There are several ways in which a foreign citizen can immigrate to Italy. The immigration regulations provide for those who want to move to Italy for business and work purposes, however, they also provide for special conditions for those seeking asylum in Italy.
In order to obtain refugee status, a foreign citizen must first apply for an asylum visa in Italy. It is important to note that in 2015 the Italian Immigration Law has suffered various changes with respect to the procedure of accepting asylum seekers.
Below, our immigration lawyers in Italy explain how to obtain an asylum visa. Foreign citizens can also request our services if they are interested in immigrating to Italy and obtaining asylum visas. We can also guide you if you are interested in Italian citizenship.
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Who can apply for an asylum visa in Italy?
According to the Immigration Law and the Constitution of Italy, there are several ways of immigrating to Italy, among which asylum seekers are also recognized as persons who can obtain the legal right of dwelling here.
The following categories of persons can obtain asylum visas in Italy:
- foreign citizens who have asked for the protection of the Italian state or the recognition of the refugee status;
- foreign citizens who are persecuted for various reasons, such as peace, religion, nationality or pertaining to a certain social category or political affiliation;
- foreign citizens entering the category of displaces persons due to war, hunger, natural disasters, poverty or other similar conditions;
- foreign citizens who are considered stateless persons under the provisions of the New York Convention of 1954.
Under the Italian and international laws, stateless persons are considered persons with no nationality or citizenship.
Our immigration lawyers in Italy can offer more information on the regulations applicable to those interested in applying for an asylum visa. These are different from those related to obtaining a residence permit in Italy.
The procedure of obtaining an asylum visa in Italy
Italy is one of the countries to offer a single procedure related to the application for the asylum visa. This means that the person seeking to obtain an asylum visa in Italy can be lodged in with the police station in which the foreigner lives or directly with the border control under the same conditions.
When filing the asylum application directly with the police, the foreign citizen must know that he or she has 8 days to report with the police after entering the country. The procedure is the same as when applying for a residence permit in Italy. The applicant must submit an application form, must be fingerprinted and have their pictures taken.
In the case of foreign persons applying for Italian asylum visas with the border control authorities, the procedure is completed directly there.
Once processed, the asylum seeker is registered with the National Commission for the Right of Asylum which will interview the applicant within 30 days after lodging the request for an Italian asylum visa.
The decision for granting the asylum visa is issued within 3 days from the interview.
If you want to immigrate to Italy and need support, our lawyers at your disposal with tailored services. Among these, there are also those related to obtaining a residence permit in Italy.
The rights of a person applying for an asylum visa in Italy
Foreign persons seeking to obtain Italian asylum visas have several rights before the right to living in Italy is granted or denied. Some of the most important rights are:
- the applicant cannot be asked to return to the country in which his/her life is endangered during the visa application processing;
- the applicant has the right to live in Italy if he or she is part of a vulnerable group (minors, disabled persons and pregnant women are a few of the persons entering this category);
- the applicant has the right to basic medical services free of charge and assistance for other medical situations;
- the applicant has the right to receive information on how to apply for an asylum visa in Italy;
- the applicant has the right to receive documents related to his/her status of refugee and must be guaranteed that he or she understands what the documents state.
Our immigration lawyers in Italy offer expat services for those who need to have their rights explained no matter the type of Italian visas they apply for. We will also assist with Italian citizenship applications.
We are also at the service of entrepreneurs who want to apply for Italy citizenship by investment.
Subsidiary protection offered to asylum seekers in Italy
The Italian legislation also provides for subsidiary protection for non-EU citizens who need international protection, even if they cannot apply for an asylum visa in Italy. Subsidiary protection can be offered to all foreign citizens who live in Italy and who, by returning to their home countries, can face the following risks:
- the risk of being killed
- the risk of being tortured;
- the risk of being submitted to degrading and inhumane treatment;
- the risk of having their lives endangered because of violence.
Subsidiary protection can also be offered to persons who have another family member living in Italy based on a residence permit.
For assistance in applying for an asylum visa in Italy, please feel free to contact our immigration lawyers.
Our lawyers can also represent foreigners in other areas of immigration, for example, business. Our team can offer full legal representation to those who want to arrive here under an investment visa – a good example in this sense is the Golden Visa in Italy, which can offer permanent residency, however, in the initial phases, a residence permit valid for 2 years will be first issued.