International protection and political asylum

“The foreigner who is prevented in his country from the effective exercise of the democratic freedoms guaranteed by the Italian Constitution has the right of asylum in the territory of the Republic”

Art. 10, paragraph 3. Constitution

First, let us start by giving an important definition:

Refugees are people who have a well-founded fear of being persecuted in their country of origin for reasons of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, belonging to a particular social group and that cannot receive protection from their country of origin.

International protection guarantees the right not to be repatriated and to stay in Italy.

The request for international protection can be submitted to the Border Police at the time of the foreign’s entry in Italy, or later, to the competent Police Headquarters. For the request it is necessary to present a copy of the passport, if the applicant is in possession of it, and any other documentation that proves the reasons for the request.

Refugee status is recognized by the competent Territorial Commission following the request. The refugee can therefore apply for a residence permit for political asylum.

This residence permit entails many benefits for the holder as it is issued for a five-year period and is automatically renewable.

In addition, political refugees have the opportunity to apply for citizenship after only 5 years of legal residence, they can apply for family reunification on more favourable conditions, benefit from social assistance as an Italian citizen and register for free with the National Health Service.

The residence permit for political asylum cannot be converted into one for work reasons but allows the carrying out of a working activity (subordinate or self-employed), access to public employment and even access to study. They can apply for an EU long-term residence permit.

The calculation of the period of stay will be carried out starting from the date of submission of the application for international protection, the documentation relating to the suitability of the accommodation is not required when they apply for the issue of the EU long-term residence permit, however, they must still indicate a place of residence. The aspect concerning the proof of income remains unchanged, which in any case must not be less than the annual amount of the social allowance.