According to Article 5, comma 9 of the Consolidated Act on Immigration (TUI, Legislative Decree n° 286/98), in the presence of the requirements, a residence permit must be issued, renewed, or converted within sixty days from the date on which the application was submitted. However, this deadline is not peremptory. The public administration does not incur any particular consequences if it is exceeded. Therefore, it is a purely indicative deadline.
Is it possible to work while waiting for a residence permit to be issued, renewed, or converted?
Yes, Article 5 comma 9-bis of the TUI expressly allows for temporarily carrying out work activities while awaiting the issue or renewal of a residence permit. This provision was subsequently extended to applicants for a residence permit for family reasons since these are permits that, in any case, qualify for work (cf. note of 7/5/2018 from the Ministry of Labour and the National Labour Inspectorate).
In the case of an application for the issue or renewal of a residence permit, the foreigner may carry out work activities as long as the administration must complete the procedures.
This work activity may be legitimately carried out provided that the Immigration Office of the Questura or the Post Office has issued the appropriate receipt attesting to the presentation of the request. If the application for the issue or renewal of the residence permit is rejected, the possibility of working is immediately lost.
Can applicants for international protection work while waiting for a decision on their asylum application?
Yes, the residence permit for asylum seekers allows them to work sixty days after the application has been submitted if the process of examining the application has not been concluded and the delay cannot be attributed to the applicant. The submission of the application’s receipt constitutes a provisional residence permit.
Can a person who has applied for a residence permit for temporary protection work in Italy while waiting for the permit to be issued?
Yes, Article 2 of the Prime Ministerial Decree of 28 March 2022 allows the beneficiary of temporary protection access to the labour market. This article recalls the provisions of the Civil Protection Ordinance no. 872 of 4 March 2022, according to which 'the carrying out of work activities both in subordinate form, including seasonal work, and self-employment is allowed for people coming from Ukraine as a result of the current crisis, based on the application for a residence permit submitted to the competent Questura'. It is, therefore, possible to start work as soon as the application for temporary protection is submitted on the sole basis of the receipt, even if the residence permit has not yet been issued. There is, therefore, no impediment to an employer immediately hiring a citizen from Ukraine in possession of a receipt of an application for a residence permit for temporary protection.
How to hire a person who is still waiting for the issuance or renewal of a residence permit?
Employers who intend to hire workers in possession of the receipt of the residence permit application must send the 'UNILAV' form for the mandatory communication of recruitment to the competent Employment Centre (CPI) by midnight on the day before hiring. The 'UNILAV' form must be sent via the https://www.co.lavoro.gov.it/co/Login.aspx website, and at the same time, the communication obligations are fulfilled to:
- National Social Security Institute (INPS)
- Istituto Nazionale per le Assicurazioni e Infortuni sul Lavoro (INAIL)
- other substitute or exclusive social security forms
- Prefecture (Prefettura).
In the 'residence permit' field, it is possible to select the drop-down menu and indicate 'pending issue' or 'in renewal'.
Access is granted to all people who have been authorised through Accreditation. The form also contains the commitments to which the employer is legally obliged, including the payment of the expenses for the possible return of the foreign national to their country of origin in the event of forced repatriation and the indication of the accommodation.
Even in the case of a domestic employment relationship, which may be established following the communication made to INPS within 24 hours of the previous day, the communication is valid to fulfil the obligations mentioned above. https://www.inps.it/prestazioni-servizi/come-assumere-un-lavoratore-domestico
In the case of the employment of a foreigner still waiting for a residence permit to be issued, in the field of the UNILAV form relating to the residence permit, 'awaiting permit' must be indicated, and there is no need to put an expiration date.
While waiting for a residence permit to be issued, is it possible to register with the office of an Italian municipality?
Registration at the registry office is a prerequisite for exercising necessary fundamental and civil rights, such as access to social assistance, registration with the National Health Service for legally residing foreigners, the issuance of identity cards and civil registration certificates, the request for an Italian driving licence or the conversion of a foreign driving licence.
According to a Ministry of the Interior circular, foreign citizens who have entered Italy for the first time for employment reasons may request registration at the registry office while waiting for a residence permit. By analogy, the legal principle applied in the case of foreign workers is also applied in the case of first entry into Italy for family reunification reasons. The Circular of the Ministry of the Interior no. 43 of 2 August 2007 provides that a foreign national who is reunited with a family member on the basis of Article 29 of Legislative Decree 286/98 may proceed with the application for registration with the registry office by presenting:
- Valid passport
- entry visa
- receipt issued by the Post Office proving that the request for the issue of the residence permit has been sent
- copy of the clearance issued by the Single Desk for Immigration.
In the phase of renewing the residence permit, the registration at the Registry Office does not lapse.
While waiting for the issue of a residence permit for asylum applications, is it possible to register at the registry office?
Following the formalisation of the application for international protection, the asylum seeker is issued a certificate in their name, which constitutes the first residence permit in his possession. The receipt certifying the submission of the application for international protection constitutes a provisional residence permit. This certificate is a provisional residence permit, constitutes an identification document and does not bear an expiry date.
The certificate gives the asylum seeker the right to:
- apply for civil registration and residence
- register with the SSN based on domicile
- work 60 days from the issuance of the certificate
- attend educational, including professional, courses
- move freely within the national territory.
When 6 months have elapsed since the application was issued, the authority affixes a stamp that renews and certifies its validity and, therefore, the applicant's continued legal status in the national territory.
Is it possible to register with the National Health Service when a residence permit is being issued or renewed?
Yes, with the receipt certifying the application for the first issue or renewal of the permit, requesting registration with the SSN is possible. To learn more about the documentation to be presented, click here.
Is it possible to open a bank account while waiting for the issuance of a residence permit?
Ownership of a bank account constitutes a fundamental right since, without it, it is impossible to be regularly employed and paid by an employer or access social and welfare benefits introduced by the Italian State. An employer who pays workers their wage in cash is, in fact, punishable by an administrative fine of between EUR 1,000 and EUR 5,000.
Under Italian law, anyone wishing to open a bank account must present their valid identity documents (or other documents considered equivalent under current law) and tax code.
While waiting for a residence permit to be issued, opening a bank account at the post office or a bank is possible. To open a bank account, you do not need a certificate of residence, as it is an institution designed for the homeless.
In the event of problems, it is possible to file a complaint with the Bank of Italy via the 'Online services' platform, free of charge and without the assistance of a lawyer.
Can an asylum seeker waiting for a residence permit open a bank account?
Yes, even an asylum seeker can open a basic current account at the post office or bank. The documents to be presented are:
- the tax code;
- the residence permit for asylum seekers; or
- the receipt of the application submission for international protection (which is given when the application is recorded). This receipt must be valid, state the applicant's name and date of birth, and have a photograph.
Are holders of a residence permit in the process of being renewed entitled to a single allowance (Assegno Unico)?
Yes, as clarified by Inps (National Social Security Institute) in its message of 25 July 2022, if the residence permit has expired, 'the request for the renewal of the residence permit may be considered valid since the effects of the rights exercised during the renewal process cease only in the case of non-renewal, revocation or cancellation of the permit in question'.
Is it possible to issue driving or circulation documents to foreigners awaiting the issue, renewal, or conversion of their residence permit?
Yes, as clarified by the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport circular, 'there are no interpretative doubts about the possibility of issuing driving and circulation documents also to non-EU citizens who are awaiting the issue of their first residence permit for subordinate work'. According to the circular, 'The possession of the receipt certifying the submission of the application for the first issue or renewal of the residence permit constitutes the sole and exclusive condition that the UMCs are required to ascertain."
These clarifications also apply to non-EU citizens who have arrived in Italy pursuant to and for the so-called 'flows decree'.
The postal receipt or the receipt issued by the competent authorities, certifying the submission of the application for the first issue or renewal of the residence permit, therefore allows the exercise of the following faculties:
- admission and performance of theoretical and practical examinations to obtain the licence
- issue of driving licence documents, including the hypothesis of issue following the conversion of a foreign licence
- renewal of validity and updating of driving licence documents; - issue of duplicate driving licence documents
- issue of vehicle documents (registration certificates, etc.)
- updating and duplicating vehicle registration documents.
When the residence permit is first issued or renewed, it is also possible, as clarified by the circular of the Ministry of Infrastructure and Transport of 6 November 2023, to acquire the Driver Qualification Card (CQC), i.e. the qualification document required to drive vehicles weighing 3.5 tonnes or more, intended for the transport of goods or persons.