Residency permits For Members

EXPLAINED: Can you lose your right to residency in Italy?

Jessica Lionnel
Jessica Lionnel - [email protected]
EXPLAINED: Can you lose your right to residency in Italy?
Could you ever be at risk of losing your Italian residency? Photo by Frederic Christian on Unsplash

It’s no secret that becoming a resident in Italy takes time, costs money and is full of bureaucratic red tape. But can residency ever be taken away from you?


There are many reasons for internationals to get Italian residency, from the practical - such as accessing healthcare, opening up bank accounts and not having your passport stamped - to feeling like you belong in the country you plan on calling home for the foreseeable future.

Not only does taking up Italian residency provide a sense of security, it’s also a legal requirement for those who live in the country for more than six months of the year largely due to tax purposes. According to Istat, in 2022 alone 3.7 million residency permits (permessi di soggiorno) were issued, almost 2.2 million of which were long-stay or permanent.

However, the Italian authorities can deny a request to renew your permit if you no longer satisfy the requirements or have been out of the country for too long a period, and you might have your permesso revoked if - in extreme circumstances - you're considered a threat to public safety.

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

There are also a few circumstances in which your residency can be revoked on a local level by the comune (town hall) where you're registered.

While getting struck off your comune's register won't invalidate your stay permit or get you kicked out of the country, it can be a nuisance as you'll no longer have an official registered address and you'll have to re-register as a resident locally.

Let’s take a look at the reasons you might have either your Italian stay permit or your local residency registration revoked.

Being untraceable

Revocation of residency with your local comune can occur if a person is proven to be untraceable following repeated checks over the course of a year (which might happen, for example, due to a census).

The prerequisite for this type of revocation is when there is reason to believe the person has moved from their home of registered residence or when it’s deduced they are on their national territory.

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


When this happens a procedure is started making it difficult to obtain residency certification (which affects access to healthcare) and the possibility of losing any voting rights.

Failing to renew declaration of habitual residence

Foreign citizens not belonging to the European Union can also be automatically cancelled from a comune's register for failing to renew their habitual residence.

Current legislation says third country nationals have an obligation to submit a declaration of renewal of their habitual residence to their comune, together with a copy of the new permit, within 60 days of renewing their permesso.

Staying outside of the country for long periods

Under Italian law, all foreign citizens who move abroad or return to their country of residence must declare it to their comune.

However, it is important to remember if you have a residency permit of less than two years and are a non-EU citizen you can leave the country for six months continuously without declaring it, or for a continuous period of no more than half the duration of your permit if your permit is for two years or more.

Breaking this rule means the government could refuse to renew or extend your stay permit.

If you're a Withdrawal Agreement (WA) beneficiary and have resided in the country for less than five years, meanwhile, you can go abroad for a maximum of six months at a time.

If you have surpassed this time for reasons that do not include being sent abroad for work, study or health (in which you are allowed to leave for one year if you are a WA beneficiary), the government can refuse to renew or extend your stay permit.


No longer meeting the requirements for a residency permit

There are many different factors to take into consideration when meeting the requirements for a residency permit, a common one being aware of when to change your permit according to your needs. For example, you wouldn't renew your student visa when you finished your studies two years ago, would you?

Then there's making sure you continue to meet the requirements for an existing permit when it's up for renewal.

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

If you're in Italy on an elective residency visa, for example, you'll initially need to renew your stay permit every one to two years. The minimum passive income threshold for this visa is around €31,000 per person per year (though the authorities can stipulate higher amounts in individual cases) - if your income falls below the threshold, your renewal application will likely be rejected.

Other requirements such as healthcare and salary must also be met. For instance, not having your health covered privately or by the Servizio Sanitario Nazionale (Italy's national health service) is a breach of residency terms. 


Committing a serious crime

This is rare, but having your Italian stay permit revoked on a national level due to committing a serious crime is a possibility under Article Nine of the Italian Immigration Law. The law states that the Italian authorities can refuse to renew a residency permit for those people who are “dangerous for public order or the security of the State.” 

Such crimes include mafia-related felonies or offences and threats against public bodies.

Of course revoking residency is a rare but often distressing procedure for all those involved. Whilst there have not been any cases that have been reported recently in the news, it's always best to double check with your comune or a lawyer to check the specific terms. The Local cannot assist with legal inquiries.

If you or someone you know has had their residency revoked get in touch via the comments below or at [email protected]


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