Residency permits For Members

How many people get Italian residency every year?

The Local Italy
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How many people get Italian residency every year?
The number of international residents obtaining residency premits has not changed much in recent years. Photo: Imagedepotpro/Getty Images

If you’re thinking of becoming a legal resident of Italy, or are mid-way through the process, you may wonder how many others do the same each year and where they come from.


Italy has official data showing how many permits are issued in total every year, and to whom - though this includes renewals, and it only gives us part of the picture.

According to Istat, Italy’s official statistics bureau, a total of just over 3.7 million residency permits (permessi di soggiorno) were issued in 2022, the most recent year for which data is available.

That’s almost 1.5 million temporary residency permits, and 2.2 million permanent or long-stay permits.

The number has been stable since at least 2016, Istat data shows, with no major increase or decrease in the number of permits issued. There is no official cap on the limit of residency permits available.

Obtaining a residency permit can be a lengthy process involving a large amount of paperwork, which means many applicants are likely to have moved to Italy some time before their first permit was issued.

READ ALSO: What's the difference between Italian residency and citizenship?

Most residency permits issued in 2022 were for citizens of Morocco (roughly 399,000), Albania (389,000), Ukraine (383,000), China (343,000) and India (164,000).

The data showed that some 36,000 US citizens received Italian residency permits in 2022, 9,183 of which were permanent residency permits.

The numbers of permits given to Brits, Australians, Canadians and South Africans were not specified.

EU nationals are not included, as they are not required to apply for Italian residency permits.

READ ALSO: A complete guide to getting Italy's residency permit

Istat’s population data meanwhile shows that there were roughly five million foreign nationals living in Italy in the same year, making up 8.5 percent of the population. This figure has been stable since 2014.


The majority of foreign-born residents in Italy were citizens of European countries (some 2.4 million), with more than half of that number (1.4 million) from EU member states.

They were followed by roughly one million people from African countries, one million from central and east Asia, and 370,000 from south and central America.

Broken down by country, the largest groups of international residents in Italy were Romanians (1,081,836) followed by Albanians (416,829), Moroccans (415,088), Chinese (307,038) and Ukrainians (249,613).

READ ALSO: Do foreigners in Italy have to carry their residency documents?

After Romania, the European Union countries with the most citizens registered as living in Italy were Poland (74,387), Germany (34,003), France (29,942), Spain (27,854) and the Netherlands (8,820).

Meanwhile Italy had some 27,758 residents from the UK, 15,582 from the USA, 2,230 Canadians, 1,518 Australians, 769 from South Africa and 354 from New Zealand.

Italy also recorded 1,235 resident citizens from the microstate of San Marino, and 16 from the Vatican City.

Data also shows that Italy’s foreign residents overwhelmingly choose to live in the north of the country: 83.8 percent live in the centre or north, according to Istat.

The Italian region home to the largest number of foreigners was the north-west, with 1,755,332 international residents. One million of those live in Lombardy, the region surrounding Milan.

See more in The Local's Italian residency section.



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