- At the time of your arrival in Italy by declaring your intention to the Border Police
- At any time at the Questura’s Immigration Office (police station.)(see the map)
- Expression of the Wish to Apply. The first time you go to the Questura, you will have to explicitly state that you intend to request the status of refugee. An alternative way is to present a written declaration with your full name, date of birth, etc. stating your intention to apply.
If the Questura is closed, you can send a letter requesting an appointment to formally register the asylum request. The letter can be written by you or with the help of an attorney
2) The Questura will issue a RECEIPT, a signed and stamped paper with the date and time of your appointment to formally register the request
3) Formal Registration of Request. This takes place by filling a ‘C3’ form. Once this is completed, you will be able to request a residence permit for asylum seekers that lasts 6 months and is renewable. Two months after the initial filing, you can work.
You arrived in Italy without a visa, and you were not registered (photo and fingerprints taken,) at the point of entry, in this case the Questura will give you two appointments: the first to take your picture and fingerprints, the second to fill out the ‘C3.’
No ID is necessary. You just fill out the forms’ the police give you.
If you have a passport, you must give it to the police along with 4 photographs. They will hold on to it for the duration of the request procedure. If there are documents that are helpful or corroborate your request for asylum – degrees, photographs, news articles, membership cards, including those that attest to your age, country of origin, places and countries where you have stayed and those that apply to the reasons for the request, – this is the time to hand them over.
You will be asked for an address where you can be contacted and where notifications will be mailed. If you are staying with friends, please bring a statement to that fact.
If you do not have a residence, you are entitled to a place in a reception center run by the local or national authorities. You have a right to stay in the Center for the length of the process. You have a right to apply for asylum even if you don’t have a permanent address!
After the formal registration of the request, the police will send all documentation to the “Territorial Commission.” There is at least one in all Italian Regions.
The ‘Territorial Commission’ is the body that interviews asylum seekers and decides on the international protection request.
These are the decisions that can be taken following the hearing in front of the Commission:
- Refugee status is granted. In this instance the ‘highest’ level of international protection has been granted on the basis that a risk of persecution is considered likely in case of return to the country of origin. Following this decision, you will be able to go to the Questura and obtain a five-year asylum residence permit that can be renewed, in addition to a refugee travel document.
- Subsidiary protection is granted. This is another type of international protection that entitles you to a five-year renewable residence permit.
- Special Protection status is granted. This is a type of national protection. It grants you the right to obtain from the Questura a two-year residence permit that will be renewable and can be used to find employment.
- Health Conditions are recognized. In those instances, in which “serious psycho-physical conditions or symptoms stemming a from serious pathology” are found, you will be granted a residence permit of one-year maximum that can be renewed or converted into a work permit.
- Request Is Denied. The Commission has judged that the premises for granting the status of international or special protection do not exist.
In some cases, you can be called for a second interview. This takes place when the first interview has been deemed insufficient to fully examine a person’s history or to take a decision. Please don’t worry. It only means that your case is complex.
During a hearing you have the right to:
- Be interviewed in your language of origin (or a language in which you are fluent,) with the help of a neutral interpreter.
- Full confidentiality of the information that you present to the Commission, and assurances that they will not be given to your country’s government.
- A lawyer’s assistance.
- Consultation with the interpreter if problems arise.
- Request a break.
- Request a postponement for serious reasons, i.e., in case of illness.
- Read the hearing’s transcript and have it redacted in case of discrepancies.
In theory the answer to a request for international protection should be given within a month of the application, but the procedure could take a lot longer. There is no way to establish a temporal timeline.
During the duration of the procedure, you will be issued a residence permit due to the request of asylum.
In the instance of a Commission’s denial (a negative answer,) you can appeal to the appropriate Court. During the appeal process, you will be entitled to renew your 6-months refugee residence permit. The Court has the power to grant or recognize a form of protection – refugee status, subsidiary protection, special protection, health needs, – or confirm the denial. In case the Court should uphold the denial, you can consider filing a new request for international protection if new elements have emerged that corroborate your claim or file a request to the Court of Appeals to examine your case. Please Note: An appeal does automatically stay the Court’s denial of the request. You can still face a decree of expulsion and repatriation!
If you lack the funds to pay a lawyer to file an appeal, you can use a court appointed attorney. In this instance the government will pay the lawyer and all legal expenses. You will have to sign a declaration that attests to your lack of income.
If you don’t already have a lawyer that represents you, select an attorney from the list on file at the Court closest to you. Another option is contact the ARCI network in your city that will refer you to the legal aid office nearest you. Consult jumamap.it (https://www.jumamap.it/) and find the legal resources available near where you live.
Otherwise contact the Free Number for Asylum Seekers and Refugees that can be reached from a home phone (800 905 570) or a cellular phone (351 13 76 335.) The Free Number provides legal services and assistance.