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October 14, 2015 – The lower house of parliament has approved the amendments to current Italian Citizenship law - Law 91 of 1992 - introducing significant changes with regards to the citizenship acquisition process for children born in Italy from foreign parents. For the child to be eligible for citizenship, at least one parent must hold a European Union permit for long-term residents. Significant changes will also apply to foreign citizens who immigrated to Italy before the age of twelve. The new rules also facilitate citizenship application for those born in Italy who have resided there uninterruptedly until 18. Before the amendments become law, they must be approved by the Italian upper house of parliament (Senate). Further updates will be published once available.

By means of the circular letter dated 30 September 2015, the Ministry of interior has provided further clarification on the assessment procedure of Integration agreement.
As per the new regulation, from now on:
- Upon expiration of the agreement total validity (2 years + 1 year extension) if authorities could not proceed with the assessment or if the foreigner has not attained full compliance (30 credits) the agreement will be considered partially fulfilled (with some exceptions). As a consequence, residence permit renewal rejection will not be automatic but at the authorities discretion.
- foreigners previously legally residing in Italy who have signed the agreement as part of an immigration application will not be required to execute a further agreement in case of a new application for Italy

By means of the Circular letter n.4621, 2015, the Italian Ministry of Interior has clarified that – notwithstanding different past interpretations of the matter by several Italian Courts - the conversion of a permit issued for religious reasons into a permit for employment reasons (either subordinate or self-employment) is not allowed. This is due to the fact that this type of residence permit is only granted for the activities connected to the applicant’s religious role and, if these are no longer in place, the applicant becomes ineligible to reside in Italy.

The agreements were signed in Brussels on May 28 between European Union representatives and the representatives from the 7 countries of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group (ACP).
Starting from May 28 2015, under the new visa regime, EU citizens travelling to the territory of these countries and citizens of signatory countries travelling to Schengen, shall be entitled to travel for tourism and business purposes with no need to apply for an entry visa for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period.

July 3rd, 2015- Through Circular Letter No.3841 with subject "Transitional restrictions on access of Croatian workers to the subordinate labour market in Italy", dated July 3rd,2015 Italian Government has communicated that working and hiring restrictions applied to Croatian nationals have been lifted. Starting from July 1st, 2015 Croatian nationals can be hired by Italian employers without having to obtain a Work Permit (Nulla Osta) from the relevant Immigration Office. They will no longer be subject to contractual limitations and are now entitled to carry out any type of allowed working activities as it happens for other EU/EFTA Citizens

The European Union and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States (CELAC) have executed an agreement which ratifies the exemption for Schengen short-term visas for citizens of Colombia and Peru.


Starting from January 2016, holders of Colombian and Peruvian passports shall be entitled to travel to Schengen for tourism and business purposes with no need to apply for an entry visa, and stay up to ninety days in a semester.


Peru and Colombia will join Albania, Andorra, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, Dominica, El Salvador, United Arab Emirates, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Guatemala, Grenada, Honduras, Hong Kong, Israel, Japan, Malaysia, Macao, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Northern Marianas, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Samoa, Santa Lucia, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, St, Vincent and Granadine, Taiwan, Timor Est, Trinidad e Tobago, United States, Uruguay, Vanatu and Venezuela, among the countries which are exempted from visa requirements for short stays in Schengen.

After addressing a query from one of our clients, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) confirmed that non-visa nationals who are sent from the parent company to train staff of the Italian subsidiary, for the purpose of installing new software in all subsidiaries of the Group, can carry out such activities under business status. It is therefore unnecessary for them to obtain a training visa.
However, MoFA pointed out that their activity is subject to controls at the companies sites by officers from the local Labour Department and, in order to obtain confirmation about the opinion expressed by the MoFA,  it would be necessary to consult the local Immigration and Labour offices.

Italy has recently implemented a new online system allowing applicants for the Italian citizenship to submit their requests through the Ministry of Internal Affair’s website, with the purpose of avoiding long waiting periods for an appointment at the Consulate/Municipality, in some cases, appointments were issued more than one year after the request.


With the new system in fact, applicants can file their requests as soon as they have met the eligibility and document requirements, provided that they have registered with the Ministry of Internal Affairs and obtained the access credentials.


Starting from June 18th, the following categories of citizenship applications can only be submitted online:


- Application by residency (Naturalization);

- Application by marriage for Italian residents;

- Application by marriage for residents abroad;

- Application by employment with the Italian government for residents abroad.


Applications via ancestry (jus sanguinis) will not be subject to any changes within the procedure.


Mazzeschi can offer assistance with the preparation and filing of the online applications. Contact us should you need any further information or to submit a query.


Click here – to access to the Ministry of Internal’s Affairs web portal.

The Milan Immigration Office has informed that university degrees will no longer be accepted as evidence of high specialization/knowledge within the specific working field.

To prove that the worker has the required highly specialised skill set, authorities now require either a detailed CV listing education and job experience or a declaration from the sending employer describing and confirming the candidate’s highly specialised professional profile. Legalisation/apostille and attested translation into Italian of worker’s CV or employer declaration is compulsory.

Workers are still required to have at least 6 months of seniority within the same working field and with the same sending employer.

The Administrative Court (TAR) of Milan ruled that a permanent residence permit cannot be revoked whenever the holder – as it often happens due to the high unemployment rate affecting Italy – is not able to provide any proofs of income.
Failing to meet the minimun income requirements and subsequentively the inpossibility to contribute to the fiscal system are deemed not to be in contrast with the right to legally reside in Italy for those already holding a permanent residence status. The Italian immigration law, in fact, provides that foreigners must meet the compliance requirements of income/taxation in order to be granted the permanent residence but, once this status has been awarded, they shall not be subject to further checks.

The Ministry of Internal Affairs, by means of a circular letter dated 17th March 2015, has provided clarification on the Integration Agreement assessment and on the educational qualifications or language certificates that may grant exemption to the foreigner having to pass the Civic Culture and Civil life in Italy exam and/or on level of Italian language knowledge (A2 level required).


Foreigners who have obtained the following Italian educational qualifications are not required to pass both exams (civic culture, civil life in Italy and A2 level of Italian language knowledge).


- educational qualifications, such as Diplomas, issued by Italian Schools recognized by the Italian Ministry of Education; - educational qualifications or language certificates issued starting from year 2014-2015 by Provincial Centers for Adult Education (CPIA); - educational qualifications or language certificates issued before year 2014-2015 by Permanent Local Centers;


Foreigners who have obtained the below Italian language attestations/certificates issued by specific certified language certification institutes are not required to pass the exam on A2 level of Italian language knowledge but must prove to have reached the required level of knowledge of civic culture, civil life in Italy;


- CELI1 issued by the CVLC - language certification institute of University for Foreigners of Perugia - CILS A2 issued by the CILSA - language certification institute of University for foreigners of Siena) - A2 PLIDA CERTIFICATION Diploma of knowledge of the Italian language – Dante Alighieri Society ; - A2 Certification of Italian as foreign language L2 – Roma 3 University;


In reference to the last 2 points listed above; authorities are currently evaluating if such attestations may also exempt foreigners from the civic culture, civil life in Italy exam.


Note that Integration Agreement signed by foreigners in possession of a residence permit for family reasons will not be assessed, even if they are not formally exempted from fulfilling the integration requirements.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA) has clarified that actors and members of TV and film crews (non visa nationals) do require a work permit and visa also if their stay does not exceed 90 days in a period of 180 days, if they are going to Italy for filming. They can enter as business visitors only if the purpose of the trip is for meetings and organization of the tour and filming. The work permit for actors and film crews is issued directly by the Ministry of Labor and there is no need to apply at the Immigration Office (Sportello Unico).

According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), actors and members of TV and film crews (non visa nationals) do not require a visa and can enter as “business visitors” if their stay does not exceed 90 days in a period of 180 days. Visa nationals can work obtaining a business visa (see under visas).

We have been informed that the Ministry of Labor (MoL) has a different policy and requires that all foreign workers – despite the duration of their stay and the fact that they continue to be paid abroad and are not hired by the Italian host company – to obtain a work permit and a work visa in order to legitimately work in Italy.

Inspections on work sites are coordinated by the MoL and it is therefore risky – until a clarification is issued by both the MoL and MoFA – to avoid obtaining a work permit for any non EU workers involved in the shooting.

January 29, 2015 - The Milan Court reconfirmed that the denial of an Italian citizenship application - filed pursuant to Art. 4/2 Law n. 91/1992, according to which the citizenship is granted to individuals born in Italy and who have legally resided in Italy until the age of 18 - is not legitimate whenever the applicant was not registered as "Italian resident" by parents at the time of birth. The Court ruled that the applicant cannot be held liable for delays attributable to the parents and is entitled to citizenship if they can prove to have legally lived in Italy without any interruptions.

The Lombardy Administrative Court stated with verdict No. 128/2015 that an EC residence permit for long-term resident, issued pursuant to art. 9 Legislative Decree July 25,1998, no. 286 - Immigration consolidated law,  cannot be revoked if the holder no longer has a job and does not reach the minimum income required by  law. The EC permit can only be revoked for public security reasons due pre-criminal danger to society by the holder.

Online applications can be submitted starting from December 30th, 2014 until August 30th, 2015 by registering on to the website of Ministry of Interior

The new decree sets a total of 17.850 quotas for subordinate, autonomous work and other categories of employment (which include the 2000 quotas already reserved to Milan Expo 2015 foreign workers), divided into the following categories:

• 1.000 quotas are reserved to individuals who have completed study/training programs in their home countries (as per art. 23 legislative decree n. 286 July 25, 1998).

• 2.400 quotas are available for the following autonomous work activities: (i) entrepreneurs carrying out activities of interest for the Italian economy (ii) freelancers workers in skilled regulated professions (lawyers, doctors, architects etc.), or in professions not regulated by professional registers or by corporative arrangements but nationally representative and included in Public Administration lists; (iii) officers and owners of non-cooperative companies as foreseen by the law on entry visa; (iv) internationally well-known artists or with high professional qualifications employed by public or private organisations; (v) individuals willing to set up innovative start-up companies (as per law n. 221, December 17th 2012).

• 100 quotas for subordinate and autonomous work are reserved to individuals of Italian origin, with at least one Italian parent (up to third in line of direct ascendancy) residing in Argentina, Uruguay, Venezuela and Brazil.

The remaining 12.350 quotas are for the conversion of existing permits into other categories of permits.

Among these:

• 4050 quotas for conversion of seasonal work permits into non-seasonal work permits • 6000 quotas for conversion of Study/internship/training Permits into subordinate work permits

• 1050 quotas for conversion of Study/ internship/training Permits into autonomous work permits.

• 1000 quotas for conversion of EC long-term residence permits issued by other EU Member States into an Italian subordinate work permit

• 250 quotas for conversion of EC long-term residence permits issued by other EU Member State into an Italian autonomous work permit

As always, the quotas will be allocated on a first come first served basis.

Italian Government has announced the issuance of 17.850 new quotas for subordinate work and autonomous work. Applications will be available on line starting from December 23, 2014. However, they can only be submitted once the Decree is officially published and comes into force. 1.000 quotas are available for individuals who have completed study courses in their home country. 2.400 quotas are available for the following autonomous work activities: (i) entrepreneurs carrying out activities of interest for the Italian economy (ii) freelancers; (iii) officers and owners of non-cooperative companies; (iv) internationally known artists or with high professional qualifications; (v) individuals willing to set up innovative start up companies (as per law n. 221, December 17th 2012). 2000 quotas have been allocated to individuals assigned to work at the Milan Expo 2015.
12.350 quotas are for the conversion of existing permits into work permits. Among these, 6000 quotas for conversion into work permits of Study/training Permits and 1050 quotas for conversion into autonomous work permits.

Check for Marco Mazzeschi contribution to the webinar on the Van der Elst ruling across Europe.
The Government has implemented - through the Law n.161/2014 - some changes to Italy’s Immigration Law (Decree n. 286/1998) mainly in relation to procedures for expulsions and repatriations of illegal immigrants. The most significant change, which would mostly affect business visitors, is the introduction of a fine from €103 to €309 for foreigners who fail to declare their presence to the Police within 8 days from entry (such report must be done, for example, from non-visa nationals who enter Italy form another Schengen country and who are not staying in a hotel).
A decade after the Vander Elst ruling, Marco Mazzeschi, has spoken to colleagues across Europe to get a picture of the implementation of the ruling across Europe. The full article, published by LexisNexis, is available at the following link—implementing-Vander-Elst

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