Glossary of the Important Italian Immigration Terms and Acronyms
If you are thinking of obtaining Italian citizenship or moving to Italy, chances are you will come across these Italian immigration terms and acronyms. Even if you don’t speak Italian, it is important that you familiarize yourself with them as you will be seeing them a lot. Some of these terms are not relevant for Italian citizenship jure sanguinis applicants, so keep that in mind while reading.
Foreigners over the age of 16 entering Italy and applying for a residence permit (valid for at least 1 year) must sign an Integration Agreement (Accordo d’integrazione) at the Immigration Office (Sportello unico per l’immigrazione) or Police Headquarters (Questura). This agreement regulates the points system for a permit of stay and by signing it, foreign nationals commit to undertake certain immigration requirements (such as Italian language proficiency, cultural awareness, etc.). Foreigners are accredited points based on their level of integration into Italian society.
This is the town Registrar where all information pertaining to individuals living in that town’s jurisdiction get registered. Once you are registered here, you are considered a resident.
Azienda sanitaria locale (or Unità sanitaria locale), the Local Health Department. An individual must register here to obtain the Italian health card and be assigned a general practitioner. The Italian health system is the responsibility of the Ministry of Health, but each A.S.L. is administered locally by the regions of Italy and their respective local health authorities.
An identification document that you get from the Anagrafeonce you’re a resident. Issued to Italian citizens either residing in Italy or abroad and to non-EU citizens residing in Italy and registered with the anagrafe. It contains personal details, your address, and is mandatory when converting/obtaining an Italian driving license and buying or registering a car. A carta d’identità may also be used for intra-EU travel.
A type of residence permit which you can apply for at the post office. Similar to a permit to stay (permesso di soggiorno), it has a duration of 5 years and is given to non-EU dependents of Italian or EU citizens.
A certificate issued by the anagrafe and in some cases by the ASL confirming that a dwelling is compliant with Italian health and safety building regulations.
Notice that a property owner must send to the police within 48 hours of an individual moving onto the property.
Similar to a Social Security Number in the US or a NIN number in the UK. An identification number given to each individual in Italy necessary to sign leases, purchase cars, mobile phones, open a bank account, request a health card, etc. It is a tax code assigned to you and issued by the Italian revenue office (Agenzia delle entrate). Note: obtaining a tax code does not mean you must pay taxes in Italy.
An administrative division corresponding to a municipality or township. The comune handles many basic civil functions such as registering births, deaths, deeds, local residency, parking permits, garbage taxes, etc.
A form similar to an employment agreement that gets executed at the Sportello unico immigrazione(SUI – Immigration Office) between the foreign national entering Italy on a national visa for lavoro subordinato (employed work, either by local hire or on assignment) and the sponsoring party. It sets forth the terms and conditions of the employment contract. This is a mandatory step to be completed within 8 days of arrival in Italy, and must be followed by an application for a residence permit (permesso di soggiorno) at the post office.
Stands forcertificazione unica. A certification issued by an employer confirming taxes and other mandatory charges withheld from payslips. Issued annually by the employer or sponsoring company. Required for filing taxes in Italy.
Official notice that any person hosting or leasing an apartment to a foreigner must send the police within 48 hours (Article 7 of Legislative Decree no. 286 of 1998). Again, another important one in the pantheon of Italian immigration terms.
Declaration of presence. If you travel from a Schengen State and don’t get an Italian stamp on your passport, you must report your presence to Italy within 8 days of your arrival. For this, you fill out a dichiarazione di presenza form at the questura. This is not required when staying in a hotel as a tourist or if you enter Italy from a non-Schengen country and do get a stamp on your passport. If you are immigrating to Italy, this is one of the Italian immigration terms you’ll hear all the time.
Stands for Direzione provinciale del lavoro. A local office of the Ministry of Labor, the DPL must give clearance for the issuance of all work permits.
Documento unico di regolarità contributiva, a certificate issued to confirm that a company is compliance with all insurance and social security obligations.
A fingerprint appointment at the questura. They will take your photograph and fingerprints so you can obtain the permit to stay.
Istituto nazionale per l’assicurazione contro gli infortuni. National Insurance Institute Against Accidents.
Stands for Istituto nazionale della previdenza sociale, the National Social Security Agency.
The application form you complete and submit at the post office to request a permit to stay and/or extensions. Not all post offices accept them—look for the ones with the sign “Sportello amico” to make sure yours does.
An official duty or tax stamp. Purchase at your local post office or tobacconist (tabaccaio ortabaccheria). In Italy, they put marche da bollo on everything! Learn this term well because this is one of those Italian immigration terms you’ll hear all the time.
A registration number attributed by INPS (Social Security Agency) to each employee.
Requested by the employer, it is necessary in order to obtain an extension for permits of stay.
A form used by an employer for paying social security for employees.
A form used for paying most taxes by the employer.
Work permit (clearance) issued by the sportello unico authorizing a foreigner to work in Italy and obtain a work visa.
Permit to stay. An official document allowing a foreigner to live in Italy (Article 5 of Legislative Decree no. 286 of July 25th 1998, and Articles 9-11 of President of the Republic’s Decree no. 394 of August 31st 1999). One of the most common immigration terms for those moving to Italy.
Document issued to non-EU citizens living in Italy for at least 5 years. Allows permanent residency and doesn’t have an expiry date. However, the holder must confirm every 5 years that the data included are up to date.
A map issued by the Cadastral Office (Ufficio del catasto) showing the composition of a dwelling. Required to apply for a certificato di idoneità alloggiativa.
Local government office where the sportello unico is located.
Precinct where they take fingerprints and issue permits to stay. Also one of the most common immigration terms you will hear when moving to Italy.
This is one of the most important Italian immigration terms to know. Anyone planning on living permanently in Italy must register with a local anagrafe. Registration can benefit you for formalities in Italy such as obtaining a national health card, importing goods duty free, opening a bank account, purchasing a car, etc. If you apply for dual citizenship in Italy, your first step is to obtain residenza.
Official receipt from the post office when you apply for a permit to stay or an extension. When permits expire, the receipt is the only documentthat confirms you’re legal status in Italy. The receipt is not valid outside Italy until the renewed permit has been issued so you will be subject to some travel limitations without it.
The office that issues the nulla osta al lavoro (work permit). Therefore, it is a department of the prefettura.
You sign this when arriving in a hotel to report your presence on Italian territory. Therefore, if you don’t have a stamp on your passport you must ask your hotel manager to provide you with a copy of the scheda di notificaand keep it on your person to show it to any police officer who requests it.
Health card. After registering with the anagrafe, you can obtain a health card from the local ASL (Azienda sanitaria locale). With it, you can go to a doctor, purchase medical prescriptions, and get checkups. This is one of the Italian immigration terms you will probably hear a lot!
Laws pertaining to immigration matters.
Office where registry taxi s paid for some deeds such as lease agreements, usually due no later than 30 days from the date of deed.
Office within thequestura for all immigration matters.