Integration Agreement: what it is and what it is for

On 10 March 2012 the regulation which governs the Integration Agreement entered into force. But what is it and who is it for?

The integration agreement is a document that the foreign citizen aged between 16 and 65 must sign when making the FIRST request for a residence permit of at least one year, with which he undertakes towards the Italian State, to achieve specific integration objectives, through the completion of a linguistic, civic and social path, to be achieved in the period of validity of the residence permit. The agreement has a duration of two years and can be extended for another year.

The agreement is signed at the Prefettura – Sportello Unico dell’immigrazione by foreigners who enter Italy for work reasons or for reunification with a family member or at the Police Headquarters in case of entry for other reasons.

Through this agreement, the foreign citizen undertakes to acquire an, at least, A2 level of knowledge of the Italian language, to earn a sufficient knowledge of the fundamental principles of the Constitution, of civil life, with particular emphasis in sectors such as health, school, tax obligations, etc. .

Within three months from signing of the agreement, foreigners are summoned to participate in a civic training and information session on the life in Italy.

At the time of signing, 16 points are awarded to which 14 or more points are added if the foreigner fulfills the obligations by participating in free training courses or if he proves to have sufficient knowledge on the issues concerning the agreement, passing a test of knowledge of the Italian language, civic culture and civil life in Italy.

If the foreigner reaches 30 or more points, it means that he has reached the appropriate degree of integration and the agreement is terminated.

In the event that the points amount to a number between 1 and 29, the agreement is extended for another year to ensure compliance.

If the foreigner has not reached an adequate degree of integration, his residence permit is revoked and he is expelled from the national territory.

Points can be lost for:

  • criminal convictions even with a non-definitive sentence;
  • even non-definitive application of personal security measures;
  • imposition of definitive financial penalties in relation to serious administrative or tax offenses.