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Residency permits For Members

EXPLAINED: How the rules on renewing Italian residency permits have changed

Giampietro Vianello
Giampietro Vianello - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: How the rules on renewing Italian residency permits have changed
The Italian post (Poste Italiane). New rules mean some people may have to renew their Italian residency permit. (Photo by ALBERTO PIZZOLI / AFP)

You may have heard that some types of long-term Italian residency permits need to be renewed by August under new rules - but these changes don’t affect everyone.

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Question: I heard some people living in Italy need to renew their residency permit by August 3rd, following a recent rule change. Is this true? And does it apply to me?

More than one of The Local's readers has been in touch with this question recently after hearing of new requirements around renewing long-term Italian residency permits.

Several Italian provincial police stations have reported that “false information” has been circulating over the issue, and have published notices aiming to set the record straight about which permits must be renewed by August 3rd, 2023.

But some readers were left confused despite these updates, and were unsure whether or not they needed to update their residency permit and what the process involved.

So what exactly has changed, and who does this change apply to?

With little clarification so far from official government sources, at The Local we’ve attempted to answer these questions based on the information available.

What has changed?

In February 2022, a series of amendments under law 238/2021 brought in changes, including new renewal requirements, affecting holders of two types of residency permits:

  • Carte di soggiorno per familiari di cittadini UE (residency permits for family members of EU citizens), and;
  • Permessi di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo (permanent residency permits for non-EU citizens).

While this change didn’t have an immediate effect at the time, it’s causing growing confusion now that many foreign nationals in Italy have been notified they’ll have until August 3rd to renew their permits. 

Only holders of 'carte di soggiorno per familiari di cittadini UE' in paper format need to renew their permit by August 3rd. Photo by Miguel MEDINA / AFP

Who needs to renew their residency permit by August 3rd?

According to updates published by provincial police headquarters around the country (see Genova, Livorno and Brescia), the August 3rd renewal deadline only applies to people holding residency permits for family members of EU citizens (carte di soggiorno per familiari di cittadini UE).

This permit is for non-EU nationals who can prove they are the family members of an EU citizen living in Italy.

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But not all non-EU nationals holding a residency permit for family purposes will have to renew the document by August 3rd. 

In fact, only those holding permits in the old paper format will be subject to the requirement, as the government seeks to replace these with new electronic cards.

People who already have their residency permits in electronic format don’t need to renew them.

I have a permanent residency permit. Do I need to renew it? 

After five years of legal and uninterrupted residency in Italy (and provided they meet a number of requirements), non-EU citizens have the right to apply for a permanent residency permit, known as permesso di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo

These permits grant holders the right to stay in Italy for an unlimited period of time. 

READ ALSO: 'Arduous process': What to expect when applying for Italian permanent residency

However, as of February of last year, all permits have a maximum validity of ten years from the date they were first issued (or five years in the case of people aged under 18). 

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This means that if your permanent residency permit was issued over ten years ago, you will have to renew it. 

The permit’s original date of issue should be found on the document’s front page, under ‘data di rilascio’.

How do I renew my permit?

The renewal of your residency permit will be handled by the Immigration Office (Ufficio Immigrazione) of your provincial police station (Questura).

Unfortunately, the renewal application process is not the same across the country. As Giulia Vicari, immigration lawyer and founder of InfoImmigrazione, explains: “practices are not consistent among Italian Questure” and “each has its own operating procedures”.

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This means that, while some police stations may ask permit holders to book an appointment directly with them (either via PEC email or the PrenotaFacile platform), others may ask them to apply by filling out and submitting a ‘yellow stripe’ form kit or kit a banda gialla (so called because the form has a yellow stripe running down its left-hand side). 

Yellow stripe forms are only available at post offices with a Sportello Amico desk, Vicari confirms.

Italy's Post Office has a complete list of all Sportello Amico branches in the country.

For information about the renewal procedures in your province, you’ll need to consult the Questura’s Immigration Office.

The same office will also be able to advise you on exactly which documents you’ll be required to present, as these tend to differ based on the type of residency permit to be renewed and the holder’s personal circumstances.

Please note that The Local cannot advise on specific cases. For more information, contact your local Questura or seek assistance from a patronato or qualified legal advisor.

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Comments (2)

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David R. 2023/07/24 18:36
I scrambled to get this taken care of. Fastest route: straight to Questura's immigration office. But before I entered a "gate-keeper" told me they issued direct appointments in response through their PECS address -- which I said they'd never answered. Sigh. To the Post Office for "Kit Giallo" -- except POs seem to be out of the packets! A week later I found a place with a stack, filled it out, and submitted at the central PO last week -- for got an appointment for mid-October! Sigh, again.
paul baxter 2023/07/24 18:29
For information, the 10 year Biometric residency card issued to us in 2021, by our Questura & following BREXIT finalisation, is titled - 'Permesso di Soggiorno Permanente' - no mention of 'lungo periodo' described, so maybe our card is a third version ? Anyway, just wondered if this info might be of use........

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