Italy: Grounds for revocation of the European Union (EU) [also called EC] residence permit for long-term residents (permesso di soggiorno UE per soggiornanti di lungo periodo, also called permesso di soggiorno illimitata); whether an individual who has lost their permit can apply to have it reinstated (2015-February 2019) [ITA106264.E]

Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa

For information on the EU residence permit for long-term residents, including appearance, validity, requirements and procedure to obtain, procedure to update, and rights of holders, see Response to Information Request ITA105099 of March 2015.

1. Grounds for Revocation

The website of the Italian General Directorate of Immigration and Integration Policies, which is part of the Ministry of Labour and Social Policies, provides the following information:

The EU long-term residence permit may be revoked in the following cases:

  • an expulsion measure has been adopted against the foreign national;
  • permit was acquired fraudulently;
  • the individual is considered dangerous with relevance to the public order and security;
  • foreign national no longer fulfills the requirements set for its issue;
  • absence from the territory of the [EU] for a period of 12 consecutive months;
  • acquisition of a long-term resident status in another [EU] member State;
  • absence from Italy for a period exceeding six years. (Italy n.d.)

In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a representative of the Italian General Directorate of Immigration and Integration Policies indicated that the above information is correct and in effect (Italy 19 Feb. 2019).

According to sources, a holder may also have their permit revoked if they lose the status of refugee or holder of subsidiary protection (Italy 19 Feb. 2019; Law firm 21 Feb. 2019). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, a representative of an international law firm with offices in Italy, and whose areas of practice include immigration and residence permits, noted that revocation due to loss of refugee or subsidiary protection status may be considered as falling under the category "foreign national no longer fulfills the requirements set for its issue" (Law firm 21 Feb. 2019).

Legislation regulating the EU residence permit for long-term residents, including requirements to obtain, revocation, expulsion and rights of holders, is provided in articles 9, 9 bis and 9 ter of Legislative Decree No. 286 of 1998 (amended 2014) (Law firm 21 Feb. 2019). An unofficial English translation of said articles, as published by Italian national authorities and as retrieved from the UNHCR's Refworld database, is attached to this Response.

2. Reinstating a Revoked Permit

According to Welcome Association Italy (WAI), a non-profit organization that provides "assistance and services to foreigners who want to live in Italy" (WAI n.d.a), if a foreigner loses their residence permit for the reason of absence from Italy [or from the EU (WAI 18 Feb. 2019)] for a period of "at least twelve consecutive months," or if they receive a long-term residence permit from another member state of the EU, the foreigner is given the opportunity to reacquire the permit, "always subject to the requirements [to obtain the permit]" (WAI n.d.b). Requirements to obtain the EU long-term residence permit include, among others: legal residence in the country for a minimum of 5 years (WAI n.d.c; Italy n.d.; Assistência cidadania italiana n.d.b), during which the individual cannot be absent from Italy for more than 6 consecutive months or 10 months over the course of the 5 year period (WAI n.d.c; Italy n.d.). According to sources, exceptions apply for certain types of interruptions in the required five year residence, such as "serious and documented health reasons or other serious and substantiated reasons" (WAI n.d.c) or military obligations or serious reasons "supported by evidence" (Italy n.d.). Sources further indicate that requirements to obtain the EU long-term residence permit also include requirements in terms of income (Italy with Intesa Sanpaolo n.d., 8; WAI n.d.c) and knowledge of the Italian language (WAI n.d.c).

According to sources, the long-term residence permit cannot be held by individuals for reasons of study, professional training, temporary protection, humanitarian reasons, asylum [applications "when the related status has not been recognized yet" (Italy with Intesa Sanpaolo n.d., 9)], or by short-term residence permit holders (WAI n.d.c; Italy with Intesa Sanpaolo n.d., 9). For further information on requirements to obtain the EU long-term residence permit, see Legislative Decree No. 286 of 1998, attached to this Response.

According to sources, it is possible to reacquire a long-term residence permit that has been revoked under the same requirements for a first-time permit, with the exception that the period of stay required for eligibility is reduced to three years instead of five years (Italy 19 Feb. 2019; Law firm 21 Feb. 2019), and only for cases in which the permit was revoked due to an "absence from the national territory or because the applicant obtained [a long-term residence permit] from another EU country" (Law firm 21 Feb. 2019). The law firm representative explained that before an applicant can apply for the reinstatement of their long-term residence permit, they must first apply for an entry visa at an Italian embassy, and then apply for a residence permit once in Italy (such as a permit for work, family, or elective residence reasons), and then after three years of residency they will be able to apply for the EU long-term residence permit (Law firm 21 Feb. 2019).

3. Possibility to Appeal the Revocation of the Long-Term Residence Permit

According to a 2013 document available on the website of the Italian General Directorate of Immigration and Integration Policies, if an individual's long-term residence permit is denied or revoked, the individual can appeal to the "competent," "local" Regional Administrative Court (Tribunale amministrativo regionale, TAR) (Italy June 2013). Similarly, Assistência cidadania italiana, an Italian law firm that works in immigration law (Assistência cidadania italiana n.d.a), states that in the event of refusal or revocation of the permit, an appeal can be submitted to a TAR "or the ordinary courts for family reasons" (Assistência cidadania italiana n.d.b). Further information regarding the possibility to appeal the revocation of the long-term residence permit, including specific cases, could not be found among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.

References

Assistência cidadania italiana. N.d.a. "About Us." [Accessed 18 Feb. 2019]

Assistência cidadania italiana. N.d.b. "Legal Immigration Assistance." [Accessed 18 Feb. 2019]

Italy. 19 February 2019. Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali, Direzione Generale dell’immigrazione e delle politiche di integrazione. Correspondence from a representative to the Research Directorate.

Italy. June 2013. Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali, Direzione Generale dell'immigrazione e delle politiche di integrazione. "Stay - EC Long-Term Residence Permit." [Accessed 11 Feb. 2019]

Italy. N.d. Ministero del Lavoro e delle Politiche Sociali, Direzione Generale dell'immigrazione e delle politiche di integrazione. "EU Long-Term Residence Permit." [Accessed 11 Feb. 2019]

Italy, Ministero dell’Interno, with Intesa Sanpaolo. N.d. Staying in Italy Legally. [Accessed 18 Feb. 2019]

Law firm. 21 February 2019. Correspondence from a representative to the Research Directorate.

Welcome Association Italy (WAI). 18 February 2019. Correspondence from a representative to the Research Directorate.

Welcome Association Italy (WAI). N.d.a. "About Us." [Accessed 11 Feb. 2019]

Welcome Association Italy (WAI). N.d.b. "The Refusal and Revocation of the Residence Permit." [Accessed 11 Feb. 2019]

Welcome Association Italy (WAI). N.d.c. "The EU Residence Permit for Long-Term Residents." [Accessed 20 Feb. 2019]

Additional Sources Consulted

Oral sources: Italy – embassy in Ottawa, Ministero dell’Interno, Dipartimento per le Libertà civili e l'Immigrazione; law firm based in Italy that works in immigration law.

Internet sites, including: Canada – embassy in Italy, Trade Commissioner Service; Damiani & Damiani International Law Firm & Services; ecoi.net; EU – BlueCard.com, European Migration Network; European Council on Refugees and Exiles – Asylum Information Database; Factiva; Il Mattino; Il Messaggero; Il Tempo; Italy – embassy in Ottawa; The Local – Italy; Relocate Global; Santaniello & Partners; UN – Refworld; US – Department of State, Law Library of Congress; Vademecum Italia – Legal Guides.

Attachment

Italy. 1998 (amended 2014). Legislative Decree No. 286 of 1998. [Accessed 19 Feb. 2019]