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April 2016 - The Administrative Appeal Council (Consiglio di Stato, April 5, 2016, n.  1327) overturned the decision of the Administrative Court and declared that in case a EC permit for long term residents is revoked, the Office cannot issue an expulsion order without taking into account if the individual has the right to obtain an ordinary permit of stay and therefore is still entitled to remain in the country on different grounds. With the exception that it is proven that the individuals can be a danger for national security.

Facts:

  • The new Schengen border code will enter into force on 12th April, 2016
  • Increased security in area without internal border control
  • Checks at external borders against relevant databases- at entry and exit
    • These will be done at all external borders-land, sea and air
    • Checks for public order and internal security will now also be done on exit.

  • Member States will carry out systematic checks, even on people who have freedom of movement within the EU
    • These will occur when the cross the external border
    • The checks will be against databases of lost and stolen documents
    • They will verify that the people do not present a threat to public order and internal security

Following the proposal for amending EU Regulation No 562/2006 (EC) (Schengen Border Code regulating the entry conditions and border controls of the Schengen area) approved on December 15, 2015 by the European Commission, on March 23 EU Regulation No. 2016/399 has been published in the Official Journal of the European Union. The regulation amends the Schengen border code in an effort to increase security within the area without internal border control through the reinforcement of checks against relevant databases at external borders and were adopted in response to recent security threats.

The full text of the EU Regulation No. 2016/399

Our firm won a new court case and obtained a favourable judgement from the Court of Rome on recognition of Italian citizenship to an individual born from an Italian mother before 1948. 
 
Under the Italian citizenship Law, a woman of Italian descent born before January 1, 1948  can only transmit Italian citizenship to her children born after January 1, 1948. 
Since 2009, when a trial case challenged the law as discriminatory of Italian women leading to the recognition of citizenship to the applicant, the Court of Rome has been increasingly granting Italian citizenship to the descendants of an Italian woman born before 1948 and to the descendants of an Italian woman who had married a non-Italian citizen before 1948.
 
Unfortunatley, as this decision has not yet been coded into law, as of now it is only possible for these descendants to be awarded Italian citizenship by making a case in the Italian Court.
 
However, considering the number of cases won since the first time, there is now a high chance of obtaining Italian citizenship via a femal ancestor of Italian descent born before January 1, 1948

The new program launched for foreigners already residing in Italy intending to set up an innovative start up has now been implemented: after the successful Startup Visa program, a fast-track procedure is now available also to foreigners already residing in Italy who can apply for a "start up permit" without having to leave Italy and obtain a new visa.

The program is named Italia Startup Hub and is available to holders of any residence permits. The procedure differs according to the residence permit type:

  • Holders of a residence permit for study, internship and/or training and EC long-term residence permit issued by another EU member state must apply for the current permit conversion following the procedure handled by the Immigration Office (Sportello Unico Per L'immigrazione)
  • For holders of permits for work and family reasons, the procedure is handled directly by the Police Immigration department (Questura)

The program is also aimed to foreigners who wish to became a shareholder of a pre-existing innovative startup in Italy.

In both cases, the application of the residence permit must be filed further to the approval of a certificate of no impediment issued by the Italia Startup Visa & Hub Committee.
At the end of the process, applicants will be issued with a self-employment residence permit aimed at setting up an innovative start up. It is to be noted that there's a limited number of start up permits issued each year, based on the immigration quota decree provisions.

A dedicated website will be available shortly (italiastartuphub.mise.gov.it)

14/03/2016 - Reciprocal short-stay visa waiver agreement signed between the EU and Peru. The agreement will apply from 15 March 2016, allowing visa-free travel for Peruvian nationals to the EU for short stays of up to 90 days as well as for EU citizens travelling to Peru.
The agreement does not apply to Ireland and UK

March 8, 2016 - Representatives of the European Commission and the Chinese government have signed a reciprocal short stay visa waiver for diplomatic passport holders. This will allow EU citizens travelling to China on a diplomatic passport (or with an EU laissez-passer) and Chinese citizens travelling to the EU on a diplomatic passport free travel for stays up to 90 days (every 180 day period).
The agreement will provisionally enter into force 3rd March 2016. It will not apply to the UK and Ireland.

For further information http://ec.europa.eu/dgs/home-affairs/what-is-new/news/news/2016/20160229_1_en.htm

The Court of Brescia (Labor division) ruled on February 4, 2016  that the right to provide a self- declaration confirming data already in possession of Public offices (such as residency in Italy etc. ) – set forth for by art. 47 and 46 of Presidential Decree 445/2000), must be granted also to any foreigners legally residing in Italy. Accordingly, a foreigner who is submitting an application to a Public Office can avoid submitting certificates issued by different Public Office and instead can provide  a self -declaration confirming that the data submitted is true.

February 2, 2016 - New Quota decree published

 

The new decree sets a total of around 30.000 quotas for subordinate, autonomous work and other categories of employment, included seasonal workers.

17.850 quotas for subordinate and self-employed work are distributed as follows:

• 1.000: 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:
- entrepreneurs intending to carry out investment plans of interest for the Italian economy, for a minimum amount of 500.000 and aimed at creating at least 3 new work positions
- 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;
- officers and owners of non-cooperative companies as foreseen by the law on entry visa;
- internationally well-known artists or with high professional qualifications employed by public or private organisations;
- 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.
• 100 quotas for non EU citizens who have taken part to Milan Expo 2015

Conversion of existing permits into work permits

• 4600 quotas for conversion of seasonal work permits into non-seasonal work permits
• 6500 quotas for conversion of Study/internship/training Permits into subordinate work permits
• 1500 quotas for conversion of Study/ internship/training Permits into self-employed work permits.
• 1300 quotas for conversion of EC long-term residence permits issued by other EU Member States into an Italian subordinate work permit
• 350 quotas for conversion of EC long-term residence permits issued by other EU Member State into an Italian autonomous work permit

Online applications can be submitted starting from February 9, 2016 by registering on to the website of Ministry of Interior http://nullaostalavoro.dlci.interno.it/Ministero/

The remaining quotas are reserved to seasonal workers and can be applied for starting February 17th..

Quotas will be allocated on a first come first served basis

January 2016 - Italy has finally taken action towards removing obstacles which prevent children from participating in sporting activities at a competitive level if they are not Italian citizens. 

The Senate has in fact approved the bill which will grant foreign minors the same conditions as Italian children with respect to admission to National Sports Federations sports clubs or similar associations promoting sports.
Furthermore, children will remain signed up to the club even after they have turned 18 and until they have acquired Italian citizenship.

December 2015 -   While awaiting for the citizenship law reform, in an effort to promote social integration of foreign children born and/or regularly residing in Italy, Italian Senate may soon approve a bill granting foreign minors the same conditions as Italian children with respect to admission to National Sports Federations sports clubs or similar associations promoting sports. 
 
As of now, foreigner children under 18 years of age - though born or regularly residing in Italy -still have to face bureaucratic barriers in order to register with many sports federations and in many cases only Italian nationals can be professional players
 
The law that Italian parliament is currently discussing would make the registration procedures of minors locally born or residing in Italy since they were at least 10 equivalent to that for Italian citizens.


As confirmed by several unofficial sources the Government is currently working on the annual decree that sets forth the 2016 quotas that apply for different categories of foreign workers in Italy. The decree will set the numerical limits for each category of worker/citizen allowed to apply for a work permit. Based on this information, although yet to be confirmed, new quotas should be available soon for seasonal employment, conversion of permits, study, training, etc.
In addition to the abovementioned quota decree - mainly for seasonal employment and conversions - for the first time since 2010 and as foreseen by Italian Immigration Law it seems that the Government is planning to work with labour authorities and all parties involved to determine the quotas for subordinate employment.
Further updates will be published as soon as available.

December, 2015 - The worldwide roll out of the Schengen Visa Information System (VIS) has now been completed, contributing to a more efficient management of the EU's external borders. 
 
For more information: click here

December 2, 2015 - The EU and Colombia signed a short-stay visa waiver agreement allowing Colombians free entry into the 26 European countries. The new visa regime provides for visa-free travel for EU citizens when travelling to the territory of Colombia and for citizens of Colombia when travelling to the EU, for a period of stay of 90 days in any 180-day period.

For more information http://www.consilium.europa.eu/en/press/press-releases/2015/12/02-visa-waiver-colombia/

Marco Mazzeschi is amongst top 3% of researchers on Academia.edu by 30-day views

Starting November 10, residence permits will be issued according to the format as provided for in Regulation (EC) No 380/2008 and Italy Ministerial Decree July 23, 2013.

The new permit model will be made of plastic paper containing a digital component. The digital component is made up of an embedded chip containing memory plus microprocessor to digitally store biometric data and information. In the microchip all the holder’s biometric features and personal data as well as photo and fingerprints will be stored.

This feature increases the document security, preventing misuse through the use of biometric data and enhancing the bond between the holder and the document itself.
The microchip will not be visible externally and the card will look like any other identification documents, showing holder's photo and data on its surface.

The new permit features will allow Italian and European police to "read" the data therein stored and display them on the screen for immediate access, making it possible to check instantly if they match with the data stored in the main police database.

 

Impact on new and current applications:

  • applications submitted before 10 November 2015: the permit will be issued according to the "old" format;
  • applications submitted after 10 November 2015: applicants will receive the new electronic residence permit;
  • holders of valid residence permit: no action required, the permits maintain validity; upon renewal, they will be issued with the new electronic permit.

At a local level, the Florence Immigration Police department has sent an official communication on the application procedures which will be subject to some changes. In particular:

  • all applicants will receive an individual residence permit card, regardless of their age (not only applicant over 14 years of age). For minors, the card will be conventionally connected to the mother's permit;
  • fingerprints are now required also from children aged 6 or more; 
  • minor children presence is therefore mandatory both at fingerprints and at residence permit retrieval appointment.

We do expect that the above procedures will soon apply to all Immigration Police departments throughout Italy and therefore they should be followed by all applicants from now onwards.

November, 2015 - The Administrative Court of Piemonte (judgment no. 1530 of 30 September 2015) has confirmed that the application for conversion of a residence permit for study into a residence permit for work can only be filed before the study permit expiration date. It is not possible to apply for conversion after the expiration date of the permit, even if renewal application is pending.

November 2015 - The reform of the citizenship bill has been voted on in the House and is now going to be voted on in the Senate.

If approved, the reform will affect primarily eligibility requirements and citizenship application process for the children of immigrants. The reform has taken into account the following possible scenarios:

Foreign children born in Italy:
- Are considered Italian by birth if at least one of their parents has acquired the permanent residence status (i.e. is in possession of a permanent EC residence permit if NON-EU or, for EU citizens, has acquired permanent right of residence);
- Are entitled to receive Italian citizenship if they have attended school for at least 5 years (if have attended primary school they must have completed it successfully).

Foreign children arrived in Italy within 12 years of age:
- Are entitled to receive Italian citizenship if they have attended school for at least 5 years (if have attended primary school they must have completed it successfully).

In the above situation, parents are required to apply at the local city council before the child becomes 18 or the child can apply within 20 years of age.

Foreign children arrived in Italy before the age of 18:
- Can apply for citizenship if have resided regularly in Italy for at least 6 years and have successfully completed a cycle of education.

A temporary provision has also been introduced allowing who is older than 20 but is in possession of the new eligibility requirements to apply for citizenship. For them it will be possible to apply within one year of the new law entering into force.

Further updates will be published as soon as available.

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.

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