paperwork online

Italy’s government has launched a new national platform allowing residents to download official records, including residency and marriage certificates, for free online instead of queuing up at the comune. Here's how to use it.

Trieste's comune town hall. A new national platform provided by Italy’s government will allow residents to access official records online without go to the comune in person.
A new national platform provided by Italy’s government will allow residents to access official records online without go to the town hall in person. Photo: MIGUEL MEDINA / AFP

The ANPR (Anagrafe Nazionale Popolazione Residente, or National Population Register) platform, launched on November 15th, for the first time aggregates information from comuni (town halls) across Italy and brings it together in one national database.

Residents can use any of their SPID (Sistema Pubblico di Identità Digitale or ‘Public Digital Identity System’), CIE (Carta d’Identità Elettronica or Electronic Identity Card), or CNS (National Services Card) details to log into the site and view and download pdf copies of their official certificates (and those of their family members) free of charge.

READ ALSO: How to use your Italian ID card to access official services online

The move is the latest in a series of steps taken by the Italian authorities to try to move administrative processes online to reduce bureaucratic hurdles.

Recent developments include the ability to access health records, register a change of address, and apply for Italian citizenship online.

The option of downloading official certificates was already available to some Italian residents via their own comune’s website; but whether you had access to this service depended entirely on your local authority, with many smaller comuni lacking the resources to provide such services online.

This means that many Italian residents have until now been required to visit their comune and fork out for a tax stamp every time they need a copy of their residency or marriage certificate.

READ ALSO: Beat the queues: 19 bits of Italian bureaucracy you can do online

As official copies of such documents expire after six months, and must usually be requested in person at the relevant comune (not necessarily the one covering the area you live in), getting hold of these documents can take up significant amounts of time and money.

The launch of the new nationwide website on Monday means that changes, as every resident can access and download their official records online through the ANPR portal for free.

Some 8,000 Italian municipalities have signed up to use the portal, which lists the 63 remaining towns yet to get on board.

Where do I go?

The site can be found at: www.anagrafenazionale.interno.it

Residents wanting to use the service should scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on ‘accedi ai servizi‘ to be taken to the login page here.

Once logged in, to access a certificate you should click on the Certificati tab near the top of the page.

You will be given the option to request a certificate for yourself or for a family member; if you choose the latter, you’ll be given a list of names of relatives you’re allowed to request records for.

The home page of the ANPR web portal.

What do I need to log in to the site?

As mentioned above, you any of need your SPID, CIE, or CNS details to log in.

Bear in mind that with a Carta d’Identità Elettronica, you need not just your CIE number but must also to be logged into the CIE ID app.

READ ALSO: Italian bureaucracy: What is a SPID and how do you get one?

To first register with the app, you need the two four-digit PINs you received on applying for and on first receiving the card.

If you’re not sure what those are, you’ll need to go in person to your comune to request them; so if you haven’t already, you may find it easier to sign up for a SPID.

What can I get?

The interior ministry states that you can use the platform to access all-important documents including birth, marriage, residency and citizenship certificates.

You can also use it to download the following:

  • AIRE (Anagrafe Italiani Residenti all’Estero, or Register of Italians Resident Abroad) residency certificates
  • Civil status certificates
  • Family status certificates
  • Cohabitation certificates and contracts
  • ‘Existence of life’ certificate
  • AIRE family status certificates
  • Family status with relationships certificates
  • Unmarried status certificates
  • Civil union registry certificates

What does it cost?

As of November 2021, it costs nothing for a resident to download an official certificate from the ANPR website.

The site does say that all users are exempted from the requirement to pay for a tax stamp until December 31, 2021, so it’s possible that from the start of 2022, a fee may be applied.

There is a (currently redundant) option to tick a box saying that you fall into a category that exempts you from the requirement to pay for a tax stamp, again implying that such a requirement could be introduced further down the line.

Until at least the end of 2021, though, the service is free to all.

Can I use the platform for anything else?

You can’t currently use the portal to make any changes to your current status; e.g., to change your address to update your residency information or to update your civil status, etc.

However, you can make a ‘rectification request’ by clicking on the Rettifica dati tab.

This is specifically to correct factual information that, for whatever reason, is recorded incorrectly on the platform. It includes things like the spelling of your name, your date of birth, and the details of your identity documents.

Member comments

  1. Is there a way for Italians living abroad to get access if at the moment they don’t have a SPID, CIE, or CNS? Which of these (SPID, CIE, or CNS) can be from abroad? Thanks

    1. Hi,

      It doesn’t look like that’s possible at the moment unfortunately as this platform is intended for residents, but we’ll update the article if this changes.

      All best,
      – Clare

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For members

EUROPEAN UNION

How Europe plans to ease long-term residence rules for non-EU nationals

Non-EU citizens living in the European Union are eligible for a special residence status that allows them to move to another country in the bloc. Getting the permit is not simple but may get easier, explains Claudia Delpero.

How Europe plans to ease long-term residence rules for non-EU nationals

The European Commission proposed this week to simplify residence rules for non-EU nationals who live on a long-term basis in the European Union.

The intention is to ease procedures in three areas: acquiring EU long-term residence status, moving to other EU countries and improving the rights of family members. 

But the new measures will have to be approved by the European Parliament and the EU Council, which is made of national ministers. Will EU governments support them?

What is EU long-term residence?

Non-EU citizens who live in EU countries on a long-term basis are eligible for long-term residence status, nationally and at the EU level. 

This EU status can be acquired if the person has lived ‘legally’ in an EU country for at least five years, has not been away for more than 6 consecutive months and 10 months over the entire period, and can prove to have “stable and regular economic resources” and health insurance. Applicants can also be required to meet “integration conditions”, such as passing a test on the national language or culture knowledge. 

The EU long-term residence permit is valid for at least five years and is automatically renewable. But the status can be lost if the holder leaves the EU for more than one year (the EU Court of Justice recently clarified that being physically in the EU for a few days in a 12-month period is enough to maintain the status).

READ ALSO: IN NUMBERS: How many non-EU citizens live in European Union countries?

Long-term residence status grants equal treatment to EU nationals in areas such as employment and self-employment or education. In addition, EU long-term residence grants the possibility to move to other EU countries under certain conditions. 

What does the European Commission want to change?

The European Commission has proposed to make it easier to acquire EU long-term residence status and to strengthen the rights associated with it. 

Under new measures, non-EU citizens should be able to cumulate residence periods in different EU countries to reach the 5-year requirement, instead of resetting the clock at each move. 

This, however, will not apply to individuals who used a ‘residence by investment’ scheme to gain rights in the EU, as the Commission wants to “limit the attractiveness” of these routes and not all EU states offer such schemes. 

All periods of legal residence should be fully counted towards the 5 years, including those spent as students, beneficiaries of temporary protection or on temporary grounds. Stays under a short-term visa do not count.

Children who are born or adopted in the EU country having issued the EU long-term residence permit to their parents should acquire EU long-term resident status in that country automatically, without residence requirement, the Commission added.

READ ALSO: Why it may get easier for non-EU citizens to move to another European Union country

EU countries should also avoid imposing a minimum income level for the resources condition but consider the applicant’s individual circumstances, the Commission suggests.

Integration tests should not be too burdensome or expensive, nor should they be requested for long-term residents’ family reunifications. 

The Commission also proposed to extend from 12 to 24 months the possibility to leave the EU without losing status, with facilitated procedures (no integration test) for the re-acquisition of status after longer absences.

A person who has already acquired EU long-term residence status in one EU country should only need three years to acquire the same status in another EU member state. But the second country could decide whether to wait the completion of the five years before granting social benefits. 

The proposal also clarifies that EU long-term residents should have the same right as EU nationals with regard to the acquisition of private housing and the export of pensions, when moving to a third country. 

Why make these changes?

Although EU long-term residence exists since 2006, few people have benefited. “The long-term residents directive is under-used by the member states and does not provide for an effective right to mobility within the EU,” the Commission says. 

Around 3.1 million third-country nationals held long-term residence permits for the EU in 2017, compared to 7.1 million holding a national one. “we would like to make the EU long-term residence permit more attractive,” said European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson.

The problems are the conditions to acquire the status, too difficult to meet, the barriers faced when moving in the EU, the lack of consistency in the rights of long-term residents and their family members and the lack of information about the scheme.

Most EU member states continue to issue “almost exclusively” national permits unless the applicant explicitly asks for the EU one, an evaluation of the directive has shown.

READ ALSO: Pensions in the EU: What you need to know if you’re moving country

This proposal is part of a package to “improve the EU’s overall attractiveness to foreign talent”, address skill shortages and facilitate integration in the EU labour market of people fleeing Ukraine. 

On 1 January 2021, 23.7 million non-EU nationals were residing in the EU, representing 5.3% of the total population. Between 2.25 to 3 million non-EU citizens move to the EU every year. More than 5 million people have left Ukraine for neighbouring states since the beginning of the war in February. 

Will these measures also apply to British citizens?

These measures also apply to British citizens, whether they moved to an EU country before or after Brexit. 

The European Commission has recently clarified that Britons living in the EU under the Withdrawal Agreement can apply for a long-term residence too.

As Britons covered by the Withdrawal Agreement have their residence rights secured only in the country where they lived before Brexit, the British in Europe coalition recommended those who need mobility rights to seek EU long-term residence status. 

These provisions do not apply in Denmark and Ireland, which opted out of the directive.

What happens next?

The Commission proposals will have to be discussed and agreed upon by the European Parliament and Council. This is made of national ministers, who decide by qualified majority. During the process, the proposals can be amended or even scrapped. 

In 2021, the European Parliament voted through a resolution saying that third-country nationals who are long-term residents in the EU should have the right to reside permanently in other EU countries, like EU citizens. The Parliament also called for the reduction of the residency requirement to acquire EU long-term residence from five to three years.

READ ALSO: COMPARE: Which EU countries grant citizenship to the most people?

EU governments will be harder to convince. However, presenting the package, Commission Vice-President for Promoting our European Way of Life, Margaritis Schinas, said proposals are likely to be supported because “they fit in a broader framework”, which represents the “construction” of the “EU migration policy”. 

National governments are also likely to agree because large and small employers face skill shortages, “especially in areas that are key to our competitiveness, like agri-food, digital, tourism, healthcare… we need people,” Schinas said.

The article is published in cooperation with Europe Street News, a news outlet about citizens’ rights in the EU and the UK.

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